What Are The Side Effects Of Hair Dye On Scalp?

side effects of hair dye on scalp

Side Effects Of Hair Dye On The Scalp – Things You Need To Know

With a visit to a professional hairstylist, you can go from blond to brunette to even a red-head. 

Presently, there are limitless hair color options you can try out, but like every other thing on earth, getting your hair colored does come with several side effects.

For you, the side effects of hair dye on your scalp could not be too serious, especially if you take the necessary precautions – like getting a professional to do it, and if you don’t dye frequently.

If you, on the other hand, dye like a celebrity trying to make a fashion statement on every outing or you do the dyeing yourself, you should be ready for some serious side effects. 

Side Effects Of Hair Dye On Scalp Ultimate Guide

Chemical Burns

While this is not very common, except you’re dyeing your hair on your own, chemical burns could lead to temporary and permanent hair loss, which is why they should avoid by all means. 

A chemical burn is most likely to occur when you go cheap on your beauty treatment. Buying cheap hair dyes, coloring your hair on your own, or going to a cheap hair salon are some things that put you at risk of a chemical burn. 

Sometimes chemical burns could be due to an allergic reaction to the hair dye. This is why you should get a patch test done before the procedure. 

If you’ve experienced a chemical burn while dyeing your hair, you might notice some bald patches around the affected area.

Sometimes, the burn won’t only affect the hair, but also the scalp, and go as far as damaging the hair follicles. In such a case, you would lose hair permanently in the affected areas. 

In cases of milder burns, you would only experience temporary hair loss, and the hair would grow back naturally in time. 

Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions are most common with permanent hair dyes, especially those containing PPD (paraphenylenediamine).

This chemical can cause severe allergic reactions like itching, redness, skin irritation, and swelling on the scalp and other sensitive areas.

 In some cases, usually with people with dermatitis, the reactions would be more severe and pronounced. 

People with skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema are advised to desist from using hair dyes containing PPD to color their hair. 

Other Side Effects Of Hair Dye

Effect on Fertility

As it seems, permanent hair dyes could cause more troubles for frequent users. Studies have found a link between lead acetate (a common ingredient used in permanent hair dyes), and fertility issues in men and women.

Also, pregnant women are advised to refrain from coloring their hair with any hair dyes as the chemicals present could prove lethal to their unborn infant. 


Hair dyes contain chemicals known as persulfates. When inhaled, these chemicals could aggravate asthma and cause other health conditions like coughing, lung inflammation, throat discomfort, and asthma attacks. 

Brittle Hair

This side effect is most common in individuals that color their hair frequently. Hair dyes contain ammonia and hydrogen peroxide (bleach), which play vital roles in the hair dyeing process but cause serious side effects later on. 

Peroxide raises your hair’s outer cuticle allowing ammonia to penetrate the hair shaft. This process alone could cause hair damage.

However, it won’t lead to any noticeable effects, especially if you don’t color your hair often. But if you treat your hair with hair dyes more often than not, it will cause it to dry out, lose luster, and become brittle. In extreme cases, it could lead to hair breakage. 

How to Prevent Allergic Reactions Due to Hair Dye

Allergic reactions due to hair dye, especially with one containing PPD, are not uncommon. It is most severe in people who are prone to dermatitis.

The problem with PPD is that it is a known irritant and allergen, and it could kick-start several allergic reactions like redness, inflammation, and possibly hair loss. 

The best way to prevent a reaction to hair dye is to get a patch test. If you’re going to use a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, then you should get a patch test done by yourself or at an allergy clinic to help you discover whether or not you’re allergic to the dye. 

How to Do A Patch Test?

Carrying out a patch test usually involves dabbing a small amount of the dye solution on your inner elbow (you can also smudge it behind your ear) and leave it to dry.  Some dyes come with instructions that will direct you on how to do a patch test. 

Precaution To Take While Dyeing Your Hair

If you choose to stick to coloring your hair even after reading about the side effects, you should at least do it safely. Here are some precautions you could take to keep you out of the danger zone while dyeing your hair. 

  • Permanent hair dyes and some semi-permanent hair dyes are the cause of some of the side effects we listed, to minimize your risk of these side effects, you should opt for semi-permanent hair colors. The problem with demi-permanent hair dyes is that they’re temporary, so you’ll spend more to color your hair in the long run. 
  • Get a professional to dye your hair. It will prevent the likelihood of chemical burns and any other possible hair dye reactions. 
  • Get a patch test done before coloring your hair. It will take 2 or 3 days before your appointment with your stylist. 
  • Stick to trusted brands when picking hair dyes. To do this, you will have to do a lot of research. While you can get a lot of credible information on blogs and websites, nothing beats asking people who have used a product from the brand you’re you want to buy. You can also meet with your hairstylist and even other professional hairstylists for advice. 

Final Thoughts

Dyeing is becoming increasingly popular, and severe side effects because of hair dyes barely occur. But this is only possible if you take the necessary precautions before, while and after dyeing your hair. 

Add Comment