Aside from genes, diseases and mechanical trauma, some products may also contribute to hair loss. Hair loss caused by some hair products is also common, although often not permanent. These hair care products often contain harsh chemicals that can cause hair trauma. If you worry about hair loss, decreasing the use of hair care products that have harmful ingredients will help you keep your hair healthy.
Whether you use hair dyes to darken gray roots or to try a new hair color, make sure to follow the instructions carefully. Hair dyes consist of ammoniacal and hydrogen peroxide solutions that can harm or burn the scalp, which can lead to hair loss. Temporary, semi-permanent and permanent are the three main types of hair dye applications. Often, hairstylists will advise applying permanent hair dyes only after several weeks, sometimes months, have passed to ensure that there will be less damage to the hair follicles. Follicles can dry, break and shed when exposed repeatedly to solutions found in hair dyes.
When a hair dye contains a non-approved coal tar, skin irritation may occur. Sometimes, dealing with the irritation can cause hair loss, due to repeated scratching using the fingernails and other mechanical tools. Other chemical contents of hair dyes that may be harmful to the hair are p-phenylenediamine, 2-nitro-p-phenylenediamine and 4-methoxy-m-phenylenediamine (4-MMPD, 2,4-diaminoanisole). The 4-MMPD can penetrate the skin and may cause cancer, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Perming or applying permanent curls can also cause hair loss, because of the harsh chemicals in the solution. These solutions are strong and can irritate or burn your scalp. Similar to hair dyes, the perming solution also contains ammonia and hydrogen peroxide. In addition to these harsh chemicals, use of heat to “cook” your hair for faster and more permanent curls after applying solutions can add strain to your hair shaft and follicles, which can lead to hair loss. If you use the correct proportion and avoid leaving the solution longer than necessary, you will decrease the perming solution’s harmful effects. Apply lightly if you have fine, thin hair.
Hair Straightening Solutions
If a perming solution can curl your hair, a straightening solution contains solutions to straighten your hair. Some straightening solutions applied through a technique known as rebonding can produce sleek, shiny, straight hair that is good for a year. Often, a hairstylist will advise against using a hair color until after a month has passed because it may produce a negative reaction to the straightening solution used. Straightening solutions used also contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, which can both harm the scalp and hair follicles in similar manner as in hair dyes and perming solutions. Rebonding rearranges the chemical bond of your hair, and then rebonded back with the use of strong chemicals similar to perming solutions in strength and composition.
Hair straightening often involves extreme heat in addition to chemicals, which can damage the hair follicles further. The process can leave you with burnt and thinning hair that can lead to hair loss. The effect may be gradual, starting from flaky hair and scalp. Thinning and hair loss may not appear for several days after the procedure. The effects can be worse if hair straightening follows perming, especially if you do not like the outcome of your perm. Usually, a professional hairstylist will advise you against this. However, a hairstylist who is new to the profession can be over zealous, forgetting to practice safety first to the detriment of the customer’s hair.
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