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Should You Risk Getting 50 Shades of Hair?

Hair chalking is the new fuss-free, temporary DIY colouring craze. But what is it doing to your skin and scalp?

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Health News
3 min read
Should You Risk Getting 50 Shades of Hair?
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First there were feathers, then the “Hunger Games” braid took over and now there’s a fresh trend off the international glossies which will totally be hot for 5 months (or 5 minutes).

Think violet, pink, blue, silver – any rainbow hue and add it to your mane for a bit of fun and spice! The “Unicorn Hair” is fast catching up in India and if you want to jump on the colour bandwagon, then read my carefully tested guide, “Pastel Hair 101”.

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Chalk It Up

You want Rihanna’s glossy reds without the mess of a hair dye? Well if commitment is not your flavour, then “Hair Chalking” is the latest solution for the weekend look.

So what is hair chalking?

It’s a temporary way to colour your hair. Hair chalks come in almost all pop colours - from Sweet Sixteen Pink to Blue Ocean Cruise and Coral Sunset, which are applied to damp hair, and then the colour stays until you wash it off.

You can do it at home, no stylist involved, no complicated instructions, nothing expensive.

Chalking is fast catching up in India.

These hair colours are a fantasy but in the real (imperfect) world, they come with their share of side- effects (Photo: Instagram/<a href="https://instagram.com/vanitynoapologies/">vanitynoapologies</a>)
These hair colours are a fantasy but in the real (imperfect) world, they come with their share of side- effects (Photo: Instagram/vanitynoapologies)

These colours are readily available in India on Amazon, Body Shop and L’Oréal in the range of Rs 700 - 1000. Though chalking is considered safer than chemical colouring, there are various things you need to keep in mind:

Chalking Colours Are Not Approved by the US FDA

These pretty packages can be quite a toxic breeding ground. No one knows exactly how harmful they are, because they haven’t been tested! Infact the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that it cannot ensure the safety and quality of washable hair chalks sold through the internet because it is outside their ambit.

These are un-tested products and may contain toxic ingredients. Chalking colours can cause allergies and other adverse reaction on the scalp, head, eyes and skin.
– US FDA

Know Your Indian Hair:

Unless you have Marilyn Monroe’s bleached blonde locks, pinks, blues and greens will not come out picture perfect in the Indian hair which is black or deep brown.

Busted: Chalking is not for Indian hair unless you bleach (Photo: Instagram/ @<a href="http://instagram.com/luvelizabethany">luvelizabethany</a>)
Busted: Chalking is not for Indian hair unless you bleach (Photo: Instagram/ @luvelizabethany)

Instagram Is Part Fantasy:

To some extent, Instagram and Pinterest are the stuff of fiction: totally glamorous, but not real life. Everything from the angle to the filter to the shameless Photoshopping is staged.

Your new hairdo might be fabulous, but may not look exactly like your Instagram vision. So be inspired, but also be realistic about outcomes.

Hair Care Is Important:

You play with your hair colour often and don’t plan to go bald by 40? Follow this guide like religion (Photo: The Quint)
You play with your hair colour often and don’t plan to go bald by 40? Follow this guide like religion (Photo: The Quint)

Platinum is the New Blonde

I’m talking hair here, not jewellery.

Kim Kardashian shocked her fans with an overnight platinum hairdo, and then a ton of other Hollywood celebs jumped the blonde bandwagon. It is that shade of blonde which the gora kids have till the age of 3!

The Latest Is Pastel Hues In Hair Colour!

So first bleach your mane so pale that it looks like a horrid shade of diarrhea and then pay through your nose for a soft tinted shade of pastel colours. Currently a trend in the West, you can still see some fashionistas daring to get the unicorn hair.

Going lavender in Bangalore (Photo: Instagram/<a href="http://www.online-instagram.com/user/9aaaaa/207250833">@9aaaaa</a>)
Going lavender in Bangalore (Photo: Instagram/@9aaaaa)

Rainbow Hues Are a Big Commitment:

Money-wise, time-wise, and upkeep-wise, a peacock of colours is a serious investment. Indian hair is not meant for such light colours. So they have to be repeatedly bleached before they can take up the new colour.

Expect to be chained to the salon chair for at least five or six hours and spend upwards of Rs 10000/- before your hair can take a new colour. The maintenance will be very costly too. Some studies link chemicals in hair dyes to cancer.

Tip: You might want to leave the dramatic hair shades to nymphs and mermaids. Your head is not a canvas for any colour of the rainbow.

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