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November 17, 2007



Wow, you just described to a "T" what my Mother-in-law went through a few years ago. And yes she was told to switch to a completely natural hair dye products and she is doing fine now but the rashes, etc. yep that all happened to her too! You'll get better but it will take time!


Sorry to hear about this - but I can attest to haing nasty reactions to chemicals although mine tend to be from synthetic fragrances and harsh detergents. We're very careful what we use not only around the house but on ourselves these days and I believe it's better for us.

Lush make a selection of various-coloured henna products for the hair, they are permanent in as much as you repeatedly do it, every two weeks or so to build up a permanent residue and there are no chemicals - only those derived from plants.

Link here: http://www.lush.co.uk/products/Caca_Rouge_1992.aspx

Wild Rose

What an awful experience. I do hope that your symptoms resolve soon. I would suggest cold compresses for the itching ~ sometimes they help to relieve the irritation and can help to avoid that itch-scratch-itch cycle that can eventually lead to bleeding skin and the risk of infection.

I have only ever had highlights once, so can't speak from personal experience. I am not surprised about the chemical cocktail though ~ manufacturers are very clever and skilled at disguising their ingredients.

As a small scale producer of natural skin care products, I take a great interest in ingredient lists. I took a look at the Lush site recommended by Tash, but could not find an ingredient list for their henna products. What I did find was an endorsement of the safety of Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is an ingredient in some of their products. You may not be aware, but SLS was originally invented to clean garage floors ~ it is a degreaser and has been linked to cataracts and cancer. It causes skin damage, including dryness, scaling and loss of elasticity. This could be an ingredient that you have developed a sensitivity to and should be avoided.


Hi Jane

How awful for you! I have heard about the dangers of hair dye, in particular the dark browns and blacks. I do know someone who had a very bad reaction too. I have really sensitive skin and am very 'fair' in skin and hair colouring. I am more than aware of some grey creeping in, but due to my ultra-sensitive skin I doubt I'll be able to hide it!! It really is quite frightening what is in our toiletries and food - there is a lot to be said for living the natural way - although it isn't always practical or appealing!!

Have a lovely weekend,

Clare x


Oh you poor thing. I had heard that the dyes for darker colours were more 'toxic', I recently had some highlights in my hair using organic colours by the hairdresser. I'm hoping that all was okay, my hair does feel in very good condition and there was certainly none of that pokey smell that you get with bleach based dyes. Hope things improve for you.


Oh my! I have had my hair colored and have had mild reactions that usually don't last past 24 hours, but even that is too much (itching and burning of my scalp)! I know here in the U.S. the use of hair dyes is strongly discouraged during the first half of pregnancy, so that should be a good tip-off, I suppose, that really NO one should be using it at all! I haven't found any substitutes, so I'd love to hear about henna, too.

Poppy Black

Oooh, reading your posting made my scalp itch in sympathy. I was an occasional semi-permanent dye user. I started developing an allergic reaction by feeling sick for a few days after using the dye. That should have been enough of a warning. The last time I used chemical dye my scalp itched and burned so badly I felt like ripping it off my skull. So I gave up the chemical dyes and found the Lush Caca in Marron, which contains black and red henna, cocoa butter, coffee, lemon juice, Irish moss powder, clove bud oil and perfume. My hair is naturally mid brown and it gives it a rich chestnut colour with a pretty red shine in the sun. It is a bit mucky to use, but less staining than regular dyes. I have experimented with how long I leave it on for. Still haven't decided on a best time. I think it is worth a trial. Best wishes XXX

The Vintage Magpie

Hello, how weird.. I was just discussing hair dye with my friend who dyes her hair regularly with henna. I have always been a box dye girl, but Im going to give the henna a go.. my friends hair always looks a gorgeous chestnut colour and so shiny.. away with the PPDs in with the henna!

Sandra Evertson

Wow, good thing to know!
Sandra Evertson


I've had similar experiences with home hair coloring kits. I used a Loreal Excellence Creme kit last time, and it went ok. I have had super-sensitive skin issues in the past and try to be careful with what products I use. Lately I've been thinking of switching to henna too--hoping for less itch, less dry skin, more natural all around. Let us know how your trial with henna goes if you go that route! Happy Days ((HUGS))


I did not know about this and truly appreciate your sharing your experience (albeit unfortunate) and your research results. I've decided to let my color grow out and see what happens. Based on what you've said, I don't care what I look like with my weird grays--I want to avoid the chemicals.


I am happily going grey! And I am encouraging my girls to stay natural as well, for this very reason.


Hi Jane! thanks for leaving a comment on my blog - I have been using http://www.renaissancehenna.com/ natural henna and indigo hair dye for 9 months now, and I have to say that it is superb. See some pictures on my blog:
go to the hair category on the sidebar for other hair info.

Your hair colour would really suit just using the henna, but I use indigo too to cover my grey!!! Henna is so subtle, looks fantastic in daylight and leaves your hair in the most fantastic condition.

I am just about to write another post about the up-to-date method I use for quick and easy henna dyeing, and review a couple of new conditioning products from Renaissance on my blog.

Re: lush - I love their stuff, but it may not be as natural as you think, the hair dye is good, but beware of the shampoos, which contain sodium laureth sulphate, (they are planning to remove this ingredient I heard), if you are sensitive, it may be wise to follow a no shampoo (no 'poo) regime for a while - see my posts under the hair category for more info.

The most wonderful site I have discovered recently for all-natural yummy products is htp://www.anitagrant.com - no hair dye there yet, but other amazing things you must check out. She is the business.

By the way, I really love your blog - what a wonderful life you lead in the countryside. I live in the French Alps and have country and animals around me too! I am also a trained textile designer, although I write about family, health and nourishment now, I really love what you do, I will be reading your blog regularly from now on.
My 'slice of french life' is at http://quatrepattes.wordpress.com

Good luck with the hair,
let me know what your results are, and Sabrina at Renaissance is wonderful if you have any questions!
good luck,
Louisa (a.k.a Beatrix)

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