Can hair dye cause hair loss?The recent revelations that Keira Knightley has suffered from hair loss issues due to her overuse of hair dyes caught our interest, as it’s not only women who turn to the bottle these days.

According to Knightley – who’s still only 31, remember – her commitment to her myriad screen roles and her ever-changing hair tones resulted in hair loss. So what’s actually in the stuff, and can it really cause that much damage?

Hair dye for men

Hair dye products for men have been around for decades, of course, and there’s no stigma about using them these days – but there are drawbacks.

For starters, it’s possible that you could be one of the minute percentage of people who are allergic to ingredients in the dye without even knowing it, because in extreme cases the symptoms – itchy, red, scaly rash on the scalp at best, severe swelling and blisters as far as the torso and arms at worse – don’t come on until months or even years later.

The dark (or light) truth about hair dyes

But what about hair loss? That could occur when a frequent user has an allergic reaction to the hydrogen peroxide and ammonia that is usually part of the dye’s list of ingredients.

Not only can they cause rashes to a small percentage of users, but – even worse – they can partially destroy the outer surface of the hair, irreversibly removing its natural protection and making it prone to damage.

We can’t stress enough that this allergy is restricted to a few unfortunate users, but to be forewarned is to be forearmed.

Our advice is to conduct a patch test on an area away from the scalp, use dye on the grey areas as opposed to all over, invest in shampoos and conditioners that are specially formulated to protect coloured hair, and keep it covered in direct sunlight.

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By Ian Watson

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