Are There Any Safe Hair Dyes?

Are There Any Safe Hair Dyes?

Many hair dye companies have jumped on the natural hair dye bandwagon offering products labeled 'natural' but the consumer needs to be educated and cautious.

Hair dyes used on darker color hair are often coal tar-based, and have been linked to cancer and other health problems, especially if they are often used and over a long period of time.

How Are Hairdressers Affected?

A study done in 1997 by Michigan State University found that hairdressers were at a 2.7 times higher risk of developing salivary gland cancer compared to a control population. A study done by scientists at the University of Southern California’s School of Medicine found barbers and hairdressers who have been on the job for more than 10 years face a fivefold increase in their risk of bladder cancer. Further, the FDA says that several coal-tar hair dye ingredients have been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals.

Chemicals like triethanolamine can be bad for your lungs and commonly used ingredients like p-phenylenediamine and resorcinol can cause severe allergic reactions, even if you have used these chemicals before.

Are There Any Dyes Not as Toxic?

A natural alternative is henna dyes, made from the flower, and is a classical alternative to chemical dyes. I have never seen so many henna products on the market as I see now.

Lighter dyes are generally made from less dangerous ingredients than the darker dyes. You may want to try just doing highlights as less hair is colored and the dye is not rubbed into your scalp. No matter which product you buy, It is always advisable to read the labels.

European companies have offered herbal products like Herbavita Natural Hair Coloring which offers a total haircare system like coloring, shampoo and conditioners.

Another natural product is called Herbatint made with organic herbs such as chamomile for blond hair and sage for darker hair. Many people have mixed their own herbal recipes at home with good safe results using the same ingredients (chamomile tea, and sage) as the natural hair dye companies. (Update 3/26/11 - a reader tells me that Herbatint now has some of the toxic ingredients - please read all product labels - as companies change ingredients all the time and do not have to notify us. Often we pick up a product out of habit, thus being unaware of change).

What Should I Always Avoid?

If you are still dying to dye your hair and shopping for products, you want to always avoid anything with p-phenylenediamine, resorcinol, and triethanolamine.

On the shelves there are endless products but how do you decide which is safe, or safer?

If you are thinking about purchasing a hair coloring product, you can check the ingredients ahead of time by visiting cosmeticsdatabase.com - this is a database created by the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit environmental research group based in Washington, DC. The products listed with a lower score will have safer ingredients and tend not to be the permanent dyes.

Should you use any hair coloring product be sure to work in a well-ventilated area. Also remember to never leave the product in your hair for longer than the time recommended.

For a list of other unhealthy personal care products, and finding safe barber shops and salons, see the links below.

The Beauty

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Comments 89 comments

justmesuzanne profile image

justmesuzanne 7 years ago from Texas

Excellent information! Thank you! :)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

My pleasure - and thanks for stopping by!


einron profile image

einron 7 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

BkCreative

Bigen Speedy Hair Color is a Japanese product very popular with the Chinese here in Toronto. Hong Kong and Malaysia.

They are sold in Chinese Medicine shops, pharmacies, and supermarkets. On checking the ingredients I do notice it contains p-PHENLYLENEDIAMINE, SODIUM LAURETH and RESORCINOL FRAGRANCE. However, it claims 6 natural Herbal Extracts, Balm Mint, Fennel, Hops, Chamomile, Mistletoe and Yarrow. I do not know whether these counteract what you claimed.

It is superior to the usual hair dye found on the market because it is very clean to use. The hair dye consists of two tubes (like tooth paste). You do not need to mix the ingredients. You just comb the non-drip cream into the hair for about 5 minutes and then wash the hair.


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii

Ok, gotcha! My mom used Bigen, so i guess it' safe. I'll check out the other products. Thanks!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello einron - I answered your comment months ago and had no idea it had disappeared. Perhaps I did not click on the 'Post Comment' link below. But your information has been useful to the many readers who have read this hub.

