Non Toxic Hair Dye — Does it Exist?

Non Toxic Hair Dye — Does it Exist?

We have such a love — hate relationship with hair dye. We love how it makes us look but hate the damage it does to our hair and the potential health risks from exposure to all those chemicals.

And there sure are a lot of chemicals in hair dye. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute more than 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dyes. Many of these chemicals are allergens, skin toxins, endocrine disruptors, toxic to cells and organs and cause cancer.

Some of the worst offenders in hair dye include:

  • Parabens are used as preservatives and fragrance ingredients. They are endocrine disrupters and some cause breast cancer. Propylparaben is the most toxic.
  • Resorcinol is an endocrine system disrupter, organ system toxicant, immune system toxicant, allergen and linked to hypothyroidism.

  • P-Phenylenediamine (PPD) is among the most commonly used hair dye compounds and it is classified as a carcinogen. It is also a skin, eye and lung irritant and allergen.
    • Toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate is an allergen, skin and immune system toxicant and there is some evidence that it may cause inflammation and cancer.
    • Fragrance is added to cover chemical smells and any of the 100’s of different mystery chemicals that make up a fragrance may be in hair dye. Unknown chemicals means unknown health effects. Plus, where there’s fragrance there are often endocrine disrupting phthalates, which are used as a scent carrier.

    The Risks To Your Health

    There’s no question that dying your hair is risky to your health. Numerous studies have detected the presence of components of hair dye in the urine of people within hours of dying their hair.

    This means the toxic chemicals in hair dye are absorbed through your skin. Once that happens they travel through your blood to various organs in your body and damage your health.

    And, as you age your skin and your blood-brain barrier become less effective barriers from toxins. That means the chemicals in hair dye and other products can be absorbed through your skin into your blood stream and from your blood stream into your brain more easily.

    Hairdressers, who are regularly exposed to the chemicals in hair dyes, are often studied to identify the health effects of hair dye exposure. They have been found to have a higher risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, bladder cancer and other types of cancers.

    Personal use of hair dyes is also associated with breast cancer. If you regularly dye your hair one study reported the odds of breast cancer increased by 23% and women born before 1950 an increase of 28% was found.

    Some studies have found a small increase in the risk of digestive diseases among the women using hair dye and an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease among users of personal hair dye.

    Population studies have also found that if you use permanent hair dye at least once a month you have a 2.1 times higher risk of bladder cancer in comparison with women who don’t dye their hair. However, other studies have concluded that dying your hair did not increase the risk of bladder cancer.

    Non Toxic Hair Dye?

    Many of you want to know if there is any such thing as a non toxic hair dye? Does such a wonderful, magical product exist?

    Before I answer I need to confess that I have semi-autonomous hair. If it washed itself it would be completely autonomous.

    That means I’ve never dyed my hair. I’ve embraced my gray hair. So my recommendations on hair dye are based only on toxicity info.

    So, back to my answer. Is there such a thing as non toxic hair dye — well, yes – and no.

    Yes, if you are willing to lower your expectations about hair dyes. By that I mean that there are non toxic henna and vegetable based hair dyes that are semi-permanent.

    They may not give the same consistent results as more toxic dyes and they have to be reapplied more often. They are not great at covering gray and fade after 6-12 shampoos.

    However, the Environmental Working Group rates the toxicity of these types of dyes as 0 on a scale of 0-10. Brand names for these dyes include: Light Mountain Hair Color, Morrocco Method International Henna and Sante 100% Herbal Hair Color.

    So, if you just like changing up your hair color these are your least toxic options. If the reason you dye your hair is to cover the gray, consider embracing your natural color.

    This is a great time to go gray because silver hair is very trendy. For inspiration and how to go gray gracefully, check out the book Silver Hair: Say Goodbye to the Dye and Let Your Natural Light Shine.

    If you’ve gone gray and want to restore your natural hair color there is a new nontoxic solution that I’ve heard great things about. It’s called Hairprint and it doesn’t contain endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, heavy metals, pesticides and ingredients that are known behavioral, developmental, reproductive and neurotoxins.

    Currently, Hairprint Color Restorer is only available for naturally black, brown, and light brown hair only. They do not have a formula for naturally blonde or red hair.

    According to its website:

    “Hairprint functions in a way that is the opposite of how hair dyes work. Rather than stripping hair of its color and inserting coal tar dyes, which all permanent hair-coloring products do, Dr. Warner’s process mimics how hair gets its true color in the first place. The color responsible for all brown and black hair is eumelanin, which is a variation of the melanin pigment that is responsible for the color of your skin and eyes. The reason Hairprint looks so natural on your hair is because it is natural.”

