DIY Beauty Natural Health


Chemicals in hair colour are not banned everywhere

Hair colouring

When I first started looking into Hair colouring, I came across  a very well written article about the chemicals used in hair dye, and the  effects these can have on the body.

It can be found on this link by THE EPOCH TIMES

It also contains a list of banned chemicals in the E.U.

But these chemicals are not banned everywhere.

Even though Europe has banned a list of chemicals, which is great, there are still other chemicals which are allowed to be used in  hair colour.

I was reading an article that popped up on my google feed about the increased risk that hair colour and straighteners can have on your health , including the possible increased risk of breast cancer. It was written by SCITECHDAILY.COM 

There doesn’t seem to be enough controls over what companies can use.

I find that very worrying.

Even though things can appear natural (Green Washing), you still have to read the labels to see what has been added.

Only today I read a really good article by MIND BODY GREEN.COM which gives a really common sense attitude on what is in the hair dyes that many people use ( I wont just say women, as men are also using more and more dyes.)

It also goes into other ways we can colour our hair more safely.

It is written by William Cole, D.C.,IFMCP a functional Medicine Practitioner. 

They have a linking article by Lindsay Kellner 

Lindsay goes into a deeper article on hair colour after speaking with an L.A. based colourist to PINK ,Scarlett  Johansson and other celebs. Giving other ways to colour your hair naturally. 

It is projected of an easy way to change your appearance, keeping youthful. But it really hides the chemicals that are in these products.

The advertisements on TV are really appealing, they make it all seem so easy and safe. 


laboratory test tubes
Photo by Chokniti Khongchum on

I have only this week, been trying to get rid of the colour that I have been using.

Gosh it is so hard to try and stay away from the chemicals in Hair Colour.

I began by growing out the chemical version, as I have read about leaving it some weeks before using a Henna Base.

This quite frankly was driving me nuts!

As I have mentioned , I hate to see the roots anyway.

I resorted to tying up my hair so I couldn’t see them as much.

Then the search was on to find a colour that I was happy with. NOT EASY. 

I began to read, that with the Henna base colours, if you have a different colour, as in the grey as your roots, then it could be two different colours coming through ( would this also look like roots! ) 

Then to realise some people actually sleep in the Henna ( with a towel on the bed) as the colour may need to develop longer. Not sure I could do that. 

Or at least some companies suggesting that you leave this on for about 3 hours.

The advice is normally on the box. 

You have to be committed to this time scale.

You can in a way, understand that people want a quick fix. 

I went searching for one without the additives, it also depends where you live to be able to get the products. some were frankly too expensive with the postage too. 

As we are in France, the shipping cost for some of them was too much.

By this time I am about ready to stick anything on my hair!

We have visitors staying soon.

The thought of wandering around the house with green gunge, on my hair for several hours with people here, was not a great thought!

I have seen on some sites, if you want to gain more colour on the roots, then maybe a build up of the colour just added to the roots will help. 

I have resigned myself for a couple of months to just go with the lower PPDS and then when I have a pile of time to try the Henna way.

I will update you as I go forward.

Also having seen the above article by Mind Body Green, I see that even with Henna you need to be careful how the Henna was produced, avoiding any heavy metals.

Gosh nothing is easy!


PPD, Ammonia , Parabens, Propylene  Glycol ,Resorcinol, Peroxide, Metals, Toluene, Diaminobenzene .Lead Acetate , 4-APB, Persulfates  and other chemicals.



I still don’t feel ready yet to embrace the grey, but I do know friends that look amazing with grey hair.

I have been on the hunt for years, trying to find a colour that wasn’t full of scary chemicals, and not harsh on your hair.

I resorted to either buying one in the health food shops, or now in our local chemists who offer a safer option.

I thought that the one I had found was a safer brand, due to it not having the ammonia and the Parabens inside, but I found it does still contains some PPD even if the level is lower than other brands.

From what I have read, it seems that PPD is  put into Permanent hair colour to penetrate the hair, and make it a permanent dye. 

That still doesn’t make me feel comfortable to keep using it!

Since starting this blog, I have found some alternatives , which I haven’t had the opportunity to try as yet.

Also in this search an article in NATURALER which also give some home made recipes for a gradual dyeing process , such as coffee,  tea and seeped walnut shells to darken hair, and lemon juice to lighten hair.

That sounds really interesting, I suppose women for many years have been using homemade recipes.

I found a warning on using the BLACK WALNUT HULL POWDER on WEB MD that is worth a look if you are intending to use this powder to dye your hair.

I have seen a few recipes for using walnuts in this way. Also I have seen this ingredient in some Henna mixes for brown hair. Do they make this clear? what if you are allergic to nuts like my daughter? 

Like anything else you need to research, if you are planning to use something different. 

