Many people have dyed their hair at least once or have thought about dyeing their hair. People usually decide to dye their hair because they are unhappy with their hair color, want a style change, hide unwanted colors, or to simply experiment with different colors for fun.
However, frequent hair coloring will damage the hair. Hair dye contains chemicals such as ammonia that harm the natural features of hair. In an article “What Hair Dye is Really Doing to Your Hair” by Dana Oliver, Executive Fashion and Beauty Editor from the Huffington Post spoke with cosmetic chemist Ni’kita Wilson and trichological expert Elizabeth Cuannane Phillips about how hair dye destroys hair. For hair to alter its color, the chemicals that will mutate the hair cells to a different color have to break into the layer that shields the hair.In the article, Oliver includes Wilson’s statement that hair dye “’needs to be able to get into the hair shaft, and obstacle one is the cuticle, which is the hair’s protection.’” Once the dye gets through the hair, ammonia enters and increases the pH level, and causes the cuticle to rise. The ammonia results in the rise of the cuticle and once the cuticle is up, the hair becomes very vulnerable because the hair has lost its protection.
After the hair has broken its protection layer, the chemical peroxide is responsible for allowing the hair to absorb the hair dye color. Peroxide is present when bleaching hair and it destroys the cells that give color in hair and changes it to a very light color. While the peroxide is changing hair color, it is also taking away the moisture of the hair, resulting in hair damage. When coloring hair, the dye is left in the hair for quite some time of about 15-30 minutes depending on hair type and/or color. The longer the dye is left in hair, the more the hair will weaken because its protection (the cuticle) is further away from the core of the hair strands. Once the hair is rinsed, then the cuticles return to its normal position, but, they are closing in or protecting the hair that have already been damaged.
With the powerful chemicals of ammonia and peroxide, hair can be altered to a different color but with the sacrifice of stripping away moisture in the hair that will eventually lead to dry and fragile hair.