Healthy. Natural. Beauty.

According to Ayurveda, a healthy beautiful head of hair requires an ongoing care routine that starts with nourishment. Why wait until you experience hair problems? As with your skin, start taking care of it now and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.

Herbal hair colors

Herbal hair colors use plant based ingredients to color hair. With rising concerns about toxic hair color ingredients, the popularity of herbal hair colors and natural hair color has been increasing. 

It has been a popular option for people wanting to enhance the color of their hair but is unwilling to use the harsh chemicals and, in some cases, potentially harmful chemicals found in most commercial dyes and color rinses. 

   

Why should I be aware of this?

With many studies showing that there could be a link between chemical ingredients and incidence of cancer, skin problems and allergies, there is a need to look for safer options like herbal hair colors. There is a popular belief that herbal hair colors do not use chemical ingredients and have no side effects. This is only partly true.

Beware of some “Herbal hair colors available” in the market

Almost all packaged herbal hair color products have some chemical ingredients or the other. They might be using one or more herbal extracts as their primary ingredient, but most use chemicals preservatives, emulsifiers, colorants, PPD (that which gives the bright and healthy color to the hair color product), perfumes and stabilizers. 

Choosing the right hue that suits the hair and selecting the right product requires knowledge of ingredients and chemicals. Knowledge of ingredients is important to: 

• Read and understand the label on the hair color brand correctly; 

• Understand the function of each ingredient and see if these functions are needed to meet your requirement. 

• Understand the impact of each ingredient on your hair quality, health and environment. Scientists believe that the risks of adverse effects of chemical hair dyes are real enough. Manufacturers have called their findings flawed and vouch for the safety of their products. Several studies have been carried out on hair-dye use and cancer risk. But there does not appear to be an educated decision on whether any risk exists, or what is the extent of that risk? 

Chemical allergy on hair dyes

All about hair color ingredients

For hair coloring to be effective, permanent hair dyes must contain both color and a developer. The developer lifts the outer opening of the hair known as cuticle, enabling the color to penetrate. These chemicals are contained in varying concentrations in most permanent hair dyes. Your choice of brand will depend on what composition is best suited to your hair and skin conditions. Chemicals in hair dye caused a degree of damage but it is considerably mild if you are darkening your hair. If you are a regular at dying your hair, you may not notice it. But women with problems of hair loss or certain scalp disorders should be extra careful in checking the chemicals which may not suit them.

Some common ingredients found in most hair colors

Ammonia - Ammonia is bad for hair, colors with ammonia generally last longer than those without it. Though exposure to high levels of ammonia can cause irritation, in small concentrations it is not toxic to the body. If you are not allergic to ammonia, you may go for brands with low ammonia content. Herbatint is an ammonia-free dye, but uses low concentrations of p-Phenylenediamine and peroxide.


Some Henna Tattoos, a Harmful Dye contain PPD
p-Phenylenediamine - Everybody's hair is different - what works for one might not work for the other. For effecting a dramatic color change it is difficult to avoid questionable chemicals. p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), found in many permanent hair colors, is one such chemical.

Hydrogen Peroxide - For some hair conditions, hydrogen peroxide is the main culprit. If you want a lighter hair or change the color of your hair completely you require bleaching. Hydrogen peroxide bleaches your hair and thus damages it. But the extent of the damage will depend on its level of concentration. Some of L’Oreal semi permanent hair dyes do not have ammonia but contain hydrogen peroxide. 

Monoethanolamine - Monoethanolamine does not cover grey hairs, well as ammonia and cannot lighten the hair as much as ammonia can. Monoethanolamine color works well if your hair is porous. It however, fades quickly. 

Harmful ingredients used in hair color and hair dyes
• Para-phenylenediamine and tetrahydro-6-nitroquinoxaline, both have shown to damage genetic material and cause cancer animals. 

• Coal tar, a known carcinogen is used in hair colors and dyes as it creates brighter and more lasting colors than other organic vegetable dyes. 

• Formaldehyde is a preservative linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and more. 

• DMDM Hydantoin, another preservative is a known immune system toxin (and has been restricted for use in cosmetics in Japan). 

• Eugenol is a fragrance ingredient that’s associated with cancer, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and allergies.

Hair color and hair dye - Hair color and hair dye are often used in the same breath, but chemically they are different. Hair dyes contain heavy metals that can be harmful. On the other hand, hair colors are permanent in nature. They contain the chemical paraphenylene diamine (PPD) which enters the hair shaft and colors from inside. 

Positive patch test to p-phenylenediame
Dermatitis around lips due to contact with p-phenylenediamine