Many people would rather use an organic hair color than a synthetic hair dye. While synthetic dyes do give the longest lasting most vibrant color options, they also expose both you and the environment to harsh chemical, but is there an organic hair color out there that can give you the look you want?
Health Risks of Synthetic Dyes
Because of one study that linked maternal use of synthetic hair dye during pregnancy to the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, physicians routinely counsel pregnant women to avoid synthetic dyes for the first trimester of their pregnancy, even though followup studies have not corroborated the link. However, researchers have found a more conclusive link between synthetic hair dye and bladder cancer. Women who colored their hair with synthetic dye at last once a month doubled their rate of bladder cancer. Women who continued dying at least once a month for at least 15 years tripled their risk, and stylists who worked routinely with synthetic dyes for more than 10 years had five times the rate of bladder cancer the control group had.
Is There an Organic Alternative?
As long as you’re willing to work around some limitations, there are organic hair colors that you can use. While traditionally indigo, chamomile, logwood, walnut hulls, and henna were all used to color hair, henna is the only product that is being massed produced today as a hair color. Because organic products do not contain hydrogen peroxide, which is used to prepare hair to accept dye, henna is not a permanent hair color and doesn’t cover gray very well. If you have more than 20 percent gray or you’re unwilling to re-color every three weeks, henna probably isn’t the choice for you. Henna can also only create red, auburn, and brown shades. It is often used more to enhance than to color.
If you’re willing to mix your own hair color, it’s possible to use chamomile to lighten blonde or light brown hair. A simple rhubarb paste can also help lighten brown or blonde hair.
A Word of Caution
Just because something is organic and all natural doesn’t mean it’s safe. It’s possible to have a painful allergic reaction to henna or any other organic hair color. Before applying to your scalp, make sure to test any new organic hair color product on a small patch of your skin.