Ah Crap. I fell off my pedestal of self-satisfaction.

September 12, 2008 at 12:11 pm 1 comment

I lost my blonde when I turned 30.  For awhile I highlighted, but stopped when I moved since the golden honey color didn’t really go with my new pale never-see-the-sun Minnesota skin.   Last winter I decided I really didn’t care for the mousy shade so I dyed it a vibrant dark brown.  It looked much better, but I didn’t keep it up because there wasn’t a sprayer in the shower in England (I can’t dye my hair without a sprayer – everything in the bathroom would be speckled with purple spots). 

Today I decided I absolutely must dye my hair tonight because I’m subbing for a girl named Sarah who is my exact size and her last day is Saturday and I want my hair dark brown again so I can show up to work looking just like her which I think will be hysterically funny.  I headed to Target earlier today hoping they would carry one of the brands the Skin Deep database lists as having the lowest hazard ratings.  Most of the products rated 0 to 2 are henna based.  There are actually several kinds of henna, with hazard ratings ranging from 0 to 7.  The type used most often, LAWSONIA INERMIS (HENNA), rated a 5 or a 7 depending on its use (with a 76% data gap).  The second most common kind, LAWSONIA INERMIS (HENNA) EXTRACT, rated ZERO but had a 98% data gap.  The natural hair dyes rate low overall because (usually) the only potentially hazardous ingredient is the henna.  For my crazy-haired friends I would like to note that most Manic Panic dyes rate 4, which is better than 95% of the 1,052 products analyzed.  In any case, Target didn’t carry any of the low hazard brands – Pinaud, Aubrey Organics, Light Mountain, Rainbow, and Accelderade. 

While researching earlier I stopped with products rated 5 and over because that’s when I became concerned about the ingredients.  For example, Clairol Natural Instincts Medium Auburn Brown #22 (the dye I used all last winter) has a hazard rating of 8.  The scariest ingredient in the Clairol dye is P-PHENYLENEDIAMINE (10) which is followed by a list of hazards so long I’m afraid I’m going suffer organ failure just writing about it.  The US EPA, Air Risk Information Support Center says, “Kidney Toxicity Hazards: suspected, Respiratory Toxicity Hazards: suspected, Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicity Hazards: suspected.”  P-Phenylenediamine is restricted in Canada and classified by the European Union as “Toxic by inhalation, skin contact, and ingestion ” and “Very toxic to aquatic organisms.”  But just a little is fine, right?

So, I stood in the aisle at Target for ten minutes reading all the hair dye packages.  Finally I picked L’Oreal Paris Dark Golden Brown 4W, which I thought was probably the least hazardous of the available products, but as I am not familiar with that many ingredients yet I wasn’t really sure.  This is the first time I have ever wished I had a Blackberry – I could have looked up all of the products without leaving the store.  I jumped off the wagon:  I bought hair dye even though I knew it was bad for me.  I am fairly sure Target has the widest selection available in Lino Lakes, and I just didn’t have the patience to drive around searching for a better product.  I have fallen off my high horse back into a cushy SUV of Laziness.

It turns out the L’Oreal Paris dye has a 7 hazard rating with a 80% data gap.  There are three high hazard ingredients: Ethanolamine (7), Resorcinal (8) and the ubiquitous Fragrance (8).  35% of hair dyes have lower concerns, which makes me feel okay about my choice, but kind of freaked out about the other products going down the drain.  It will be about 2 months until it will be time to dye my hair again.  Until then I’ll keep my eye out for a store that sells safer dye.  That’s if the Chlorhexidine Dihydrochloride doesn’t blind me first.


Entry filed under: Product Overload, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Product Overload – Slippery When Wet So Punny It Makes Me Cry

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Wardrobe Becky  |  September 15, 2008 at 5:33 pm

    Yes, but do you look hot? Ask all the Barbie’s in California if they care about chemical conent in their beauty regimine. Beauty is pain, baby. You must suffer for your art right? We have a whole array of henna based hair dye (powder you add water to in a bowl and apply) at our local Co-op. Who knew there were that many options with henna hair dye? Its hardly a pedestal. More like a perch, eh?


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