Many women and men see their hair as an important aspect of their physical appearance, a fact that is deeply reflective in hair dye’s continued popularity. Females of all ages use hair dyes to enhance their physical appearance and to provide a change in the way they view themselves. While this is by no means a bad thing, using cheap and synthetic hair dyes may cause issues in the long run.
Modern hair dyes may promote a natural-looking hair color, and many contain chemicals that provide permanent changes. The more we learn about chemical-based hair dyes, the more we realize that we simply can’t expose our bodies to these toxins and expect to live a healthy life. This article may be shocking, but it contains information you need to know. Hair dyes are dangerous, especially to young individuals who are more susceptible to their negative health effects. Here are 6 absolutely shocking facts about hair dyes that you and everyone in your family should know.
1. Hair Dye Contains Over 5,000 Chemicals
Hair dye is a solution filled with a multitude of chemicals, some of which have been identified as potent carcinogens. While it may not seem important, the fact that hair dye sits on the scalp and skin for prolonged periods of time should cause some worry. Not only that, these chemicals are released into the air during the coloring process, and breathing in these compounds can pose just as much of a threat as absorbing or consuming them. 
2. Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is both crippling and disfiguring, and no one wants to go through the extensive treatments and pain associated with the disease. It turns out that certain things can actually increase one’s risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, with chronic exposure to hair coloring being one factor. Before you purchase that next hair dye kit, keep in mind that science has documented a relationship between regular use of hair dyes and rheumatoid arthritis.  The chemicals have no prejudice against age or gender either, making it imperative to reduce or eliminate the use of synthetic, chemical colorings.
3. Hair Color Can Discolor the Skin
Methemoglobinemia, a discoloration of the skin caused by a lack of oxygen, has its root in exposure to chemicals in common hair dyes. Turning your skin blue or gray is the most obvious symptom of methemoglobinemia, a symptom that can be reversible. The cause is cyanosis which results from exposure to paraphenylenediamine, a common chemical found in hair coloring products. Methemoglobinemia can become extremely dangerous in some circumstances, resulting in death.  
4. Dark Colors Are Riskier to Health
The dyes that seem the harshest and the most dangerous are the ones that bleach hair. It just so happens that this is the exact opposite! The most dangerous hair dyes are dark colors, like red, brown, and black. The problem is lead, which most of us recognize as an incredibly toxic element. It's responsible for brain shrinkage, violent behavior, and even death. Lead is nasty stuff, yet it's ubiquitous in dark hair dyes. In the form of lead acetate, it's the active ingredient responsible for the hair dying effect. 
5. Increases Cancer Risk in Infants
There is one time in your life when avoiding hair dyes should be crucially important than any other: pregnancy. Research has recently documented that the use of hair dyes or chemicals for hair straightening during pregnancy can cause leukemia in babies before the age of two.  So, even if you feel that you must use hair dye the rest of your life, please don't use it while pregnant. Your baby's life could be at stake.
6. Cancer Risk for Adults
Chemical exposure of any kind can increase the risk of cancer, especially if the chemicals are known carcinogens. Many of the chemicals in hair coloring products are noted carcinogens, yet somehow their use continues to this day. Hair dye has been directly associated with bladder cancer and has also been associated with lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph system.  
Naturally, we all want to look our best; but, before you slather chemicals over your scalp, give it a second thought. Remember, beauty stems from a place much deeper than the color of your hair or the makeup you may be wearing. True beauty comes from one source--glowing health, and not out of a package of dye.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM