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Is Your Hair Dye Causing A Progressive and Fatal Liver Disease?

July 25, 2013

Image courtesy of Roland Darby /

Recent research suggests that dyeing/colouring your hair might be increasing your risk of developing a progressive and potentially fatal liver disease according to the magazine ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ March 2013 edition.

This conclusion is drawn from a study that was conducted on more than 5,000 people both with and without an early stage of liver cirrhosis (which is scarring of the liver after long-term liver damage) called primary biliary cirrhosis. During the study they found that the hair dye users were  nearly 40 percent more likely to have the disease compared to the participants who did not dye their hair.

The study was conducted on both men and women, with around 1 percent of the men and more than half the women had used hair dye. The main chemical in hair dye that seems to be responsible for this liver damage and hair dye connection is called ‘octynoic acid’. Octynoic acid is also found in many common nail polishes and regular beauty cosmetics.

But this is not the only chemical linked to potentially causing liver damage, a Japanese study of 15 factory workers who regularly handled the chemical toluidine, another chemical found in hair dyes, showed that 7 of these workers showed signs of liver damage and 3 had to be hospitalized because of serious liver dysfunction.

Other chemicals in hair dyes that can cause health problems ranging from allergies to cancer are:

  • p-aminophenol
  • PPD – ‘para phenylenediamine’
  • PTD – ‘para-toluenediamine’ the so called ‘natural’ replacement to PPD, but if you are allergic to PPD you are also likely to be allergic to PTD

The Worst  Hair Dyes For Your Health:

  • Garnier Belle Color Permanent Hair Colourant, Extra Light Natural Blonde 110
  • Schwartzkopf Live Color XXL Real Red 35
  • Clairol Nice’n Easy Natural Warm Auburn 109A
  • L’Oreal Preference Hair Colourant, 4.3 Manila

The Not So Safe and Natural Alternatives:

  • Naturtint Permanent Hair Colourant 3N Dark Chestnut Brown
  • Naturtint Reflex Non Permanent  Color Rinse, 1.0 Black
  • Natur Vital Coloursafe Hair Dyes
  • Aveda Full Spectrum Permanent Hair Color, Natural Black (only in salons)

The Only Safe Hair Dyes Free From All The Above Named Nasties and Toxins:

*still it is recommended you do a patch test before using any hair dye, including truly natural ones as the essential oils could cause skin irritations for some.

  • Aubrey Organics Color Me Natural Permanent Hair Color
  • Lagona Herbal Hair Color Powder
  • Palette by Nature All Natural Permanent Hair Color
  • Sante 100% Herbal Hair Color

Thanks to What Doctors Don’t Tell You magazine for doing the research needed to find a true conclusive list above of the safest hair dyes to use.

Although some people may argue that your liver can regenerate, there is only so much regenerating it can do, especially when everything is processed through the liver on a daily basis as it is.

Your liver is not indestructible, so eventually it could become so overloaded with toxins it causes it to back up and put extra pressure on the gall bladder and then the pancreas which could lead to life threatening problems the longer this is left to go on.

If all else fails, and you are not happy with the natural hair dyes (although some do completely cover greys), you could always stop trying to keep up with the way society makes us feel we should look and stop dying your hair completely. Just a thought.

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