Tuesday, November 07, 2006


For the feature issue based article - Pain in the Back - I am looking for a cartoon, drawing or graphic that would be appropriate for the piece. Contact me if you have any samples. Thank you. - Abi

Monday, November 06, 2006

feature article submission

Staining your Mane…?
Hair affairs 101… Colouring concerns

“Today, about half of all North American women color their hair”

Dying your hair, it has been around for centuries. Ancient Greek heroes dyed their hair into a fiery symbol of courage, while Romans used natural dyes to darken their locks. During the 1700s, French women used powder to tint their hair to shades of blue, yellow, pink and white. Today, about half of all North American women color their hair. Weather staining your mane is to cover those unwanted grays or just to have fun… how safe is it…

“A small percentage of hair dye is absorbed from the scalp and passed into the bloodstream”
Recent studies have proven that a small percentage of hair dye is absorbed from the scalp and passed into the bloodstream where it can travel to other organs and tissues, and may be cancer causing. The scalp is the most sensitive part of the human body. The scalp is a part, where the blood supply of our body is high. Most hair dyes have carcinogenic components and people who are using these chemicals for coloring their hair, are at higher risk.

Long-term use of permanent hair dye in dark colors doubles a person's risk of certain

blood cancers, bladder cancer and may link to a disease known as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma rates are up all over the world. It is hard to pin point the reasons behind this growth. Hair dying has increased and dying chemicals may be toxic to users.The increase of this desiese was noted in women who dyed their hair with permanent colouring and in darker shades. There was no increase that was noted in women who used semi-permanent dyes or rinses. The cancer-causing chemicals linked to hair dye are members of a class of chemicals known as aromatic amines. The human body is able to detoxify these compounds. But because of their genetic makeup, some people can't detoxify the compounds. The risks are stronger for women lacking working detox genes, but women who think they are not deficient should not assume that they are not at risk.

“Hair dye may not be fully related to increased risks of cancer.”

To prove that hair dye is cancer causing, researchers must test the hair dye at a greater level then what would be normally be used. To prove this, they would have to alter the consumption in another way such as ingesting the dye. But the dyes may react differently in a stomach rather than on a scalp. Most of the studies that related to prove that hair dyes

were cancer causing failed. This is because the small amount of dye that is absorbed into the blood stream when dying hair is so minute that it is difficult to form a relationship between the two. Studies have suggested an assocation between expecting mothers hair dye use effecting the unborn child. These risks could lead to an increses in childhood cancer.

To reduce the chance of allergic effect, before dyeing your hair, test the product by patting a bit behind your ear. Don't wash it off for two days. If itching, burning, redness, or rash occurs, don't use the product. Consumers might also want to consider using henna to colour their hair. Henna is plant material based and it is not harmful to hair and does not link to any possibility to cancer causing variables. Henna products on the market can give a range of colors, from dark brown through various reddish-brown and lighter red to reddish-blond shades. They cannot, however, lighten hair. None of these colors may be used on eye-lashes or eyebrows.
Looking after Your Lovely Locks:
The golden rule of maintaining color is to take care of your hair. Be sure to avoid excessive brushing, too much heat…. (Keep your use of the blow dryer and the curling iron to a minimum) Over perming, or over straightening, and over washing… keep in mind that chlorine in pools can dull colour and dry out hair, you may want to consider wearing a swim cap to protect your curls.

You are what you eat
Specially fortified shampoos and conditioners with vitamin E and aloe are great, but it is most important to take care of things from the inside out. You are what you eat. A Proper diet is vital to a health head of hair. You want to aim for a balanced diet of proper water intake, natural oils, minerals and proteins and like your mother always said “be sure to take your vitamins.” Water is a basic component, and without enough to hydrate your body your hair may become dry, lifeless and brittle. Drink up to eight glasses of water a day to maintain overall health. Vitamins and minerals are also an important factor in proper amounts. Your hair craves copper to keep lively color, iron for strength, and small amounts of zinc & magnesium for growth. Vitamin E is known to increase circulation and blood flow to hair, and vitamin B-6 and B-12 are important in hair growth & color. So make sure you're either getting them in your diet or in a daily vitamin supplement. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to be a key factor in skin, nail and hair health, so include these in your diet, as well - in the form of salmon, tuna or other fatty fish. Flax seed oil, walnuts and almonds.
It is important to keep in mind the risks that can occur if you use an excessive amount of hair dye in an unsafe fashion. Even still, dying your hair can be fun and sometimes helpful… just remember, everything in moderation.