Bigen is sold all over NYC and has been for years. I never knew about all the natural ingredients which is a plus. It has been sold in that same little box for ages. I'm curious now and will check it out.

Hello Island Voice - yes Bigen is well known here in NYC. It is just not advertised like all the other products which may be a plus. Usually junk is heavily advertised. Then if your mom has used in - there is no better recommendation.

Thank you for writing!


Bridgesan profile image

Bridgesan 7 years ago from United Kingdom

It is real funny as they will try and sell us anything.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So true Bridgesan! Too bad we will buy anything. I think we are becoming more savvy, fortunately! Thanks for writing!


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

I had to stop by and read this one BkCreative. It's funny, when I was pregnant, I was often warned about the dangers of hair dye. However, this same dye is supposedly safe when you are not pregnant - it just doesn't add up. Thanks for helping us make a more informed decision.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm so glad you found the information useful Veronica Allen. Interesting about an unsafe dye during pregnancy but safe when not. Unsafe is unsafe. I so want to shave my hair off but actually that can turn into a lot of work by maintaining it - so I pretty much let it do what it wants - and wear a headband!

Thanks for writing!


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

Well as I wrote in my hub, "to go gray or not to go gray," I guess I'll just have to go gray. Because now I'm frightened. Although I don't color my hair as often as before, I still do it. But before I stop I'm going to do as you said check out the product label. Thanks so much for this well written hub. No wonder your hubscore is 100. Good job.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much for writing fastfreta - you would work that gray hair and be fabulous! - and no doubt inspire more of us to go gray.

It seems henna is still considered safe and there are some vegetable dyes and so on. I'm in that funny stage where I have gray around the roots but then my locs are still the old natural color and I don't want to cut them off although I have taken off about 5 inches. Perhaps by the time summer comes I'll figure out what to do!

Let me know what you do!


Isabel 6 years ago

i like this post, recently i have some trouble with dye my hair, i'm finding some tips, thank you.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome isabel. Thanks for writing!


EUCH 6 years ago

I USE HAIR STRAIGHTENERS DAILY. WILL THIS CAUSE THE BIGEN DYE TO FADE QUICKER?


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello EUCH - I don't know of any daily hair straighteners - didn't know such existed. I can't say what the effect on Bigen dye would be as far as fading. Sounds like it would be damaging to the hair and scalp.


thegreenerme profile image

thegreenerme 6 years ago

I've been thinking about searching for a better alternative hair dye that's safe. It's one thing that I haven't researched that my current salon doesn't offer, but wish they would. Thanks for this information, this will save me some research!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome the greenerme. It seems like there should be many more options. It may be time for me to start this research all over again.

Thanks for writing!


eventsyoudesign profile image

eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

I never liked using hair color and doubted its safety. I like my gray hair as I have the kind of gray that is not dull or yellow. I am fortunate. This is another good article and I will share it with my hair coloring friends. Thanks!

Teresa


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Good for you! Nothing is more beautiful eventsyoudesign than that beautiful sharp clean gray hair. How great you have it. Mine is starting to come in white and so far it looks pretty good. I want that white or gray glowing head of hair. Just lovely.

Thanks for writing!


scottmitchellfl profile image

scottmitchellfl 6 years ago from Tampa, Florida

I have done a tremendous amount of research on this topic and I have to say that Organic Color Systems is the most natural, organic, and high-performing permanent color range on the market. It has 65 different colors in the line and is completely ammonia-free. You can read more about it at http://www.OrganicSalonSystems.com


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for that information scottmitchellfl - which I will pass on and of course check out right now. I'm glad we are demanding safer products and speaking with our dollars - manufacturers will respond.

Nice to meet you by the way!


bijaya11 6 years ago

Excellent information you've added here regarding the danger of cancer for hair dressers.And regarding the hair dye,new herbal options are available now but still it needs research to confirm about the safety of these products.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

So true - just because it says herbal or even natural - well, what else should we know - is it pesticide free?

