Most adults across England dye their hair on a regular basis. White and grey hair is beautiful (as is no hair!). But be aware that not only are most brands of hair dyes a chemical concoction of dodgy ingredients, but also most are packed in plastic packaging galore (plastic bottles, plastic gloves). So what are the alternatives? Also see the best natural hair care brands.
Hair dyes come in 3 types: temporary, semi-permanent and permanent. Yet walk into any chemist or supermarket these days, and it seems that nearly everything is now permanent only. Years ago, you could buy hair colours like Harmony (it wasn’t eco-friendly but a simple 6-weeks in and fade). Today, the only natural hair dye you could find is henna powder, a messy powder that takes hours to work but is safe. It can turn grey/ dyed hair a muddled orange. People with G6PD cannot use it.
A lot of ‘black henna’ sold is actually chemical dyes. Like many dark hair dyes, this can contain a chemical called PPD (banned in some countries, due to concerns over causing bladder cancer). Yet some ‘natural hair dyes’ in health stores contain it.
Lighter hair dyes are safer, but still contain many chemicals. And if you a natural ‘platinum blonde’, you are not going to find a natural dye, but Aveda salons do offer soy-hi-lites, which is around as natural as you can get (less re-growth too).
The Best Natural Hair Dyes
Always do a patch test. If you are pregnant or nursing, avoid hair dyes or check with the manufacturer, before use.
- It’s Pure Organic is a henna dye. It comes in several shades, and takes a few hours to work, but it has great reviews and is completely safe. Sometimes, dying your hair with natural henna does give hair a ‘green tinge’, for a few days.
- Daniel Field Hair Colour is not quite as natural, but the next best. Invented by an organic hairdresser, this brand is free from the usual nasties like PPD and other chemicals. Available in several colours with detailed instructions, just add water, shake the bottle and apply (repeat monthly for conditioning benefits).
- Hairprint (US) was invented by an environmental chemist, who managed to blend a few botanicals together, to send his own hair back to its original hair colour in around 90 minutes. You do have to reapply this every few weeks, but it’s perfectly safe.
- Desert Shadow Organic (US) is a certified organic hair dye. This is as good as it gets, for a pure hair dye. These colours are henna-based and last 4 to 6 weeks.