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Raqdoll
July 15th, 2011, 12:12 AM
So I'm struggling with having coppery orange hair that is from bleaching out black dye. I definitely DO NOT want to go dark again, so I was looking at trying gentian violet to hopefully tone down some of the brassiness in my hair.

Is there anyone here who has experience with gentian violet? I'd be really grateful if you could share some tips with me!

I ordered it today, so it should be here sometime next week. I know to use only a small amount - currently, I'm saving up some hairballs from my brush to test it out before putting it on my hair.

Stub
July 15th, 2011, 06:37 AM
I haven't tried it yet but I used Sun In in my hair a few days ago and it has some brass. Last night after I finally washed out the Sun In I decided to put just 4 drops of Gentian Violet in my almost full bottle of green VO5 conditioner. I'll try it tonight and let you know what happens. It did turn the whole bottle blue, and stained the side of the container where it was dripped in regardless of the amount of shaking.

If you have never used Gentian Violet before, it will stain every single thing it comes in contact with so be careful! I got mine for a skin condition and it stained my skin purple for about a week after I stopped use, and it also stained clothing it rubbed off on. However it did eventually wash out so even if it turns my hair purple I won't worry. I hope. lol

justgreen
July 15th, 2011, 07:36 AM
Husband uses it on his feet, it cures atheletes foot. It does STAIN everything it comes in contact with, floor, socks, bath tub, sheets. And it doesn't fade fast. So if you were to get it on your scalp or face, good luck.

Raqdoll
July 15th, 2011, 08:19 AM
I've heard about it's staining power :eek: maybe I ought to grab a bucket and do it outside LOL

Can't wait to hear your report back!

FluffSpider
July 15th, 2011, 08:32 AM
I've dyed my hair with gentian violet. If you use it undilluted, it will rub off and stain like crazy, but a few drops in a lot of water will stain very little. You can use rubbing alcohol to eliminate it(the stain). It WILL stain clothing, permanently. On hair, it fades in 2-3 washes maximum.(CWC. Not sure with CO or C-COW-C)

Anje
July 15th, 2011, 08:54 AM
I've heard of people using a few drops of laundry bluing to take the brass out of their hair. This might be similar, or that might be another option to try...

A third thing to try: mix a teeny bit of Manic Panic or similar dye in the right purple or blue to fight your brassiness, into your bottle of conditioner. Obviously, too much and you'll build up color (maybe you need 2 bottles of conditioner?) but a little would do the trick every time you showered.

Tabitha
July 15th, 2011, 03:43 PM
What an interesting thread!

I remember gentian violet from my childhood. My mum used it on my brother's foot for something or other and it stained the cork top of the laundry basket in the bathroom for EVER afterwards (they still have it somewhere, still stained).

I have a few brassy highlights and a flaky patch on my scalp, maybe a few drops in my final rinse water (distilled ... I'm going to get some distilled water, Justy) will do double duty.

Raqdoll
July 15th, 2011, 05:48 PM
Most of the recipes I've heard of have you using 1 drop in a sinkful of water (I think that's at a 2% concentration)

What a great idea about Manic Panic, Anje!

Tabitha
July 15th, 2011, 05:57 PM
Ah OK, one drop then! :lol:

macnik_the_6th
July 15th, 2011, 07:14 PM
I'm not sure how to phrase this, because although I am a newbie and I know very little about what is talked about in this forum, I have worked with Gentian Violet in the past. I know that there are a lot of nasty chemicals that find their way into commercial products, including sulfates, so I just wanted to let everyone know that Gentian Violet is one of them.

Forewarned is forearmed, and if you're the type of person wanting to eliminate these types of things from your routine, you might want to think twice about it. Although repeated use and ingestion seems to be more hazardous than occasional use on skin or hair.

It's mutagenic (mutates DNA), causes tumors in rodents, and "has been linked to increase in human bladder cancer" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_violet). It's a DNA stain, and pretty much everything that's a DNA stain binds to DNA, and that's not a good thing. Lots of early hair dyes has mutagenic chemicals in them, which is why they were linked to cancer. (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/IntheWorkplace/hair-dyes)

Now, I know it's the dose that makes the poison (I work in a toxicology lab), and it's been used in low doses safely in medicine for hundreds of years (like lots of other really nasty chemicals), but FDA won't approve it for use in animal feed because it might get into the human feed chain. It's been used in breastfeeding (!) but at higher doses causes mouth cancer (!). It does a pretty decent job of killing bacteria and yeast!

