These days, hair color "to die for" can be literal. The chemical phenylenediamine has been found to cause cancer in animal subjects, and after a recent study, there is proof that regular use of hair dyes with that particular chemical raises bladder cancer by three times. 1
But that's not all. The synthetic colors found in most over-the-counter dyes are from coal tar. Listed as the FD&C or D&C colors, They are considered by the World Health Organization as possible carcinogens but are still allowed on the store shelves. Hairdressers who work around dye have been found to have higher incidences of several different types of cancer. 2 To find a safe hair coloring really can be a matter of life or death.
If you're like me, you don't want to add deadly toxins to your body when you dye your hair. But you would like a hair color that will last and condition the hair at the same time. Naturtint is a great permanent hair dye that uses soy and plant extracts instead of ammonia and cancer causing agents. I have used this product, and really like it. It has plenty of colors to choose from, and it met my expectations for length of color, not drying out my hair, and giving me a natural color. However, just like any dye, permanent hair color can be tricky. Here's a few ideas to help you get your best experience from this hair color.
A good rule of thumb is not to go darker, but a shade lighter than your natural color. Always follow the timetable provided. You can go shorter on the time limit, but never exceed it. If you do, you might end up with dull-looking hair and no pretty highlights because each hair is just literally one solid color.
Perms affect dyes too. If you have had a recent perm, it can tend to "grab" the color and color darker and faster than expected. I didn't know this little tidbit when trying a different product, and my perm grabbed my dark brown color and it came out deep black with no highlights. With my fair skin, the contrast was shocking. I got called "Snow White" by my teenagers longer than I want to remember. But of course, I felt more like I resembled the wicked witch!
If you dye your own hair, you are bound to have a few stories like mine. The most important story is to be healthy from the color you use! Ellen
1 Gago-Dominguez M, et al. "Use of permanent hair dyes and bladder-cancer
risk." International Journal of Cancer. 2001;91:575-579.
2 Zhang Y, et al. "Hair-coloring product use and risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: a population-based case-control study in Connecticut."