Natural hair color
Natural hair color is a loosely used term to connote that the product has been developed using natural ingredients. It is also assumed by most that it does not have any chemicals.
The practice of using natural hair color goes back to ancient times. The Romans used leeches and charred eggs and walnut shells. In Europe and Asia, Henna and Indigo combination was used to give hair light brown to black shade.
 Why should I be aware of this?
Most of us are opting for or thinking to opt for natural hair colors as we want safer ingredients. Some people want natural ingredients because they have developed sensitivities or are allergic to a wide range of chemicals. Are natural hair color products available in the market completely natural? What are the options available for those wanting to opt for safer ingredients?
 All about natural hair colors
Natural hair colors use plant based ingredients and other natural ingredients. They also use chemicals. Different products use different ingredients. Some communly used ingredients by natural hair color products are
- Sage is used for dark brown or black hair
- Henna is effective to add a reddish tinge
- Natural extract from walnuts -- Traditionally used for its soothing and anti-itch properties as well as against sunburns and other superficial burns, most hair colors use walnut extracts to
- Rhubarb Extract - Natural extract from Chinese rhubarb. This calms scalp irritation and provides yellow coloring for hair.
- Cinchona Extract - Natural Extract from Cinchona bark. It is a major source of quinine. Cinchona extract has long been known for it tonic, antiseptic and astringent properties.
- Propylene Glycol - Next to water, this is the most common moisture-carrying vehicle used in cosmetic formulations. Proplylene glycol is used as a humectant since it absorbs water from the air. It also serves as a solvent for antioxidants and preservatives. In addition, it has preservative properties against bacteria and fungi when used in concentrations of 15% or higher. There is a concern that propylene glycol is an irritant at higher concentrations, though it appears to be quite safe at usage levels under 5%.
- Noxinol 6/4 - This is an emulsifier.
- P-Phenylenadiamine - This chemical provides coloring for hair.
- Rescorcinol - This is a chemical used as a preservative.
- Sodium Metabisulfite - This is an inorganic salt used as an antiseptic and a pH adjuster in cosmetic creams. Concentrated solutions can cause strong irritations.
- O/M Aminophenol - This is used for coloring hair.
- EDTA - This (ethylendiamine tetra acetic acid) is a preservative.
- Ethanolamine - This is an emollient.
- Etidronic Acid -This is a stabilizer.
- This is an emollient
- Hydrogen Peroxide - A chemical, this is a bleaching and oxidizing agent. Generally recognized as a safe preservative, germ killer, and skin bleacher in cosmetics. If used undiluted, it can cause burns of the skin and mucous membranes.
- Water - Water is an important skin component and is essential for its proper functioning.
- All manufactured hair colors need a chemical as a developer. It lifts the outer opening of the hair known as cuticle, enabling the color to penetrate.
 Natural hair color and health
The chemicals used in natural hair colors can cause skin irritation and allergies.
 Natural hair color and environment
 What can I do?
You can either go for herbal hair color or make an informed choice to select a natural hair color.
Herbatint contains a small amount of PPD (.08 to 1.22%) in the form of Phenylenediamine. Depending on the color selected the amount of PPD can be as low as .08%. This is significantly less than the commercial hair color lines that might contain as much as 6% PPD. The European Community currently approves up to 6% of PPD for hair coloring products.
Depending on the Herbatint shade selected, hydrogen peroxide levels will range from a very low 3-10% volume compared to commercial color products that will contain anywhere from 20, 30 or 40% volume levels.
The product is completely free of ammonia, which is a known culprit in inhalation and odor concerns. Herbavita makes a point of limiting the types and concentrations of chemicals in their Herbatint line as much as possible
- A coloring product that is as natural and mild as possible just won't have the lightening and coloring powers like the chemical big boys.
A few really potent herbs such as henna and walnut hulls can be used to color hair naturally. But most herbal dyes are slow acting and have to be used often to reach the required shade. Some plant-based colorants darken, highlight or cover the grey hairs.
 See Also
- Non-Toxic Hair Color Facts
- Color your hair naturally
- Non-Toxic Hair Color Facts
- Finding the Right Hair Color for You
- A Homemade Hair Dye May Be the Answer![[Category:Fashion And Beauty]