Typically, Caucasian women start greying in their mid 30’s, Asians in their late 30’s and African Americans in their mid 40’s. When I began to go grey in my early 40’s I always wanted that perfect white hair like Glenda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz. But such was not my luck. I spent years with a mixed-matched head of brown-grey. I spent years getting a weave until enough white came in to match my vision of what I had in mind. Most of us women have a comfort zone with how much grey we can tolerant, and with Covid-19 it’s being put to the test. When the call for physical distancing was announced, hair salons were called non-essential businesses. In those early days of the virus, the last thing most of us were worried about was our hair.
But as lockdown lengthened, many might have felt differently as grey began to take over. Witnessing more grey than you are used to can be a little, if not a lot, unsettling. All this indoor time may have you begging for a new you. A massive cut and color correction. Yet some women may have become curious about what would happen if they ‘went back to their roots’. Here are some things to consider and toss around before you hop back in the salon chair……
It’s estimated that about 75% of women in the US color their hair. More than 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dyes. These are absorbed through the scalp, with it’s rich blood supply, and carried throughout the body. Research reports that all the shades use essentially the same chemicals and are considered some of the most dangerous cosmetics on the market. Not one hair dye has proven safe, but there are quite a lot more concerns for dark brown and black than there are for blond. Dark hair dyes contain a lot of lead. And, of course, no one wants lead in the head.
The latest research by Dr Gago-Dominguez of the University of Southern California School of Medicine in Los Angeles found that women who use permanent hair dye at least once a month were twice as likely to develop bladder cancer. Those who reported regular use of hair dye for at least 15 years were three times as likely to develop cancer as non-dye users. Hair Dye has been linked to a range of cancers, including tumors of the breast, uterus, ovaries and brain. As well, it is known to contribute to rheumatoid arthritis.
WHERE DO I STAND ON THE TOPIC?
This is perhaps my first newsletter where I don’t hold an immobile position on the topic of chemicals and toxins. My goal is only to open the conversation with you, my dear sisters. Because no matter how strong you are, how we women perceive our beauty has so much to do with the society we live in and it’s collective fascination with youth. You can read all day long that true beauty comes from one source….glowing health….. not a package of dye…but even much respected Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron dyes it brown.
Women, as natural creatives, have colored their hair for thousands of years. When I lived in Morocco in my hippie days, in the same town as Jimmy Hendrix before Woodstock, we strutted about the village with raging henna orange hair like the locals. Henna is a funky earth smelling herb mixed with lemon, vinegar and maybe an egg, then applied to the hair like a mud pack. Every village has it’s traditional recipe. But here’s the problem. Henna doesn’t apply evenly. Some heads end up kick butt beyond the moon yellow, while others raging orange. It’s a crap shoot. Nothing you could count on if you needed to show up on Monday at the office. For henna to work with consistency, brands are now mixed with chemical preservatives for longer maintenance and color control.
I have had uterine cancer and recovered by opting not to use chemo or radiation but by detoxing with 100% organic Raw living foods and juices. Today, 24-7-365 days a year, I eat 90% Raw living foods and 10% healthy cooked foods. I consume fresh wheatgrass juice and aloe vera juice straight from the plant stalk. I skip wheat, dairy and all white sugar. Anything that is a contributor to toxemia is a contributor to cancer. I take my second chance at life seriously. Yet up till lately I dyed my hair. I have tried to go natural but I could never relax into it. I’d go a little while and then the next thing I know I was in the Sally’s parking lot like Ulysses being lured to the rocks by the mermaids.
So I have the same doubts and fears we all have but I am trying again. To be honest, it’s still a shaky commitment. It’s day by day. I might not make it. I can’t say at this point. But like I said, I would love to open the conversation with no judgement. What’s going on in your hair world? Just jump in to our Diet For Living School facebook page and share your stories. I’d love to hear from you.
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