Thanks for your comment!


me 5 years ago

Thank you for the information. It is very usefull as I did not know one can use sage for dying hair. Will experiment.

Here in Germany they often cell "organic" products. But even I with very little if any knowledge in chemistry can tell that they are deffinetly not. This applies to henna as well. And it is damn expensive. The pure henna costs few dollars per killo in Iran, Egypt or Iraque (where I was buying mine). Here it starts with 12 euroes for tiny package. But the problem it has a lot of other chemical additives. The point of using henna is it makes hair healthier and stronger. I usually mix it with black tea or freshly grounded coffee beans. It gives more shine and chocolate color. Henna makes hair puffier, to avoid this I add few dropes of olive or castor oil or one egg. It is of corse more time consuming then using commercial producer dye, but works much better. I rub the mixure through hair, put a plastic cap and a towel over. I keep the mixure for one hour and wash it with shampoo. For stronger color one can do it after the shampooing, but in such case without an egg. I do it once in 2-3 weeks to keep the shine.

I think in US you can try to find pure Henna in indian or arab stores. Indian and Iranian henna have slightly different shades. One finds out by experimenting. I made friends with one refugy from Iraque living in my neighbourhood, his family often brings henna for me.

Well, sorry for long post and best wishes


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much for your comment - you have provided a lot of very useful information.

It seems with henna - the purest kind - no matter which I buy I always get orange on my gray strands or the roots. I always have back tea and good organic coffee so I can make a good mixture - I think both will work better together than separately. Then with the puffiness, I'll try the olive oil or an egg.

A million thanks - it's time to do my hair and get ready for the spring - yay!


Mkhan 5 years ago

I am looking for hair dye for my moustache and Hairs. I am senstive to the Brand name colors , it itches like days on my nose after few days of application. I guess when the chemicals start wearing off. I want to try something that give me black or very dark brown color. Anyone??


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I've seen in the drugstores dyes just for men that are supposed to color mustaches and beards but I don't know how effective or toxic they are. Maybe just a hair color wand that looks like a mascara brush and you have better control over where the color goes unlike dye which touches the skin.


George Burrows 5 years ago

Worth trying 'Life Enhancer' Product Code: 12200GB - used it personally for 13 years, still enjoying very full head of dark curly hair! www.gb.ineways.eu

Safe Toxin Free Manufacturer - order direct from my web site and save 30% off RRP - live long and prosper:-)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks George Burrows. I'm going to research further. It looks like a European site.


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Hi Bk,

Great hub. I use a product called Naturtint. It is similar to Herbatint, but the color selection they have goes better with my complexion. I only use natural for many of the reasons you listed. Also there is no bad odor when you use natural hair dyes. Thanks for a well done article, as usual. Rated up and useful


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for the information toknowinfo - I'm in the market for a natural product. I'll look into Naturtint! I want to break out in the spring and look fab!


pinkandwhitedove 5 years ago

Hi Im absoulutely petrified to colour my hair after 2 tests I got a reaction & all the horror stories of Hair dyes. My hair looks awful its grey dull & now resembles a hay stack due t the change in colour. I cant leave the house without a hat now. is there anything safe at all i can use to cover my greys. I live in the UK someone said Daniel fields but i would some help thanks


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know pinkandwhitedove - I've read that the UK has far superior products - other than the chemical baths we call hair dye here in the US. Perhaps just natural nourishment now with real avocado hair treatments - and they are healthy to eat for the hair. Maybe more healthy oils to your diet will help. A hub pages writer from the UK said she buys pure shea butter in London for her hair.(I wrote a hub about shea butter). I had super frizzies last summer but another hubber wrote about putting your hair product on damp hair in order for it to work - I think that made the difference.

Henna turns my hair orange but a friend said to mix it with dark tea. I haven't tried yet. I've kind of given up and am concentrating on keeping the frizz away this summer.

