Why Black Women Should Embrace Grey Hair and Ditch Hair Dye
Mature black women are usually blessed with a natural youthful glow. It is common for black women to look younger than they are. Their skin continues to look vibrant and youthful despite hair defiantly making the transition from various shades of blonde, brown and black to grey. The contrast of a youthful face, coupled with grey hair is difficult to reconcile, and for some, can be quite unsettling, so the natural inclination is to reach for a bottle of hair dye. After all, no-one needs to know how old you really are. Grey hair can also be perceived as a signal of old age, which might be deemed by some as unattractive in Western culture, serving as a deterrent to embracing nature taking its course and going grey. However, self-acceptance is becoming more prevalent, and black women are becoming ever more comfortable with accepting and celebrating the natural form and colour of their hair.
The natural hair movement burst onto the world stage, as black women around the world boldly embraced their curls coils and kinks, refusing to conform to the Western ideal of straight hair. And there is another natural hair movement brewing, a ‘naturally grey’ movement, whereby despite all the inhibitors preventing black women from ‘going grey’, they are boldly taking the leap. It is becoming increasingly common for black women to allow their beautiful mane of grey hair to take centre stage and there are many benefits of doing so.
Did You Know Hair Dye Can Cause Hair Breakage and Hair Loss?
The process of changing your hair colour involves altering the structure of the hair shaft. Hair cuticles, act as a collective shield and moisture sealant, lay on the outside of the hair shaft, must be raised to allow for the chemicals in the hair dye to penetrate the cortex. People with afro hair types have cuticles which are naturally slightly raised to accommodate the coils and curls of the hair shaft, so causing them to rise even further because of the colouring process is problematic. Raised cuticles exposes cortex, making it vulnerable to damage and consequently hair breakage.
If you colour your hair to achieve a lighter pigment, the potential damage caused to your hair will be more severe than if you were to dye your hair a darker shade. When you darken your hair, the process involves lifting the hair cuticle. However, when you lighten your hair, not only is the cuticle raised but the chemicals in the dye break down natural fatty acids to alter the pigment. This process removes natural oils and lubricants from the hair shaft, leaving hair feeling dry, coarse and in some instances looking and feeling like straw.
Dyeing hair frequently involves the repeated process of raising hair cuticles (the protective layer of the hair shaft) to allow the dye to penetrate the cortex. This will eventually cause long term damage to your hair, leaving hair fragile, thin, extremely dry and prone to breakage.
Using Hair Dye can also cause hair loss because the chemicals used in hair dye can have a harsh and adverse effect on the scalp. The chemicals can cause scalp irritation, inflammation and itching which can trigger hair loss conditions which are common amongst people with afro hair types, such as Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia (circular bald patches around the scalp, hair thinning and possible inflammation). If you think you are suffering from Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, click here to learn more about this condition and how to treat it.
Avoiding hair thinning, hair loss and breakage are one of the many advantages of ditching the dye and embracing the grey. However, the advantages don’t stop there. Recent studies revealed a link between colouring your hair and cancer.
Using Dark Hair Dye Can Increase Risk of Breast Cancer
A recent study of over 4,000 African American women and Caucasians found that black women who used dark hair dye were more at risk of breast cancer by 51%, when compared to African American women who did not use dark hair dyes. This is a worrying and sobering report, and when coupled with the physical damage hair dye can cause, such as hair loss, this will hopefully encourage us to assess our hair styling practices. Perhaps this is the motivation we need to embrace our natural hair colour, even if it means going grey!
Hair Loss and Hair Breakage
If you recognise symptoms of hair loss after dying your hair, why not try ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Shampoo and Lotion, because leaving hair loss untreated will likely result in hair loss getting worse and potentially becoming permanent. ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion provides treatment that can halt the progression of hair loss and improve hair growth. The patented Si MATRIX PF which stimulates and reactivates the hair follicles encouraging hair growth. The natural extracts of Rosemary and Nettle purifies and cleanses the scalp creating a healthy environment in which hair can grow. Nettle is also a natural and ancient remedy for balding. A visible change should be noticeable after 12 weeks of treatment with the ProTress Essential Scalp Therapy Energising Shampoo and Lotion, with hair becoming thicker and hairs beginning to sprout through the bald patches.