    Less Toxic Hair Color Options

    If non toxic options don’t work for you there are some less toxic hair dye options. If you have your hair dyed at a salon consider switching to one that uses safer products. Do a Google search for salons that focus on organic, chemical free or less toxic hair care products.

    Or have a conversation with your stylist about using safer hair dyes. You could also bring your own products for your hair dresser to use.

    For example, the following options range from 2-5 on the toxicity scale. I have never tried any of these options because I have never dyed my hair. So again, these suggestions are based only on my toxicity research and not on how well the products work.

    See also:  Whiteness: Definition in Sociology

    Naturtint has no ammonia, resorcinol, or parabens. The most toxic chemical it contains is cocamide DEA, a chemically-modified form of coconut oil used as a foaming agent. This chemical is considered to be a possible human carcinogen by the California EPA. The hair dye gets great reviews and does a good job covering grays.

    Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolour Gel contains ethanolamine, an immune and respiratory toxicant that is used as a pH adjuster and Resorcinol. Endocrine disruption is a high concern with this product.

    EcoColors Haircolor provides a list of its non toxic ingredients on its website. That list is followed by a list of much more toxic ingredients that MAY be in the product. That concerns me. For example, 1,3 benzenediol, a synonym for resorcinol, which the company claims it does not use, is on the list. Also, 1 naphthol, a carcinogen, allergen, lung and skin and organ system toxicant. If all the “maybe” chemicals were in the dye, this product would rank a 6 on the EWG toxicity scale.

    Hair Dyes with Mid-range Toxicity

    Some options in the 5-6 toxicity scale range that pose a moderate hazard include Loreal Inoa Ammonia Free Permanent Hair Color and Garnier Olia Oil Permanent Hair Color. Both of these options contain resorcinol and fragrance. The chemicals in these hair dyes pose a high risk for endocrine disruption. Another option is Clairol Natural Instincts, which contains fragrance, but no resorcinol. All three of these dyes are thought to pose a low cancer risk.

    Very Toxic Hair Dyes

    Hair dyes in this category contain multiple sources of carcinogens, allergens, endocrine disrupters and organ system toxicants. This is known as multiple, additive exposure sources. For example, Revlon Colorsilk contains 18 chemicals that pose a moderate to high health hazard.

    Because of their use of parabens, especially propylparaben, some hair dyes earn a 10 out of 10 on the toxicity scale. These include CrГЁme of Nature Exotic, John Freida Precision Foam Color and Loreal Superior Preference Fade Defying Hair Color.

    If you’re serious about reducing your exposure to the chemical toxins in hair dyes I suggest you try some of the nontoxic alternatives first. If they don’t work for you move to the low toxicity options.

    Another tip is to go lighter in color. In general, the darker the color the more toxins are in the dye. Of course you could just embrace your natural hair color and learn to love those grays.

    For more info on choosing less toxic products check out the article Shedding Your Toxic Product Habits. For more info on the toxic chemicals used in hair salons check out these factsheets.

    Does Hair Dye Kill Lice, Nits and Lice Eggs on Head?

    Lice and nits can cause a lot of discomfort if you don’t find a quick way to get rid of them. Does hair dye kill lice and nits? Can dyeing your hair get rid of lice eggs and nymphs? Hair colors and dyes contain ingredients that can help get rid of head lice.

    Lice and nits are actually a very common concern among the young population and even though kids seem to be the group affected the most, adults can sometimes get them too-especially if they have kids infested with lice.

    Head louse in hair

    Lice can easily crawl from one head to another and create a “colony” of lice eggs, first nymphs (the small nymph that comes from the hatched egg), second nymphs or molts, third nymphs or molts (teenage lice), and adult lice. It takes just 15-16 days for the eggs to hatch and produce adult lice so imagine how much lice will accumulate over time, if you leave the condition untreated.

    Now, in the market there are several methods to solve the head lice problem, which either work to remove adult lice, or attempt to resolve the issue from its root by killing the eggs first and then the actual living lice.

    Does hair dye kill head lice and eggs?

    Although hair dyes are not an official treatment for lice, some hairdressers and ordinary people find using a hair dye to be effective in controlling lice. Why does hair dye kill lice? This is because hair dyes are mostly based on strong chemicals that are toxic for the lice and can potentially kill them.

    The question here is: does it kill both lice and eggs? How much effective is it? The answer is both YES and NO. While hair dye does seem to kill lice, the chemicals of a hair dye can’t really penetrate the egg structure and kill the eggs. That means that even if the hair dye manages to kill all of the active lice, the eggs will still remain active and hatch within 15 days and the problem will persist.

