Womens Health

Hair Color

Perhaps the fastest way to get a beauty pick-me-up is with hair color. Not only do you feel better when your hair is freshly colored, you look better and - if you're daring - you look different, too. How about the pink, blue, orange and turquoise we're seeing on Hollywood stars these days? A bit much for you?

Hot Color Trends

The hair trends that are "hot" right now run the gamut of color, from rich dark browns to sparkling Aniston-bronde (yes, the color is bronde), to platinum. With the color choices and types of products available, you can go from light to dark or the other way around in the space of a few hours or less. Apart from the manic colors that those who want to go retro love to use, you can have lots of fun and give yourself a great new natural (or not) look without a lot of fuss.

However, with all the information and health concerns people are faced with today, not to mention the money crunch, finding the right type of hair color can be challenging, mostly because there is so much to choose from. Many women are foregoing a trip to the salon because of cost and have chosen to color their hair at home. With the new types of hair dye and the vast array of color available, coloring your hair at home may be the ticket for you.

Home Hair Color

At one time, home hair color gave you that lovely, flat, looks-like-wall-paint color. These days you can get color that is multi-faceted to look more natural. And, application has changed as well. Many of us remember when wash-in hair colors first came on the scene (back in the flat-like-wall-paint days). You washed it in and then did your best to wash it off the wall tiles, the floor, and - well, just forget the towels. The stuff never did come out.

Today, manufacturers are producing permanent hair colors that are simple and easy to apply. One such type is foam hair color. It actually sticks to your hair and because it is foam, there's less likelihood of getting it everywhere but on the hair. You just apply the foam like shampoo. It's light, smells nice and doesn't drip. Schwarzkopf makes one that has no ammonia and still covers gray completely. Foam hair color is not mousse tint, which washes out fast and fades even faster. Obviously, for the best results you want to follow the manufacturer's suggestions and do it their way.

Harmful Effects?

You may be asking: "What about the harmful effects of hair color?" As with most things in the beauty industry, since color goes directly onto the scalp and is absorbed into the body through the skin, there are often concerns voiced about the safety of it all. At the same time, the producers of these products swear by their safety. What about toxins? Are there products with few toxins?

The short answer to the question is, yes, there are products with fewer toxins. However, the fact remains that commercially produced hair color, even when they say it is totally natural, has chemicals in it. There really is no such thing as organic hair dye, unless you are using henna or vegetable dye (many of which leave your hair with manic color). The "real" natural colors are obtainable through plants and people often end up with orange hair from the henna or very inconsistent results - even when they use the same product - over a period of time. The truly natural colors don't last long because they don't penetrate the hair shaft like a synthetic color does.

Allergies and Toxins

Probably, the real concern with synthetic hair color is that people are known to be allergic to a wide range of the chemicals that are used in hair color products. As a result of this awareness, hair color has been the most studied and regulated of beauty products. Although there continue to be warnings about cancer from hair color, numerous epidemiologic studies have shown there is no risk of cancer from chemicals used in hair dye, but there are allergy risks that are definitely associated with them.

Many manufacturers of hair color have removed ammonia from their products and have made them less toxic. But, even with the concerns, dyeing our hair is something we'll do anyway - it is a calculated risk, if you will, and we are all bent on looking gorgeous.

Being Beautiful

Is beauty only skin deep? Check us out in this section for beauty tips and other bits of wisdom to help you make the most of what you've got.

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