What You Should Know About Organic Hair Color

One of the biggest challenges of being a salon owner or booth renter is figuring out what color line is going to work best for you and your clients. To make this often-difficult decision, you have to weigh the pros and cons in terms of your budget and a possible initial buy-in, the hair color’s overall performance and the manufacturer’s support and tools you’ll receive and have at your fingertips. And if you’re an eco-friendly, environmentally conscious individual who likes to minimize their carbon footprint in and out of the salon, then you’ve just added an additional layer.

But it doesn’t have to be hard. Remember that. Sometimes just having a basic overview broken down and some facts to consider makes the decision process a lot easier. Let’s begin.

Exactly What Makes Hair Color “Organic?”

In a nutshell (yes, the nutshell is fair trade), organic hair color is one that is derived from certified organic ingredient that does not contain any harmful chemicals, has not been tested on animals, and is free from GMOs. Some organic hair color companies even go as far as making sure their packaging is also eco-friendly, some are vegan and even gluten-free. If any of this touches you personally and you feel passionate about whether something has been tested on animals or is free from GMOs, then organic hair color may be right up your alley.

Why It’s Good For You…

A big reason people go the organic hair color route is because of the fumes. It’s actually one of the biggest concerns salon professionals have when it comes to choosing a color line next to knowing how it will perform—how does it SMELL? And we all know ammonia can be a bit stinky if you will. There no denying that it releases a pungent odor, and if you’re in a small space, like a salon suite or a booth rental that has a very small square foot, it’s going to affect you immediately. A large concern it how it affects the salon professional. We came across an interesting document online from The Department of Health & Human Services. It is a toxicological profile for ammonia. This goes into detail how ammonia affects the body and to what degree. But to spare you from a ton of reading, let’s quickly sum it all up here:

When you are subjected to the fumes of ammonia, your respiratory system, nose, throat and eyes are immediately affected. Chronic exposure bronchial reactivity/hyperresponsiveness, inflammation, cough, wheezing, or shortness of breath) and/or a decrease in lung function parameters comes into play.

So ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a well-ventilated salon/space?
  • Do you suffer from asthma or respiratory issues?
  • Are you sensitive to odor/smells?

These are questions you’ll want to have the answers to before choosing a color line to go with or switch over to.

Why It’s Good For Your Clients…

Now that we’ve broached the topic of why it’s good for you, let’s make our way into why it is good for your clients. All reasons stated above in terms of fumes and how they will affect their happiness, experience, and overall health are going to get reapplied here. If you have a small salon space, then maybe a color line that has ammonia in it won’t make for a pleasant client experience.

But let’s talk about clients who have skin issues and concerns. If your client is sensitive to paraphenylenediamines (these are the chemical substances often found and used in permanent hair color), then their skin and scalp are going to become inflamed, burning is going to occur and scarily enough, they may break out in severe hives and even suffer from sudden anaphylaxis.

These are pretty major factors to consider, and when you think about it, it is also a much larger conversation you should have with your clients—their allergies, sensitivities and emergency protocol and steps.

Why It’s Good For The World…

We touched on this in our “The Benefits of Retailing Organic Skincare” article that you make an environmental impact when you go organic. According to the Organic Trade Association (OTA), organic agriculture is based on practices that not only protect environmental health but also strive to improve it. Instead of relying on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that can deplete the soil of valuable nutrients and increase environmental degradation, organic agriculture builds up soil using such practices as composting, cover cropping, and crop rotation.

In addition, organic farmers strive to preserve and protect natural habitats with the understanding that a diverse biological landscape helps to feed both people and the planet. Organic practices help keep our water supply clean of run-off from toxic and persistent chemicals. Moreover, by prohibiting the use of petroleum-based fertilizers and absorbing carbon dioxide from the air, organic agriculture helps to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change. Also, organic products have no GMO’s and are cruelty-free.

Having a little clarity going into a decision-making process helps, but this isn’t an end-all-be-all solution. You still need to go and do your homework and decide what’s going to be the route to take. Remember, not all hair color is created equal. It takes doing a little preliminary research, like this, to get the ball rolling. Your next step is contacting the manufacturers, talking with your distributors or joining in on our discussions on Facebook. Who knows, maybe your next big decision is made with a little help from social media.

We’re curious to know what color line you are using in your salon. Doesn’t matter if it is organic, we’re just being super nosy 🙂 Share that info in the comments section below. Thanks!

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  • Congratulations for your post. Tk u for the good work, tk u for existing.

    I am using ELGON (italian) coloring