Makeover Part I : Bleached Bombshell

Did You Know? Victoria Secret Angel Miranda Kerr is against the use of harsh chemicals in her beauty and hair products and even has her own beauty line, KORA Organics.


WARNING: The below post is intended only to educate people about the risks associated with hair dyes, bleaching kits and hair colorants. I strongly caution that you do not attempt this at home and take no responsibility for injury or deaths caused by anyone dumb enough to do so.

Growing up I was always told I was pretty, I had the nicest clothes, lots of makeup and plenty of attention. Coming into my twenties I decided to do something different to turn myself into an independent and beautiful woman- just like the ones I’d seen on TV

The first thing that I decided needing fixing was my hair. Naturally I’m a dark-haired brunette with a lot of curls who has always had my hair cut to various lengths and styles. I’ve tried pretty much every style and color, except pastels and the Cassie half-shaved thing which I unfortunately couldn’t find a hairdresser willing to do it! Everyone I asked refused and I just couldn’t be bothered doing it myself.

Being a brunette my hair color is apparently unfit in its natural color and needs to be lighter – at least that’s what my faithful celebrity tabloid tells me. Being on a budget though I couldn’t afford to go to the salon and never had any luck doing it myself! I always ended up having it turn orange and requiring a lot of toner – more money!

Strapped for cash I decided to look into what was in blonde dye / color and lightening kits; various chemicals, cancer causing agents and the key ingredient – bleach. Perfect! I had some of that in the laundry cupboard. It seemed like a wonderful idea, as long as it didn’t run into my eyes.

Anyone smarter than me would’ve run a mile, or in fact not been as stupid in the first place but if we can tip other toxic chemicals on our heads, why not a little extra bleach? After all it’s not as bad as some of the stuff most of us already use.. in fact it just acts a little bit faster so we get more instant results! About 10 minutes into the process of trying to live up to societies standards a thought popped into my head, something I’d never even thought twice about in the past; All chemicals, dyes, colorants and of course bleach leak into our heads through the pores in our skin. Sounds simple right? But if you think about it, what’s under our hair? Our skull and brain.. Could ammonia be doing us damage? Later research would suggest that I was indeed right and that all chemicals we use leak through our pores, some in as little as 30 seconds. Fascinating!

Unscrewing the lid of the bleach I gave it a sniff and my eyes began to sting. Nothing new there though is there? Plus my memory of dye seemed to smell almost identical so I’m sure I’d be fine. Excited for my new blonde hairdo, on it went. The immediate reaction, it stung more than usual but I figured that as long as my hair didn’t fall out it’d be okay. Isn’t that what we all think when our blonde dyes start to tingle, even just a little bit!?

20 minutes later I washed it off, being careful not to get it in my eyes, excited to see the final results. The outcome, my hair was very blonde and I had a rather dry scalp, a typical result but by no means healthy.. mind you if we just chuck some conditioner in that ought to fix it right?? Ah, there we go – perfection.. minus the large clump of hair on the floor!


In all seriousness though, the risks of dying one’s hair blonde or otherwise are very real and as much as I would love to say “don’t dye / color you’re hair” I’ll stop just short of that and say that as women (although this also applies to men) we have been long fighting for the right to be the ones to make the final decisions regarding our bodies – and that includes our physical appearance and therefore hair.

Why doesn’t anyone take the right to make an informed decision about what their putting onto or in their bodies?

Why do harp on and on about internal beauty but rush to the salon the minute our favorite celebrity changes their hair color?

Why don’t we stop to actually check what’s in the stuff we’re using before we dollop on our heads and hope for the best results?

And moreover why do we trust companies – whose main intention is to make money, not care about your safety?


I haven’t had a reaction to hair dye so why worry?

There’s an old saying that says “a watched pot never boils.” That isn’t to say however that if we put a pot of water on the stove it wont boil, it just means that it’ll sometimes take a very long time to appear to do anything. We all know however that over time, usually the duration of a couple of minutes the results will appear in the form of boiling water. Its scientific. So are chemicals. By repeatedly dying or coloring out hair we are applying chemicals to our scalps in much the same way one would pour water into a pot or saucepan. Over time, although we cannot see it happening, the reaction begins to take place, the water or in this case chemicals begin to interact within whatever environment they are placed in – in this case it’s our heads. So what I’m basically saying is that although we may have never seemingly had a reaction to hair dyes, the chemical compounds and ingredients that make up the dyes are still doing damage. If we were to use another analogy it could be said, quite factually, that if we have a batch of sugary cookies and eat them we are still consuming the sugar which in turn will spike our energy levels and in part deplete our internal mineral sources resulting long-term in health issues such as diabetes, blood pressure problems and obesity. The same process of cause and effect applies in hair dyes / colorants and bleaches.


The chemicals and effects of hair dyes, colorants and bleaches.

A long list of potential health problems and diseases attributed to hair dyes include;

Asthma / Lung inflammation

Persistent cough, throat discomfort and wheezing

Severe Allergic reactions
Incl.blistering, burning and rashes or in worst cases, death

Breast cancer 

In fact hairdressers show higher incidences of developing breast cancer

Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
Cancer of the Lymph nodes, spleen, and bone marrow

Multiple Myeloma
A form on bone marrow cancer most prevalent in men

Compromised immune system

Resulting in a decreased risk of developing an illness

An already prevalent problem in women due to our menstruation cycles

For a more comprehensive idea of the risks associated with hair dyes and colourants check out the below links;

Exluxe Magazine  -10 of The Best Natural Hair Dyes
Natural News : The Dangers in Hair Coloring and Safer Alternatives
Health Scams Exposed: 5 Deadly Reasons to Stop Dying your Hair
Epoch Time : Avoid These 7 Toxic Chemicals Found in Most Hair Dyes
Bollywood Shaadis : 7 Side Effects of Hair Coloring That All Girls Must Know…

As always there will be numerous reported evidence that there is nothing wrong with hair dyes and colorants, it’s entirely up to you which story you want to believe. Bear in mind however that if you had a business would you really want large corporations which people unquestioningly rely on telling the truth about whats really going on? They’re the same people who said smoking cigarettes were good for you back in the ‘good old days’. Look how that ended up.


The Alternatives

As I said above I’m not about to tell you how to live your life or what to believe. You are a human being capable of making their own decisions regarding their own health, bodies and futures and regardless of what others may tell you everything you do in life is ultimately your own decision.

With all facts considered however here are some great alternatives if you’re ready to toss the toxicity in the trash but really just can’t stand the fact that your actually brunette instead of a blonde or believe your crazy personality really does require an equally crazy shade – I was once in your shoes, I get it!

Editors Pick


Original and Mineral are an Australian company providing a safer alternative for makeup and hair products popular with celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Miranda Kerr.

Other Alternatives

Home Made Formula’s tried and tested by
Wellness Mama

Store Brought Solutions,
List compiled by Eluxe Magazine

Alternatively.. you could always go au naturel and let your natural beauty shine!



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