Hair dye is the icing on the cake for most. It gives you the freedom to evolve your look to anything from blonde to brunette and natural to peacock.

For some it can get addictive, seeing as they can change their look whenever they feel. Others have hair that grows rapidly, which means they have to redo the coloring over the growth, while others redo the coloring because they didn’t get the look they were after. However, is it safe to dye hair regularly, and if not, how much time should be set in between coloring?

Hair dye is generally regarded as being safe. Stylists recommend it for anyone, but always warn of misuse especially when an inexperienced person is applying it. This is not to say that dyes don’t have potentially toxic chemicals. Some can contain formaldehyde, which has been phased out in most hair products, and coal tar. Formaldehyde and coal tar are both carcinogens, but the latter is only present in small doses which aren’t dangerous to humans.

Other ingredients that you may want to be aware of are ammonia and Para-phenylenediaine. These ingredients can cause a range of complications including swelling, dermatitis, blistering and itching. However, your risk is significantly high if you dye your hair regularly. And by regularly, we mean at least once every day for a few years.

So are you coloring your hair too much? Maybe. It depends on how long the periods between dying are. Stylists generally recommend waiting for at least four weeks until your next appointment. If you really want to play it safe, rather wait for another seven weeks.

Recoloring your hair over a short period can result in hair being damaged, especially if you dye on the same hair. As a result of too much dying, your hair can get too porous to keep proteins and lose them. This, in turns, may affect how your hair turns out the next time you want to color it.

If your hair grows superfast to the point where growth is visible to the naked eye, it’s advisable that you apply the coloring to the growth only. To avoid banding, which is what happens when you color over a previously colored part of your hair while coloring the roots, wait until your growth is large enough for you to handle it with more care.

What’s more, breaks between coloring should also depend on the quality of your hair. This includes whether its damaged, thin or chemically treated. In all these instances, you should seriously space out the coloring process.

For those who can’t imagine a day without a different color, you can also use semi-permanent dye. Unlike permanent dye, temporary hair coloring fades after you give your hair more than 24 washes. This is perfect for anyone who may be concerned about root regrowth or hair damage. Other factors to keep in mind include the quality of the dye. If you’re a fan, rather pay for the more premium stuff.

Sadly, you can’t put a price on your hair, and anything potentially damaging like hair coloring should receive a high level of professional care.