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw this topic because we used to handle gentian violet with gloves and labcoat, and sometimes face mask, but we were dealing with the powdered version and VERY high concentrations in alcohols. Plus, you know, repeated exposures. :)

Anje
July 15th, 2011, 07:28 PM
I'm not sure how to phrase this, because although I am a newbie and I know very little about what is talked about in this forum, I have worked with Gentian Violet in the past. I know that there are a lot of nasty chemicals that find their way into commercial products, including sulfates, so I just wanted to let everyone know that Gentian Violet is one of them.

Forewarned is forearmed, and if you're the type of person wanting to eliminate these types of things from your routine, you might want to think twice about it. Although repeated use and ingestion seems to be more hazardous than occasional use on skin or hair.

It's mutagenic (mutates DNA), causes tumors in rodents, and "has been linked to increase in human bladder cancer" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal_violet). It's a DNA stain, and pretty much everything that's a DNA stain binds to DNA, and that's not a good thing. Lots of early hair dyes has mutagenic chemicals in them, which is why they were linked to cancer. (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/OtherCarcinogens/IntheWorkplace/hair-dyes)

Now, I know it's the dose that makes the poison (I work in a toxicology lab), and it's been used in low doses safely in medicine for hundreds of years (like lots of other really nasty chemicals), but FDA won't approve it for use in animal feed because it might get into the human feed chain. It's been used in breastfeeding (!) but at higher doses causes mouth cancer (!). It does a pretty decent job of killing bacteria and yeast!

I nearly had a heart attack when I saw this topic because we used to handle gentian violet with gloves and labcoat, and sometimes face mask, but we were dealing with the powdered version and VERY high concentrations in alcohols. Plus, you know, repeated exposures. :)
Interesting, I've never been cautioned about it, and would run around with purple fingertips when we taught the undergrads to Gram stain. I haven't heard of it being used as a DNA stain either; at least it's not an intercalater like the ethidium bromide I usually use.

I'll have to read up on it a bit.

macnik_the_6th
July 15th, 2011, 07:49 PM
Interesting, I've never been cautioned about it, and would run around with purple fingertips when we taught the undergrads to Gram stain.

Well, I guess as long as you didn't eat it! ;)

I always have to remind myself that we also handled cigarette smoke condensate with gloves and labcoats (it's very mutagenic), and lots of people inhale that every day. Some never even get cancer, either!

You can never eliminate every toxic substance in your life - heck, you can even die from water poisoning! Some people are more active in trying to eliminate them, though. And the scientists in the field are beginning to understand that even really mutagenic chemicals might have safe levels (probably due to endogenous DNA repair mechanisms that, if you don't overwhelm them, can fix what damage is caused by the chemicals).


I haven't heard of it being used as a DNA stain either; at least it's not an intercalater like the ethidium bromide I usually use.

I'll have to read up on it a bit.

We work with lots of DNA stains of unknown toxicity profiles. I always tell my coworkers to handle them with at least gloves on, especially for repeated exposures. I tell them, "It binds to DNA. What do you think it's doing in there?" :)

Stub
July 15th, 2011, 08:49 PM
Most of the recipes I've heard of have you using 1 drop in a sinkful of water (I think that's at a 2% concentration)


Mine is only 1% concentration, but now I'm wondering if 4 drops in the bottle of conditioner was too much! It did eventually wash out of the clothes that were stained so I'm pretty sure it will wash out of my hair. Experiments are fun....?! About to go shower, will report back.

Anje
July 15th, 2011, 09:08 PM
For those who are interested/concerned/want to read the research before trying anything, here's the abstract to the major paper describing the carcinogenicity of crystal violet (http://toxsci.oxfordjournals.org/content/5/5/902.abstract). (I don't have access to the full electronic text of this one yet...) Here (a fortunecity site of all places!) is an overview of the findings, by someone who apparently did have full-text access. (http://members.fortunecity.com/maxymny/NeoWebPers/NeoFilesE/Bf/a8.htm) It seems to be geared toward nursing mothers dealing with thrush, and the writer doing the mg/kg/week calculations apparently didn't realize that male mice generally weigh a bit more than females.

Raqdoll
July 16th, 2011, 05:23 AM
Wow! Very interesting stuff - this is why I ask before I DO :-D

Stub
July 16th, 2011, 06:29 AM
So to report, my hair did not turn purple, and it seems to have had a good effect on the brassiness. It was not totally removed but I only applied the Gentian Violet conditioner once, with a white vinegar rinse after. (And a clarifying shampoo prior because all the Sun In is not yet out of my hair, I could still smell it when it got wet) The brassiness is MUCH toned down and I am liking my color more and more everyday!

