Should You Change to Organic Hair Color?

The warnings about the cancer risk present in conventional hair coloring are prominent on any hair color packaging. These products contain well known carcinogenic substances like PPD, toluene and paraben. Hair coloring is known to contain ammonia, too – a substance that is powerful enough that it poses a health risk to hairdressers who simply work with the substance, rather than use it themselves.

Obviously, it makes a lot of sense to look for organic(*) hair color that avoids the use of these harmful chemicals

model with brown red tint hair

The early organic color products were quite terrible. Some of them were caustic enough to burn people's scalps. They were worse than conventional chemical-based hair color. The newest kinds of hair color have come quite far, though. Not only do many of them leave carcinogenic chemicals behind, they don't even use ammonia – the substance that conventional hair coloring formulations use to make hair permeable to dyes.

If they don't use ammonia to make hair permeable, what do they use?

Usually, they use a product like alkaline oil that is able to soften hair. Looking through the ingredients list on any organic hair color product, though, you are likely to notice that there many that sounded decidedly non-organic – PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, PEG-2, PPD and so on. How can a product that calls itself organic get away with this?

Hair color technology hasn't advanced to a level that they can achieve reasonable results purely with organic ingredients. What they do, though, is to minimize synthetic chemical content. Organic dye formulations usually only contain conventional hair color chemicals to about 2% to 4% of their volume.

Does organic hair color actually work?

The first thing that you are likely to notice is that you aren't asked to protect the skin around your hairline with cream – natural hair color doesn't stain skin the way conventional chemical color products do.

Once you're done and have washed your hair, you are likely to notice that your hair feels much softer and appears shinier than it would after a conventional coloring.

The question that most people have in mind is – does it last as well as permanent hair coloring does conventionally? Surprisingly, it does easily last a month.

Happily, organic hair color isn't unduly expensive

There are many trusted organic brands in the hair color business today. Names like Tints of Nature, EcoColors and Nature Tint cost around $15 (£9 ) for a 4 ounce pack.

If you need to color your hair and tend to worry about the long-term affects you might have to face up to using harsh chemicals on your scalp, organic hair color is the way to go. It could work great for people who have sensitive and easily irritated skin, too.

(*) The word "Organic" used in this article does not necessarily refer to actual organic products. This was used to differentiate non-toxic and less harmful colors from traditional color systems that use potential harmful chemicals as active ingredient.

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