Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Go Away Gray!

*** Calling all Dye Bottle Divas! Calling all Dye Bottle Divas! ***

Penny needs your help! I especially want to talk to my Sisters in Beauty (SIBs) who use permanent hair color regularly. Penny is not ready to go down with the gray hair ship...I want to fight the good fight for at least another year or two. LOL! I know it comes as no shock to anyone that I have been using Bigen Permanent Hair Color (# 58-Black Brown) for the last few years because it is ammonia-free and hydrogen peroxide-free. Yes, Penny has been "going gray" for over 10 years now (the streak), but it takes work to keep that 'just starting to gray' look. Ha ha ha!  

Bigen is a simple powder you mix with water and is fairly inexpensive in comparison to other commercial dyes (about $4.99 a box), and now available in the drugstore and not just the beauty supply store (i.e. CVS, Sally's, Wal-Mart). Since I touch up my grays about every 6 weeks, I only need one box.

  • Ammonia-free
  • Hydrogen peroxide-free; doesn't strip/lift hair color
  • Leaves my hair soft; not stripped and hard like other commercial products
  • Covers 100% of my gray
  • No harsh odors
  • Does not wash out; permanent color for up to 4-6 weeks
  • Rich look
(Read full story...)

  • Includes a chemical called 'p-Paraphenylenediamine (PPD)' which is said to cause severe allergic reactions in some; the Center for Disease Control lists PPD as being a contact allergen; it's is in almost all hair dyes; the darker the color, the more PPD it contains; this is the same chemical added to natural henna to create "black henna;" there is no such thing as natural black henna; some are created using indigo, which is said to be less harmful.
  • Bigen is not a 'natural or organic' product and the amount of PPD in it is controversial
  • The first ingredient is 'Sodium Perborate' which is said to be an irritant for the skin; said to be used in laundry detergents and bleaches, as well as cleaning products; contains other potentially harmful chemicals.
  • Does not contain henna or condition the hair like natural henna
In my attempt to avoid hydrogen peroxide and ammonia, I have come to find that what I thought was a 'healthier' way to dye my gray hair, is not so healthy after all. (See for details on PPD). I am concerned about prolonged use of this and other commercial dyes. Not only am I worried about any damage to my hair, but I am also concerned about developing any other allergic reactions or something more severe. Many recommended HENNA due to its conditioning and strengthening qualities, but natural (real) henna is reddish in color, which would not work with my skin tone. Henna is also semi-permanent and may not cover my gray completely. It will also wash out in a few weeks, and some (so-called black henna) may even turn my gray hair blue. Many products on the market called 'black henna' has been chemically altered, and are not safe. "Black Henna" is a misnomer arising from imports of plant-based hair dyes into the West in the late 19th century. Partly fermented, dried indigo was called "black henna" because it could be used in combination with henna to dye hair black." (see Wikipedia,'black henna' search).

So Penny's question of the day is...Do any of you divas have any good recommendations for natural, non-toxic, safer hair coloring products? I am looking for permanent dyes mainly only because semi-permanent rinses don't cover the amount of gray I have well. Have any of you used "natural" hair color brands like Herbatint, Aubrey Organics Color Me Natural, Light Mountain, or any other color that doesn't contain PPD, Sodium Perborate, m-Aminophenol Stearate, Ammonia, Hydrogen Peroxide, etc? What do you like or don't like about the product(s)?  Please comment on this post or send me an email.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

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