Linda Page, author of the book Detoxification, explains why there is a need to help your body detoxify itself: "The environmental toxins of modern-day life that we're exposed to—the pollutants, chemicals, other synthetic substances—are more than the average body can handle. The body doesn't know what to do with foreign substances, so it will store them outside of the regular elimination system, so we don't get poisoned. Those poisons start building up in our body fat."

Her weekend detox program involves drinking fruit juice—a whole lot of juice and little else—which, according to her, pushes these toxins out of your system.

She also recommends taking herbal laxatives, colonics, probiotics that replenish healthy bacteria and antioxidants during a weekend-long detox. Relaxation techniques such as massage therapy, sauna, aromatherapy, deep breathing and walking help to boost your body's ability to detox, she says.

Allergic to hair color?

A group of European dermatologists recently reported that incidences of allergic reactions to hair dye are on the rise. One doctor reported that the number of allergic reactions diagnosed in his clinic had doubled in the last six years. They attribute the increase to the fact that more and more teens are coloring their hair these days.

Allergic reactions are usually caused by PPD (para-phenylenediamine), a common chemical ingredient in permanent hair dyes. According to a WebMD Medical News article by Salynn Boyles, "PPD is found in more than two-thirds of commercial dyes...including many of the top-selling brands" ("Hair Dye Allergies on the Rise," www.webmd.com).

Patients with PPD reactions usually develop painful rashes around the hairline or on the face, which often require treatment and can occasionally lead to hospitalization. In some of the European cases, teens experienced allergic reactions so severe they had to be hospitalized, one in intensive care. Facial swelling is another common reaction.

According to the Cosmetics, Toiletry and Fragrance Association (CTFA), following the warnings and instructions for skin testing on the hair color packages is the key to avoiding a serious reaction. In a statement rebutting the European dermatologists' report, the CTFA noted: "If a consumer is positively identified as allergic to a hair dye ingredient, they can (and they should) avoid use of all permanent hair dyes and consult a physician before any further use."

 

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