Hair Dye Leaves an Ugly Mess

by: Heather on 08/25/2009
Posted in: Sustainable Living

Franke James' latest visual essay, The Beehive and the Hairball delivers a wake up call about some of the more toxic practices of the cosmetics industry - some of the same issues that Stacy Malkan explores in depth in Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry.

According to Stacy, 40% of all North American women colour their hair. Appalled at that figure, I did some quick Google searches and was floored to find several results that indicated that number could be even higher. This is an enormous group of women that are willingly exposing their bodies to chemicals that we know are toxic - at a minimum all hair dyes must carry a warning label against skin irritation, allergic reactions and possible blindness. Ouch! I'll stick with my dullsville hair colour, thanks!

The whole hair dye thing began to bother Franke's Green Conscience, especially when she started to think about the environmental impacts. Since many hair dye chemicals are linked to cancer and birth defects, what happens when they get washed down the drain and end up in our water supply?

Stacy Malkan and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics have started a Facebook page called Bye Bye Hair Dye - worth a look if you're grappling with this issue yourself.

To read about more of the ways Franke has acted on her green conscience, check out Bothered by My Green Conscience: How an SUV-driving, imported-strawberry-eating urban dweller can go green, and for the complete and compelling case for giving cosmetics companies an extreme makeover, read Stacy's Not Just a Pretty Face.

Bothered by My Green Conscience      

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