In more recent years, there has been a lot of talk about the potential dangers of artificial hair color. The synthetic chemicals within artificial hair dye have led to concern from stylists and clients alike. Chemicals such as ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, toluene and para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which are present in artificial hair color, have all been shown to have hazardous effects on health. There is even a link between some of the chemicals used in hair color and higher risk for cancer. With all of the concern surrounding artificial hair color, many clients have started to look into organic hair color as a viable option.
Organic hair colors are dyes that consist of little or no harsh chemicals. Many organic hair colors do not use ammonia, the harsh chemical used to lift the cuticle layer of the hair and lighten the hair. Since an alkaline agent is needed in hair color, these dyes often use ammonia substitutes such as ethanolamine or monoethanolamine. Other dyes use small amounts of diluted aqua ammonia which is non-toxic. Resorcinol, a chemical used in artificial dye, is usually excluded in organic hair dyes. Resorcinol is used as a color coupler that oxidizes with hydrogen peroxide to provide permanent hair color, but it has been known to be a highly toxic skin irritant as well as a frequent cause of hair dye allergy. It is frequently excluded from organic hair dyes, but may be substituted for 2-methylresorcinol or butylresorcinol, which are synthetic non-toxic chemicals. A couple of the organic hair dyes are PPD free. Para-phenylenediamine is used as an oxidation agent in hair color, but is thought to have extremely dangerous effects on health. Not all organic products exclude PPD from their dyes. In the place of these potentially dangerous chemicals, organic hair colors use natural essential oils, fruit extracts and soy bases. Henna is also used in many organic hair colors as a colorant.
Most organic hair dyes continue to use hydrogen peroxide in their color. Hydrogen peroxide is used in permanent dyes as an oxidizing agent that helps start the color-forming process by breaking down the natural hair pigments. Since it is a non-toxic chemical and necessary to the hair coloring process, most organic hair dyes still include peroxide in their products.
Organic hair color has grown in popularity in recent years as clients try to find safer, healthier alternatives to artificial hair colors. While organic dyes are free of many harsh, potentially hazardous chemicals, they are not completely natural in their ingredients.
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