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Herbal Hair Colouring/Dye: The Healthier and Safer Option

As your crowning glory, your hair makes a world of difference in how you look. With a proper hairstyle and hair condition, you can project your disposition and personality to the people around you. Part of pampering our hair is applying colour to it.

While some people do not prefer to alter the colour of their hair, many still opt for cosmetic reasons like covering up grey hair, enhancing current hair colour, or simply imposing a fashion statement. In other words, this trend has become well-embraced in today’s society.

It is important, however, that when applying colour to your hair, you adapt what is right, proper, and healthy for you. Many hair colouring treatments are infused with chemical ingredients like ammonia and parabens that are deemed harmful to the body and the environment.

Yes, you can still look great with the traditional chemical-based hair dyes, but it doesn’t give your hair and scalp their appropriate nourishment. With the recent pandemic and calamities, you need to be more health-conscious and eco-friendly. It’s time to shift your paradigm using herbal hair dyes. These are not your regular hair colour treatment. They are composed of organic ingredients so you can use them guilt-free.

Types of Hair Dye

Hair dyes are either permanent or semi-permanent. If you’re looking for a long-term application (permanent hair colour), then the permanent hair dye can do it. However, it also means the use of chemicals; ammonia and hydrogen peroxide to support longevity. These substances are known to be harmful and produce allergic effects.

Unlike permanent hair dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes do not have ammonia or hydrogen peroxide so they are a healthier choice. The semi-permanent hair dye can either be natural or synthetic. Natural hair dye or herbal hair dyes are dominated by purely herbal ingredients while synthetic ones are mixed with chemical substances.

How Are Herbal Hair Dyes Made?

The majority of herbal hair dye ingredients come from dried plants, flowers, or leaves. Once these natural ingredients become dry, they are mashed into powder form, which serves as the base ingredient of the hair dye.

The powdered ingredients are then mixed uniformly then combined with hot water to create a dye paste. When applying herbal hair dye to your hair, it helps to use a brush so you can make an even application and cover the hair roots from the tips to the scalp.

After application, you can leave it for 2 to 3 hours on the scalp until it completely dries. You can then rinse it with plain water.

Why Herbal and Not Chemical

Herbal hair dyes are hair colour treatment options that use 100% percent natural ingredients like plants and herbs instead of synthetic chemicals.

In the 18th century, scientists discovered the existence of P-Phenylenediamine or PPD in traditional synthetic dyes. Continuous use of chemical-based dyes is linked to serious diseases like bladder cancer, myeloma, and lymphoma.

Natural Ingredients of Herbal Hair Colour Dye

There are many options for herbal hair dye, depending on the brand and your location, but its common ingredients are any or a combination of the following:

• HennaIndigo

• Aloe vera

• Amla

• Hibiscus

• Guava

• Reetha

• Shikakai

• Tulsi

The Toxic Ingredients of a Chemical Hair Dye

With the advent of technology, it’s easy to choose hair dye products anytime and anywhere. However, if you are not meticulous, you could end up destroying your hair, instead of enhancing it. Listed below are the top toxic ingredients that make up common chemical-based hair dyes.

1. Ammonia

Present in almost all traditional or synthetic hair dyes, Ammonia has a powerful and unpleasant odor. They are primarily used in hair dyes so that the color can efficiently permeate the hair cuticle. However, there is a price to pay.

Prolonged exposure to ammonia can lead to damaged and dry hair and could result in throat and respiratory issues.

2. Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)

PPD allows the easy removal of your hair’s current pigment and the takeover of a new color. However, this chemical is also carcinogenic, which could lead to complications like respiratory failure, rhabdomyolysis, and cardiac issues.

3. Para-toluenediamine (PTD)

PTD is an alternative to those that are allergic to PPD. However, PTD is still harmful when absorbed by the skin in high quantities. This chemical not only affects the person getting the hair dye treatment but also the hairdressers doing the treatment.

