Sunday, November 18, 2012

To dye or not to dye...

For quite awhile now, I've felt like a hypocrite. Why? Because I dye my hair.

While I've eliminated many, many toxins from my home and body, I just couldn't let go of this one thing. 

As I watched my hair get grayer and grayer, I fretted over what to do. Just because I'm a grandma, doesn't mean I have to look like one, right? I mean, there's little I can do about the gradually wrinkling skin I face in the mirror every day. I am not getting Botox or a facelift. But still, the hair bothered me.

Finally, I decided I'd had enough. I don't want to be gray. Period. But I looked at all of the toxins listed on the Safe Cosmetic Database for the semi-permanent dye I'd been using and just couldn't poison my body with it any longer. So I went to Whole Foods, spoke with one of their associates, and bought some Naturtint. Is it perfectly safe and non-toxic? Probably not. But it's better than L'Oreal. The Safe Cosmetic Database has ratings for the old formulas of this dye, so I really couldn't judge it. 

So... it sat on my desk for a couple of weeks as I vacillated between using it or returning it. I was afraid of the color mostly. I knew what color to choose when I went to the store for my Preference. But there was nothing close with the Naturtint. Light Copper Chestnut. Hmmm. It didn't look light on the model. Permanent Hair Colorant. Whoa. My former color was semi-permanent. What does permanent mean?

Well, I guess I'm going to find out because I finally took the plunge on Saturday morning. The results?

Well, the gray is gone. But my hair is definitely not light copper chestnut. The color matches the model's exactly and, while it looks good on her, it's a bit harsh for me. At least it's not gray. And there were far less toxins being absorbed through my scalp. 

Do I like it? Not really, but I'm hoping it will grow on me. If you see me, let me know what you think... one way or the other. 

One thing's for certain -- I'm a work in progress, just like you. When I think of all the toxins in my home when I first started this blog, it's enough to make me sick... literally. Year by year, month by month, I've made healthier choices. Maybe someday I'll even show off the gray as a badge of true evolution.

What's your most non-green habit?


  1. Funny you should mention this. I've been coloring my hair since I was about 33 (newly divorced, lost weight, colored it for fun). A few years ago (I'm 51 now), I realized I was now covering up a LOT of gray. It took me a while, but a friend of mine convinced me (through a discussion of gray hair being a biblical sign of wisdom and glory, oddly enough) that I should at least rethink WHY I was still coloring my hair.

    I haven't colored it since June... and I'm about one haircut away from all traces of the hair color being gone. I'll have a salt-n-pepper amount of gray when all is said and done... and I've never felt so FREE about a difficult decision. It's nothing to be afraid of, really. (And I was afraid!)

    And I'm meeting a lot of female friends who've also stood up to the notion that gray hair on a woman = old-looking. And I love walking PAST that hair-color aisle in the store now.

    Having said that, my most non-green habit right now is spritzing the shower curtain with a daily shower spray! (I KNOW, I KNOW!) Hubby uses a bar soap that leaves a HORRIBLE amount of soap scum and if I don't find a way to keep up with it on that shower curtain, it's a gross mess. (I'm afraid a vinegar spritz would smell a bit too strong for others who have to use that bathroom. Any ideas?)

    1. The smell of vinegar dissipates quickly, Linda!

      As far as going gray... I'm just not ready. But I feel better using this vegetable-based dye instead of the chemically-laden stuff I used before.

      And I know about the joy of walking past aisles in the store... like the paper towel, napkin, paper plate aisle, the laundry detergent, bleach, fabric softener aisle, and the personal care aisle (shampoo, conditioner, body lotions, deodorant, toothpaste...) I no longer buy any of those items at the store!

  2. OH, as for the strong hair color you have now: That was starting to happen to me with my color. The first few days after coloring it were a shock -- felt too dark, too uniform. But after about 3-4 days it calmed down and looked quite natural. Give it a little time.

    Also, permanent means it'll have to either grow out or (more likely) fade. The color I used always grew a lighter shade and faded as it grew out. You might be happier with it in a week or two. (Also, it'll mean recoloring about every 8-10 weeks to keep it steady-looking.)

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. That has always been my experience, too, but I didn't know if the permanent color would fade that way or not.

  3. That shade would be so easy to achieve with a henna and indigo mix. Probably wouldn't even need very much indigo to give you that amount of brown. You don't need the premixes either. Just buy body art quality for the finest sift and mix with water, coffee or tea. Then you have all natural ingredients. I switched and can't believe it took me so long.


Search This Blog