By Clelia Cecilia Angelon, Founder & CEO of Surya Brasil.
In the past decade the usage of chemical hair dyes has increased. It is a quick fix solution that works within 20-30 minutes for people with grey hair and also for those who prefer root touch ups or hues to don a new looks. However, recent studies have shown how these easy-to-use chemical-based solutions are doing more harm than good. In many cases, chemical reactions lead to scalp allergy, dandruff, hair fall and dull hair, in the short run; and can even cause fatal diseases in the long run. The main culprit here is ammonia and its by-products like Ethanolamine, Dietanolamine and Triethanolamine.
After seeing these side effects people are opting for natural, vegan and organic options to dye their hair, and what can be better than good old henna. Earlier henna was frowned upon for the messy preparation of turning henna powder into a paste and then even messier application. It needed 3-4 hours of application time and then resulted in orangish tint that wasn’t very desirable for people looking for blackish hair.
Things have changed, and so has henna. Today you can get ready to use henna cream with easy to apply applicators that take care of the initial preparation phase, and leads to a mess free experience. You don’t have to go to the salon anymore, unlike coloring your hair with chemical-based hair dye that is expensive too in the long run. Now you can apply henna cream yourself, at home and at your own convenient time.
Another major problem with henna has been the long duration of application. This too has been catered to, as organic henna mixed with amla, Chamomile, Jua, Malva, Jaborandi, Babaçu Oil, Copaíba, Guaraná, Cumaru, Açaí, Olive and Coconut Powder Oil, found in the Amazon rainforest and India gives long lasting results with just two hours of application. They also nourish the hair and replenish the scalp with nutrients enabling stronger, healthier and longer hair. Thus it not just acts as natural hair dye but also as a hair mask, providing much needed nutrients and resulting in smooth and soft hair.
Another reason why chemical-based hair dyes are popular, despite the harsh chemicals and toxins, are the varied colours associated with the same. However, age-old henna is the key to this problem too. With the help of technology and natural ingredients like amla, indigo, beetroot, pomegranate peels mixed with henna, one can get various colors with henna cream like black, brown, copper, burgundy, natural black, red etc.
Most importantly, while chemical-based hair dye is permanent, and one can only outgrow it, henna cream hair color is semi permanent. So if you don’t like the color, or your experiment goes wrong you can always dye it again. But for chemical based dyes, you have to wait a minimum of 15 days between two sessions, and then add more chemicals to your scalp. And that is something which nobody really wants.
Henna cream treats and color, with chemical hair dyes you need to use several moisturizing products to cover up the damage and reconstruct the hair strand. A good henna cream can last up to an average of 10 washes and henna powder stays for 30 washes. There is no such guarantee for chemical based hair dyes as the hair comes off with every cycle you shampoo them.
Lastly, as a hair expert I cannot emphasise enough on the goodness of using organic, vegan and natural hair care products, that not just save your hair and scalp from the ill effects of harsh chemicals but also nourish them. However, if at any point of time, you face long lasting hairfall or skin allergy, especially if you have used chemical based hair dyes, do consult a dermatologist for a thorough checkup. And slowly and steadily keep removing these harsh chemicals from your haircare routine.