Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm gonna wash that gray right out of my hair....

I'm gonna wash that gray right out of my hair, and send it on it's way.
Yes, I'm sitting here with a Target bag on my head while threatening my children with the prospect of driving them to school looking like this if they don't behave. Gets 'em every time. Hair dye. It's such a necessary evil. Or at least a necessity in my book of trying to stave off a little bit of the aging process. I could certainly head on down to my overpriced salon and pay my usual $150 for a head full of color, but this time I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands which might turn out to be a major mistake. Thank god my husband loves me. And even better... he likes me with short hair, which is what I will have after I shave my head from this potential fiasco. For now, as the timer ticks away, I will cross my fingers, hope for the best, and chalk it up to my environmental side wrestling with my vanity.

Okay, 40 minutes later and all is good. The gray is minimally erased, and it seems I have been spared the need to shave my head for the time being. I'm not entirely sure that I'm sold on this environmentally friendly hair dye, but it was certainly worth a try. Especially given the data. Chemical hair dye is linked to both environmental pollution, as well as a variety of health problems. The most dangerous of the chemicals, phenylenediamine (PPD, or its derivative names benzenediamine dihydrochloride, or aminoaniline dihydrocholoride) are what allows the color to bond with the hair. Other hair dyes, containing coal tar, consist of toxic metals such as lead or mercury. So, what's a girl to do? Well, you can try a natural dye that does not contain PPDs, as I did. Just don't expect the same results as your toxic laden mixture of yesteryear to produce the same results.

So what are your choices? Well, Aveda touts themselves as "The Art and Science of Pure Flower and Plant Essences" and their hair dyes are actually 97 percent plant based, which seems to be the best option available today for a salon job. For home choices look for brands such as Ecocolors, Naturtint, or Light Mountain Natural Hair Color. Then there is Henna, which as been around since the days of Cleopatra. Made from the powdered leaves of a desert shrub called Lawsonia, henna has been used for thousands of years to color hair. 'Tis a bit of a problem if you're a blonde, but otherwise worth a consideration. In the end, the safest choice of all is to simply accept oneself as they are, but hey, not all of us have embraced our silver fox status. At least not yet. When I'm 100% gray and look as good as Meryl Streep in Devil Wears Prada, count me in. Until then, I'll just have opt for whatever henna-like, flower powered hair dye I can find.

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