Many people dye their hair to hide their natural hair color, and there are many reasons to do so. However, just because hair dyeing is common, it does not make it safe for your hair.
Can hair dye cause hair loss? Yes, dyes can cause hair loss for more than one reason.
But what are these reasons and, more importantly, what can you do to prevent hair loss because of hair dye products? I’ll try to answer these questions about hair coloring for you today.
How Can Hair Dye Cause Hair Loss?
You probably know that hair dye has harsh chemicals in it, but you may not know how these chemicals cause hair loss. The two main ways hair loss is caused are that it loosens your hair and weakens it.
However, in some cases, allergic reactions to one of the chemicals in the hair coloring product can happen. Depending on the severity of your reaction, you can have almost immediate hair shedding because of it due to the follicles of your scalp being damaged.
Since your hair growth slows when your follicles are damaged, your hair loss will last longer if this is the cause. If you repeatedly dye in spite of this reaction, it can lead to hair loss that is permanent.
Loosening Your Hair
Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are both used in hair dyes as bleaching agents. However, both chemicals loosen your hair cuticle. This causes your hair shaft to fall out before it should while still in the telogen part of the cycle.
While your hair is in the telogen phase, it is not growing, but it is still supposed to stay in the follicle. Hair loss that happens in the telogen phase is called telogen effluvium, and this is the type of hair loss that these two chemicals cause.
In this case, your hair follicles are not damaged, and your hair grows back as usual once it hits its usual growth phase.
Increasing Hair Breakage
In addition to lightening your hair color, peroxide also removes the pigments from your hair shafts. These pigments are made of proteins. So, hair dyeing literally strips some of the protein from your hair shaft and tries to replace those proteins.
Since your hair strands are not meant to do that, this causes them to become weakened. Weakened hair leads to hair breakage, and this is only fixed as your healthy hair that hasn’t been damaged grows out.
Also, your hair shafts have a protective layer to prevent damage. To get to the pigmented part of the shaft, the chemicals in the hair dye have to break down this outer layer, making your hair thinner. This increases the odds of getting broken hair even more.
Does The Type Of Hair Dye Matter?
Yes, the type of hair dye you use will affect how likely it is to cause hair loss. Semi-permanent dyes do not go as deep into the hair shaft as permanent hair dyes do. Temporary dyes cause the least damage.
Therefore, these do less damage to your hair and are less likely to lead to hair thinning. They also are less likely to have the more harmful chemicals that permanent hair color has.
Additionally, p-phenylenediamine (PPD) is used in some hair dyes. In one study, this chemical was shown to cause allergic contact dermatitis. Since this can lead to hair shedding, hair dyes with this ingredient should be avoided.
Some hair dyes have ammonia, which can trigger asthma attacks, and toluene, which causes allergic reactions in some people. This is why it is important to do a patch test to check if you are allergic to an ingredient in your dye.
Finally, there is some speculation that some chemicals also interfere with estrogen levels, potentially increasing the chances of getting breast cancer. Though these may not directly affect your hair, they do affect your health, which can indirectly affect your hair’s appearance.
How To Minimize Hair Loss From Hair Dyes
The main cause of hair loss when you get your hair dyed is due to thinning hair shafts. If you can’t determine what is making your hairs fall, look at the tips of the hair that falls after you have your hair treated.
If your color-treated hair has a tiny bulb on one end, this means it was lost in the resting phase. However, if both ends are split or this bulb is not on either end, you lost it due to hair damage.
This can help you determine what it is about the hair dye that is affecting your hair, which is helpful for choosing a coloring treatment that won’t cause temporary hair loss.
Only coloring the bottom part of your hair may be an option you should consider, as it will prevent it from affecting your scalp.
Chose The Right Hair Dye
As mentioned, the type of hair dye you use does matter if you are trying to avoid hair loss. A semi-permanent color that is darker than your natural hair color is the best choice for your hair health.
Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide are primarily used for bleaching your hair. If your natural color is light and you are using a darker dye, you may be able to avoid these entirely.
Choosing a dye that is not too different from your hair color also means you won’t have to use the coloring treatment on your hair as often. Fewer coloring treatments mean less damage.
Finally, dyes that only need a short amount of time on your scalp are often gentler simply because they don’t have the time to cause as much damage. Dyes that have conditioning agents may also be better.
Give Your Hair Extra Care
Since the dyeing procedure makes your hair brittle, your hair care routine should include things that prevent breakage. Hair products that are specifically for people who dye their hair often have conditioning agents that add strength and moisture.
Additionally, hair products that encourage new hair growth will help replace damaged hair. If your hair breaks close to your scalp, it can take several months for new hairs to grow to the same length as the rest of your hair.
Dyeing your hair can be fun, but not if it affects your hair growth. So, take breaks from your coloring treatments as often as you can and use some of the other tips I mentioned.
Has dyeing your hair caused your hair loss? What worked for you when you tried regrowing your hair?