Thanks for writing. Nice to meet you.


Tamara 5 years ago

I am very sorry but Herbatint has to of the three above mentioned ingredients?!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Tamara - I will update my article right now.

You know we have to be aware that products change. I remember I recommended a certain item to a friend and when she read the label - she was appalled - it was filled with artificial colors and more. But when I started buying it - the product did not have these ingredients. No law says we have to be notified when a company changes ingredients.

When I wrote this over two years ago maybe this product didn't have the bad ingredients - and we tend to pick up products out of habit.

Thanks a million! Will update!


Karen  5 years ago

I am allergic to chemicals like peroxide and I only use Surya, which I get from Rick's in NYC. This is the only product that doesn't give me chemical burns. It does not contain ammonia, peroxide or parabens. Are there any other similar products out there. I will be in hongkong for a few days, are there similar products there that I could buy? Thanks :)


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Rick's in NYC you say? I'm going to research this right now as I live here in NYC. I have heard of Surya I believe and have seen it at Indian supermarkets.

Whatever else is out there at this point I don't know - I have kind of given up and plan to find and wear a cute cap most of the summer.

Thanks for the information!


Yasmin Green 5 years ago

Hi Guys

I have jet black hair and had the grey dyed every 6-8 weeks, without any problems, by the same hairdresser, until about nine months ago, I got an allergic reaction. My head itched so bad I felt sick for about three days. I am in the process of trying skin tests with different products, I used Survana which was greatm didn't itch or anything BUT it didn't get rid of the grey. I am now waiting to get another test from Professional Solutions in Beauty - http://www.psib.co.uk/, I am praying with my life that it works as I know if I leave my hair to go grey, I will look like a witch!!!! I will keep you posted as it might help other people with the same problem


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much for sharing that information Yasmin Green. All the black dyes scare me. And I suspect products change and we are never informed - or maybe we can only take so much before our body rebels.

I appreciate the updates to come.


brandyBachmann profile image

brandyBachmann 5 years ago

Very nice information!!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for writing - and I appreciated the comments for all the personal information and tips.


Yasmin Green 5 years ago

Anyone heard of or used - He Shou Wu?

This is what it says about it -

• Shown To Improve Hair Color, Growth And Texture.

• Widely Used to Prevent or Reverse Gray Hair.

• Used To Prevent Premature Aging By Nourishing The Liver And Kidney functions.

• Known To Tonify The Blood, And Fortify The Muscles, Tendons and Bones.

• Strengthens And Supports The Lower Back And Knees.

• Used To Enhance Sex Drive And Fertility In Both Men And Women.

• He Shou Wu Is Known To Reduce Cholesterol In Part To Its Lecithin Content.

• A Tonic For Improving Stamina,Health & Resistance To Disease.

• Used For Night Sweats, Hypoglycemia And Diabetes.

• Small Easy To Swallow Tablets.

Let me know your thoughts


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Yes, I have heard of it - it's been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for centuries - I even sold an article about the herb. While I cannot give a personal recommendation - I am a great believer in TCM - even visited doctors in Beijing where herbs are prescribed. Thanks for sharing that info. It would make a great hub. Hmmmm.


serioushairissues 5 years ago

Are there any safe black hair dyes? I have been dying my hair for years and never knew about the cancer risks. Pretty scary since i've dyed my hair 4 times in the past 6 weeks. Went to a salon to get my hair lightened and then dyed it red with black highlights. The red completely faded within 3 washes. Redyed the red 2 more times still 3 washes then no red except for my roots. My hair is every color except what it should be and i don't want to fry my hair to fix it. Can you get really dark and even coloring from henna? or is there anything else that doesn't have the dreaded chemicals? I've exposed myself enough.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I so agree with you. I'd like to do something new and exciting to my hair - but what. A friend did a henna hair pack for me and my hair felt marvelous - so lovely. But I don't want the reddish tint anymore - which lasts forever it seems. And it was only much later that I read I should have added coffee and should have prepared it way in advance to get brown coloring.

