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Thinking back now on just how long ago I started colouring my hair, I am not even sure what got me started on it.
I think the image in the media about being blonde and having more fun? Goodness knows, but I started with highlights. No one tells you, just how often you need to go for touch ups before you start!
I don’t know if you are like me? I hated the look of the dark roots.
Now this seems to be in fashion, so I guess women are not so bothered by it?
It must have cost me a fortune over the years. I didn’t have a clue when I started colouring my hair, about the chemicals and the effect that they can have on our bodies.I guess in the back of my mind I was aware some sort of chemical must be needed to bleach my hair, but I don’t think people were as aware then, as they are now.
I wanted to share a little story about colouring hair. As I mentioned I had started colouring my hair in my early 20’s . I have to admit after moving to the States, it was getting so expensive to have a colour as often as I needed it.
The condition of my hair felt dry and unloved. I had a good friend who used to go into Manhattan to have her hair cut and styled. I have to admit being really nervous in going back to brunette. I had heard all the horror stories of your hair going green or falling out!
I decided to at last take the plunge, and visit the upmarket hair salon in Manhattan. My friend always looked great, so it did give me some confidence.
The day arrived, I had butterflies in my stomach! what would I look like after all this time being blonde? The experience of going into such an expensive salon was a bit unnerving.
I arrived and the door was opened by a gentleman who showed me where to go. I was given a top to change into, to protect my clothes. ( that was a first for me! normally you end up with one of those tie up ones and a towel!) Then I was shown upstairs to an area just used for hair colour, Wow! this was a whole floor dedicated to just mixing colours! ( I really didn’t think about the chemicals)
After this blending experience, I was shown downstairs, where they washed my hair in preparation for the stylist. I felt like a princess! When the stylist cut my hair, all I can say is she was amazing! I have never since had such a cut. She was lovely and chatty and offered me advice on makeup too! After this, a separate lady dried my hair.
I came out of that salon feeling ten feet tall, my hair swooshed like the models on a runway, the shine was amazing. To have such a clear memory of what happened about 30 years ago, just shows the impact that it had on me.
It explains why we want to go and have someone else make decisions on our hair, and make us feel good. Maybe it is why most of us put up with what ever the salon is using without questioning it?
I have great respect for this lady KRIS CARR She has written this article on Healthy Hair Dye Secrets that Work + Hair Care Tips A really sensible article on why hair color can be harmful to our health and other ideas.
There is again a huge difference in what chemicals are allowed in each country. 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.
A list of banned chemicals in the E.U. can be found on this link by
But these chemicals are not banned everywhere. America seems again to allow many more chemicals on their allowed list .
I was reading an article that popped up on my google feed about the increased risk that hair color and straighteners can have on your health , including the possible increased risk of breast cancer.
It was written by SCITECHDAILY.COM . I am seeing more articles about this popping up on my news feed than ever.
BALAYAGE – Hair color but what is it? ( this was the nearest image I could find) I wasn’t sure but it is a softer highlighted look .
Styli lists paint the color onto your hair for a sun kissed look. I have seen it mention that because the color isn’t applied directly to your scalp, it isn’t as invasive as a permanent color directly applied. Yes it still is a chemical color. The cost is quite expensive due to the hand painting aspect.
NUTRAFOL Give a clear understanding of what this entails. I have to admit it is a really pretty look. A really soft gentle grading of colour.
Ombré Colors –
What are they? what is the difference between Balayage and Ombre? From what I have discovered, this a graduation of color starting with your own darker color and fading to light by the time you get to the tips.
It can be a very gradual color change, though I have seen others where they have a dramatic hair color change for example green or red then it goes into brown.
I came across this article on the different colors on GOOD HOUSE KEEPING.COM where they have 39 Best Ombré Color Ideas
The color is applied to the hair length, so it isn’t as harmful as applying color directly to your scalp. Though if you are lightening the ends of your hair, it will still take a bleach products and the fumes will still be around you.
They have a load of photographs of many famous faces who have tried this technique.
WHAT DO YOU USE IF YOU HAVE MADE A MISTAKE AND WANT TO REMOVE THE COLOR?
If you have ever colored your hair and thought ‘ Wow this color is too dark, or not what it showed on the box’, I guess we have all been there.
Our friends daughter went to have her hair colored in a salon, she was so upset with the result, it was so dark. They wanted to leave it for a while as it would have been too many chemicals in a short period of time. She was so desperate she didn’t want to leave the house, it just shows how effected we can be with our hair.
I came across an article today on HEALTHLINE where they ask the question if Vitamin C will remove hair dye.
