There's no doubt about it. Hair colour is harsh. All those toxins in mainstream salon and drugstore hair colour products can cause skin rashes and burned scalps, respiratory irritation and compromised immune systems, and yes, even cancer. Darker shades, especially reds, are particularly carcinogenic, yet our drugstores don't hesitate to stock them. The National Cancer Institute at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has identified over 5,000 toxic chemicals in mainstream hair colour products used by 65% of the female population.
I am one of the 65% of women who like to colour their hair and have been doing so as long as I can remember. After using drugstore hair colour products for years without a thought about toxicity, one day it dawned on me I probably shouldn't be doing this. More and more information was coming out about the harmful ingredients in our skincare products and the toxic chemicals seeping into our organs, so I started going to natural salons & spas to get my hair coloured. Although they offer better and safer solutions than most drugstore brands, they are a pricey alternative to doing it yourself. Then one day while browsing through a local health store I came upon them. A lineup of affordably priced, naturally sourced hair colour products. It just so happened I was needing some to take south with me for the winter because natural salons and spas are few and far between in the middle of the desert! I bought two boxes for a fraction of the price I normally paid for a salon treatment. Oh happy day, I was on my way. And I haven't looked back since that day.
If you're concerned about what you're putting on your hair and in your organs, scope out the nearest health stores and online retailers for naturally sourced hair colour products. I have listed a few of the better ones right here.
Aveda Full Spectrum Permanent Pure Tone Hair Colour. Aveda is globally recognized as a leader in pure and natural hair care. Their salons are one of the very few that offer a 96% naturally derived formula for colouring hair that contains organic sunflower oil, castor oil, and jojoba oil to safely and effectively colour hair. If you can't afford to go to an Aveda salon to get colour treatments, you can purchase it online for $26.00.
Herbatint Permanent Haircolour Gel. Manufactured in Rome, Italy, I found this at Optimum Vitamin Stores and Lifestyle Markets in Canada, but have seen it in a lot of health stores in the U.S. as well. I use it regularly with great results. There are a good range of colours to choose from but if you can't find your perfect shade, you can mix two together safely and easily. This product contains 8 certified herbal extracts and has no ammonia, drying alcohol, or parabens. It is even fine for sensitive skin, is gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. It gives you 100% grey coverage so is definitely a win-win! If you can't find it locally, it's available online or at Amazon.com. About $15.00 in health stores and online.
Light Mountain Natural Hair Colour. Made in the US, they are a 100% USDA Certified Organic hair colour line. These are pure botanical products that contain no cancer-causing carcinogens. They also carry a separate range of 8 colours that specifically target grey. They are simple and easy to use - just add water. Very well priced at between $7.00 - $12.00. Just go online to Lotus Brands, Inc. and enter "Light Mountain" in the small search bar at the top right corner of the page.
MadisonReed Radiant Hair Color Kit. Made in Italy and subject to stringent EU control, this luxurious hair colour product is free of ammonia, parabens and PPD (a chemical substance called paraphenylenediamine) and contains a few healthy ingredients like argan oil and ginseng. MadisonReed is an online hair colour company that creates hair colour you can feel good about. This company claims they created the first ever "Smart-6 free" permanent hair colour free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates and gluten. They are a service-oriented online company that prides itself in providing excellent customer service via e-mail, phone or chat. $27.00.
Tints of Nature. Made in Hampshire, U.K., this company uses Certified Organic ingredients of "the highest possible quality" to give you a full range of hair colour and hair care products to maintain healthy, long-lasting colour. There are no harsh chemicals or parabens, just a natural base derived from soyabean, plant-derived extracts and vitamins C & E. A great choice if you want a fine quality hair colour. Find it on their website or at Amazon.com for about $22.00.