Home Health & Beauty What You Should Know About Metallic Dyes for Your Hair

What You Should Know About Metallic Dyes for Your Hair


Do you color your hair at home? Have you ever used one of those progressive dyes that changes your hair color gradually to look more natural? I know you have seen the commercials on TV. These dyes are metallic and the colors are produced by a reaction between metallic salts and the sulfur in keratin producing sulfides it then oxidizes and reduces the metal salts. Basically, the metallic salts interact with the sulfur in the hair keratin and then turns the protein brown.

That doesn’t sound very safe, now, does it. But are these metallic dyes really unsafe? What should you know about them?

This is only a surface color and does not penetrate the cortex, but it builds up on the outer surface over a period of time. I know a lot of older men use these products because they don’t like going to a salon and they don’t like people thinking they are so vain. They get embarrassed easily. The younger generation really do not care. They love changing their hair color.

Professionals do not use these products because they do not work with other oxidized solutions we use in salons. I know a lot of people have found out the hard way by giving themselves home perms on top of metallic dyes. They do not mix. If you color your hair at home and decide to go for a professional perm, your stylist should ask you what brand of color you have been using. If she doesn’t, then make sure you tell her because there could be a very bad chemical reaction!

Always read the label and if you do use metallic dyes it is very important to make sure you cleanse your hands thoroughly (if you ingest any orally or contaminate food it can be fatal). People using these dyes (copper, lead, silver) have experienced hair loss and breakage, lead poisoning, headaches, and scalp irritations just to name a few. There are also some brands other than the progressives that use metallic salts, so be very careful if you are a home colorist.

Bottom line: if used correctly, metallic dyes are not extremely bad for your health, but long term usage or using these dyes without being extremely careful can result in hair loss, hair damage and can even lead to more complications. So if you’re not sure what you’re doing, better go to a salon and let a pro do the job for you.


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