I've never colored or bleached my hair before so I'm not sure what the protocols are for toning (like do you have to do it at every shampoo?) but I'm going to give the Gentian Violet a win.

Pixna
July 16th, 2011, 06:32 AM
OMG! This is frightening! I was prescribed GV when I was a child to put on tongue ulcers I had, so I guess you could say I DID eat it!!! So, uh, other than causing oral cancer (can we all say YIKES!), what other long-term side effects does it have? I'm wondering if any health issues I have might be associated with that early use of it.

macnik_the_6th
July 16th, 2011, 09:44 AM
Sorry, didn't mean to scare you! I've learned that sulfates can form toxic chemicals, and that's one reason to avoid them. GV is much the same. I just wanted to let those that want to remove their exposures to hazardous chemicals know about it.

At LOW doses (most likely what you were treated with) with few exposures, it may not have any effect. Repeated exposures and high concentrations are more damaging. In the lab I work in, we have the opportunity to be exposed to high concentrations of cancer-causing and other toxic chemicals, although we use safeguards to prevent/minimize exposure. We work with them on a daily basis, so we have to be extra cautious, which is why I'm so sensitive about my exposure to any toxic chemical.

If you've ever been around second-hand cigarette smoke, or diesel exhaust, or a host of other everyday exposures (even alcohol is considered a carcinogen with repeated exposure!), you've probably been exposed to more mutagens than what was in the GV you were given as a child. If you are really worried, you could talk your doctor about it.

Pixna
July 16th, 2011, 10:20 AM
Thanks, Macnik. If I recall, I used it fairly often, on and off, for a few years. Frankly, I don't trust the conventional medical community (heck, they're the ones who prescribed the darned stuff in the first place!). But thank you for quelling some of my concerns.

Raqdoll
July 17th, 2011, 02:40 AM
So to report, my hair did not turn purple, and it seems to have had a good effect on the brassiness. It was not totally removed but I only applied the Gentian Violet conditioner once, with a white vinegar rinse after. (And a clarifying shampoo prior because all the Sun In is not yet out of my hair, I could still smell it when it got wet) The brassiness is MUCH toned down and I am liking my color more and more everyday!

I've never colored or bleached my hair before so I'm not sure what the protocols are for toning (like do you have to do it at every shampoo?) but I'm going to give the Gentian Violet a win.


Cool! Thanks for the report back Stubs. How much GV did you use in your conditioner? Do you know about how much conditioner was in the bottle?

PianoPlaye
July 17th, 2011, 07:16 AM
Gentian Violet on the hair?! Um, m'father recalls the army medic issuing the stuff for foot infections fifty years ago & there are also rumours that it was painted on other infected areas (use your imagination, folks).
It was always regarded as Handle with Care as it turned Everything It Touched purple - hands, bottle, bedding, EVERYTHING.
Now I see it only recommended for animal usage, absolutely no suggestion of applying same to humans.


Really glad (a) you reported back Stubs & (b) that you appear to have survived & triumphed! Forgive me if I wimp out on this one though.

missoj
July 17th, 2011, 07:40 AM
Apparently my great grandma used to dye her hair purple with this stuff. :)

Stub
July 17th, 2011, 08:05 AM
Cool! Thanks for the report back Stubs. How much GV did you use in your conditioner? Do you know about how much conditioner was in the bottle?

It was a 15-oz bottle with, I'd guess, at least 13 oz remaining and I put 4 drops of GV in. (The applicator wand did not drip so I used a tiny paint brush to get the drops transferred.) The conditioner after sitting overnight did remove the purple stain from the side of the bottle, which was cool. I used it a second time last night, this time I left the mix sit on my head while I shaved my legs and it did a MUCH better job of removing the brassiness. My hair looks great this morning!


Gentian Violet on the hair?! Um, m'father recalls the army medic issuing the stuff for foot infections fifty years ago & there are also rumours that it was painted on other infected areas (use your imagination, folks).
It was always regarded as Handle with Care as it turned Everything It Touched purple - hands, bottle, bedding, EVERYTHING.
Now I see it only recommended for animal usage, absolutely no suggestion of applying same to humans.

Gentian Violet is commonly used for thrush in babies (a fungal infection of the mouth) It is painted on the mother's breast so yes, everyone is purple. I bought it for a skin infection, and when I asked for it at the pharmacy the pharmacist assumed that I wanted it for thrush. It is an old-fashioned remedy but people do still use it today. I wouldn't drink bottles of the stuff but 4 drops in a bottle of conditioner and applied to my hair is not going to kill me or give me cancer.