Men do color their hair.
Mostly, men cover their gray strands, and others do it for other aesthetic reasons, but men use dye, and often ask me what is the best dye.
In the past, I have attempted to recommend dyes that have less toxic ingredients, and highly recommend henna dyes, but one of the dyes I have committed myself to not using anymore, or suggesting is Bigen Hair Color. Of course there are other dyes that I prefer not to use that are your typical store bought selections, but let me tell you about the case of Bigen Oriental Black #59.
In the early 2000’s, while working in Atlanta, the Beijing hair dye phenomenon erupted onto the scene of African-American men’s hair coloring. Not only was the dye readily available at just about any hair supplies store, but it was cheap and easy to apply.
The dye was used to do a host of things that went beyond covering up grey areas.
Barbers were creating the appearance of a fuller head of hair on thinning clients. Also, we were sharpening hair and facial edges. As well, people were creating full beards and painting on hair.
The term that we used in this process is called “blackout”.
Bigen was supposed to augment hair and not create hair. Nevertheless, men who had been bald for years or were balding were excited to get a semblance of their hair back.
However, as quickly as the trend caught on, the excitement of Bigen began to die/dye. Clients were coming back with rashes on their skin. Other barbers were reporting that people were breaking out, and losing hair, and developing eczema and allergic reactions they had never experienced in their lives.
I put dark brown Bigen in my wife’s locks about two years ago and several days later she developed this knot the size of a cherry right in the middle of her fore-heard. It lasted for about six weeks. She was not happy to have to wear a lot of head bands in the summer.
I have also learned that an Atlanta-based personal injury law firm, Marks Law Group, LLC, has filed a class-action lawsuit against Bigen for the physical ailments it has caused. The case is being represented by Atty. Aaron Marks, and he is looking for people who have been gravely affected by the product.
Of course Bigen, a Japanese-based company, claims to be a “natural” dye, but I’ve learned that most things that make those claims are natural lies.
Bigen claims to have no ammonia; however, they list ammonium hydroxide, an ammonia-based ingredient that serves to adjust the pH level of the product.
Here are a list of some of the other ingredients:
- Sodium Perborate: an oxidizing agent used in the detergent industry to bleach their product.
- P-Aminophenol: a chemical used in developing Black and White photos and film.
- Para-phenylenediamine (PPD): a toxic agent that has been banned in Germany, France and Sweden since the mid-1900s.
As well, the application of Bigen just got out of hand. The application got tacky. Men and women with short cuts were looking as if their Bigen painted domes were lacquered in a black chalky paint.
I have heard and seen so many breakouts from this dye that I have consciously moved away from using it.
I have restocked my shop with henna and natural dyes that are healthier for the client and the barbers/stylists.