I remember my grade 7 perm. It was horrible. I even teased my bangs to match. What a strange time the 80’s were.
Luckily perms have gone out of fashion, for both style and health reasons. But other hair treatments have become the trend, and if you ask me? Avoid them. Your hair is your hair. We all hate our hair, but just accept it. Work it. Shake what your momma gave ya. That’s what I say (sometimes).
The worst offender of these modern treatments is the Brazilian Blowout. Less sexy than other Brazilian beauty treatments, this hairostrophe uses toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde (a carcinogen) to get your hair straight. Not to mention what it does to the salon workers who are exposed to these chemicals every day, oy vey. Avoid at all costs. Seriously. Like if someone has a gun to your head and asks you to get a Brazilian blowout, don’t get it.
I’m kidding. If it’s a life or death situation, just get the hair treatment.
That would be a weird crime.
Anyhoo, while I’m against using chemicals to alter the texture of your hair, I realize going ‘au naturale’ with our grays is probably not realistic. Hair dye can make us look younger, fresher and can be a fun way to change our look.
The Dangers of Mainstream Hair Dye
If you’ve had your hair dyed either in the salon or at home, you’ve experienced the burning skin, the fumes that give you a headache… before we go any further these can tell us how toxic mainstream hair dye is. I used to dye my hair at home and would sometimes feel light-headed for several hours after. This is potent stuff.
On cancer.gov it states “over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products”. Um yeah. That’s a lot.
One look at your average hair dyes on the Skin Deep database shows alarmingly high toxicity scores.
But is There Such a Thing as Non-toxic Hair Dye?
Yes. There’s non-toxic as well as ‘less-toxic’, which is what I use. Let’s break it down.
The most commonly used all-natural hair dye is henna. Dawn Michelle from Minimalist Beauty has several articles on using henna. The problems I’ve seen with henna are:
- It’s messy to use and can stain.
- It affects the hair shaft so once you’ve dyed your hair with henna, it’s more difficult to dye your hair afterwards (ie: see a professional).
- In my experience the results can be unpredictable -> flashback to an unexpected flaming orange halo around my head, shudder.
The site Henna for Hair is supposed to have the best quality henna, but their website is such a nightmare it gives me a headache. If you have patience for bad user experience websites, check it out. Sorry if that’s mean.
Another well-known site that may be easier to navigate is Mountain Rose Herbs, or else you could also check your local health food store.
There are other hair dye options that may not be 100% all-natural, but they’re significantly less toxic than their mainstream counterparts. Considering this is something we’re only exposed to for 30 minutes every month or two, that works for me.
Most health food stores will have options. I personally use a brand called Sanotint (it comes in a yellow box). I’ve found there’s barely any odor to it, I never feel any kind of skin reactions or headaches and it works quite well – almost as well as, cough, Feria which is what I used to use.
The only problem is that there’s not much in the box. If you have shoulder length thick hair like me, you’ll likely need two boxes. They cost about 12$ each so it starts to get kind of expensive for an at-home treatment, but I haven’t found a natural salon in Montreal so it works for me.
What About You?
Do you dye your hair? Have you found any natural solutions that work for you? Do you go to the salon or DIY at home? Leave a comment and let us know.
Until next time…
*I’m not affiliated with these companies and receive no compensation if you buy something. For more on disclaimers, click here.
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