Will you... dye your hair?
You wanna dye your hair but, you are worried about getting your hair damaged? Do you think the natural Henna dyeing would be safe?
I dye my hair to hide the gray hair but I'm worried that it is making my hair to fall even more and making its texture rough and dry.
Everyone has different hair colour
Let's recall memories in our primary school time. I believe you have an experience of observing your hair with a microscope and getting shocked that what it seemed like a smooth surface of the hair was actually covered with cuticle layer which looks like fish scales. Inside the cortex cells underneath that scale like the cuticle layer, is where the melanin pigment made of proteins were kept.
Melanin pigment is usually separated into two types, the eumelanin pigment which makes brown and black colour and pheomelanin which makes red and yellow colour. When we lack these two pigments, our hair become gray or white. In simple words, the amount of these pigments decide people's hair colour.
Types of Hair Dye
Firstly, the temporary hair dye in forms of colour mousse or spray that only dyes the surface of hair would be rinsed out with shampoo.
Secondly, the semi-permanent hair dye is absorbed till the cortex layer and creates the layer over your hair. The colour would last until when you wash your hair around 24 times. You may think that the coating effect of the hair will make the hair condition better. But, while shampooing, that coating will damage the hair cuticle layer too as the attached surface of the cuticle layer is also removed together with the coating.
Lastly, the permanent hair dye lasts till you cut your hair as it is made of bleach and hair dye.
How does the permanent hair dye works?
The basic principle of how to dye the hair is dyeing after bleaching. If you have ever dyed hair on your own, you would know that there are two solutions you need to mix. One of them is ammonia formula containing pigment and another one is hydrogen peroxide, which works as bleach.
Ammonia is a highly alkaline substance which inflates the scale-like cuticles of the hair. The hair dye formula and the hydrogen peroxide then will penetrate more easily through the inflated cuticles.
With the help of ammonia, the hydrogen peroxide which penetrated through the cuticle layer would destroy the melanin pigments, making the hair white. Then the destroyed melanin pigments would eventually be replaced by the pigment molecule. Through this chemical reaction, your hair colour changes. And those pigment molecules penetrated into the cuticle layer would inflate and stuck inside your hair. So, that is how you maintain your hair colour.
Why would your hair get damaged when you dye your hair?
Because ammonia that inflates the cuticle layer is highly alkaline, it melts the protein in the hair and causes damages. During the science class, your teacher would have warned you about inhaling directly the ammonia solution. You must have been told not to inhale the solution as it may damage the inner layer of the nose and cause a nosebleed.
Of course, you cannot use 100% ammonia solution but the solution must be between pH level of between 10-11 to inflate the cuticles. Usually, you have to leave the hair dye on the hair for about 15 to 30 minutes, which means your hair is exposed to that extreme condition; melting the protein layer and inflating the cuticles. So, it is quite obvious why your hair would be more damaged after dyeing, right?
Make sure to check all the ingredients
The side effects of so-called natural dye, Henna is recently on the news. The natural Henna can only create a red colour. So, usually p-Phenylenediamine, PPD is being added to give out the black colour. However, this PPD component may penetrate through the scalp and the skin as well as the hair and may cause severe damage to your liver and kidneys.
If you find henna dye products that offer a range of colours rather than the original henna's red colour, possibly include harmful pigment synthesis like PPD. If you do not want to fall for the marketing scheme, do check all the ingredients of the product.