Do you dye your hair? And if so, does your stylist work at a non-toxic salon? You may have heard horror stories about how bleach ruined your friend’s hair when she wanted to go blonde. But the chemicals used in many hair salons go far beyond bleach making hair brittle. 

In fact, many hair dyes and treatments contain harmful chemicals that can cause damage beyond just your hair. That’s why finding a non-toxic, organic salon is vital to having healthy, beautiful hair. 

Chemicals commonly found in hair dyes

While having the ability to change up and play around with your hair color is wonderful, it’s important to be aware of what you’re exposing yourself to. Sure, we’ve come a long way from using things like sulfur powder, lead combs, and sulfuric acid, but current hair dyes aren’t that much better. 

Here’s a quick look at some the harshest chemicals commonly found in our hair dyes today: 

  • p-Phenylenediamine (PPD): Used for the world’s first synthetic dye, Oréal (renamed L’Oréal a few years later), this chemical is rated 7/10 for toxicity by EWG (CNN). It’s also banned in Sweden, France, and Germany. This is found in two thirds of hair dyes. 
  • Ammonia: This one is also extremely common and is what gives hair dye its distinctively potent smell. It’s used to open up the hair cuticle to allow the dye to absorb. But over time, it can cause damaged and dry hair, irritation to the throat, and respiratory problems. 
  • Resorcinol: Bad for your scalp and bad for your general health. Upon contact with skin, this chemical can cause redness and irritation. But beyond that, when inhaled, it can cause abdominal pain and is even combustible

How to avoid these chemicals

You shouldn’t have to say goodbye to dying your hair forever just because most hair dyes are made with harmful chemicals. And while that may seem like a good option, there are other ways to avoid these chemicals without sacrificing having fun with your hair. 

There are a few hair dye brands out there that make an effort to use low-toxic, organic ingredients. And while they may not be completely toxic-free, it’s better than subjecting yourself (and your stylist!) to the harsh chemicals listed above. Original & Mineral’s Cør Color, for instance, is resorcinol, ammonia, and PPD free. Plus, it works wonders. 

Read the ingredients if you’re dying your hair at home! When you eat something, you want an idea (at the very least) of what you’re putting in your body. Similarly, when you dye your hair, you should take note of what chemicals you could be breathing in or absorbing through your skin.

Finding a low-toxic salon

As the awareness of harsh chemicals in dyes spreads, more salons are making an effort to be a low-toxic, organic solution for their patrons and their employees. 

Here at Haven Salon, we’re committed to providing a safe, comfortable environment for our guests. Here are just some of the ways we do that: 

  • Use only the best, organic, low-toxic color and products
  • Safely dispose of color in the trash to avoid contamination in the sinks
  • Fill our space with plants to promote clean, healthy air
  • Keep a small, boutique size to minimize fumes 

We’re even putting in an eco-friendly refill product station in 2023! 

Dying your hair can be an expression of self, a way to hang on to your original color, or even just a way to shake things up in your day-to-day. But it’s critical to find both a dye brand and a salon that uses low-toxic ingredients and products. If you love dying your hair but don’t want to risk your health, look into a low-toxic salon near you or ask your stylist what kind of products they use.