You can find some interesting recipes for this on the website  ANNEMARIE

Another article I found while on the hunt, was a product called HAIRPRINT

This seems to have a totally different approach, to getting rid of your greys.

It is not a dye but a hair colour restorer.

They seem to have produced, a totally different approach to changing your hair colour( non- toxic ).

It sounds a bit messy at first, until you get the hang of it.

I think it is worth seeing the reviews on this product.

It was the first time I have ever heard of this method, a totally different approach.

As yet it is not something I have tried.

The cost seems a bit more than your average dye.

But still cheaper than going to a salon. Maybe a good idea if you have a friendly hair stylist who could work with you on this.

SRY LIVING .COM have a very good article on Henna or Chemical Dye, what is better for Gray Hair. 

The article is a little old, but if you are trying to decide what is better for you, it is an interesting read. 

SKINS MATTER has some really informative articles on using Hair colours with PPD and alternatives with links to other products. 


adolescent casual cute elegant
Photo by Spencer Selover on

I hate this part of dyeing your hair, it seems to come around so quickly!

Whenever I read about when to apply the the colour again, it is between 4-6 weeks.

Is it just me? or does anyone else have their roots showing after 2 weeks plus? 

Then all I can see, when I look in the mirror is the roots! 

While I was looking at a different topic, I came across a product called COLOURWOW it is a Mineral cover up for your roots without Parabens and PPDs. 

I believe it does contain some Mica too. More information on the link.

Depending on the amount of grey you have, will determine the the length of time it will last you. Between 6 months and a year. It seems to have won a number of awards such as in Glamour, the list is on the link above.


Also looking at alternatives to a Henna base,as not everyone wants to use Henna.

I have found a few companies, where the chemicals have been reduced to lower amounts.

I guess everyone has to make a choice on what suits their lifestyle.

Naturigin hair colour whose main office is in Denmark, are offering a range of colours ( 19 different colours) 

Their promotion says they offer the lowest PPD level, in a permanent hair colour in the world.

In fact they say it is between three and six times lower than their nearest competition.

It is also without Ammonia, Parabens, Resorcinol.  You still need to do a patch test as with all colours.

They also contain organic ingredients but they are on the pricey side.
Their range of products can be found HERE

I have found a company based in the UK who have a load of products, including Hair colour that have no PPDs or anything else in them, often they contain some Henna. the online shop is   SUVARNA .

This on line shop also carry’s many other brands of non toxic products. 


In the the back of my mind was Henna as a natural product.

I am a brunette, so I had never thought of using Henna at all. In my mind it was always linked with the colour red. Since digging deeper, I have found some information on changing your colour to black , red high lights or even brown with some mixing of other ingredients.

I have read, that you should leave some weeks after using a conventional hair dye, before you use a Henna mix. Again the advice seems to change, depending on what product you are going to use.

(If you have tried HENNA and it wasn’t for you, how can you remove it naturally?)

(This really detailed article by MIM has a great blog , helping also if you want to use some other type of product. )

I haven’t tried this so far , again not sure if that would change too, if you are using a semi- permanent hair colour.

I think it is best to get some professional advise before you try.

There are many Henna products on the market.

Some are pure Henna, others have blended other natural ingredients to produce other colours.

LOGONA This is a Henna base , to use their Chocolate Brown colour for instance, they suggest using brewed coffee or tea instead of the boiling water to create a deeper colour.      

(Info from the link )-

“Organic henna from the Egyptian fair trade project Sekem Farm
100% herbal colouring
Free from synthetic colours, fragrances and preservatives
Free from peroxides, ammoniac and any other chemical substances”

They are also against animal testing. You can find the full range of hair colours HERE

There is also  a non- toxic hair colour, that is also certified organic called PURE ORGANICS

It has Henna listed in the ingredients. The video below explains the best way to mix it to use. 

It’s Pure Organics Herbal Hair

This is a video I have found is PRAISE ONATURALS it is a  really clear easy to follow video for black hair.

It is great to have a practical guide.

I have never mixed up Henna before, I never realised what a thick mixture it makes.

After seeing different information on using Henna, I found this report on Black Henna by NHS/UK

It seems as though Black Henna has PPD in it. 

This can can be used for temporary tattoos, and this can give enormous problems,with people having reactions while getting a Henna tattoo on holiday.


For anyone like myself, that would rather stay brunette.

There is a video by MIM  to show how to blend the different ingredients needed .

I would like to avoid orange roots!


I have seen on numerous sites, that if you have grey or white roots , these will come out a different colour to your main hair colour.

This is because it wraps its self around the hair, and doesn’t penetrate it.

So it will depend on the base colour, to what colour you will end up with.

Also the strength of the hair comes into play again, on how well it takes.