    Does hair dye kill nits?

    Does dying your hair get rid of lice and nits? Nits are actually another name for lice eggs that haven’t yet been hatched into nymphs. If you are wondering “does hair dye really kill nits?”, as mentioned earlier, there are hard to remove just by using hair dye alone as the chemicals in it can’t really penetrate the hair eggs and kill them.

    But you can effectively control the problem by using a hair dye with certain ingredients, along with supplemental methods, as we will discuss below.

    Hair dye ingredients that control and kill lice

    The ingredients below are either natural or artificial and have been shown to be effective in killing lice, although they won’t be as effective in killing their eggs as well. So next time you are looking for a hair dye and you see any of the ingredients listed below on its box or label (under the ingredients), it indicates that the dye is more capable of killing lice than other brands. Here they are:

    1. Ammonia in hair color

    Ammonia is gas chemical that dissolved into liquid and it’s used in hair dyes to open the hair cuticle to receive the hair color pigments. Ammonia is a strong chemical that seems to be effective in loosening the glue produced by the hair lice and either killing them directly, or making them easier to remove with a comb or other methods.

    Caution: never attempt to use undiluted ammonia in your head as it will most probably cause adverse skin and health reactions. Just look for it as a featured ingredient in the hair dye—the higher the percentage the ammonia a hair dye has, the greater its ability to kill active lice although you have to be extra careful if you have a sensitive scalp.

    2. Henna and Vaseline

    Henna is an Indian Herbal that has been used for centuries as a natural hair dye has also been shown to be toxic for adult lice.

    Vaseline is a by-product of petroleum or mineral oil that has been shown to “suffocate” the lice and eggs and make them easier to remove with combing.

    3. Fenugreek and Artemisia

    Fenugreek is herbal with strong anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic properties. Because of its anti-parasitic action, it can be used in the fight against lice, especially used with Henna and Artemisia or black Walnut.

    Another herbal compound (also known as Wormwood), with strong antimicrobial and anti-parasitic properties.

    4. Black walnut and tea tree oil

    A type of walnut that could be used to dye the hair a shade of dark brown and has also been shown to posses anti-parasitic properties. You can even make your own black walnut DIY hair dye to dye your hair a deep brunette shade and enjoy its anti-lice action at the same time.

    See also:  12 Questions About Bed Bugs

    Tea tree oil has been mentioned in some heath food blogs with natural lice remedies as a great addition to hair products or natural hair dyes that may potentially have anti-lice action and find infestation. Make sure though you won’t be using this undiluted as it is an essential oil that must be dissolved in a carrier base or other products.

    5. Tamanu oil and Olive oil

    Tamanu oil is an oil derived from the bush of Tamanu grown in the South America regions and has similar properties to tea tree oil, making it also effective against active lice.

    Olive oil and other highly concentrated vegetable oils can effectively loosen the glue that holds lice together and suffocate lice, so it’s easily removed with a knit comb.

    6. Coconut oil and Sea salt

    Coconut oil has been shown to have strong anti-fungal and anti-parasitic properties and like Olive oil, it can suffocate and kill lice more effectively.

    Sea salt is not used currently in hair dyes but it’s used in other hair products to add a beach wavy look to the hair. Sea salt can also help kill lice by drying out the glue that binds them together first and killing the lice after.

    Hair dyes that may potentially remove lice in head

    Since many of you are probably wondering what brands carry any of these ingredients that have been shown to kill active lice, you can try any regular hair dye with a high ammonia concentration like L’Oréal Excellence or any bleaching kit that contains peroxide to lighten hair.

    Bleaching kit gets rid of lice too

    If you don’t want to use chemicals like Ammonia and want to dye your hair naturally, all Henna dyes and brands will work, especially those containing black walnut like this one here:

    How to kill lice with hair dye

    If you want to dye your hair and want to get rid of lice at the same time (both active lice and it, here a step-by-step guide on what to do:

    Step 1: Identify the lice and knit spaces. Divide your hair into small separate sections, covering the base of your hair line, the side areas behind your ears, and the area closest to the neck. There is spray that dyes the exact location of both lice and knits if you spray thought to either dark pink or white and it is available here:

    Step 2: Dissolve the nit glue by applying a solution of dissolved vine vinegar and sea salt so it will be easier to kills them with hair dye and remove them afterwards. To make this solution, simply mix around 10 drops of vinegar in one cup of water along with 1 tbsp of sea salt. Shake the mixture well and apply to your hair with the help of a spray container/distributor (make sure you empty it first as you don’t want to add any unwanted cleansing chemicals to your hair).

