Is Your Hair Dye Putting You at Risk?

Researchers have been suspicious about the adverse health impacts of hair dye for many years, and rightly so. Several studies have already revealed a strong link between the regular use of permanent hair color and an increased risk of certain cancers and rheumatoid arthritis in women.

As the largest consumer of hair products, it only makes sense that women would be the most vulnerable to these unwanted effects. Many over-the-counter body and skincare products also contain endocrine-disrupting-chemicals, which dramatically impact normal hormonal balance. So when recent researchers found that there’s yet another class of beauty-care products putting certain women at higher risk, it didn’t come as a big surprise.

According to a recent study that compared the differences in hair care products between groups of sisters, those that were using chemical straighteners AND permanent hair dye had a significantly increased risk of developing breast cancer over their biological counterparts. How does this work if the products only get applied to the hair? How would this increase the risk of breast cancer?

Well, as it turns out, the hair isn’t the problem at all. For these chemical dyes and straighteners to do their job, they need to be applied to the entire hair shaft, right up to the scalp. That’s where the problem lies. As our largest organ, the skin helps to separate things in the external world (our environment) from the inside world. It is also very porous, meaning it will absorb anything that comes in contact with the skin. So, when these toxic chemicals come in contact with the skin, they are transported through the skin directly into the lymphatic tissue, and ultimately, into the bloodstream.

As you can imagine, regular visits to a hairstylist for a routine color or hair straightening every 4-6 weeks will expose the skin to these toxic chemicals for 30-45 minutes, during which time, they are slowly being absorbed. Another clue as to their toxicity should be the distinctly toxic smell that is unavoidably inhaled when being applied. Every breath transports these airborne chemicals to the bloodstream via the lungs. So, between the direct contact on the skin and inhalation through the lungs, the risk of toxicity is pretty high.

Natural brands of hair color may be an option for some women. However, since they don’t contain the chemical mixture that opens the hair shaft, allowing the color to permeate, they don’t typically provide the same results as permanent hair color would. Even the natural brands can contain other toxic ingredients, so be sure to read the label carefully.

What are the options for health-conscious women when it comes to hair coloring or straightening? Well, for those who want to cover the grey or change their natural hair color to a different shade, studies have shown that using semi-permanent hair color doesn’t carry the same risk as permanent coloring does. The less-offensive semi-permanent products don’t force the hair shaft open as drastically, which means they might require a little more frequent coloring. As far as those hair-straightening chemicals, they are best left alone.

Our advice? Be proud of your hair, in whatever shape, style, or color it naturally comes in. We think you’re beautiful just the way you are!

Here’s to aging naturally and gracefully in the way that suits you the best!



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Dr Don Sharnowski is a doctor who is above and beyond all other doctors! Probably his most outstanding quality is that he LISTENS to what his patients say. He is willing to explain things to his patients in terms they can understand. Dr Don treats his patients with wisdom, understanding, gentleness, care, encouragement and he is willing to "go the extra mile" to give his patients the proper treatment they need. He does not treat patients like they were on an assembly line or like he is rushing them out the door. Dr Don has fixed many of the problems I had at my first visit, one of which I had endured for 3 years. Dr Don was able to fix that problem in 2 weeks when others had not. Dr Don has also helped me loose 40 lbs so far. My total recovery is still an ongoing process, but should be a cinch with Dr Don's expert help! Thank you, Dr Don! You are an awesome answer to prayers!

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Super Awesome Doctor in Overland Park, Kansas!! He really knows his stuff love his Holistic approach. Wish I lived closer so I could see him on the regular, at least we can chat on the regular! Very informative in all aspects of health! Five years ago this man took our health and turned it around 360 degrees. My son got ear infections very often. Both my boys have respiratory issues. My husband asthma and overweight. Myself aches and pains, specifically on my left side and joints. Well needless to say no more ear infections respiratory not nearly as often my husband is 80lbs less and never uses his inhaler . My sons ear infections...What ear infections...They are no longer! Thanks Dr. Don for all you do and have done!!

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Dr Don Sharnowski is truly an amazing Doctor. He listens to his patients and treats in a very complete way. He is very knowledgeable because he never stops learning. He is a great communicator and will help you learn better ways to be healthy if you will actually do what he teaches.

Cassie N.

Don (Dr Sharnowski) is truly one of a kind. He is warm, inviting and incredibly generous with his time, but also really knowledgeable about the body and everything within. You won't find crystal balls here. You'll find a super nice guy in sneakers who also sells farm fresh eggs at the counter. I went in expecting to get adjusted (and was scared, because I'd never seen a chiro before). Instead, what I experienced was someone who actually sat down and listened to my history, connected the dots between several ailments (instead of jumping to prescribe one drug apiece to treat each one), and explained things that no one had ever taken the time to do. I was there about my back specifically, but we talked about my whole health. Instead of just prescribing an anti inflammatory (which is what my other doc did), he explained why we get inflammation in our bodies, and how to help reduce it with what we eat. I've also been on thyroid medication for over 10 years, and he actually explained what the thyroid is, and what the drug I take is, and what it does. But not in a defensive or overly crunchy way. He just openly explained in a way that I could understand it. I highly recommend Don to anyone with a body who wants to feel better. His approach is approachably holistic. Just common sense, whole body-centered treatment.

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