Gosh its like going in for some exam, the stuff you have to read, just to get a hair colour!

I never realised going natural with this would be so complicated! And frustrating.


Well , I eventually stopped again with the chemical hair colours. I bought a Henna product from our local Organic Bio shop called Henne . I had seen some good results from peoples reviews and it was really inexpensive, so what was there to loose ?

I have to admit to being scared stiff of going like an orange glow stick! 

I had seen some people saying that it hadn’t taken to their hair, it seems to be effective on certain hair types and how your hair takes to the henna. 

The time they give ,for leaving it on your hair, seems to really vary, so I went for it and left it on about two and a half hours. It smelt sort of earthy which wasn’t so bad. It still smells better than the chemical stuff.

I stuck a plastic hair covering over it and a towel and sat around. I was really nervous once I had rinsed off the Henna mix. They suggested that you wash your hair before hand then just rinse off the product , not shampoo it.

I was really disappointed with the out come after all that nervousness, it hadn’t touched the grey hair! Undefeated I went and bought another brand. 


This one was much more expensive than the first one. When I opened the box it was still a packet of the Henna mix. I really struggled to know which colour to choose.

I just wanted a brown mix, not too dark.

They do say that it wont lighten your hair but will darken any other hair that you have already coloured before. So I was just attacking the roots.

I think I had bought the wrong colour again , though they do suggest that you use it three times in a row to gain the colour that you want to achieve. This brand worked much better for my hair, but there was a little “orangy “high light when my hair was in the sunlight. I hate the colour orange! For me it should just be on the fruit!  So I have tried the original one to tone it down. I think the next try is the Chocolate colour as they say it is better for greys. 

I do think you feel better knowing what you are using wont harm you. Of course you still need to do a test on your own skin for any allergies . But you can use the Henna the next day if you want, which is great.

Yes the condition of your hair is a great after effect too.  I will keep on till I get it right, I cant go back now to the chemicals , even if they are less hassle to use, and they are quicker of course. The risks are too great. 


Wow Yeah!!!! It worked , I am much happier, this colour seems to work much better , I have only put one coat so far , and it is much better as an overall colour.

I hope that when you decide to try Henna you are successful too, it is such a relief to know you can use something natural. 

I was reading an article from MNN.COM  it is really interesting to see they are now trying to make colours from fruit such as Blackcurrant. I love that idea, taking inspiration from nature. There is also a very clear explanation on using Henna too. 

INDUS VALLEY – They make two products for colouring hair, one is Organic with no chemicals at all, this is HENNA based with other natural products.

MatricariaChamomilla, RubiaCordifolia, Indigoferatinctoria, Lawsoniainermis (henna), EmbilcaOfficinalis, BacopaNunnieri, Trigonellafoenum-graecum, Cassia auriculata..

The other product is –

Gel hair colourant that says it has no PPDs but does contain some other chemicals, such as TOLUENE and DIAMINE SULPHATE amongst others .

You can see the list of all the ingredients, by hovering over the picture.

I was quite excited to see no PPDs, until I realised it had the other ingredients present!

I know it seems impossible not to have some kind of compromise when you are trying to dye your hair.


Is there a difference in what is used in Permanent colours and semi-permanent ?

I have to admit I wasn’t too sure on this. I guess because it doesn’t last as long as the permanent type.

I thought it must be less harmful. I did try one out a few years ago, and I felt that I was recolouring my hair almost as often as I was washing it! But that was some time ago. Perhaps things have changed?

So first a guide to what chemicals they put inside a semi- permanent colour.


Para-toluenediamine sulfate (PTDS) avoid this chemical – people allergic to PPDs could have a reaction to this as well.  It shouldn’t contain Ammonia or Peroxide.

But like everything else , check the label to see what else could be lurking in there!

Again like Permanent colour do a patch test.

While searching I have found a semi-permanent hair colour  called NATURE’S GREY BUSTERS

Which say they are made without any PPD or PTDS, No Ammonia , Peroxides,  parabens, resorcinol, propylene glycol or any other chemicals, this sounds very promising.

At the moment, I can’t find them on Amazon. They used to be listed but not sure when they are due back. I have listed their website if you would like to contact them direct. 


At first I thought this was a product just to put a shine on your hair.

I was about to add this to the styling products. 

I read this article on the difference between a gloss and a hair dye.

This interesting article is by ELLE.COM  though this article doesn’t go into the chemical side of what is in these products. I will do a little digging on that.

HUFFPOST LIFE have an article offering 9 reasons to get a gloss.  

Some articles are saying it is a semi permanent .You can have colour , but it sits on top of the hair. Others it can be a clear finish , taming fly away hair and giving a gloss. 

They seem to last around six weeks. 

So far I am having trouble finding lists of ingredients. This post will be ongoing!

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