    Step 3: Use a nit comb with fine teeth to remove the nits/eggs first. Begin by running each hair section through the comb on either dry, damp, or semi-damp hair for at least 10 minutes. There are both electrical (battery operated) and manual combs available in the market. Electronic combs are usually indicated for dry hair while manual combs are best used on damp hair that has been washed first.

    Step 4: Apply your desired hair dye and follow the instructions on the package. Usually you’ll need to mix in the hair dye with the bleaching agent first well and then apply with your hair with a special brush or applicator, found in DIY hair dye kits.

    If you are using a high-ammonia hair dye, make sure you don’t leave it for more than an hour as you’ll damage your hair and you won’t get any additional extra lice action. On the contrary, natural hair dyes with Henna could be left to your hair for more than an hour, as they don’t contain any harsh chemicals.

    Step 5: Wash your hair well with anti-lice shampoo and conditioner. This will reinforce the action of the previous steps and catch any remaining lice and nits. Make sure you leave the shampoo and conditioner on your hair for at least a couple of minutes so it has a chance to work even more effectively. Rinse as usual.

    Step 6 (optional): Following the above steps should be enough to kill most if not all lice and their eggs, but if you want to make sure that there is really nothing left and all nits are dead, you can comb through your hair another time with a fine tooth lice comb., prior drying it.

    Remember that for the hair dye to be effective, you must take the necessary steps to both loosen the glue that holds then together and kill the eggs so they don’t hatch after 2 weeks, making the problem go on.

    Does Hair Dye Kill Lice?

    Any parent of children that have reached nursery or school age will know the frustration of dealing with head lice.

    Among all the treatments available, some people think about dying their hair, with the idea that hair dye will help kill these parasites.

    But does hair dye really kill lice, and are all hair dyes actually safe?

    First, there’s not a single scientific experiment that has proven that hair dye could be helpful against head lice.

    Moreover, there are many different hair dyes on the market, and many of them contain ingredients that can be harmful for us, because they are chemicals.

    If these ingredients can harm us, then they might also harm lice, and that’s why some people have reported that dyes can be effective to get rid of lice.

    But if they can harm you, you may not want to put them on your head in the first place. So let’s see how dyes actually work and what are their main chemical ingredients.

    Here are 2 very common ingredients in hair dyes:

    1) Hydrogen peroxide : it helps initiate the color-forming process and creates longer-lasting color. It also causes the hair to lose its content in a mineral called sulfur. This loss of sulfur causes the hair to harden.

    2) Ammonia : it allows for lightening and it tends to separate the cuticle and allow the hair color to penetrate the hair.

    A chemical reaction happens between ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, and this reaction creates the new color of the hair.

    Various types of alcohols, which can also dry the hair, are also present in most hair dyes.

    According to research, “hydrogen peroxide is not absorbed by the skin, but can cause systemic toxicity when inhaled or ingested”.

    And as far as ammonia is concerned, it is well-known to be highly toxic.

    Also, bear in mind that some permanent hair dye products contain derivatives of aspirin, so it’s crucial these are not used on children’s hair .

    Aspirin can cause dangerous side effects in children, so stick to medically approved remedies if the person is not an adult.

    For all these reasons, we do not recommend you use hair dyes to get rid of lice, whether in adults or in children.

    See also:  Your access to this site has been limited by the site owner

    If you have a lice infestation, there are many other different options, including non-toxic shampoos or home remedies you could use to get rid of these parasites.

    Now, quality neutral henna products, which do not contain harmful chemicals, have been reported to not only kill and remove head lice, but also to be effective for dandruff treatment and to strengthen hair.

    But again, it has not been scientifically proven. Make sure you do your research on the product and that you pick a harmful treatment.

    Does Hair Dye Kill Head Lice?

    By Karen Sokoloff

    Published April 10, 2017
    Edited April 12, 2020

    Hair dye may kill some bugs, but it does not affect the nits (eggs). Conversely, having dyed hair will not prevent you from getting a case of head lice. Why use a potentially harmful lice treatment when there are alternatives?

    Does Hair Dye Kill Head Lice?

    We receive many phone calls from baffled moms asking us how is it possible that they have head lice when they recently had their hair dyed? The answer is: hair dye may kill head lice , but it does not have any effect on nits (lice eggs) in the hair. As long as there are still nits in the hair, you have an active infestation. (we will explain that soon).

    Here is how hair dye can get you started on getting rid of lice, but you have to decide if it’s worth it. Permanent hair dye has ammonia as a key ingredient. Ammonia is used to make hair lighter and it is an alkaline substance. Head lice cannot withstand an environment in the head that is this alkaline so eventually they will die. In addition, hair color has hydrogen peroxide, which while not as strong as ammonia, will alter the consistency of the hair making it a bit more challenging for the lice claws to grab.