More products are on the market that claim to be safe and two I am investigating:

Palette By Nature

Treasured Locks Natural-Colors

Both on the Internet and both claim to offer black. I will update this if I have luck.


cass 5 years ago

i love DIY. but i HATE ammonia! it stuffs up my skin like no tommorrow and makes my head heaps itchy. the only thing that works for me is the Original & Mineral permanent colour and DIY water colour. highly recommend that you look them up


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for the info cass. I'll look them up. Since it's 'colour' and not 'color' - they may not be sold in the US and have to be ordered. I'm thinking of wearing headbands all winter.


Darren 5 years ago

So you guys don't recommend Bigen anymore? I am a male trying to get rid of some gray hair. I have black hair . Let me know which semi permanent dyes are safe, reasonably priced, and can last 4-6 weeks. Thanks.


Darren 5 years ago

So you guys don't recommend Bigen anymore? I am a male trying to get rid of some gray hair. I have black hair . Let me know which semi permanent dyes are safe, reasonably priced, and can last 4-6 weeks. Thanks.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know Darren I see Bigen everywhere still. And I know it was so popular for so long. But ingredients change and we are never told. I have never tried it.

Maybe if you have just a little gray hair, use one of those touch up wands that look like mascara. That way you won't be subjecting your scalp to all the toxic chemicals especially because any kind of black dye is supposed to be extremely toxic. Just your hair will be touched. I just bought one and it serves the purpose.

Once I get enough gray or white I am just going to cut all the rest off. Yay!


Darren 5 years ago

can you tell what you mean by touch up wands? i have never dyed my hair before and only started getting gray hair several months ago. please let me know which brands out there are good or point me in the right direction. thanks.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi Darren! It seems I can only now find this product in those hair products stores here in NYC - you know where they sell every kind of shampoo, hair coloring, combs, hair gels, wigs, etc. I could not find it this time at Wal-greens - or CVS, those drug store chains.

So when I went in I asked the man behind the counter if he sold those hair touch up sticks and he pointed me to them hanging on the wall. There are different brands, all costing about $4.00 but this time I could only find black and dark brown. I prefer a lighter brown.

On the one I have it says "Cover Your Gray" and it's made in Belgium and is a very old brand. But the ones made in S. Korea I have found in the past to be far superior - but could not find it this time.

Hope this helps.


Darren 5 years ago

I see it online at Amazon with mixed reviews. I wonder how long they last though? 6-7 washes before fading? a couple of weeks? Any other ones you recommend as far as touch up products? Thanks.

http://www.amazon.com/Cover-Your-Gray-Brush-Black/...


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You found the exact product - but this is a touch up product/ not a semi-permanent which usually lasts through 6 washes before fading. If you have a lot of gray this touch up wand may not be sufficient. You would have to constantly retouch - but it will get you through the day.

"Just For Men" is the hair product that I always see advertised on TV (by those 2 sports figures Frazier and Rodriquez I think it is). It is supposed to be a 5 minute coloring just for men - that slowly begins to color gray. But then I do not know about the toxicity.

If you try it I hope you will let us know here what you think about it - or even if you try the wand.


sexytalllady61@aol.com 5 years ago

i am looking for the beijing hair color cream here in orlando, fl. but can't find it....can u help me...


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello there sexytalllady61! I'm not at all familiar with the beijing hair color cream. Checking online it seems to be only for men - and is sold through Chinese retailers.

If there is a Chinese supermarket near you, they may carry it. Sometimes when I go into the very large Chinese supermarkets they carry a lot more than just food.

Hope you find it and like it!


