By the time you reach 50, there is a 50% chance that half your head will be gray; this is what is known as the 50-50-50 rule. As we grow older, we lose the pigment called melanin. According to research, once we reach 30, our chances of going gray rises from 10- 20% each decade.
So, what are you to do with all this gray hair? You can accept it and live with it, or color it to hide the gray. Those are really the only two viable options. Unfortunately, conventional hair color is as toxic as it smells. The FDA has no authority to require personal care products to be tested for safety as it does for food additives and drugs.
A research panel funded by the industry itself, not a governmental health agency, reviews the safety of personal care products instead. The Environmental Working Group conducted research showing that the largely self-regulated industry often fails to even adhere to their own safety panel’s advice, or pay any attention to the safety standards set by other countries.
In an investigation of ingredients in 23,000 products, the EWG found that nearly one of every 30 products that was sold in the United States failed to meet one or more of the industry or governmental standards set by other countries.
In fact, over 400 products sold in our country contain dangerous chemicals that other countries do not allow. They also found 400 other products containing ingredients that the industry itself have deemed unsafe when used as directed on the label.
As a consumer, you may be wondering how to protect yourself from ingredients in hair dyes that may cause you harm. One way is to know which products are banned by the European Commission and check the labels of products you are using.
If you have your hair done at a professional salon, you will want to ask them for an ingredient list. Here is a list of such chemicals as listed by the Official Journal of the European Union:
- 4,5-Diamino-1-((4-Chlorophenyl)Methyl)-1H-Pyrazole Sulfate
- 5-Amino-4-Fluoro-2-Methylphenol Sulfate
- N, N-Diethyl-m-Aminophenol
- 3,4-Diaminobenzoic acid
- Solvent Red 1 (CI 12150)
- Acid Orange 24 (CI 20170
- Acid Red 73 (CI 27290)
The other way to protect yourself from the long list of harsh chemicals found in hair dyes is to choose a toxin- free alternative. A few options are:
Rosemary and Sage Rinse: This hair rinse is effective when used daily for 3 weeks, or until you notice a difference. Combine equal amounts of rosemary and sage and add one-cup of hot water. Let the mixture steep for ten minutes. After it cools, it can be applied to clean hair. Place hair in a plastic bag and leave the solution on for ten minutes. Rinse as usual.
Amina and Henna Pack: Henna is a natural dye made from a tropical shrub and amia is from a gooseberry. Add 3 tablespoons of amina powder to henna paste and stir until well mixed. Apply the paste to clean hair and place in a plastic bag. Leave on your hair for up to 40 minutes; rinse and shampoo as normal. This treatment will leave your hair shiny and strong. Repeat as necessary to cover gray hair.
Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice: Apply 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to 1/2 cup of coconut oil. Apply to your roots and gray areas of your hair. Leave on your hair for an hour and wash with a mild shampoo. This treatment will get rid of gray and leave your hair shiny and bouncy.
Of course, eating a healthy diet including foods that are rich in vitamins B and E, such as egg yolks, fruits seeds and nuts will keep your skin, hair and nails healthy. Also, drink plenty of fresh, purified water and reduce your refined sugar and sodium intake to keep from turning prematurely gray.