What is a Dye?

Dyes are complex Chemical compounds with several unsaturated bonds in its structure. Colour is due to the multiplicity of double bonds. Hair Dyes are normally Coal Tar dyes.

They are Toxic / a bit poisonous. These details will either be in the label, the outer carton of the hair dyes or in the small product leaflet that may be inside the carton. One has to read them carefully before using a product.


What is a double bond?

Simplified, Organic Chemistry is the chemistry of Carbon compounds. Dyes, Pigments, Pharmaceuticals and Vegetable Oils are generally Organic compounds. There can be carbon chains, with one carbon atom linked to another. In vegetable oils / fatty acid chain, there are normally 12 to 20 carbon atoms in a chain

Unsaturation: A Carbon atom may share two electrons with its adjacent Carbon atom to complete its orbital structure. This is called double bond / unsaturation. To simplify, double bond means forced, easily breakable alliance. It is like, say 3 persons sharing a normal 2 seater bench. The double bonds make the compound reactive.

In saturated links / compounds, the electron sharing will be limited to a single electron. Comparatively, such saturated compounds will be less reactive / bovine.


What does a dye has to do?

a] It has to bleach / lighten the existing colour of the hair - Ammonia or Peroxide bleach - chemical bleach
b] The dye has to colour the hair Chemically
c] It has to stick to the hair for 2 to 4 months


Free Radicals

"Free Radical" means an unpaired or a single, free Electron. It is an unstable, hyperactive agent. This can damage the DNA, the nucleus of the Cell, the building block of the Body.

Lot of Free Radicals float about the Scalp. UV light in Sunlight triggers the Free Radicals reactions. This is an uncontrollable factor


Risk factors

  1. All hair dyes are normally toxic / poisionous
  2. They irritate the skin. Itching is common. Hair is a protrussion from the skin. If the skin is affected, hair would also suffer. These chemicals can perhaps seep into the skin
  3. The Bleaching and other intended Chemical reactions can / do loosen the chemical bonding in the hair. Hair can become brittle and or shed due to the loosened hair bonding


Reaction Potential

With uncontrollable Free Radicals over the top of the scalp and toxic unsaturated compounds on the hair, it is an open invitation for a chain of chemical reactions on the top / hair. The extent of damage can vary from one to another.

Long Chain ceramides can minimise the Free Radicals reactions. These are present naturally in the ‘root’ area. But these can get knocked out a bit due to bleaching. Vegetable oils can give some protection



You can know the damages from a long term dye user

Dyes have to be used for life. It is costly and tedious to apply. The hair may loose its natural appearance. A gray hair will not look a natural grey but an odd looking pale yellowish white. Without the dye, the hair may look lumpy / like a irregularly shaped rope. The black colour would also look odd. The hair will be rough and thick. Listen to an user and then decide your course


Kali Mahendi

Mahendi can stick to the skin. It gives out an Orangish Red Colour. That is why Indian ladies use it on Auspicious occasions like Marriages.

That basic orange colour cannot turn into Black on the head simply because we applied it. Kali Mahendi is a deliberate distortion as it is a Botanical impossiblity.