Hair Color

April 3, 2008


by Christy Roberts

From the “Guide to Less Toxic Products (from the Environmental Health Association of Novia Scotia) the following home color products were listed:

“A study by the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Athens Medical Schools suggested that women who use hair dyes five or more times a year have twice the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Most permanent hair dyes contain potential irritants and carcinogens like formaldehyde and ammonia. Petroleum-based coal tar derivatives and phenylenediamine cause cancer. Products containing phenylenediamine can cause blindness if the solution drips into eyes. Dr. Samuel Epstein, chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition, says the use of hair dye places women at increased risk of certain cancers, especially leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple myeloma and Hodgkin’s disease. He states there is strong evidence that the use of hair colouring products accounts for up to 20 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma cases in U.S. women, and that there is suggestive evidence these products increase breast cancer risk. Dark and black colours are particularly toxic. “


Colora Henna

Neekoo Natural Henna

VitaWave Hair Color


Naturcolor – Hair Color Gel to cover grey hair

Simply Unscented

Herbatint – No fragrance or ammonia


True henna is a plant derived product which produces brown through red shades. Steer clear of so-called “black henna”. This is not a true henna, and contains PPD, a carcinogenic chemical additive contained in hair dyes. Black henna is also used to make temporary tattoos.

Elephant Pharmacy (local to SF Bay area carries these home hair color products: (amonia free)

Logona hair color (more info found at:

PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=486 )

–Note for Logona products ONLY: DO colour right after perming. The hair is very susceptible to dye
after a perm, and our 100% natural formulation will feed and nourish the hair at the same time.
DON’T mix herbal colours with chemical hair colours as discolouration may result. If you think you
may still have traces of a chemical dye in your hair, always test a strand first.

Naturtint — not very permanent (free of resorcinol and ammonia — more info available from: )

Herbatint (from Italy) — not very permanent


Another good online link:

“Aviva is proud to carry natural hair coloring products in dozens of colors from Herbatint, Naturcolor and Sanotint. While no ‘permanent’ dyes are 100% chemical-free, products such as these are much healthier alternatives to the mainstream dyes that cause problems for so many people.”

From the National Green Pages ( ))

Ecocolors: )

As far as color products in hair salons I only found those that were refered to as a “much cleaner product, containing far less of the harmful chemicals, and substituting natural products whenever possible”. The two I found were:


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