Does Hair Dye Cause Hair Loss? (What You Need To Know)

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In this article, we explore whether or not hair dye can cause hair loss and what the potential damage may entail. We also uncover a few key ingredients to watch out for and offer a few natural alternatives to chemical hair dyes.

woman getting her hair dyed

Written By Chia Kougianos

So, does hair dye cause hair loss?

Although hair dye doesn’t prevent hair growth, it can result in damaging the existing-colored hair and may cause the bonds that link the keratin in your strands to break. This could cause damage to your hair and could lead to shedding and loss.

Why Can Hair Dye Be Harmful

Hair dye can be harmful as it exposes your hair to a variety of chemicals and could result in making your hair dry and frizzy.

Another potential side-effect is hair loss and hair breakage. This is due to the formula of the dye and the effects on your strands.

Permanent hair dyes are often packed with peroxide and ammonia. Peroxide has been known to strip the natural hair color and it also exposes your strands to chemicals.

This may cause your hair to become dull and even become thin and start shedding.

The good news is that the hair dye has no effect on new hair growth and will not affect the hair developing beneath your scalp.

Ingredients To Watch Out For

Does your hair dye cause hair loss? A great way to determine the possible effects is to take a closer look at the ingredients in the formula to know how they may affect your hair:


This chemical can be found in hair dye formulations as well as in some medications used to treat acne.

It’s commonly used in hair dye as it works with the peroxide to absorb the dye into your hair.

It is safe to use as only a small amount is included in the formula. However, high doses of this chemical are known to be toxic.


This ingredient is colorless and has a potent odor.

Ammonia is often used to open up your hair cuticle so that the hair dye can be effectively absorbed so your hair will retain the new color.

Paraphenylenediamine known as PPD

This substance is commonly used in permanent dyes and is more often found in darker hair dyes as it helps to provide long-lasting results.

It has been known to cause allergic reactions which can result in your scalp swelling or even blistering.

It is a common culprit in causing allergic reactions as it is easily absorbed by your skin and could lead to adverse side effects.

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is known to be a strong oxidizing chemical that could also be used for disinfection.

It is often used to bleach hair and strip your base color preparing the strands for a new shade. It could result in your hair feeling dry and even damaged.

Will Hair Dye Cause My Hair to Fall Out?

Does Hair Dye Cause Hair Loss

So, does hair dye cause hair loss, and will your hair suffer as a result?

Your hair may be susceptible to becoming weaker as the dye is loaded with chemicals that can prove damaging to your hair and scalp.

It is possible that the hair dye weakens your hair shafts which ultimately causes your hair to break leading to thinner hair.

The good news is that these results are temporary and can be reversed by nurturing and moisturizing your colored hair.

New hair growth will also be left unaffected as the dye does not penetrate new hair follicles forming and growing.

A good way to keep your hair healthy is to first do a keratin treatment and then follow up with a suitable hair dye afterward. This could help minimize any excess damage to your hair.

What If I Have an Allergic Reaction – Will My Hair Fall Out?

Many hair dyes contain ingredients that can irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction but there is no reason to worry too much about hair dye causing hair loss.

It is possible that you may experience a reaction after the application of hair dye. A notable sign that you are experiencing a side-effect from the hair dye is excessive itching. This side-effect may also include the appearance of red blotches or a rash.

People who suffer from conditions such as psoriasis and eczema should not opt for hair dyes. Contact with hair dye may lead to itching, redness, swelling, and even further skin irritations.

The most common cause of an allergic reaction is due to the ingredient paraphenylenediamine, referred to as PPD.

Common symptoms may include your scalp, neck, forehead, ears or even eyelids becoming irritated and inflamed after the application of the hair dye.

Safety Precautions When Dying Your Hair

It’s important to always following the package directions carefully and immediately stop any product use if you start to experience any side effects or symptoms.

We recommend applying a small patch test to your skin to help minimize the risks of having an adverse reaction to the dye application.

This is a quick and simple process that just involves dabbing a small amount of the dye behind your ear or on your forearm and monitoring your body’s reaction to it.

If you feel that your skin has become irritated or burns, do not use the product any further.

Other safety precautions include:

  • Only leave hair dye on for the recommended time. This will be displayed on the hair dye packaging
  • Always wear gloves during the application process to protect your hands from being in contact with the color as well as protecting your skin from being in contact with the chemicals
  • Never color your hair if your scalp feels itchy or is sunburned
  • Never apply hair dye to your eyelashes or eyebrows. This can be very harmful to your eyes and could affect your eyesight

Natural Alternatives to Chemical Hair Dyes

Many commercial hair dyes on the market contain chemical ingredients that can cause long-term damage to your hair. While it’s possible to combat this damage by for instance mixing conditioner with the hair dye, it’s recommended to take precautions if you’re experiencing issues.

Whilst it is possible that your hair dye does cause your hair to weaken which could result in eventual hair loss, it is more likely that your hair becomes dry and weak rather than fall out.

Thankfully, there are a few other natural alternatives to tint your hair that don’t include the same variety of chemicals.

We uncover a few chemical-free alternatives to naturally color your hair:


Henna is a popular organic choice and has been used for centuries by women as an alternative to commercial hair dye. It lasts approximately up to 3 months. An additional advantage of using henna on your hair is that it works to both color and condition the strands. This henna-based powder from Amazon is also free of ammonia and peroxide.

Black Tea

Another choice for a natural alternative to commercial hair dye is applying black tea to black or dark hair.

It is known to darken hair without damaging it and has the ability to restore your hair to its original color after having added highlights.

The process involves brewing black tea and waiting for the mixture to cool down before applying it on to your hair.

Other Causes of Hair Loss

Does hair dye cause hair loss or are there other factors at play? It’s important to determine the cause of your hair loss in order to combat the cause long-term:

  • Certain beauty treatments could cause inflammation of the hair follicles leading to hair loss
  • Stress – this factor may lead to thinning hair
  • Medical treatments – chemotherapy or radiation therapy are known culprits
  • Lacking iron and folic acid in your diet may lead to thinning hair
  • Natural aging – people may experience hair loss as a result of getting older
  • Hormonal changes in your body may affect your hair health
  • Scalp infections
  • Skin conditions such as psoriasis or even folliculitis
  • Rapid or significant weight loss may lead to hair loss
  • Pattern baldness due to genetic factors can play a role
  • Mold may also cause hair loss, so check your house and make sure you ventilate properly.

Also check out these articles on hair loss:

Does HGH cause hair loss?

Does A Vegan Diet Cause Hair Loss?

Does Microblading Cause Hair Loss?

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