Is At-Home Natural Hair Dye the Secret to Safe and Healthy Blond Hair?
My relationship with hair dye is complicated. I've done highlights, lowlights, and at-home boxed dye more times than I can count. For the last few months, I even tried something more radical — letting my roots grow out — but I had to come to terms with the fact that I'm still too vain to rock my natural color, which is a mousy brown now gloriously dotted with gray.
I want beautiful blond hair, but I don't want to poison myself. Seems simple enough, right? The problem is that, unless you're a scientist, it's nearly impossible to know what possible effects chemicals in hair dye will have on you. I did highlights with plant-based Aveda hair color a few months back, and I was pleased with the results. But when I'm in a pinch — and not wanting to pay very high salon prices — sometimes I need to take matters into my own hands.
And that's how I found myself staring down boxes of the Italian hair dye brand Herbatint at my local health food store over the weekend. I'd done my research to try to find the least caustic dye available, and by and large, my reading told me that nothing is perfect but something like Herbatint is likely the healthiest option. So off I went to the corner store to pick up a bottle in the lightest Herbatint hue, Platinum Blonde.
The process was quite different from that of drugstore boxed dyes. One box of Herbatint simply contains two small bottles, one of dye gel and another of developer, which are then to be mixed together in one of your own bowls. There's also a pair of gloves and a packet of deep conditioner. Had I been more prepared, I would have purchased one of Herbatint's Application Kits, which includes a brush; the box of dye doesn't even include an applicator nozzle.
But I was undettered. After mixing the gel and developer in a bowl, creating a not-too-harsh-smelling glop, I just used my gloved hands to apply the solution to my roots. Thirty minutes later, I applied the leftover solution to the rest of my hair for 10 more minutes.
As for the results? Well, they're pretty good. I later had to pluck out a few errant grays that didn't pick up the dye, but nothing really ever offers 100 percent gray coverage, in my experience. The color isn't quite platinum blonde, as I would have wished. But since this was my first time using Herbatint, I didn't let the solution stay on for quite as long as advised. Next time, I definitely will. There will be a next time, of that I'm sure. In addition to being addicted to the convenience and cost of at-home dyes, I want to commit to using low-chemical dye — for life.