Although many of us would like to pretend that everyone believes our hair color to be natural, the truth is that most women these days color their hair to some extent and even from quite a young age.
So how do we know if this is a safe thing to do?
More and more natural cosmetics are appearing on the shelves of both specialized and mainstream stores which is good news but how can we be sure that these “natural” products are any safer for us? We are told there is an increase in hair dye allergies and we are bombarded with scare stories about the long term dangers of chemical hair dyes.
Shampoos too are a problem. Proctor & Gamble who make the Herbal Essence line of hair care products have admitted the unacceptable levels of toxic 1,4-dioxane they contain will have to reduced. Proctor & Gamble has stated that it will reformulate 18 different Herbal Essences products to meet the guidelines, established by California’s Proposition 65, which require that consumer products must not contain more than 10 parts per million (ppm) of 1,4-dioxane. The whole reformulation process of these products will be completed by January 2011.
Why does a “totally organic experience” actually contain something so harmful and toxic?
1,4-dioxane is a petrochemical carcinogen which comes about as a result of the use of ethoxylation, a chemical process that makes ”harsh cleaning ingredients” more gentle. 1,4-dioxane is created inadvertently due to the chemical processing and is therefore not listed on the product’s list of ingredients despite being highly toxic. It is known to cause cancer and may also cause kidney, respiratory and neurological toxity. 1,4-dioxane is a ground water contaminant, it does not biodegrade and tends to cling to water and make its way through wastewater treatment plants back into water supplies.
Very comforting to know - and the only reason Proctor & Gamble are making these changes is because they have been issued with a notice of intent to have a lawsuit filed against them for violating Proposition 65 and exposing their consumers to unacceptably dangerous levels of 1,4-dioxane.
For more on this story go here
The Herbatint range (which I speak about below) offers a shampoo and conditioner as well as their Intensive Aloe Vera Solution which protects and nourishes sensitive and itchy scalps and can be used before either tinting or shampooing. It will also soothe and counter allergic reactions. All 3 products are SLS-free and Paraben-free. SLS stands for sodium lauryl sulfate, one of the most commonly used poisons in the world appearing in shampoos, soaps and toothpaste.
So back to the hair color dilemma…
At the moment there is nothing on the world market from conventional brands that is completely natural
Henna is a natural alternative and widely available but it has its own disadvantages like coating the hair shaft and preventing other color treatments and processes from taking. Some women love the volume that henna gives to hair while others complain about its grey coverage and limited color options.
Herbatint does come close
However, one “more natural alternative” used by women in 30 countries for over 40 years offers a balance between preserving your health and buying ethically on one hand while looking great on the other. This is Herbatint and it is available in 30 different shades to cover every taste and fashion and provides 100% grey coverage on first application. Two further advantages are that the product is not tested on animals and comes in biodegradable, recyclable packaging.
According to the blurb, Herbatint contains no ammonia, resorcinol and Paraben - with far lower levels of PPD and Peroxide - making it safer and gentler with no smell and burning sensation. It is formulated from highest quality botanicals, proteins, herbal and vegetable extracts. Because the product contains pure organic color pigments of tiny molecular structure, it can get away with such low levels of peroxide.
For those women who only need a semi permanent dye, Vegetal contains absolutely no peroxide, PPD, Ammonia or Paraben. It can also be used in between permanent hair coloring sessions and lasts for 6 to 8 washes.
I have changed to Herbatint myself and am 100% happy with the result. The Herbatint products appear to be widely available all over the world.