I'm no rookie when it comes to hair dye (I've gone from bleach blonde and dark brown to red and aqua), but admittedly never really looked into the ingredients behind what I was, you know, covering my hair and entire scalp in. To my surprise, Telegraph revealed hair dyes can be dangerous and that few are actually "safe." They also provided a list of basic rules for hair dye ingredients we should all try to follow. Fortunately, there are some dyes that are far less dangerous than others, and a little knowledge will help you make the best choices.
At the tip top of the "avoid" list is p-Phenylenediamine (PPD). This ingredient can cause eye irritation and dermatitis. Even worse, in the longterm, it's has actually been connected to increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and bladder cancer. Ain't no ombre tips worth that, y'all.
Ammonia should also be avoided as much as possible. When it enters the body, it reacts with water and create ammonium hydroxide, which is incredibly corrosive and damaging to cells. Also, the way ammonia works kind of just sucks, too.
Olivia Crighton, owner of The Glasshouse Salon in east London, explained how "ammonia is used in hair dye to breakdown the outer cuticle around the hair shaft, allowing the other chemicals to enter the hair, where the colour can take hold. [It's] been proven to take up to a third of the natural protein from the hair in one color application, leaving hair prone to tangling and breaking." Awesome.
OK, so none of this so far is fab news, but don't lose hope! If you want to dye your hair safely, call ahead at salons and ask if they offer PPD-, ammonia- and resorcinol-free colors. Or if you find an organic at-home dye you dig, check out these DIY hair dye tips for success.