Sunday, March 8, 2015

Hair.

I recently cut my hair. I hate it. Aw. I sort of had in mind that I was going to look like Grace Kelly because my natural hair color is similar to hers and, let's face it, she's gorgeous, but I learned a valuable lesson: just because someone else looks good with a certain hairdo, it doesn't necessarily mean I will.

Also, I'm like a foot shorter

 than her.













I'm so keeping the long-haired picture of myself that was taken last summer as my profile picture so you'll think I always looked like that, until I do again.

But I wasn't actually going to talk about the length of my hair today (just saw this as a good opportunity to open my heart), but about hair color. In my last post I mentioned that I'm interested in finding out about all the chemicals that are around us. I used to love dyeing my hair - I first dyed my hair when I was nine. Yes, you heard me, nine. How my parents consented to this, I don't know. I wanted to look like Ariel and dyed my hair red with one of those supermarket hair colors.

That was my own hair color. The result was a lot less adorable.




















Now - already the fact that the reason for coloring my hair was to look like a Disney princess character, already suggests that I was a bit too young to dye my hair. (Although, let's face it, I still want to look like a Disney princess.) But now that I'm older and know more, I'm horrified about what I did and how badly it could have ended. Hair dyeing is not recommended for children under 15 because, I'm not kidding, a little child is still so very sensitive to high chemical exposures that s/he could die if she had an allergic reaction to the PPD in hair dye.

PPD, short for p-Phenylenediamine, is the stuff they use in pretty much all hair dyes that makes the color darker. It is highly toxic and allergenic and if you put it on your skin, it gets absorbed into your blood circulation and can cause severe swelling in your body, skin irritation, arrythmia and even, like we recently saw in England, death. Yes - she DIED because she colored her hair!

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/woman-dies-after-hair-dye-puts-her-coma-year

These cases are of course rare but the risk rises the more you color your hair and so, the more your expose your body to these chemicals, and the younger you are. Also - if you've ever had the stuff on your skin (for instance, as a "black henna" tattoo), you are in HIGH RISK and should not dye your hair.

And the reason I feel a bit horrified about all this is that not only did I dye my hair once when I was nine, I dyed it pretty much every year since. Sometimes several times a year. And always darker - red or brown. (Bleaching your hair doesn't expose you to PPD but my hair is naturally blonde so of course that was never what I wanted. And then there are women who pay a lot of money for my hair color. We women are never satisfied.) So, I could have easily gotten a reaction without even knowing what caused it (because I only heard about this about a year ago). And guess what? For the last few times I dyed my hair (the last - and I mean last - time I did was two years ago), I started feeling really bad around my scalp when the goo was on my head, itchy and burning - nooot a good sign.

Why did I dye my hair so much? I was an insecure little girl. I had a very rough childhood - both at home and school - and didn't feel like I was good enough the way I am. Sad but true. Sometimes I would keep my hair blonde for a little while after the old hair dye had faded off but most of my life, I have had artificially colored hair. However. About a year and a half ago, I started growing my own hair color back and decided I would never dye my hair again. If anything, I can take some blonde highlights (again, free from PPD) just to brighten my own color or use henna (that is 100 % natural and hasn't known to cause any allergies - quite the contrary, it's quite conditioning for your hair) but I don't think I'll ever want to be that red, anyway. It doesn't look that good with my complexion. (Again - just because Ariel looks great with bright red hair, doesn't necessarily mean I will. She's a mermaid. And drawn.)

But didn't you just love that dress? I still want it, with the big blue bow.

I have to learn to be happy with what I am. Don't we all? Just as soon as my hair is long enough again.

;)

I just really wanted to share this just in case this was new to you too. A lot of people dye their hair every day and never get allergic but it's always a risk. If you want to read more about hair dye and what is consists of in Finnish, here's a great link:  http://kemikaalikimara.blogspot.fi/2011/12/kemikaalikimaran-hiusvariopas.html

Also, on the same site, a post about the black henna I mentioned earlier and why children should never take those or dye their hair:

http://kemikaalikimara.blogspot.fi/2009/03/polttomerkityt-lapset.html

And I know a great hair salon in Helsinki that uses 100 % plant based colors in case you're interested :)

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