Health-conscious aficionados who don’t want to ingest a chemical sh*t storm through their skin should be aware that the FDA does not regulate the chemicals used to color hair. The European Union keeps more stringent standards, and in 2006, banned 22 hair dye chemicals, but the FDA claims that only one of those banned is used in the U.S.
What’s a conscious consumer to do? Read labels, for one.
“Whatever you put on your scalp penetrates your body via the blood,” says Roya Adjory, co-owner of the environmentally conscious Los Angeles-area Nori’s Eco-Salon. For this reason, Adjory, along with her sister Roza and mother Nori, carefully read labels and conduct investigations when choosing brands of hair color to use in the salon or recommend to their customer
While even the most eco-friendly products can have tongue-twister ingredient lists, Adjory recommends avoiding hair dyes containing sulfites, phthalates, parabens, ethanolamine, and perfumes. Talk to your stylist, or find someone who specializes in going green (without turning your hair a chartreuse hue). Adjory prefers Aveda and EcoColors for coloring and Isvara Organics and Shikai for their other hair care products.
We are quite impressed with Organic Way (Oway) for organic hair color, the world’s first professional holistic hair color, care and styling line made with biodynamic organic and fair trade ingredients. From Farm to Chair, Oway’s organic salon products take root on their family’s biodynamic farms in Bologna, Italy – where Italian quality meets nature. Oway transforms any hair appointment into an immersive multi-sensorial, non-toxic salon experience with active botanicals and pure essential oils of the highest quality.
If you want to do your own research, check out The Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, which ranks products’ hazard levels. We individually have a responsibility to educate ourselves and pass our knowledge along.