What alternatives are available for individuals who are allergic or concerned about potential health problems tied to hair dyes? It’s not easy finding a hair color product that’s safe or a hair stylist who will apply a more “natural” dye as I found out.
No hair salon in my area offers natural or chemical-free hair coloring, and no effective products are available. At least, that’s what my current stylist would have me believe. I wasn’t willing to give up so easily.
I continued my search by browsing through the yellow pages, talking to friends and phoning numerous local hair salons as well as area naturopaths and health food stores. I investigated natural products on line but was unsure whether they would work. I was really hoping to get someone’s personal recommendation for a product. After all, I didn’t want to end up with “fried” hair.
Finally, a friend recommended I check out a product, called NATURCOLOR which she uses. This herbal hair color is ammonia and paraben-free but does contain PPD or paraphenylenediamine, a chemical found in more than two-thirds of commercial dyes. PPD can penetrate the skin, and is linked to asthma and allergies, and skin irritation. It was the last item on the NATURCOLOR ingredients’ list, hopefully meaning it has less than mainstream products.
It was available at the local co-op, my next stop. At the co-op, several of the clerks showed off their tresses, which they said had been dyed with NATURCOLOR. This product was beginning to look pretty good. It was not perfect but definitely an improvement over what I was currently using, and I wasn’t ready yet to let the gray show. One of the clerks fixed me up with the appropriate colors to mix to obtain a shade similar to my own. I had to purchase two boxes. Now I had the product I needed but not the skill or confidence to apply it as I had never colored my own hair.
One of the co-op clerks suggested I phone my hair stylist to see if she would help me through the process. I was pleasantly surprised when my stylist said she would put it on for me, and we would call it “our experiment.”
The day of my appointment to try NATURCOLOR, I arrived feeling a little nervous about being an “experiment.” My stylist carefully read all the directions and then the moment of truth arrived. It was time to put on the new hair color. Everything went smoothly with no allergic reactions. The new color was almost a “dead-on” match to what I had before, and my hair actually felt healthier.
Total cost of my new look: about $30 for two boxes of NATURCOLOR (which will yield two hair colorings) and $50 to my hair stylist for a hair cut, color application and style. I normally spend about $65. I could have saved some money if I applied the color myself. All in all, I came out about even with what I usually spend and pleased with the results.