What is Organic Hair Coloring?

Article Details
  • Written By: Hilary Evans
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
The average American has around 60 "bad days" a year; lack of sleep is the biggest contributing factor.  more...

October 20 ,  1973 :  The "Saturday Night Massacre"  more...

Organic hair coloring is a broad term used to describe the process of coloring hair while using fewer toxic chemicals than are used in traditional methods. Consumers looking for healthier, eco-friendly hair coloring alternatives have many products from which to choose. They also can opt for different processing methods, such as highlighting and low-lighting, that limit the scalp's exposure to dye.

No legal standard exists for the term "organic" when applied to beauty supplies. Consumer advocacy groups have taken to rating and reviewing these products to help people determine how organic hair coloring options compare to one another. A number of bloggers also focus on green products used in beauty treatments.

During traditional hair coloring, a cream or gel containing hair dye and chemicals — such as ammonia and peroxide — is applied from the tip of the hair to the scalp. The chemicals are left to soak into the hair for several hours. Permanent hair color lasts roughly six weeks, at which time hair strands and roots start losing their artificial color and must be dyed again. Semi-permanent and temporary dyes use fewer chemicals and typically don't carry the same risks as permanent hair colors.


Long-term use of hair dyes, particular darker colors, has been linked to an associated risk of cancer. In the United States, the National Cancer Institute released a study showing increased risks for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and several forms of myeloma cancers. Released in 1994, it didn't receive much follow-up until a 2001 research paper published in the International Journal of Cancer. The second study showed an increased risk of bladder cancer in participants who regularly dyed their hair. Researchers have begun to investigate the risks from beauty products leaching into groundwater supplies.

Certain hair coloring processes limit exposure to toxic chemicals, but there is a growing demand for organic hair coloring products that are made without them. Henna has been used for centuries to color hair in varying shades. This chunky paste does not color hair for as long as traditional dyes, but it comes without harsh additives. It leaves the hair naturally conditioned so there is no need for additional products that might be toxic or harmful to the environment.

Beyond henna, a number of companies sell vegetable-based hair coloring kits. Salons also have begun to promote their own lines of organic hair coloring products. Most of these companies have products made with fewer chemicals, rather than no chemicals. In some instances, there are few differences between the regular products and the so-called organic products, or the chemicals that have been substituted have their own associated risks.


You might also Like


Discuss this Article

Post 2

@raynbow- Though organic hair coloring can be expensive, many people think that it is worth the cost. It is very gentle compared to regular brands, and conditions and moisturizes the hair.

One downside of organic hair coloring that I have found is that darker colors seem to work much better than blonde shades. If you want platinum blonde hair, you may not be able to achieve this shade with organic hair coloring. However, if you like to color your hair golden or dark blonde, it should work fine for you.

Post 1

Does anyone have hands-on experience using organic hair coloring? I am tempted to give it a try, but I noticed that organic brands can be quite costly. I don't want to waste money on it if it doesn't work.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?