Any alternatives to standard hair coloring agents?


I have a lot of grey hair. I had no problems using the standard hair coloring shampoos and gels. Then suddenly during one application I developed a very strong allergic response. Since then I have not been able colour my hair. The standard hair coloring stuf contains Paraphenylenediamine which is what makes the color permanent and easy to use. Does anyone know of any alternative that I can use? I have black hair and applying henna was suggested by someone, but that is quite a cumbersome and messy process and the results do not give a black color. Anything else? Biodyes, all natural products?

Henna comes in quite a few shades, actually. Are you sure you can’t find it in black? I’ve never tried it myself, and if you do try it out, I’ve heard it can be unpredictable on previously-dyed (through artificial means) hair.

There aren’t any other ‘natural’ dyes - there are those that claim to be ‘herbal’ or ‘natural’ but aren’t, but from everything I’ve read, there aren’t any truly natural hair dyes save henna. Keep in mind, dying your hair is a very harsh chemical process; it required quite a bit of chemical ingenuity to create the products we have.

However, check out semi-permanent dyes. They use different chemical processes, and it’s possible that you might not be allergic to them. I can’t say anything for sure, and I’m not an expert in this area, just a boy who colors his hair a lot. IANAHairstylist, don’t believe anything I say, void where prohibited, etc. etc. etc.

Sorry you’re having these troubles. I’d hate to have to stop coloring my hair. :frowning:

I have no problems using henna, except that it is cumbersome. Are there any ready to use henna products that one can apply just like the standard hair dyes. I mean, from what I know, the henna that is available has to be made into a paste by mixing water and then leaving it overnight on an iron pot. Also, after applying one has to keep it on for something like an hour or so before the colour takes its effect. I wouldn’t mind henna if it can dipensed easily, meaning no preparation and the holding time. Any cues?

I wish I had some advice to offer you about it, but I’ve never tried it out myself. Hopefully someone more familiar with it will stumble into the thread.

Quoting Excalibre "Henna comes in quite a few shades, actually. "

No, henna is a plant and is one color- reddish brown. Unfortunately, there are several products on the market whose labels are plain lying. They may contain henna, or they may contain other herbs, or they may contain chemical dyes. Anything that says 100% henna but is supposed to be other than reddish-brown should be avoided. Rainbow Henna from your local whole food store is a popular example of this.
Some other herbs that can be used on hair are senna and indigo. Senna, sometimes listed as cassia, gives similar conditioning effects as henna but no color. Indigo darkens hair, and if used over henna will turn it gorgeous raven’s wing black. I’ve also seen chamomile for blonde effects, but I don’t know if that lasts. I used to mix my hair henna with Red Zinger tea, which is full of hibiscus and gave me almost a magenta color for the first few days, then washed out. I assume the chamomile works the same. Light Mountain is a commercial brand that is very well labeled. Uinfortunately, I know of very few people who have gotten gd, lasting results from this brand.
The nice thing about these natural dyes is that they are translucent, which means they keep the natural color variations of your hair partially visible, which means that the new color looks very natural.
There is a pictorial on how to do henna for hair on my website, I also sell both henna and indigo.

Learn something new every day, I guess. It does seem strange that you could, in theory, get all those colors out of one plant. I guess there’s a whole lot of misleading manufacturers out there.