So you've switched your deodorant, your skin care, and you're even dabbling in natural makeup. But so many of us will continue to sit in the hairdresser's chair, bleaching, coloring, and toning for hours on end. Is conventional hair dye harmful to our health? Truthfully, very little research has been done on the toxicity of chemical hair dyes because the answer depends on several factors, many of which would be hard to control for in a salon setting: the ventilation of the space, the dye's individual formulation, concentration of certain ingredients, the length of time spent dying, and more. There are endocrine-disrupting ingredients we know to avoid, and many doctors recommend skipping hair dye when pregnant, but for those of us concerned with efficacy and end results, is there a more natural, less toxic option?
To find out, I spoke to Naomi Knights, Los Angeles –based hair colorist to P!NK, Scarlett Johansson, and other celebs, and founder of renowned Nama Color Environment, who has more than 20 years of coloring experience, as well as Nackie Karcher, owner and principal stylist of The Karcher salon in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with 25 years of experience in hair coloring. Here's the lowdown.