Love Your Hair Just Enough
Hair Loss From Hair Treatments
Imagine the hours in a week that are spent spraying, pulling, tugging, teasing at hair. How many ‘new looks’ are achieved with (hopefully) good dye jobs — maybe it’s moving through the rainbow of brunettes to strawberry blondes or just maintaining our comfortable ‘natural’ colour. Colour is used to hide greying ends, to bring out the colour in those cheekbones and to mark new beginnings in life.
The occasional hair makeover is still a beautiful thing. Yet, to let that natural, beautiful hair live its natural, beautiful life, styling is best when minimal and gentle. Excessive styling is unfortunately one of the core culprits contributing to hair loss.
Hair does need pampering — it benefits from natural conditioning treatments and tender, consistent brushing to cut through knots and dreadlocks. This is different from using chemical hair treatments as well as bleach and many styling products, which create chaos on the scalp. The chemicals can cause scalp irritation. Many people develop rashes or allergic reactions. This isn’t just on the surface, either — some of it may absorb into the bloodstream.
Styling is best when moderate also. Wrestling those curls into submission or twisting and tugging at those long locks to get them to lay, sit, stand exactly as desired can traumatise the hair. Harsh brushes, heating irons, clips, clasps and pins can do wonders, yet lead to breakage and hair loss.
And don’t for a second imagine that this only applies to women. Men use hair colour for lots of reasons, often to tweak or enhance their look or to hide signs of ageing.
The best way forward: pay attention to the hair without overdoing it. Slow down on the hair dyes and try to learn to love the natural colour — grey is distinguished and can be super stylish these days. Embrace the silver fox! Over time, the hair follicles can heal and regenerate. Be tender and watch how hair treatments affect the hair. Through taking the time to observe any change in the health of the hair follicle and hair growth, this underlying cause may be identified and eradicated.
The World of Hair Dyes
Hair dyes do vary in their chemical makeup, though most contain ammonia or peroxide, which are the perpetrators of harmful effects to the hair follicle. These hair dyes also pose medical threats, as a small percentage will be absorbed through the scalp and into the bloodstream. As they travel from the bloodstream to the organs and tissues, these chemicals can spark an inflammatory response. Low-grade inflammation can cause a range of chronic medical issues, including autoimmune disease and the trigger of cancers and death. It is a cumulative condition, which increases with years of exposure to toxins and environmental pollutants. Hair dyes are just one of many pollutants.
How It Works
Semi-permanent colour lasts for several weeks – usually up to 26 shampoos, depending on how often the hair is washed. Store bought semi-permanent colours typically contain a little bit of peroxide, which will help cover up grey and let the colour seep and shine. The pre-colour molecules absorb into the hair cuticle and enter the cortex, producing medium sized colour molecules. Semi permanent colour is not the choice for going blonde or lighter, as they do not contain ammonia.
For lightening or more drastic new looks, permanent colour is necessary. These contain both ammonia and peroxide. Minute molecules penetrate the cortex, where they expand to a size, which cannot be washed out. Both hydrogen peroxide and ammonia may cause scalp irritations, which can lead to hair loss. Allergic reactions are not uncommon. Over time, hydrogen peroxide may modify the structure of the hair, resulting in poor shine and weakened hair strands. The destruction of the outer layer of hair removes its natural protection and can make hair noticeably brittle and prone to breakage.