4. Quaternium-15

Usually found in cosmetic and laundry products, this chemical agent is a known allergen that can cause contact dermatitis because of its formaldehyde release. Quaternium-15 has become highly controversial in that it is banned by the European Commission.

5. Resorcinol

Resorcinol is a silent assassin because it doesn’t only affect your scalp but your health as a whole.

It can cause irritation or redness when it touches the skin and when inhaled, it can cause abdominal pain.

Higher doses of the chemical are toxic and could disrupt your central nervous system and endocrine system, particularly the thyroid.

6. Titanium Dioxide

In hair dyes, the chemical is used as a pigment. Though it is not as significantly harmful compared to the preceding chemicals, high exposure can bring potential health effects.

High concentrations can irritate the throat and nose when inhaled and mildly irritate the eyes and skin when in contact.

7. Phthalates

Aside from hair dyes, Phthalates can be found in products like nail polishes, cosmetics, and food packaging. Though it helps in making polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic soft and durable, it isn’t a healthy idea to put it in your body.

They aren’t alarming at low levels but at high levels, they are harmful to the human body. They can damage the lungs, kidneys, liver, and reproductive system.

8. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

SLS assists in the cleaning of your hair. That’s why this chemical is also found in household cleaning products. While it does a good job of removing dirt from your hair, it inadvertently includes the natural oils, leaving your hair weak. They are considered safe in small amounts but when in excess, they could irritate your skin.

What Are the Benefits of Herbal Hair Dye?

Hair colour treatment uses organic components, which means you get to enjoy a boatload of benefits. Learn more about them below:

1) Effective but not harmful

The market is saturated with hair dye products but sadly, many of them are detrimental to our environment. Chemical hair dyes are usually formulated with petrochemicals, ammonia, phthalates, sulfates, PPD, and parabens.

PPD, for example, one of the most common ingredients in hair dyes, can irritate the skin and affect your immune and nervous systems. Ammonia, for example, can trigger respiratory and throat problems. You might have experienced itching during hair-dying sessions. This is the effect of chemical-based hair dyes.

2) Completely biodegradable

Not only are chemical-based hair dyes harmful to your body, but they also pose a negative threat to mother nature. When you wash the chemical hair dyes off your hair, they eventually end up in local waterways. The ammonia content of these substances is harmful to marine ecosystems.

Fortunately, you don’t need to give up your hair dyeing sessions to protect the planet. The herbal hair dye is a wonderful sustainable alternative to chemical-based dyes because it does not carry harsh chemicals.

Natural hair dye products are eco-friendly and meet environmental standards. Many of the salons are already adapting to organic hair dyes that do not contain harsh chemicals.

3) Long-lasting effect

Some tend to think that herbal hair dyes are short-term alternatives, but they are long-lasting. The reason is that the plant figments attach to the hair’s outer layer, making the color endure for a long period.

To extend the effect even more, refrain from using hot tools such as hairdryers and straightening irons. If you need to use them, make sure that you put a thermal protectant on your hair beforehand.

Also, stay away from hot showers. You can also fasten a filter to your shower so that it filters color-fading substances such as heavy metals and chlorine.

4) Helps in grey hair coverage

Your hair becomes grey when it doesn’t have enough melanin due to fewer pigment cells in your hair follicles. As we age, our hair follicles slowly die, so having grey hair is inevitable. Good thing we have natural hair dyes to cover the lackluster color.

The herbal hair dye can provide decent grey hair coverage and enhance the shining quality. Natural hair dye is a way to hide those gray strands and enjoy protection from dangerous chemical-based dyes.

According to a study, ingredients like gudhal, kuth, jatamansi, amla, kattha, henna, and coffee, work together synergistically to effectively color the hair. Jatamansi in particular was shown to efficiently blacken the hair.

5) Excellent nourishment

The herbal hair dye is a healthy choice to make. With ingredients based on organic derivatives, it can provide nutrients to your hair, face, and skin. It does not only nourish the outer layer but it delivers the nutrients down to the scalp level.