Ebilwabbit 5 years ago

If you want lab-tested henna (to be sure that it contains no metals, pesticides, or other contaminates) you can buy it from Mehandi.com. The woman that runs the site has dozens of henna types and lots of info on how to add indigo to henna to make browns and blacks, or cassia to henna to make blondes and light coppers if you don't like henna reds/auburns. NO Chemicals needed, and zero fading, even after years of washing.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks Ebilwabbit (love the name)! Sharing information here is priceless - as it gives readers more to consider and keeps information up to date!


emily 5 years ago

hi i recently purchased a herbatint hair color online and i am a bit confused on wether it is applied to dry or wet hair, on the box it says one thing and on the info booklet inside it says another thing,then do you just shampoo and condition after? thanks for your time.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hi Emily - The instructions I had said to apply to clean, dry hair. Also included in the box is their own shampoo and conditioner to be used after you rinse out the dye. Everything you need should be included in the kit. I don't remember info on the outside of the box - just the instruction booklet inside. Hope this helps.


Farhad 4 years ago

Where to buy in Toronto?


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Farhad, I'm in New York City so I don't know local Toronto. But you can probably find what you want on the internet!


Helen 4 years ago

Hello, thanks for the article and comments. I'd like to let people know I used Naturtint - thinking it was a natural product. I wanted an alternative to years of using powdered henna, but my hair was getting too "orangey" since I have a lot of gray. After using Naturtint I had a horrible allergic reaction: itchiness and pimples all over my scalp. I'm also suffering from genetic (female) hair loss which is of course not pleasant. And, after using Herbatint, my hair fell out a lot more than usual!!! so I'm getting rid of Herbatint and looking for an alternative to cover my about 50% gray... And yes, Naturtint and many "natural" hairtints have p-phenylenediamine as an ingredient!!


Helen 4 years ago

SORRY, Helen again re my previous comment: I meant "HERBATINT", not "Naturtint", apologies!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks for sharing your personal experience Helen. We are truly at the mercy of these hair dye companies and do we really know what goes into the product?

The problem with henna is that orange color and now many of the companies are adding other products to get darker colors and who know what effect they will have.

While my gray grows in maybe I will wear a hat or headband then when I have enough gray cut off the brown and live happily with the gray. Until then it looks a bit weird.

Thanks for writing!


summer 4 years ago

Hey thanks for the informative article and for opening my eyes. Ive been going to the salon to cover my greys, which are mainly on the top/crown part of my head. I have to get it colored about every 3 weeks to dark brown almost black color. Ive noticed that in the sun, u can start to see my scalp, which prob basically means im losing hair up there. And with thick naturally curly, ive never had this problem in the past ( before starting to color my hair). So i am desperately looking for alternatives..natural, organic, at homes ways of safely covering my grays. I would be very grateful for suggestion, bc according to the comments i see above, Herbatint, Naturtint, bigen are no good anymore. How about ECOcolors or Light Mountain, have heard they are least toxic?? anybody else hear the same or even tried it? thanks!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Hello summer! I've been reading that a lot of products made in the UK are safer than those made in the US - but we don't have access to them here in the US. I'm not familiar with ECOcolors or Light Mountain.

You can check the cosmeticsdatabase.com (part of the Environmental Working Group) for a list of ingredients in the various hair color products to find out which is safer/least toxic. However, actual dye doesn't seem to ever be recommended and never black dye. Only a hair rinse.

I know way too many women going bald - so it is time to find some alternatives. We spend billions on hair care - surely we deserve a good product.

Thanks for writing. I'll research the products you listed.


Alison 4 years ago

I didn't realise there were so many people, like myself who are worried about the effects of dying their hair. I have been colouring my hair for absolutely years as i had grays from an early age...and always thought i was too young to go gray. A couple of years i tried to get my hair lighter with highlights, but the lighter colour doesn't suit me and hair went wirey. I have used the same product for years as it always makes my hair so shiny & healthy looking. Even though i have done the sensitivity test the last few times, i have an itchy scalp and itchy body with a fine rash...worrying or what. I have been looking on line for what is safe, but even ones with natural products still say about allergies...i think i will have to buy a wig...