Suggesting that it could work in a similar fashion to the lightening effect of lemon juice. There are other ideas too, of using vinegar or Bicarbonate of soda. They give instructions if you would like to try these ideas.
But they do say that it may only work for some people, and that maybe it could lighten the hair a couple of shades.
The problem being, if your hair is damaged or bleached it probably wouldn’t do anything. worth a look to see if could help if you can’t get to a hairdresser. Of course there are products that you can purchase to do this as well and of course a visit to your hairdresser is recommended.
L’ANGE HAIR – also cover the Vitamin C idea too.
LEWIGS – Also suggest using olive oil to remove dye. This wasn’t something I had heard of before . They have 8 winning strategies on how to remove permanent hair dye.
HAIR DYE AND USE OF CHEMICAL STRAIGHTENERS, COULD INCREASE THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER, ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN OF COLOR
The International Journal Of Cancer suggest that products normally used by women of colour have more hormonal‐active compounds . After a survey of women ages from 35-74 between 2003-2009 Permanent dye use was associated with 45% higher breast cancer risk in black women,and 7% higher risk in white women.
Also breast cancer was associated with a higher frequency of using chemical hair straighteners. Especially among black women. It is definitely food for thought on just what we are applying to our hair, could we find an alternative?
HARVARD – Only this month ( Sept) has come out with an article that Permanent Hair Dye and Chemical Straighteners may have a slight increase risk of certain cancers such as breast cancer. Again the shocking difference for women of colour is that the risk is so much greater at 45% compared to 7% for white women. This was from using these products at least once a year.
For me that really enforces the need to change what we are doing for our own health. If you can find something natural to use, even if the time spent actually achieving the results you want, takes longer, surely it is worth that effort.
Wiley Online Library has in depth scientific articles, free to research online. They have over 20,000 scholarly and professional books, and reference papers. This resource is a great place to find out more on some of these issues.
Even though products 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 won’t just say women, as men are also using more and more dyes.)
It makes me wonder when I see the advertisements on men’s hair dyes , how is it that they work in five minutes? What is in them that they react so quickly? How strong are these chemicals?
The difference in the time it takes for a woman’s hair colour, often 30 minutes plus, to 5 plus minutes for men’s, seems to strange to me. The website 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
MENS HAIR COLOUR
Thinking about men’s hair dye, this article on CONSUMER REPORTS explains how they are trying to get rid of LEAD ACETATE from products. Following statement from the article highlighted ( Lead acetate has been a key ingredient in what are called progressive hair dyes, such as Grecian Formula and Youthair.
These dyes, typically targeted at men, are applied over time for a gradual coloring effect as opposed to typical single-use dyes.)
They are trying to get this removed at last from these products in the USA , but from what the article suggests there may still be some left on the shelves!
Looking into PPD’s in men’s hair color , I even came across information on Charles Boyk- law.com On the allergic reactions to” Just For Men ” -covering PPD’s And their allergic problems.
(They suggest that removing LEAD FROM LIPSTICKS should be the next action. I have covered this in another part of this blog, linked above.)
CONSUMER REPORTS is a well written and informative resource. Well worth looking into. They are a non- profit and give advice on fairness in the marketplace.
TRENDING HAIR COLORS & TRANSFORMATIONS
The amount of different hair colours that seem to be trending at the moment is amazing. The color Pink has been running out !
The different pink glows and shades of hair colour are lifting peoples moods during this self isolation periods. I can totally get that , it is a fun candyfloss happy feeling.
I read an interesting article on ALLURE , giving an insight into just how much Pink is out there! I think having a little control over what we can , in this Covid 19 lock down, is allowing us all to experiment with our hair color, especially when the hairdressers are shut.
I saw these really vivid colours for hair from Lime Crime Unicorn Hair colors. They do have the most amazing fun colours , a beautiful Pink and Blue Hair colour. But you do have to be wary of what is in them.
Admit-tingly they are not a permanent color and last around 8-10 washes . I have put a link here for EWG data base who have information on two of their colors, they seem to run from a rating of 8, which is pretty high.
PUNKY COLOR is another brand that advertise that they are –
(from link )”FORMULATED TO NOT DAMAGE YOUR HAIR: Worried your hair dye is damaging your hair? Thanks to Punky Color Cotton Candy Semi-Permanent Coloring Cream, it is safe to use, does not contain animal-derived ingredients and a top-quality product that will give you amazing results without ammonia, parabens or resorcinol.
The color will adhere to your precious locks with no need for the use of bleaches, or peroxide. Look and feel your best, by knowing you’re using a harmless and healthy hair tint!” ( taken from Amazon) EWG have the rating on these also, these run to around 3-5, about mid section of caution.