In effect, it conditions your hair and helps make it shiny and thick. If you have hair problems such as dandruff, split ends, hair fall, and other issues, herbal hair dye is an all-natural remedy.

Specific herbal ingredients magically enrich your hair condition. Reetha is a wonderful ingredient that rejuvenates dull and dry hair. Bhringarj improves blood circulation through the delivery of more nutrients.

Shikakai contains vitamins that produce antioxidants that help clean your scalp and kill bacteria. The juice of the hibiscus flower can strengthen your hair, restricting hair fall and the proliferation of dandruff.

6) Everyone can use it

When buying cosmetic products, consumers normally choose those that they don’t get allergic to. Because herbal hair dyes are healthy and non-allergic, everyone can enjoy them. As long as it is free from toxic chemicals, you can dye as much as you want without worrying about allergies.

If you are pregnant or receiving drug treatments, you don’t have to worry because a herbal hair dye is safe to use.

7) Compatible for all hair types

The herbal hair dye works like a charm for all types of hair, whether it’s curly, straight, or wavy, it doesn’t matter. The organic ingredients enhance your hair condition, treating any dryness or itchiness.

In terms of color, the herbal hair dye adapts to your natural hair color so you can simply use it as much as you want.

How to Choose the Best Herbal Hair Dye

1. More organic, fewer chemicals

As much as possible, choose products that are all-natural or herbal. If you have limited options, prioritize those that have minimal synthetic ingredients. The packaging of the product lists all ingredients used to make it. Thoroughly go over the list and make sure to choose those that are derived from natural herbal extracts.

Though proclaimed as organic, many brands infuse a minute amount of chemical ingredients to make other functions work. Choose hair dyes that are free of PPD, ammonia, and resorcinol, to avoid irritation of skin, hair, and body.

2. Eco-friendly

With Earth decaying every second, we must do our share in mitigating the element affecting our environment. Before adding an item to your cart, check if the label has an eco-friendly label on it. Its presence on the packaging indicates that during manufacturing, the company is using renewable resources.

3. Matches your color scheme

Color is important because it synchronizes with your appearance as a whole. The herbal hair dye should match your skin tone. The general rule of thumb is to pick a color tone that is slightly lighter than your normal hair color.

The natural shade of your hair is the one during its regrowth, not when it is fully grown. This is your initial tone and must be the basis when choosing colours. The most common herbal ingredients with excellent dyeing pigments are indigo, henna, amla, and cassia obovate.

4. Appropriate pH level

A well-conditioned hair has a pH range that falls within 4.5 to 5.5. Having closed hair cuticles keeps your hair hydrated and preserves its elasticity. Choose products that have greater alkaline to balance the colour’s high pH.

A herbal hair dye works well with the hair’s optimal pH levels. The colour’s base is already alkaline to increase the pH and works as a conditioning agent for the cuticles.

5. Non-allergic

A good way to check your allergic reactions is to perform a patch test at home. You can also opt to have it performed in your doctor’s clinic.

Tips in Using Herbal Hair Dye

1. Use natural shampoos

Some shampoos and conditioners can affect the hair dye’s effectiveness. The silicone shampoo, for example, prevents the colour from grabbing onto your hair. Silicones inhibit colour assimilation by creating artificial barriers around the hair strands.

Instead, use natural shampoos to let the colour stick to the hair. Since they are very gentle, they are a great complement for herbal hair dyes.

2. Use carefully when pregnant

Maybe you’re expecting a baby and wondering if using herbal hair dyes is safe for you and your upcoming little one. One particular peer-reviewed study showed that there were no adverse effects observed on exposed pregnant patients. It’s highly advised, however, that pregnant hairdressers must wear gloves to limit exposure.

Final Thoughts

We are in an era where health is the topmost priority, so we cannot afford to compromise it. Herbal hair dyes are the better option so that you can go about your hair colouring treatment safely for yourself, for others, and the environment.