Alison again 4 years ago

Oh i did read an article which said that aveda product are safe, is this right do you know, and if so can you buy them to use at home?


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You know what I find so interesting Alison? I checked the Aveda website and it touts its use of natural herbs etc. and they are including turmeric in their products. Hmmmm.

I say hmmmm because just a few months ago a friend and I were looking for natural hair coloring and decided to investigate turmeric because of its orange color. What I found on various Indian websites is that turmeric should never ever be used on the hair as it will remove it. In fact Indian women use it to remove body hair. Well we also know Indian women use henna - but we have never heard of them using turmeric on the hair.

I decided to test turmeric on my legs and it did seem to remove some hair. I have very little leg hair but think I will try it again before summer.

I don't recommend any product because who really knows unless you investigate and make it yourself.


Pedz 4 years ago

Henna & Indigo are natural dyes I use. I am extremely allergic to hair dye - I have tried everything (I do skin test before I use any of them.) I did find that certain Henna sold in Indian stores for black hair have PPD in them. Read the ingredients before you use any hair dye, especially black or dark ones. You can order all natural Henna & Indigo from here: http://www.mehndiskinart.com/

Read the pdf instructions in their site.

For touching up, I use Ultronic Hair Blacking cream daily (available only in HK from Keen Seek Beauty products) - it keeps my Henna/Indigo dyed hair dark until my next hair cut (usually in 6-8 weeks.)

I hope this helps - I was looking for the right solution - and fortunately I found the safe way a few years ago.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks so much Pedz - you have provided a lot of information especially for those that want to keep their hair dark. Lately, just as you mentioned, we are starting to read warnings about henna for black hair because of the chemicals.

Thanks for the link and for those in the UK they have the benefit of using the blacking cream you recommended.

I appreciate you taking the time to share this information!


yellowbird 4 years ago

the safes hair dye is nomle


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BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

I'm going to research this yellowbird. I am not familiar with the name.


summer 4 years ago

So I looked up Light Mountain in the Cosmetic Database. It was rated 1, being the safest...Wondering if I should give it a try. Because I think I am starting to get allergic to the hair dyes... Went for a touch a couple weeks ago ( black hair)... first of all I think my stylist used a different dye, bc a couple days later I was itching all over..No rash or anything, but just itching, mainly upper body, ears and scalp..thought it might be my detergent or smthg. but then started breaking out around my temples and forehead. Figured its gotta be a reaction to the hair dye... So i think i definitely need smthg safer.. I looked up Ecocolors on Cosmetic Database, which was rated a 5, so not very safe. But like I said Light mountain got a 1...

So what do you guys think? Has anybody else ever tried Light Mountain? Still looking for reviews online...


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Summer, I've actually used this product last summer at a friend's insistence - mainly because it is rated so safe. But here's what happened. I used the package with the elephant on the cover and it was supposed to provide a brown color - but what I got is that familiar bright red/orange henna color - exactly what I did not want.

There is another product package - and that one has a woman on the cover and it is said to cover gray - maybe that one will not give me the red/orange color. But it seems if any product lists henna as an ingredient - I get the orange.

Since it is winter, I let the gray roots continue to grow and just use a headband which seems enough right now to cover the gray coming in at the front. Hmmmmm. I'm thinking maybe I will get one of those headbands that has bangs and that may easily solve the issue of gray coming in around my face.

I'll look into something safe for the warm weather I suppose and then share any success here.

Thanks for doing this research and then sharing it.


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

yellowbird I researched nomie on 2/17 - but could not find it


summer 4 years ago

Im do for another touch up at the salon this week but am quite afraid to go in. Its been almost 3 weeks since my last touch up and im still kinda itching here and there and recovering from the breakouts around my hairline and forehead. Had to have been the PPD in the salon dye. seems that alot of ppl have been having allergic reactions to this ingredient, even if they were not allergic to anything before. And especially if you are dying your hair a dark to black color. I need a touch up again but not sure what to do. Should I go in to the salon for a patch test to confirm it really is the dye that I am reacting to not my laundry detergent or smthg?

