Hair dye: The destroyer

Eli H.

Staff Writer

The art of dying and bleaching one’s hair can be traced back to the 1800s. While many people are not entirely sure who invented the glorious products, it is certain that if the intended use was for thousands of teens (and adults) worldwide to use these products, mission accomplished. While most do enjoy the fundamentals of hair dye and bleaching, many consumers do not know what the dye and/or bleach does to the hair and overall health of the body, especially to the sense of unique traits all humans possess. Often enough, hair dye is brought into the picture as a way of ‘‘fitting into the inner circle.’’

Here at Woodstock High, students, administrators, and faculty alike take pride in everything from hair color to the bright intensity of their neon Nike sneakers, though, in the vigorously bloody battle to become entwined in the tightest and most praised sorority circle, the ability to think for oneself is lost. We lost the battle of being different to succumb to the urge to mimic the style of surrounding peers, while leaving behind what was given at birth: the individual sense of style in which the greatest figments of the inner mind is unleashed through imagination. “If everyone has the same thing, you no longer are unique to yourself,” says freshman Georgia Kpakpavia. Sadly, deserting the instincts of ‘‘what sandals would go with this cream colored dress?’’ and instead turning to, “what sandals would so-and-so turn to?”bandons the inner sense of what is believed looks right with those sandals, and in turn looks for an answer from someone else, who may or may not value the outfit as much as the wearer.

The latest advancement in the style world is the dying of one’s hair – from a deep, crimson red to a crisp, golden or even an oceanic turquoise. While these fashion fads have been stated before, as when famous rhythm and blues singer Rihanna dyed her hair a deep red color, it was a statement of being different. While the student body has armed itself with the hair and unique quality destroying chemical weapons known as “hair dye,” the students are unaware of what this chemical really does. From the back panel of a hair dye box, a few of the listed ingredients include Ascorbic acid, Oleic acid, and Behentrimonium chloride.

While many are do not know what these chemical are, the side effects cause health problems. For example, Ascorbic acid causes the reduction of good bacteria in the small intestine; Oleic acid can cause lung disease in certain animal species. Behentrimonium chloride is an irritating, slightly flammable yellow wax. When one applies a perm to his or her hair, the burning, irritating feeling that is received is from the presence of Behentrimonium chloride. Many are unaware that when applying products such as dyes, perms, and the like, they are actually burning their scalp and hair, as well as killing it as the dye suffocates the hair. “Hair dye is not good for your hair. You decrease your health,” says Kpakpavia. In some cases, this can cause the wearer to use different resources to try and make themselves seem beautiful again.

While the struggle continues on to become the “it” girl or boy of the school, students are unknowingly willing to risk their health to make it to the top, to play with the “big dogs.” Students proceed in dying their hair into numerous colors, cutting their hair (which is more beneficial after dying a part of one’s hair, i.e. the tips as the dye is removed from the hair, thus allowing the breakage to stop), or even spending hundreds, possibly even thousands of dollars for the top outfit of the season. Many students may leave one day, having a dark blonde hair, though the next day they appear to have multicolored highlights. Little do they know that the farther up they accentuate the dyes, the farther the breakage will occur, as well as the more skin-contact area it has, thus allowing a higher percentage of infection or allergic reaction to occur.

As the issue of hair dye and popularity continue to rage on in this everlasting war of the survival of the hottest, from hair dye to style, it is unknown if this war will ever end for humanity. Is the art of dying one’s hair a way to stand out, or is it a way of massively cloning human society, so all end up becoming one in the same?

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