I have to admit that taking care of my hair was never a priority. Do not get me wrong; I would buy quality products and monitor my hair condition. But I’ve never researched coloring dyes or shampoos. Most of the time, I went with my hair dresser’s advice.
Recently, thanks to COVID-19, I was faced with a significant problem — grey hair. After self-isolation for six months, my hair badly needed a color treatment and a fresh cut. The trim was an easy task — my mother-in-law expertly cut off a few inches of my hair. But coloring was a whole other game.
My Search For The Perfect Hair Dye
Since I’ve never colored my hair, I had no idea what brands are trustworthy and what color formulas will do the least damage to my hair. But I was determined to find out. My first step was to perform a few targeted searches on Google and skim through results.
I quickly learned that there was no such thing as organic or natural hair dyes.
“In fact, not only is organic hair dye not necessarily safer than synthetic hair dye, organic hair dye doesn’t exist… Even when the packaging claims to be all-natural, organic or chemical-free — which is impossible.” “Organic” and “Natural” Hair Color Doesn’t Actually Exist — Here’s How to Shop for the Safest Dye by Marci Robin.
Are you running towards your bathroom to throw out all hair dye products? Do not! There is more to this story.
Even though organic hair dyes do not exist, there are ways to check whether your color formula is harmful or damaging to your hair. The two elements that should never be in your dye are ammonia and p-phenylenediamine (PPDA or pPD). (Organic Hair Dye Is a Myth — But You Can Still Find Clean Hair Color by Audrey Noble).
“PPD is a potent chemical sensitizer. It can cause strong allergic reactions. … PPD is also linked to cancer, … PPD might compromise the immune system, setting off rheumatoid arthritis …The European Union classifies PPD as a wildlife and environmental toxin, as an irritant, as a restricted occupational hazard, as toxic or harmful for use on skin, and as an immune system toxicant.” Eight Rules for Safer Hair Color.
Armed with some insightful information, I started to look through hair color brands. I decided to eliminate brands that offer coloring kits at prices below $20. Somehow an $8 option made me feel uneasy.
The Brand That Got It All
I settled on the Madison Reed brand. It satisfied my price point and offered the right product. Their formula does not have six damaging toxins: Ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, PPD, and gluten. But it is “spiked with hydrating and soothing ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root extract.” (9 Natural Hair Dyes That Give You Long-Lasting (and Non-Toxic) Color by Ruby Buddemeyer).
I went straight to the Madison Reed website as I wanted a first-hand experience. And that was a smart move. As soon as I clicked the permanent hair color tab, a quick survey greeted me with about 15 questions about my hair structure, skin tone, eye color, coloring practice, and desired hair color. It took me a few minutes to get thought the questioner.
Drum roll, please.
My perfect hair color is Lucca Light Golden Brown.
I took a closer look at the shade and even “tried” it on through the virtual experience. I also purchased the Color Tool Kit. I have never colored my hair myself, so I figured a kit wouldn’t hurt.
A week later, my so-needed box had arrived. I could not wait to get started. As I opened the box, I saw all the items neatly packed. I quickly skimmed through the instruction manual and got to work.
I am not going to go into many details as not to bore you. A quick note, this is not an ad. I am sharing my experience in hopes that someone will find it helpful.
Per the instructions, I applied the barrier lotion, separated the hair into four sections, and mixed the coloring agents. The coloring mix had no smell. I undid one of the four sections and started the processes. Purchasing the coloring tool kit was a smart decision.
The coloring brush was a massive help while applying color as well as separating small hair sections.
The bowl was a great tool that helped me see how much color mix I had left, which helped me pace myself.
After applying and then waiting for 30 mins, I was ready to wash it all off. A quick note that shampoo and conditioner smelled lovely. My scalp felt nice, and I experienced no discomfort during or after coloring.
After the wash, my hair was a perfect light brown color, and all the greys were covered. The hair felt soft to the touch and looked very much refreshed. It was if I went to a hair salon.
The overall experience was enjoyable, with no mess, complications, unpleasant surprises, and disappointments. I will be ordering a refill when the time comes.