Though to change the color, has it got the chemical ethanolamine ? Which will open up the hair cuticle to allow dye to be absorbed.( a paper here on the use of Ethanolamine and ammonia based products on hair by PUBMED)
SUN KISSED HAIR WITH LIGHTENING SHAMPOO
Watching TV the other evening, they were advertising lightening shampoo. It got me thinking about what could be in these to actually change the color of your hair? I did look up one product on EWG a John Frieda One Go Blonde Hair Lightening. This link gives a total list of the ingredients.
I have seen mixed results, some people absolutely loving the products, and others having issues with allergic reactions, which when you look into link on EWG. I can understand , as that seems to the one are you need to be aware of.
From one review video, the lady was told that the lightening came from Chamomile and Citric additives. I am still not quite sure, as these ingredients are way down on the list. I am going to dig into each of the ingredients and add more information.
I wasn’t sure whether this product needed to be in the colouring section or the shampoo and conditioning?
Of course there many other brands out there, probably for most people they have heard of John Frieda as they advertise so heavily.
KLORANE- offer a shampoo lightening product , which they say is
(with Chamomile for Blonde Hair, Enhances highlights, brightens blonde hair, Paraben, Hydrogen Peroxide, Ammonia, SLS Free) I can still see the word fragrance on there, which will add to the chemicals on the list via the link.
What actually makes your hair go blonde?
THOUGHT CO go into the science of how hair colouring actually works. Going into the difference between lightening of hair. Why there is a difference on how the hair reacts with permeant or temporary colours. What Peroxide does to bleach the hair, by reacting with the melanin in the hair. They also have a very helpful video on what hair colour suits what skin tone.
BELLATORY have an article on going blonde without using bleach, but they are still suggesting using either a dye or a high lift colour
( The main difference is that it has more ammonia and other boosters present to help open the hair cuticles up and catalyze the chemical lightening process occurring inside the hair.) THIS IS FROM THE LINK . The result of these really depends on the original colour that your hair is. They have a really helpful chart on the original colour then what you may achieve. Again though this is through a normal chemical application.
GOING BLONDE USING NATURAL PRODUCTS
The use of Lemon juice to lighten the hair is a very old method.
Thought Co suggest that vinegar is a similar way of lightening.
TEEN VOGUE have some more natural ways of lightening your hair, it seems to depend on the colour of your original hair and how fine your hair is as well. They even suggest using a mixture of Honey and Cinnamon to lighten up your hair by two shades. They explain how using lemon juice can help too.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR BLONDE–
Finding shampoos and conditioners that help keep the freshness of your colour. The problem with going blonde, is that it can go to a brassy colour quite quickly. These can also be used for grey hair too. This is where the purple shampoo comes in!.
SOFTER HAIR.COM have five sulphate free purple shampoo names.
PINK HAIR WITHOUT USING CHEMICALS DYES
On the quest for Pink , Blue and other colour hair for a bit of fun, but without using some kind of dye. I came across BELLATORY.com Brittanie Anne has had the great idea of using either a food dye ( of course you need to look for a natural one) also Cranberry juice or Beet juice, she says that these should give you a temporary colour .
Of course food colours come in many different colours, which opens up other tints such as Blue, Green etc. They mention that it does work on paler hair more effectively.
I came across a company offering food colours , which come from natural sources , for example vegetables, fruits and edible plants EXBERRY has a lot of information on their products.
So today I saw another article on what colours we will be leaning towards after the lockdown. With another lockdown seemingly around the corner, I wonder what we will all be missing again.
Online they suggest that the colour red will be the next big colour, The lock down has left everyone feeling drab and fed up. We have all been stuck in doors without access to the hairdressers! Suggesting that red will give a feeling of power and energy.
DEALING WITH RESTRICTIONS & HAIRDRESSERS
Since the Lockdown that we are all going through, there have been a few articles on colouring your hair with tissue paper! I thought that this was a new fad, but have since found a few articles dating back a few years. It is hard at the moment to get to the hairdressers . I don’t know what chemicals they have in them, I guess it is a very temporary colour?
Be careful with the boiling water she mentions in this video! If you want to use something more natural, check out the food colours below.
HEALTHLINE have a list of 7 different ideas for colouring your hair from natural items such as carrot juice, Beet juice, Henna, Lemon Juice and Coffee ( I did try the coffee mixed with Henna for a darker color, but this one didn’t work for me.) They suggest sage to darken brown hair too, with the possibility of it covering grey hair
PROFESSIONAL COLOR & HAIRDRESSERS
My very talented niece is a hairdresser with her own salon. I asked her what hair coloring/dyes are they using, as they are a salon with a conscious ethic into using less chemicals. She mentioned that the colors they use , some with fruit and vegetable bases, most only being available for a professional to purchase are-
DAVINES–From Link – More information on the link- but I cant find a list of ingredients, but I guess that your hairdresser would be able to tell you more.
