Why cant we dye our hair certain colors, and what color are we allowed? I have naturally black hair.

Zoe from South Jordan, Utah,

2 Responses to “Why cant we dye our hair certain colors, and what color are …”

Pamela Bonta
September 27, 2010

Dear Zoe,

No one has come out and officially said that we can’t dye our hair. May people do, both men and women. As with many things, we are expected to search out information, make a decision about what is best for us personally, and then pray for confirmation.

I used to dye my hair – nothing too out of the ordinary, but certainly highlights. I decided to stop doing it, though, for several reasons.

  1. One of the reasons I was doing it was because “everyone else is”. We are cautioned to not be consumed with following fads.
  2. Our bodies are temples. God gave me the hair colour I have, so I no longer feel the ‘need’ to change it.
  3. We have been cautioned to be frugal, especially during times of financial duress. With this in mind, I can’t personally justify my spending money to dye my hair that could be used to reduce my debts now and/or save for the future. My daughter dyes her hair, but she uses home dye kits rather than go to a salon. She also uses her own money to do so, as hair dye is not an essential item or need that I have to meet.
  4. The spirit of the word of wisdom is to encourage us to do all we can to enhance our health and prolong our life. With all the health dangers and health risks associated with hair dye – not just for the user but for children in the household, too – I can’t justify it personally. In fact, the European Union has banned 22 common hair dye ingredients because of the associated health risks, including various cancers, Hodkin’s disease, reproductive issues, etc.
  5. We are encouraged not to be vain about our looks and not to be idle. For me personally, the time spent dying my hair and the subsequent upkeep is better spent doing other things.
  6. We are encouraged to be conservative in dress and appearance. With this in mind, if one were to dye one’s hair, it would seem to me that ‘natural’ hair colours would be more acceptable than ‘unnatural’ colours.

All of this is, of course, just my own personal opinion. Everyone is free to choose what is best for them.

Ultimately, I would think that if one felt the need to dye one’s hair, that one would research it thoroughly. For example, there are alternatives to synthetic and chemical dyes: “There is a safer alternative that so far produces no health concerns. One can use vegetable-based rinses which act by coating the hair shaft with botanical extracts such as blackberry, boysenberry, licorice root, chaparral, nettle, red sorrel, black walnut and other color pigments. These substances do not penetrate the hair shaft, plus they give the hair more shine and make it feel thicker and fuller. The coating action may also aid in protecting the hair from environmental elements such as sun, salt, chlorine and assorted pollutants. Safety tests have found that these rinses contain the least amount of synthetic chemicals of any hair dyes.”

Lucas Cruz
September 27, 2010

Hi Zoe. Thanks for your recent question. I searched lds.org for “dye hair” and found no relevant articles written in the last ten years. I don’t think the Church has any official policy regarding your question.

Perhaps one could argue that dying hair an extreme color like neon green would be a poor choice, since our bodies are like temples and should be treated with respect. However, dying hair a different natural color does not seem unreasonable, and least from a theological viewpoint. Hope this answer helps!

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