Also ive been using some temporary touch-up products from sallys beauty supply to cover my greys in between salon visits. So far not bad, i just apply to the areas the grey is obvious, almost like a mascara wand. and until you wash your hair its a great temporary short fix.

Im also tempted to try naturtint or herbatint...? heard that herbatint is better for greys if one can find the right color.

Damn PPD! you've ruined my hair's life!


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Glad you checked back summer! This allergy stuff is nothing to fool with - since it can kill you. Like you I have used those touch up wands and they have more than served the purpose. My problem is I have a lot of hair and so much of the roots are now gray - and I would like my hair to look nice - not two-toned. But I am still at a loss as to what to do.

I did see herbatint a few days ago at a great pharmacy. Amazing how some shops will charge as much as $16.99 while at this pharmacy it is only $10.99. Maybe I will try it in a few weeks and use it through the spring and summer. When I have a lot of gray I will cut off all the brown and just go gorgeous gray. I can't live with this hair dye nonsense. Whew!

Hope herbatint works for you. The thought of you using that other dye scares me.


Sharif 3 years ago

I use Hi-Speedy Color Cream of korean SEWHA brand is it safe for use it


BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 3 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks a lot Sharif - I hope I can find this in the US - perhaps at a Korean Market. I lived in Seoul over a 3-4 year period but I wasn't familiar with the product then.


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BkCreative 3 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

You're welcome servantiam! Thanks for writing!


liorat2011 3 years ago

Hi BK

I am a Henna merchant.

I am willing to help in any question people have regarding the rare moroccan henna (considered the best in the world).

here's a link to a henna list sale on my ebay store:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/AUGUST-CRAZY-SALE-GET-FREE...


Dina 3 years ago

Hi BK,

I followed your Moroccan henna link on ebay. This is a great product. Thank you very much!


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BkCreative 3 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City Author

Thanks liorat2011!

Dina - Glad this worked for you!


Timothys Rambo 2 years ago

Most recent news, Need Smoothes Frizz hair! The formula helps to preserve hair color and repair damage caused by chemical services. This natural hair care products help you Fizzy, kinky, textured hair. It’s all natural ethnic hair care at an affordable price.


Laki 2 years ago

I like henna and indigo but I feel muscle aches multi times after using them, i think it's the indigo. If I take a pain killer it's better. I read a few cases of this but can't find exact reason. If full body reacts like that, it can't be all good. I am interested in the vegetable dye Katherine Middleton sues to cover her grays but I don't see it widely available at salons in the US yet.


Laki 2 years ago

BTW the natural vegetable hair dye Mrs. Middleton uses is "Fuente's Tierra Colour range has been used by the Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa Salon, located in the luxurious surroundings of the Duke of York Square."


Erick Calderon profile image

Erick Calderon 15 months ago from United States

Hi BK!

Great article, it's interesting that some things have change in the last few years and some things have stayed the same. Just different marketing spin. One of the things that I think readers should think about is that different ingredients in hair color do different things. For example if you are worried about damage seek out an ammonia free hair color, if you are worried about allergic reactions seek out information from a doctor, sometimes well meaning stylists will say its ok to use something or you should never color your hair, but the only one that can really tell you is your doctor. And if you are worried about PPD colors then try to find colors with no PPD, but still always do a patch test to make sure you are not allergic to something else. Laslty, don't get taken advantage of, if you are looking for something truely ORGANIC, your only real choices are organic henna, indigo, teas and coffee. There is no true organic professional hair color. Many companies use some organic ingredients, but that is definitely not the same thing. We have made salon professional no ammonia hair color since 1982, and no PPD color since 2010 so we have learned a lot about gentler hair color. If you want to learn more you can check out: http://www.masteyhaircolor.com

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