“A formula derived from plants
The formulas have carotenoids and melanin derived from plants that counteract free radicals and have antioxidant properties. Formulas are ammonia-free to ensure an odorless application, providing comfort for both the stylist and client.”
I came across a fantastic looking salon, in Naples FL called
ORGANIC EDGE SALON– From what I can see they only use Davines Products and have a really great info sheet on FAQ and why they use the products, explaining the benefits. Also if you are lucky enough to go travelling, they have an online booking form!
INDOLA – This link is for the UK site.
A site called COOL BLADES.CO.UK have some information on their colors, though again I can’t find the ingredients list. Though they have the products.
FRAMESI – This is again only sold to professional hairdressers, many colors , again no list of ingredients but says low ammonia.
AVEDA – Is a company that I have gone for styling, just because I was happy with the ingredients in their shampoos and conditioners. They of course do color too, they say that they are 93% Naturally derived.
As I find more brands I will add them to the list.
Knowing what your salon is using and being able to chose where you go, knowing exactly what they are putting on your hair.
GOING CHEMICAL FREE
NEW WAYS THAT ARE BEING DEVELOPED TO COLOR HAIR – USING MELANIN
This article on SCITECHDAILY– have a story about Synthetic Melanin Dyes Developed for Natural-Looking Hair Colors– Northwestern University researchers doing a range of colors from Blond to Black, which is very different to other processes I have seen mentioned before, even Henna can’t make your hair blond.
This paper was only published in October 2020. This process can stop the use of bleach to strip the hair and allow the color to pernitrate the hair follicle. I think at the moment this is still being investigated but what a difference this would make to people who want to avoid the toxic chemicals in hair dye, , never mind the people who are allergic to them.
TRYING TO GO NATURAL
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.
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. How romantic!
Or at least some companies suggesting that you leave this on for about 3 hours. Since switching to Henna I have found that I need to leave it on for about 4 hours, but this is different for everyone. At least the latest brand I have tried is two hours which is a lot better.
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. Since then, I have found that just touching up the roots seems to work, but again the length of time doesn’t change.
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. This due to where they are grown.
Gosh nothing is easy!
A LIST OF WHAT IS IN HAIR COLOUR
PPD, Ammonia , Ethanolamine, Parabens, Propylene Glycol ,Resorcinol, Peroxide, Metals, Toluene, Diaminobenzene .Lead Acetate , 4-APB, Persulfates and other chemicals.
It seems even on the TV a lot of hair colors are saying that they do not contain Ammonia, so what do they use instead? Ethanolamine is an Ammonia type product .
I came across a lady called Irena Webb who has a website called I READ LABELS FOR YOU . She explains very clearly just the harm that using Ethanolamine can do, explaining the risks that may harm you if pregnant . This website is great for an in-depth look on some “Organic Hair Color Brands”
I have read that Ethanolamine can cause breakage to the hair as well. My thoughts were on the many women who use dye much more frequently than every 8 weeks. The harm to health and the condition of your hair must be very fragile.
NATURAL HAIR DYES
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 came across this list today on the 10 Best Organic Hair Color Brands in 2020 by stylecraze.com
Going through their list I have heard of most them, and used a few of them, Logona ( a henna product – I found quite good ,but a long time for me to get the color I wanted)
Naturtint Hair Color- this was a product I had been using before going totally plant based. Pretty good coverage for my greys but I found I needed to touch up the roots after two weeks.
Though some still have chemicals I wasn’t happy using for myself.
No 4 was a Henna product brand that I knew had a really great rating on the EWG site, called Light Mountain Natural Hair Color.
They do give the pros and cons of each product on the list, plus going into what is organic in hair colors. They suggest that no hair color is totally organic.
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 color to penetrate the hair, and make it a permanent dye.( This chemical opens up the hair to allow the penetration of color to be absorbed.)
That still doesn’t make me feel comfortable to keep using it! It can cause some people to have serious reactions. As with all hair color – do a skin test first. As the reaction to the chemicals can build up with each use, so even if you have had no problem with using your usual brand, this can still cause you problems with future use.
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 ).Ingredients list
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. They have some information, suggesting that this product doesn’t work on blonde or red hair at the moment.
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.
There seems to be a salon in South Africa offering to do this for you.
