In the world of fashion, pink seems to be the new black. Blame Barbiecore, a globally trending fashion aesthetic inspired by the beloved and world-famous doll, Barbie. The power of pink – often touted as a colour of femininity – is making waves across fashion runways, high street fashion stores, celebrity galas and social media. You can see shoes, clothes, nail paints, accessories and even hair – all doused in pink! Yes, the likes of singer Lizzo, actress Megan Fox and rapper Machine Gun Kelly have already turned heads with their pop pink hair makeovers. But if you have any such plans up your sleeve, maybe it would help to think of the side effects of hair dyeing for once!
What is Barbiecore?
If you’ve not been following this global fashion movement, you may be intrigued by what the Barbiecore trend is. For the unversed, the trend has caught fire given the intrigue around Greta Gerwig’s upcoming film “Barbie”, starring Margot Robbie, as well as the Valentino Autumn/Winter 2022 collection which showcased silhouttes – for both men and women – in hot pink! Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli reportedly describes pink as “the colour of love, community, energy and freedom”, and we couldn’t agree more!
While the colour is painting the apparel industry red, it hasn’t left the hair industry untouched. At a time when people are increasingly breaking convention by colouring their hair blue, green, red, purple and pink, we spoke to an expert about the likely disadvantages of dyeing hair, if any, in these hot hues.
Indian beauty industry veteran Dr. Blossom Kochhar says over the years she has observed how experimental people have become with their hair colour, and just how frequently they are willing to change it.
Dr. Kochhar tells Health Shots, “Looking at the current trend, people are switching from blonde shades to pop colours. There is too much purple, pink, orange, and red hair flowing around. But are these actually safe or should we just sit back and analyze if the hair damage that we constantly keep cribbing about is the result of constant hair dyeing?”
Know the difference between types of hair dyes
1. Permanent hair dyes:
They penetrate through the hair shaft, reaching the cortex. This type of hair dye needs a touch up at least once in every 12 weeks. You should be aware that largely, permanent dyes employ the use of ammonia in order to penetrate the hair shaft as well as increase the pH level.
2. Temporary hair dyes:
These don’t penetrate the hair cortex and need to be touched up every few weeks.
Bleach is typically used to lighten hair and colour dark hair like black and brown to lighter hair colours such as blonde, red or pink. This is “supposedly the most harmful of them all”, says Dr. Kochhar.
4. Ammonia-free hair dyes:
Now these are also called demi-permanent hair dyes. As the name suggests, these do not contain ammonia, but hydrogen peroxide, para-dyes, and resorcinol, which makes this type of dye softer on the hair.
What are the side effects of hair dyeing?
Some of the ways that hair colouring can impact your overall hair health include;
* Loss of hair strength
* Reduced ability for your hair to handle heat styling
* Reduced hair thickness
* Increased roughness of hair follicle
“Whenever we dye our hair to pop colours, the ammonia content serves the purpose of breaking through the hair cuticle and lets the colour to deposit itself there. This leads to damaging the natural hair structure, causing your hair to become extremely dry and brittle,” explains Dr. Kochhar.
Bleaching Indian hair to get pop hues of Barbiecore
According to Dr. Kochhar, people must exercise caution especially while dyeing Indian hair.
“If you plan to dye your hair red, pink, orange, or blue, especially for Indian hair which is usually dark in colour, no matter what your hairdresser says, he or she will have to reduce the darkness of your hair to get the right colour effect. And do that, your hair will have to be bleached, unless you only want the colour to last a few washes,” she says.
However, if you are looking at keeping the colour for a few months, hair bleach may be your only option. And this my dear, can hamper the health of your hair and how!
“Bleach has peroxide, and that reduces the protein content in your hair. I don’t think you would want to lose something that gives thickness to your hair,” she adds.
Tips to reduce damage due to hair dyeing
Well, Dr. Kochhar makes no bones about the fact that hair dyeing is an inevitable trend for any fashion conscious person. And there’s no denying that in some cases, it does enhance the way one looks… Well, at least some heads turn in a crowd. So, if you’re going for it anyway, you must try to see ways to help reduce hair damage.
* To minimize the damage, ensure that the hair dye contains conditioning agents such as hydrolyzed silk or milk protein.
* Use an appropriate shampoo and conditioner for coloured hair. Instead of regular shampoo, go for a variety which includes lipids such as fatty alcohols, to improve hair strength. Avoid the highly fragrant shampoos which make lots of lather.
* If you’re not all for crazy hair trends, choose the most natural hair shade as possible. “Stay within three shades of the natural colour,” suggests Dr. Kochhar, adding that it would be best to focus on darkening the hair rather than lightening them.
* You must watch the frequency of hair colouring. Let your hair rest between dyeing appointments. Let the hair follicles grow back.
* Never skip hair conditioning.
* Include regular oil massages in your weekly hair care routine.
Now if looking pretty or powerful in pink is something you resonate with, and want to express it through your hair, go ahead! But keep these side effects of hair dyeing in mind and exercise caution and care.