    While the combination of these two chemicals may be instrumental in killing lice at home or in a salon, hair dye will do nothing to get rid your hair lice because you are still harboring a head full of nits.

    Can Hair Dye Kill Nits

    Nits have such a tough shell that the dye cannot penetrate it. In fact, no chemicals including prescription lice treatment, over-the-counter lice shampoo, home remedies, or chlorine will kill the nits because they cannot seep in to kill the baby louse inside. That means that you can use the strongest hair dye available and you will not eliminate the lice infestation.

    Any nits that remain in the hair will hatch and mature and start to lay more eggs; you will have many future generations of lice within a month. Nits must be physically removed from the hair via combing and/or picking.

    Does Bleach Hair Dye Kill Lice?

    As mentioned, ammonia is hair bleach, and its purpose in the dyeing process is to strip the hair of color. It may kill or weaken bugs but it will do nothing to eliminate nits.

    There is a myth related to hair dye and that is that people with bleached or dyed hair cannot get lice. Lice gravitate as much to dyed hair as to hair that has not been colored. The bug need only be able to climb up the hair to get to its food source, which is the blood in the head. There is nothing about dyed hair that prevents lice from attaching to the hair shaft to make the pilgrimage to the scalp.

    Risks of Using Hair Dye

    Hair dyes may cause toxicity or allergic reactions which includes difficulty with breathing. Hair dye may be fatal if inadvertently ingested. There are up to 25 different chemicals in a hair dye. Skin reactions are common and these include redness, rashes, and burning. There have been studies conducted suggesting a possible link between hair dye and cancer. In addition, the FDA has reports that show effects of hair dyes on the eyes that include blindness. Source:

    Children are particularly susceptible to adverse reactions to hair dye. Their hair is finer and may be damaged from dyes, but far worse is that a child may have an allergy to the hair dyes. The bottom line here is why use a product to kill lice that contains chemicals that may be harmful to humans, when there are non-chemical, safer alternatives? This is especially true since hair dye will not get rid of lice permanently, as it does not exterminate nits.

    What Home Remedies Will Kill Lice

    There are certainly remedies that are safer on children than hair dye. There are at-home lice treatments like mayonnaise, Cetaphil, and conditioner that families try. You may have some success with these treatments but that depends a lot on how well you do with combing and picking nits. Some people jump to using lice shampoos, both prescription lice treatments and over-the-counter lice treatment kits like Nix, Pronto, A-200, and Rid. These lice products come with a poor quality plastic comb that fails to get rid of nits and occasionally they cause an allergic reaction, itching, or a rash. Some people try natural oils like tea tree oil and anise oil, but keep in mind that there has to be enough oil to suffocate the lice and you must remove all nits. Safety of these oils for lice treatment is unknown.

    LiceDoctors offers a professional quality comb with laser technology welding that makes the comb highly sturdy and long-lasting. Its micro-grooved teeth are gentle on the scalp to help remove the nits and lice.

    In addition, we offer a popular LiceDoctors Peppermint Repellent Spray that has a peppermint oil-based formula used to naturally ward off head lice. The spray coats the hair making it more difficult for lice to adhere to the hair strands. Peppermint scent is used to naturally repel head lice.

    LiceDoctors Head Lice Shampoo and LiceDoctors Conditioner are both sulfate-free and are ideal to wash out oils that are used in treating lice.

    Hire LiceDoctors

    If you are looking for an all-natural lice treatment that is 100% safe then LiceDoctors can help you. We certainly do not recommend that anyone, especially children, be exposed to hair dye or any other chemicals for the purpose of killing lice. LiceDoctors mobile lice treatment service will come to your home at your request. Your technician will perform lice removal at home with a safe, natural treatment protocol that works every time. There are no worries about lice removal kits that are filled with potentially dangerous chemicals or unproven home remedies. Your tech will come with all the lice removal tools and techniques that are necessary to ensure that you are lice-free.

    If you find that you have head lice, leave it to the professionals. Call LiceDoctors for same day treatment at your convenience, day or night. LiceDoctors services are reimbursable by some insurance plans and are covered by FSAs and HSAs. In addition, LiceDoctors has the lowest prices in the Louisville area, prices that are lower than lice salons, despite the convenience and personalized service of a house call. You want the best head lice treatment for all hair including your child’s hair and yours whether or not it is color treated, bleached, or natural! Call 502-805-1147 for chemical-free, fully guaranteed treatment at your convenience, 365 days and nights a year.

    No comments

    Добавить комментарий

    Your e-mail will not be published. All fields are required.