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View Full Version : Brainfart question du jour: Does coloring my hair alter my DNA?


Shirley Ujest
05-29-2002, 12:25 PM
How much, if any, damage or even remote alteration occurs when I,Ms. Vain, dyes my hair?

KneadToKnow
05-29-2002, 12:33 PM
Based on the logic that if coloring your hair altered the DNA in some way, we'd have heard about it by now, I will go out on a limb and say there is no alteration at all.

WAG quotient of this answer: 31.4%

welby1
05-29-2002, 12:34 PM
I'd guess that using slime from a nuclear reactor to color your hair might cause you to grow 50 feet tall and become violent. Other than that, what possible DNA changes could occur from using hair dye?

Schnitte
05-29-2002, 12:39 PM
Just as much as resetting your watch will turn back time.

Shirley Ujest
05-29-2002, 01:25 PM
Hah! I don't have to reset my watch to go back in time. I'm always there. My calendar is still on July of 2000. :P

Finagle
05-29-2002, 02:25 PM
Well, there's a small chance that some of the dyes and chemicals in your hair coloring agent are mutagenic and can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled as fumes, and/or accidentally ingested during the dying process. If you live near a Superfund site, you also have to worry about the water you use.

If you dye your hair a particularly stunning color, you might attract the attention of an incredibly rich sugar daddy who will jet you to exotic locations, thereby exposing you to increased levels of cosmic radiation as you fly, possibly causing some level of genetic alteration.

Finally your incredible beauty could result, in extremely rare occasions, in ugly altercations at a diplomatic function, resulting in the cutting off of relations, increased tensions, and an increase in nuclear weapons testing. The resulting increase in background radiation would, of course, increase your chances of a mutation.

I think that pretty much covers it, though.

ftg
05-29-2002, 04:31 PM
Many old time hair (and other types of) dyes were made from coal tar extracts. These have been considered by some people to be Very Bad Things. Modern dyes maybe have other sources. Doing a Google on "hair dyes" and "cancer" turns up a lot of links, but I saw that one came from Junk Science (http://www.junkscience.com/nov98/chase.htm) (actually WSJ) and discounted it, although I find that article to contain a surprising amount of quibble factor.

One thing to note: the dyes available to salons are sold for professional use only (as per a recent thread), apparently they don't want amateurs using them. I personally consider that a fairly significant red flag.

choosybeggar
05-29-2002, 04:58 PM
Originally posted by ftg

One thing to note: the dyes available to salons are sold for professional use only (as per a recent thread), apparently they don't want amateurs using them. I personally consider that a fairly significant red flag.

The people applying this crap are hairdressers not neurosurgeons. How much training/skill could it take?

C K Dexter Haven
05-29-2002, 05:05 PM
You've hit on it! The perfect crime! Dye your hair, then murder your enemy or rob a bank or whatever, and be sure to leave some of your dyed hair at the scene of the crime. They'll never catch you!

Nametag
05-29-2002, 05:50 PM
The dyes used in permanent coloring are, indeed, toxic, and are not approved for use in other cosmetics or toiletries. However, the major risk of tissue damage from coloring one's hair comes from the bleaching beforehand (yes, most people need to use a peroxide solution before they can dye). However, DNA damage in your hair is sort of a moot point, because your hair is as dead as Christopher Columbus, so its DNA doesn't DO anything. I guess there is a minor risk of skin cancer, but it doesn't seem to have made it onto the CDC's radar screen.