Today more people are becoming more organically aware. From food to skin care and even hair color. I am often asked if there are any organic hair colors out there, or if henna would be a good option.
First off, up to this point there is not a hair color on the market that is 100% organic. There is not really an answer to whether organic hair color is better. It may have fewer harsh chemicals, making it safer for prolonged use, but it also may result in less vividness and longevity. Some color lines are using more organic ingredients like argan oil and coconut oils to relieve any scalp irritation, and choosing to use M.E.A (Monoethanolamine) in place of ammonia, for a slower and less aggressive chemical to raise the PH level during the color process. For a handful of my clients, I've had to find an alternative color line. Not because of the ammonia, but because they have an allergic reaction to the P.P.D (Paraphenylenediamine) used in hair color. Even a permanent dye usually only contains 2% or less of P.P.D, and as women age, our levels of sensitivity go up.
Henna was the "go-to" color back in the late 70's and early 80's. It was a powder taken from the henna plant and only comes in one color: Red. To make the color, you had to take boiling water and mix the dry henna powder until it becomes thick, like mud. It was then applied scalp to ends wrapped tightly around the head with a paper thin bag, placed under a hooded dryer, and processed for 45 minutes. The end result was healthy, soft and shiny hair. Sounds great right? The problems start after applying the henna a few times. The color starts to build up on the hair causing damage and making it difficult, if not impossible, for conditioning agents to penetrate the hair. Henna can eventually lead to hair breakage. The lawsone (the active ingredient in henna) reacts with the hair that can result in toxic products being built up on the hair. These toxic products can cause oxidative damage and can not be removed. When a client wants to change their hair color to anything other than red, they have to let the henna completely grow off before a new color can be applied.
So sometimes we take the word organic too seriously when it comes to coloring hair. If you are experiencing itching, irritation, or developing a rash - tell your stylist, so they can look at another option for you. You need to leave the salon happy and satisfied - without itching all the way home!
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