Tuesday, December 30, 2008

When you should not to color your hair

Millions of women color their hair every year. Some pick up a kit at the drugstore and color their own hair at home, or have a friend help with it. Others make an appointment at the salon for an expert to apply professional hair color.

Whichever mode you prefer, keep in mind that there are certain times when you should not color your hair. Those who believe a color job can be done at any time may be in risk of damaging their scalp or hair.

1. Don't color your hair if you have a scalp injury. Wounds like scratches, burns, scrapes, cuts, blisters, or stitches need to be allowed to heal before you apply a chemical solution such as a hair color, whether permanent or temporary. Be careful if you have a sore on your face, since hair color that enters your blood stream through skin openings can cause blood poisoning, or sepsis, which is life-threatening.

2. Avoid coloring your hair if it is over processed. A recent permanent or straightening, frequent curling iron or blow-dryer use, or exposure to swimming pool chlorine or other harsh chemicals may have damaged your hair to the point that dye or color could cause split ends, brittleness, or even hair loss if the solution is too much for your hair. It is better to wait until you haven't used other chemicals for several weeks so that your hair will be in better condition for the color.

3. Postpone hair coloring if you are losing hair or your hair has thinned due to illness or natural causes. Thin hair may be a sign of an underlying illness, so get a medical checkup before proceeding with your color job. A salon stylist can probably tell if your hair is too thin by examining you at the shop.

4. Wait to have your hair colored if you have head lice, body lice, fleas, scabies, or other possibly contagious skin or hair conditions. Your stylist and other salon patrons will not be happy to learn that you brought all your little friends with you to the salon for a color job. Get the problem treated and cleared up before going public with your head of hair.

5. Do not color your hair if you are allergic to any of the ingredients. Always do the allergy test associated with any brand of hair color, either at home or in the shop. Typically this means applying a small daub of the solution to the inside of your elbow and leaving it undisturbed for 48 hours. If your skin becomes red, irritated, burning or itching, or develops a rash, you should not use the product. Continuing with the hair dye if you are allergic may lead to serious and sometimes life-threatening complications.

Hair coloring is a common practice that many women use frequently and safely. Taking a few precautions like those outlined above can help to provide you with good results and few problems. Read the directions on your home kit, or ask the salon stylist if you are a good candidate for hair coloring.

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