At Belgravia, we do see women who are concerned that hair dye has caused hair loss. Usually, dyeing hair (especially when the dye contains bleach) can cause the existing hair shaft to become brittle, weak and prone to breakage, but the new hair that grows through should be unaffected by previous dyeing.
However, a top doctor has come forward to argue that warnings should be put on the front of hair dye packets based on the fact that the dye could contain chemicals that can cause severe allergic reactions that can - and have - resulted in death.
Dr Ian White, a dermatologist at St Thomas' Hospital in London took on the task of reviewing the chemicals for the European Commission, and identified 36 chemicals that are potentially "extreme" or "strong" skin sensitisers, which means that they can trigger allergies. White concluded that dyes containing any of these chemicals "may not be safe".
Whilst it is not immediately clear what percentage of shop-brought dyes contain these chemicals, it is thought that a large number do, with one medium-brown dye in Clairol’s Nice ’n Easy range containing six such compounds. Potential allergic reactions range from an itchy scalp and flaking skin up to hair loss and breathing problems.
Since November 2011, hair dye companies have been required to place warnings on their products asking users to perform a patch test, but White claims that these warnings are not prominent enough, and has spoken of his desire for hair dye warnings to "hit you in the face" in the way that health warnings on cigarette packaging do.
It is estimated that between 1 in 50 and 1 in 100 people who use hair dye experience some sort of allergic reaction as a result. A Clairol spokesperson said that millions of people used hair dyes "without experiencing any adverse effect," although they acknowledged that reactions could occur "for a very small number" of people.
If you are noticing an allergic reaction to hair dye, no matter how minor, you should cease to use the product. If you think your hair loss is linked to your use of hair dyes, visiting a hair loss specialist for a diagnosis is a good idea. Women's hair loss can result from a wide variety of causes, ranging from allergies to hormonal imbalances and genetics.
Most forms of female hair loss that are linked to environmental factors are temporary, meaning hair should grow back by itself once the trigger has been dealt with, though a hair loss treatment programme containing minoxidil can help to regrow hair whilst the wider issue is addressed. If your hair is thinning atop the scalp, it may be that your hair dye is not to blame, and instead you're experiencing female pattern hair loss, which requires treatment to prevent the condition progressing.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.