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.
DEALING WITH YOUR ROOTS SHOWING
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? Yes ,Just realized that this is also called OMBRE ! Some information above.
Then all I can see, when I look in the mirror is the roots!
The amount of advertisements on the quick fix for your roots seem to be popping up more frequently. What is in this stuff?
They are not cheap either! Business insider have a list of the most popular on the market, they seem to range from around $10 to $35 , they do have harsh chemicals in them and most of them only last between shampoos.
There are a mixture of results on EWG for root cover, some are lower than others in the toxicity levels.It is better to look up the name of the product that you would like to use ,then look deeper to see what concerns there are . Some have a low overall mark but may have problems with allergic reactions.
I know how hard it is, without being able to visit a hairdressers. I have to admit, most of my friends when asked the first place they want to visit is the hairdressers for a cut or colour or both!
It is projected of an easy way to change your appearance, keeping us 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.
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.
HAIR COLOUR COMPANIES USING LESS CHEMICALS
Also looking at alternatives to a Henna base,as not everyone wants to use Henna.
As normal the superb EWG have an article on the dangers using normal Hair colors, as more and more are being used at home when we cant get to the hair salon
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 color whose main office is in Denmark, are offering a range of 19 different colors.
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 colors.
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 or orange. 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 natural and plant 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. Once you have chosen to use Henna, you need to be sure that is the route for you, as it is harder to go back to other products.
(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 advice before you try.
I came across a video today, a professional hairdresser trying Henna for the first time. It is quite light hearted and fun and does show some of the pros and cons to Henna, plus why you probably wont get a hair salon to do this for you. He has a huge amount of subscribers on YouTube 6.6m .
I do have some issues with the video, the length of time he left the product on, wasn’t anywhere near the time normally needed. A lot of natural Henna would be left to mature for hours . I think if you want to check it out , there are more relevant comments below his video.
A lot from people who have been using Henna through their lives and have grown up with its use in their countries and families, India for one example.
Henna has been used for thousands of years, so even if it hasn’t been tested in the same way as a chemical color, there has certainly been a long trial of people using the product.
There are many Henna products on the market. You do need to read the label and see where you are getting your product from to check out the quality of the product and where it was grown.
Some are pure Henna, others have blended other natural ingredients to produce other colours. Also some work better than others for coverage of grey or white hair. As I have found, this can take a few applications before you get the results that you are hoping for.
RADICO- COLOR ME ORGANIC – This plant based Organic product isn’t just Henna but a blend of different herbs including Henna. They say that results should be in around an hour! wow, even the one I am using now takes 2 hours, others I tried before could take 4, which pretty much messes up your day. The company is in India and USA. You can find a lot more information on the link or here for Amazon. They have won a lot of awards over the years.
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. ( I tried the coffee one, but it didn’t make any difference with my hair) I did find it hard to cover my greys with this brand, even though the chocolate one was better, once you start washing your hair, it left ( for me) orange or reddish colors.
(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.
There is a good review written by the blog Damselinnodistress.com who tried the dark brown colour on her mum.
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.
BROWN HAIR WITH HENNA
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!
HOW HENNA SEEMS TO WORK
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.
WHAT HAPPENED WHEN I USED HENNA FOR THE FIRST TIME
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.
THE NEXT PRODUCT I TRIED BY LOGONA
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 won’t 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 won’t 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 much better too. I will keep on till I get it right, I can’t 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.
USING THE CHOCOLATE COLOUR LOGONA
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.
Well on with the trial, I had been using the Chocolate colour which was fine when you first put it on, as it washed out for me, I ended up with an orangey red tinge on the roots. Not totally happy with that. So I was on the hunt again.
I found a place to buy the Khadi Ash Brown Henna Colour- I am in love!!!! It only takes two hours to work – that was a huge plus for me. That is the longest that they recommend, you can leave it for less time. I was convinced at first, that wouldn’t be enough time, after trying the other brands. Then the colour doesn’t show any red or orange, what a result!
I absolutely love it. Another plus , it’s Organic too.
The only difference I have found is that you do need to be careful with the temperature of the water you mix the powder with, as it can change the colour. I have been using a thermometer in the water and leaving it in a bowl of water the same temp, so that the temperature of the product remains the same throughout the application process. They do suggest using a special shampoo before you apply the colour without the additives, you can purchase this too from the same company. Also to protect the colour afterwards, they sell an oil to extend the colour. All I can say it has been a game changer for me.
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.
MAKING COLOURS FROM FRUIT
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.
USING SEMI PERMANENT COLOURS
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.
WHAT THEY CAN CONTAIN
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!