Chemical-based hair dyes are responsible for skin and other skin related diseases whereas natural herbal dyes are skin-compatible. In this fashion-savvy world, hair plays an important role in flaunting oneself and herbal dyes without any adverse effects are used for healthy hairs. The greying of hairs usually starts around 45 to 50 years of age and sometimes as early as 35 to 40 years of age. The age for greying is highly influenced by hereditary factors. But premature greying of hairs in adults is also due to some illnesses, the use of some drugs, etc. The need to cover the grey hairs is akin to fashion. People are resorting to the use of herbal-based dyes to avoid any side effects and also for showing off their healthy, glowing crowning glory. For hair colouring and hair growth, amla, bhringraj, henna, Mandara, jatamansi, reetha, sariva, curry leaves, and methi seeds have been used since ancient times.
Harmful effects of synthetic hair colours: Hair colouring is the practice of changing the colour of the hairs and is prevalent, time immemorial. William Henry Perkin in 1856 invented the first synthetic dye. Paraphenylene diamine is the usual chemical used for the preparation of synthetic dyes. The health hazards of using synthetic dyes include allergies, respiratory disorders, and even cancer.
The synthetic hair colours are classified into 4 main types. They are:
- Temporary hair colours: Temporary hair colour is in the form of shampoos, gels, sprays, and foams. Temporary hair colours are brighter and vibrant and do not penetrate the cuticle layer. Easily removed by single shampooing
- Semi-permanent hair colours: These dyes have the ability to penetrate the hair shaft. Colour lasts for a few weeks. They contain peroxide, ammonia and paraphenylenediamine, and other toxic agents
- Demi-permanent hair colours: They contain alkaline agents other than ammonia like ethanolamine and sodium carbonate along with a developer containing hydrogen peroxide.
- Permanent hair colours: These hair dyes contain oxidizing and alkalizing agents like ammonia. Ammonia swells the cuticle of the hair to allow the colour pigments to penetrate deep into the hair shaft. These dyes are permanent.
Adverse effects of synthetic dyes:
- Paraphenylene diamine causes skin rashes in many people. PPD also causes reddening and swelling of the scalp and face.
- The other toxic ingredients present in synthetic dyes are responsible for causing urticaria, angioedema, rhinitis, bronchospasm, and renal toxicity
- Synthetic dye users have the risk of developing urinary bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, myelodysplasia, leukaemia, and multiple myeloma.
- Hair dye poisoning results in laryngeal oedema, rhabdomyolysis, and hemolysis
The ingredients and their beneficial effects in a natural or Organic hair dye:
- Henna: The principal colouring ingredient is lawsone which acts as a non-oxidizing hair colour. Henna also contains flavonoids and gallic acid which act as mordents in the process of colouring. Henna helps in adjusting the scalp pH thus preventing premature greying of hair. It also has antifungal activity and helps in preventing dandruff.
- Amla: Helps in maintaining the hair colour, strengthens hair follicles, promotes hair growth, and reduce hair loss. Possesses antibacterial and antioxidant properties which makes the hair healthy and lustrous.
- Reetha: Rich in Vitamin A, D, E, K, saponin, sugar, fatty acid, and mucilage. Promotes hair growth and reduces dandruff. Acts as a natural shampoo and cleanses the hair.
- Shikakai: The extract is used as a hair cleanser and controls dandruff. Shikakai lowers scalp pH and hence retains natural oils which make the hair shiny and lustrous and prevents split ends and hair fall.
- Coffee: Used as natural hair colourant
- Tea: Also a hair colourant rich in polyphenols, phytoestrogens, and melatonin
- Hibiscus: Naturally enriched with calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B1, VitC, Riboflavin, and niacin which promote thicker hair growth and reduce premature greying. Also acts as a conditioner
- Bringraj: Promotes hair growth and colour hair naturally.
- Jatamansi: Helps in curing nervous headache and blood pressure and it is a good cardiac tonic
Vithoba Keshratna Henna powder is a natural hair colour for all hair types without the harmful effects of synthetic chemicals. The henna powder naturally conditions the hair, repairs hair damage, and maintains the pH of the scalp and one can have smooth and shiny black hair without any harmful side effects.