Avoid These Toxic Chemicals Found in Most Hair Dyes

Avoid These Toxic Chemicals Found in Most Hair Dyes - Zafra

Most of us are guilty of dying our hair every now and then. After all, it’s an easy, quick and inexpensive way to shake things up a bit and change our look! 

Hair dyes are notoriously full of toxins, though. The FDA does not regulate each ingredient that goes into a hair dye product before it hits the market. That responsibility is put on the manufacturer. You might think, it only goes in the hair which you can cut and grow eventually, should the worst case scenario happens. However, your hair goes directly into your skin. That's when you know it's a cause for alarm. 


Here, we list down some of the toxins commonly found on hair dyes. Make sure to avoid them the next time you shop for a new hair dye kit! 


Para-phenylenediamine (PPD)

Used as a dye for dark color shades, PPD is made from coal tar which is a petroleum-derived chemical that includes benzene, naphthalene, phenols, aniline, and other chemicals. With its strong chemical content, direct contact with skin is best to be avoided. Research shows that PPD, in combination with Hydrogen Peroxide, is very toxic and can even lead to cancer.


Lead Acetate 

Just like PPD, this toxin is used as a color additive for darker shades. Many studies point to this toxin as a cause for anemia and produce neurological problems.



Ammonia has always had a notorious reputation for causing problems in the respiratory tract. In hair dyes, this toxin is used to open up the hair’s cuticle or the outer layer of the hair so the color can seep through. If applied on your hair, ammonia may produce caustic burns on your scalp and skin, as well as and lung irritation.


Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

The basic function of SLS is to break surface tensions that serve as a barrier between a product and your hair. It is heavily debated whether this ingredient is a carcinogen or not--there are currently no scientific findings to prove that it is cancerous. However, SLS poses other threats to your hair and skin health, as it is a known irritant.



Resorcinol formulates with other chemicals to provide a permanent color to your hair. Be mindful about this ingredient, though, because it is linked with hormone disruption and can also cause skin irritation. It is also known to increase the risk of fatal diseases like cancer. Besides the health risks, researchers argue that this substance could be dangerous for the environment.


Hydrogene Peroxide

Hydrogene Peroxide is mostly used to strip your hair's natural color to make it easier for a hair dye color to blend into your hair. Notice how your hair feels dry and brittle after dying. This toxin is said to be responsible for that because it often strips your hair of its natural luster, oil, and shine. 



Listing down all these toxins does not mean we're discouraging you from changing your hair color. By all means, go for that dream color! You can do that by opting for natural hair dye which contains natural hair-coloring ingredients that are actually good for your hair! Check out Zafra's picks now!