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Hair Chalking Side Effects

Hair Chalking Side Effects

Hair chalking, the latest trend by DIY fashionistas, is seen as a 'safe' alternative to chemical hair dyes. But is it really safe? Read this HairGlamourista article to know about the possible side effects of hair chalking.
Neha Deshmukh

Did You Know?
Some chalks contain casein, a protein found in milk, which is strongly associated with milk allergies.

Hair chalking is an easy and quick way to dye hair. It is also cheap, so all you need is a chalk, and perhaps, a hair straightener. To color the hair, the chalk is simply rubbed on moistened hair. If you want the color to stay longer, you can seal it off with a hair straightener, otherwise it just needs to be sealed with a hair spray.

The color usually fades with one wash - perfect for teenagers who want to experiment and have a bit of fun. Chalks can be bought at any art store, for under $10, and most are designed for use by children, so safety is a guarantee. But, as per the FDA, chalks are not safe for use on the hair, as they are not tested for safety on the hair, and also because hair chalking involves prolonged contact with chalk. They have advised people to restrict their use only to products that have been certified by the FDA.

Side Effects Associated With Hair Chalking

There are certain reasons that chalk can affect your health when used for dying, such as being in contact with the dust for a longer period of time. The chalk is also near your nose, making it easy for it to enter your body. There are other possible side effects of hair chalking...

Respiratory Problems
Chalk dust, when inhaled, accumulates in the respiratory tract, including the nose, throat, and lungs. Though chalk is non-toxic, it can irritate the respiratory system, and aggravate existing conditions, resulting in difficulty in breathing, sneezing, and coughing.

Asthma and Allergy Trigger

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology has listed chalk dust as a trigger for asthma and various allergies, If you have asthma or any allergy, it is best to avoid chalking your hair. Certain chalks, especially the 'dustless' chalks, might contain casein, and can trigger an allergic reaction, especially in people with milk allergies.

Damaged Hair

Chalk is hygroscopic; that means it loves water. So much so, that it will absorb moisture and protective oils from your hair and dry it out. Rough and dull hair will be evident the first time you wash your hair after dying. Also, the act of rubbing the chalk on the hair can itself cause physical damage to the hair cuticle, damaging its structure.

Skin Irritation

Chalk dust can rub off from the hair to the skin – the cheeks and forehead are particularly vulnerable. This can result in irritation and redness in the area, along with slight eczema.

Points to Remember
➜ Avoid chalking altogether, if you have asthma or any allergy, especially milk allergy.
➜ The color can come off by combing the hair, so you won't be able to comb your hair for a few days after chalking.
➜ The chalk can also get on your skin, so you might end up looking technicolored yourself.
➜ Avoid wearing white- or light-colored shirts with chalked hair.
➜ Deep condition your hair the next time you wash it, after chalking.
➜ Don't do it too often; once a month, is what is recommended by most experts.

Hair chalking is a fun way to color the hair, with comparatively few side effects. But, do remember, this is a very new trend, and the method has not been tested for any long-term side effects. Hence, it is suggested to avoid chalking the hair till detailed studies are done, or at least limit it only for very special occasions.