The hair dyeing phenomena is not new and people have used plant essences for centuries to extract the desired hue. Thousands of years old Assyrian records were discovered with hair dye formulas using plants such as leeks.
Hair Coloring and Cancer
In our present technological environment, our culture has traded in the leeks for chemicals. Now recent studies suggest that there may be a link between chemical hair dye colors and certain potential cancers. Though this information is still unclear, there is indeed the understanding that hair dyeing may lead to a higher risk of specific cancers.
This is especially true for people who dyed their hair prior to 1980 because dyes used during that time contained chemicals that caused cancer in rats. It is the chemicals that cause change in the human physiology and often people’s bodies react to this ‘unwanted’ intruder. For some people this appears as an allergic reaction or an allergy.
Today hair dye chemicals are different and not as dangerous as a few decades ago, however, there are some studies that link up to a 50% rise in acquiring specific cancers due to chemical hair dyes.
Natural Hair Dye
Fortunately, for people who wish to change their hair color, whether because they choose to hide the gray (and market research believes that three out of five Americans opt for haircolor) or just because they prefer a different color, natural hair dye alternatives are once again available to the public. Natural hair dye is marketed as natural, however, these too contain some chemicals and it is highly recommended to read the label to judge for oneself if they have a tendency to allergic reactions.
What makes these natural hair dyes unique is that they contain less chemicals than the regular hair dyes on the market and they include natural plant extracts. It is healthier to search for hair dyes with less that 10% peroxide and as many natural plant extracts as possible, especially for people with allergies.
Two very simple natural hair dyes that have been used for many centuries are henna and lemon juice. Henna, used even today in India, Pakistan, and other areas in the East, is a natural plant extract that gives hair strength. And lemon juice plus a little sunshine will lighten hair. It is worthwhile asking your local health food store for other recommendations that are natural forms of hair dyeing.
With today’s awareness of taking responsibility for one’s own body, this is the gift we have to ourselves for a healthier and more productive life. And until our culture will once more look upon white hair as a sign of esteem, or until people will be at peace within themselves as they go through the life cycle of aging (and having gray hair), at least the option for natural dyes is now again available for everyone. The choice is yours.