Are there alternatives to chemical hair dyes and how effective are they?
by Sue Blatchford
Next to wrinkles, nothing is as aging as greying hair. Women, more so than men, turn to dyeing their locks, either to cover grey or for a change from their natural hair colour. However, reading the list of toxic chemicals and warning labels of adverse reactions on hair dye products purchased for home use or application by professional hairdressers can be quite frightening.
Some people may have scalp sensitivities or allergies and have experienced discomfort or allergic reactions during and after hair dyeing. Some of the chemical ingredients that you may find in hair dyes which can trigger reactions are ammonia, benzene, coal tar, lead acetate and p-phenylenediamine.
Alternatives to chemical dyes
There are alternatives to chemical hair dyes that can be used either in the home or at selected salons. Henna is one plant-based hair colourant derived from a flowering plant indigenous to Australasia, Africa, and Asia. Henna products in the past have known to be messy and the colour can be unpredictable. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that natural hair products have improved greatly in recent years and you will readily find a range of natural products at your local health food store. Many professional hair salons have also moved to offering gentler, more environmentally friendly products such as the INOA range which contains no ammonia.
Find organic or plant-based hair colourants for home use at your local health food store or, for professional applications, find a local hair salon that uses a more natural or organic range of hair dye products.