There are organic hair salons that uses herbs to mix up their own colors which is the most earth friendly way to go as it is almost completely chemical free. However, the shades and treatments are limited and this method does not always meet todays salon standards and the needs of the customers. Below I have listed some brands that produces ammonia free hair color, some more natural and ecological than others. No matter what you choose I strongly suggest that you start questioning the quality and ingredients of the hair care products you use on a daily basis and the content of color. Statistics show that hairdressers and people who frequently dye their hair are more likely to develop cancer and other diseases linked to excessive chemical exposure.
Some of the most harmful ingredients in hair dyes are
- Para-phenylenediamine and tetrahydro-6-nitroquinoxaline, both have shown to damage genetic material and cause cancer in animals.
- Coal tar, a known carcinogen is used in hair colors and dyes as it creates brighter and more lasting colors than other organic vegetable dyes.
- Formaldehyde is a preservative linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity and more.
- DMDM Hydantoin, another preservative is a known immune system toxin (and has been restricted for use in cosmetics in Japan).
- Eugenol is a fragrance ingredient that’s associated with cancer, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and allergies
Hair colour and health
- Ammonia and hydrogen peroxide can cause allergic reactions.
- All the three chemicals, ammonia, p-Phenylenediamine and hydrogen peroxide are harmful for women with hair loss problems and scalp dermatitis.
- Mercury or lead. Hair colors that use mercury, lead or other metals are very damaging.
- Aniline dyes, which are often used in semi-permanent hair dyes, are said to be toxic and cause irritation to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes to hypersensitive people.
- PPD. Allergic reactions from PPD are known to cause facial and neck swelling. Inhalation is likely to bring about coughing, sneezing and shortness of breath, and respiratory problems in extreme cases. Skin contact with PPD may cause rashes and eye contact irritation, redness and pain.
- Coal-tar- The most recent studies on Coal tar-based hair colors state that “women using permanent hair dye at least once a month for a period more than one year more than double their risk of bladder cancer” (USC School of Medicine, Gago-Dominguez et al. 2001).
- Women who used permanent self-administered hair dye at least once a month for a year or longer were twice as likely as women who did not use permanent hair dye to develop bladder cancer. 
- Those women who used permanent dye monthly for 15 years or more were more than three times as likely to develop bladder cancer as non-dye users.
- Hairstylists and barbers with just one year or more occupational exposure to permanent hair dyes were 50% more likely to have bladder cancer than those who did not. This increased to five times — 500% — more with 10 years of professional exposure.
Some health stores and organic shops stock the brands Sante, Logona and Tints of nature.
Natural and ammonia free hair salon brands to look for when you want your color done are Organic color systems, Jevals Chi Ionic by Farouk Systems and Original & Mineral. Two Italian hair colour brands available worldwide are Greenlights Mossa and Yo. Hair Coloring by Kemon where the active ingredient is yoghurt.
International Health News
ATSDR – Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry