I recently had someone ask me if a reaction to hair dye could kick off hair shedding. She said in part: “my hair was doing all right until I tried a new|a brand new hair dye. As soon as I put it on my scalp, it burned. That same day, my hair started falling out. And it continued to shed for the past 90 days. From the research that I have done, it appears to my that I might have shedding as a result of telogen effluvium. But everything that I read shows that this disorder is caused by internal changes in the body. The hair dye would be an external change. But I swear there was no problem with my hair or scalp before I colored my hair. How is it possible that the hair dye kicked off this massive shedding?”
I have to admit that my first inclination was to agree with this woman and claim that no, hair coloring can’t cause telogen effluvium because it is mostly brought on by internal stress towards the body like childbirth, stopping or starting medications, or crash diets. When this happens, your hair follicles enter in the resting or shedding phase. And I Also wondered how using hair dye could inspire the same. It didn’t make lots of sense to me.
However, curiosity got the greater of me and that i did some investigation about this. I came across a 2001 study where Italian dermatologists checked out this very issue. The doctors’ conclusion at the end of the study was that allergic contact dermatitis needs to be a part of possible causes of telogen effluvium due to hair dye. In other words, the doctors felt that a number of the women inside the study had hairloss that was due to a hypersensitive reaction to the hair coloring. (Remember that the lady within the above scenario felt a burning sensation once the color came in contact with her scalp.) The dermatologists suggested that perhaps that the inflammatory process from the allergic attack could have triggered the shedding. Now, this will make sense in my opinion. Inflammation is actually a phrase which comes up over and over in literature concerning hair thinning. In fact, many individuals experiencing hairloss furthermore have a condition called “burning scalp syndrome” where the scalp turns red or pink and becomes painful as a result of inflammation which comes from those changing hair follicles which i just mentioned. I suppose it is easy for this to also happen before the shedding starts.
So to answer the question posed, most specialists will deny that hair dye can kick off an extended round of shedding. But a report which i found contradicted this line of thinking. Therefore, it’s my opinion that a hypersensitive reaction towards the dye (but not the dye itself) can contribute to shedding and hairloss in a few people. And frankly, at the end of the day, I’ve learned to not question any one’s hair thinning. If you are seeing troubling hair thinning, that’s obvious evidence that something is going on and also you likely do have a trigger somewhere. You just have to think it is. And in case you noticed your hair fall starting soon after having a painful or bad experience with the colour, then that creates a lot of sense in my opinion.
It wasn’t hair dye that kicked off my shedding, however i learned to be open about possible triggers, since each person tend to react to various things. What is truly important is how you care for your scalp and your dveiva while you are dealing with the shedding. I am aware that the process could make you feel helpless, but there are often ways that you can take at the very least some of the control back and begin to feel a little about yourself and your hair.