Published: 03/25/2011 at Matthew Aldrich
To dye or not to dye that is the debatable question. As I reach my 40s I’m faced with questions that, among other things, ask whether I let my hair stay gray or do I camouflage it, cover it with color to give myself a younger look -- at least temporarily? But then I also ask, what are some of the dangers of hair dyes?
Of course having your youth steadily pass you by is hard to accept for the vast majority of women ... men, too, for that matter. However, these days many say gray hair, or white hair, is no longer something looked at as losing your youth, or looking less attractive. Look at it and consider it as a sign of independence just accept it -- and go with it.
Sure it's not easy, but getting older and therefore having gray(er) hair doesn't necessarily mean growing old. It means you've matured and entered the second part of your life. And there's nothing wrong with that, folks.
Take a look at some of the recent television and print advertising and you will notice how the media is featuring gray-haired women that give a sense of confidence, energy and appeal, and yes, you can even say sex appeal. How can you not? Actress and author Jamie Lee Curtis is the perfect example as she appears in a commercial with short gray hair. She looks great, and ... she's 52.
If you decide that coloring your hair is a must, you should always consider what the contents of hair dyes are, and what the dangers are. Expert sources indicate some 400 of more than 450 colors available are hazardous and show to contain toxins linked to cancer, reproductive and developmental issues, allergies and irritation of the eyes, skin and lungs to mention some eye-popping potential problems.
Studies provide sufficient compelling evidence to make one think about hair dye. Namely that prolonged use of dark dyes appears to increase your risk of cancers like non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma, while other studies have found that people who use permanent hair dye double their risk of bladder cancer compared to those who keep their natural hair color.
Of course, exposure to these dangerous chemicals can be limited by going to professional salons which use ammonia-free, herbal-based and low-PPD products. You can also look for hair dyes that are led-free, toluene-free and coal tar-free.
Below are just some suggestions on using natural ingredients for the standard blonde, brunette or red head colors.
1. Blonde -- use six tea bags of chamomile boiled in eight ounces of water; let the bags steep for a couple of hours before using it as shampoo and condition in the shower. After rinsing, towel dry and use chamomile mix for a highlighting shiny look. It also has a sweet scent. It's a good feeling.
2. Redhead -- Carrots contains vitamin A and beta-carotene. Steam carrots and mash them. Add cranberries and mix. Honey is the final ingredient. After mixing all the ingredients apply the mask from the root through the hair and keep it for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off. And there's your redhead look, but make a note that this mask can feature highlights of a different variety, darker, lighter, copper tone or auburn shade.
3. Brunette -- after preparing a strong coffee, pour in a saucepan, break half a bar of dark chocolate into small piece and add to the pan; heat the mixture until the chocolate melts. Let cool before adding lemon juice (one teaspoon) and stir well. Apply the mixture from the root to the strand, but do not stain your skin -- the brownish mix can partially darken the scalp. Cover your hair with a shower cap and a towel and relax for 10-15 minutes before rinsing off and arrange hair as you please.
And with that, enjoy your naturally looking colored hair.