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Toxic ingredients in hair dyes

The dangers of chemical hair dyes PLUS the best natural alternatives!

Toxic ingredients in hair dyes that are harmful to your health AND safe, natural alternatives

Statistics show that around 75% of women around the world dye their hair, while the number of men who dye their hair is rapidly increasing! If it's not to cover up those stubborn grey hairs (which both women and men are now fond of doing), they're changing the colour of their hair to compliment every season! Celebrities are known to change the colour of their hair almost every other day, and the general public are definitely following suit. Throughout it all, have you ever stopped to think what keeping up with the latest trends, or staying grey-free, is doing to your hair?

We don’t often hear about the health risks of regularly using chemical hair dyes, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any! Even the people who are aware of the health dangers of chemical hair dyes tend to ignore the scary truth, mainly because they don't know that there are in fact healthier alternatives. Professional hair dressers usually don't offer natural and healthier hair dyes and this leaves us with little option! As usual, the best approach is to do your research about the ingredients in chemical hair dyes and find out for yourself so that you can make healthier choices!

Let's find out how chemical hair dyes can be harmful to your health. You'll also be surprised to know that you can in fact colour your hair without any harsh chemicals that can damage your overall well-being!

Harsh ingredients in hair dyes

Here's a scary statement: "..according to a European Commission report of 2006, not one hair dye brand has proven to be consumer safe. In fact, the EU Commission has already banned 22 ingredients that may still be found in many products sold outside of Europe, and the commission is in the process of investigating another 115 potentially harmful ingredients." -

So without further ado, here are a FEW examples of the harmful ingredients that you expose yourself to when using chemical hair dyes:

  • Formaldehyde: A chemical compound made of hydrogen, oxygen and carbon, formaldehyde is best known for its preservative and anti-bacterial properties. Formaldehyde in chemical hair dye has been linked to cancer and fetal damage in pregnant women!
  • Resorcinol: An organic compound used to bond the dye permanently to the hairs. Resorcinol is known to cause scalp irritations and affect your endocrine system, which can throw your hormone balance out of sync.
  • Ammonia: A compound of nitrogen and hydrogen used to raise the pH of hair colorants, swell the hair and allow for more penetration of dye inside the hair shaft. Frequent exposure to ammonia can cause permanent damage to the hair's structural integrity, and can also cause respiratory problems when inhaled!
  • Para-phenylenediamine (PPD): A chemical substance made from coal tar that's also used as a wood preservative. PPD carries one of the highest risk out of all harmful ingredients in chemical hair dyes, and has been linked to severe allergic reactions, cancers, kidney failure and lung problems!
  • Lead acetate: A white crystalline chemical compound used mostly in progressive hair dyes to gradually build colour. Frequent exposure to lead acetate may lead to cancers and has caused some fertility problems in both men and women!

Safe and natural hair dyes for men and women

Organic henna powder

Henna has been used since ancient times as a natural hair and skin dye. It's made from a reddish-brown plant called Lawsonia Inermis, which has been dried and ground into a powder. In addition to colouring hair, henna improves hair growth, reduces dandruff, softens the hair and prevents split ends! It's important to be aware when buying henna, as many brands market their product as natural, when in fact, it's not pure or organic and may be laced with exactly the kind of ingredients you are trying to avoid! Earth Products has a wonderful Organic Red Henna Powder which contains only 100% organic henna powder and makes your hair full, glossy and healthy! You can vary the colour of the henna by adding coffee, Rooibos tea ir red wine to the mixture before you apply it!

Lemon juice

Using lemon juice on your hair creates natural highlights and lifts your colour, without having to use harsh bleach! The lightening effects of lemon juice are only activated with heat, so along with the application, you'll have to spend some time outdoors in the sun. All you need to do is squeeze fresh lemon juice (or buy pure lemon juice from the store) into a spray bottle, add Organic Coconut Oil to prevent your hair from drying out, apply to your hair and enjoy the sunshine! If you do this regularly, you’ll have natural highlights!

Natural, chemical-free herbal hair dyes

Love My Hair is a South African company that’s passionate about natural hair colour and firmly believes that all women should be able to dye their hair gently and effectively without using chemicals! Love My Hair has two ranges, the 100% Natural, Organic Chemical Free Herbal Hair Dyes (for those without grey hair or with only a small percentage of grey) and the Ultra-Low Chemical & Herbal Hair Dye (for those with a greater percentage of grey).


Coffee grounds are used to naturally darken your hair and cover grey hairs! Make a strong brew of coffee and wash your hair with your usual shampoo while you allow the coffee to cool down. Mix your conditioner with the coffee, apply on clean hair and allow to sit for about an hour. Use Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to rinse the mixture out, which helps the color last longer! You can repeat this as often as you need to, without any harmful side effects!


Just like coffee,, certain tea can help darken your hair shade and cover up moderate grey hair. Black tea is best for dark hair, chamomile tea is best for blondes, and Rooibos tea is suitable for orange/red hair. You can prepare it the same way as the coffee, and can repeat the application as often as you need to. A word of advice: "Do keep in mind that tea works best with your natural color. You won’t be able to turn blonde hair brunette. But black tea can darken blonde hair and chamomile can lighten it—especially if you sit in the sun while you have it in." -

Have YOU ever used any of these natural alternatives to dye your hair? If so, how did it turn out? Leave a comment below!

If you have any questions, please contact our team for FREE advice! We always love hearing from you!

Saskia Michele holistic health blog

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    Feelgood Health Team - April 17, 2023

    Good day Suraya

    Thank you for reaching out to Feelgood!

    In some cases some people have reported that using coffee in their henna paste has helped to darken the brown tones, while others have reported it’s only a temporary effect and the effects fade after a few washes.

    Also please note if you use coffee, it may have a drying effect on their hair, in which case we recommend they use Anara’s Hair Conditioning Treatment or BotaLife’s Argan Blend Hair Oil

    Should you require further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Feelgood Health Team

    Suraya - April 17, 2023

    Where can I find pure organic henna powder please? And if I use the henna powder will coffee change the colour from orange to brown? Thanking you kindly in advance and appreciation. Regards , suraya

    Feelgood Health Team - March 22, 2019

    Hi Trevonica

    Thanks for reaching out to us.

    MindSoothe Capsules should not be used together with prescription anti-depressants as the combined effect could be a problem. However, your patient can use PureCalm and AllisOne Rescue Synergy to assist with anxiety along with her prescription medication without fear of negative interactions.

    Please follow this link for more info on PureCalm:
    Please follow this link for more info on AllisOne Rescue Synergy:

    It is possible to transition from a prescription anti-depressant to MindSoothe, preferably under supervision of the prescribing doctor. To transition from an SSRI like Lorien to MindSoothe, the patient would stop the Lorien for 48 hours and then begin taking MondSoothe as directed.

    I hope that this has been helpful.

    Kind Regards

    Tassi Tyne Carelse

    Trevonica - March 22, 2019

    Good Day
    Please advise if your Mindsoothe products (tablets and drops) can be taken with other anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication. The patient is taking Lorien (for 1-month). I am hoping to wean her off the Lorien and continue with the Mindsoothe. Is this advisable?

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