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Colouring with Conscience: Organic/Natural/Vegan Hair Dyes

Colouring with Conscience: Organic/Natural/Vegan Hair Dyes

It’s estimated that over 75% of American women dye their hair, and it’s quite likely that you’ll find a similar percentage in many other countries around the world. Whether it’s to change one’s hair colour entirely, to cover grey hair (which in some people can start appearing when they’re in their teens), or to brighten/enhance one’s natural shade, hair dye is pretty much a mainstay in most women’s lives.

Although dyeing one’s hair can have beautiful results, there are also some rather ugly sides to the practice: many companies that produce different types of hair colour conduct some pretty nasty testing on animals. Additionally, even though these dyes are considered “safe” for human use, they have been linked to a number of different health issues. In particular, studies have shown that women who use dark hair dyes (such as deep brown and black) seem to have a higher risk of both leukemia and bladder cancer, while hairdressers (who work with these chemicals daily, usually for several decades) have a 5-fold risk of developing bladder cancer. That’s some pretty scary stuff right there.

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Fortunately, there are several different hair dye options that have been formulated from natural, non-toxic sources, and created in a cruelty-free manner. Let’s take a look at some of them:

manic panic hair dye

    Manic Panic

    For those who like their hair to be a little bit more rainbow-hued, there’s Manic Panic: a vegetable-based dye that’s totally vegan, and comes in more colours than you can imagine. You can get either temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent dye, and feel totally secure in the knowledge that your neon pink or sapphire blue hair was made ethically, and won’t poison you.

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    Unless you drink a tub of it, so don’t do that.

    Lush Henna

    Henna is different from other dyes in that it wraps colour around your hair instead of digging into each strand; this creates very intense, vibrant colour that will fade slowly with each washing, but you can extend the life of the colour by washing your hair with cooler water.

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    LUSH never tests its products on animals, and their henna dyes are totally vegan—formulated with ingredients such as henna powder, coffee grounds, cocoa butter, and essential oils. You can choose from red, maroon, brown, or black, and you can even adjust the intensity of the colour by adding your own ingredients to it, like mixing the powder with coffee instead of water to intensify brown tones, or adding beet juice or rosehip tea to really give the red a boost.

    Herbatint

    Free from ammonia and harsh chemicals, Herbatint comes in shades ranging from pale blonde to jet black, and all the hues draw their colour from plants like walnut, birch, witch hazel, echinacea, and many more. This company is seriously dedicated to environmental ethics: in addition to its dyes being cruelty-free, all packaging is totally recyclable, and their factory processes are ethical and environmentally friendly.

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    Daniel Field

    Ladies in the UK can check out the colours created by Daniel Field: they’re organic, vegan hues that contain no harsh chemicals. In fact, because they don’t contain any type of bleach at all (even the mild hydrogen peroxide that other low-impact dyes use), you can’t use these dyes to lighten your hair at all: they’re meant to be used to add highlights, boost natural hair colour, and cover greys.

    As such, Daniel Field dyes come in natural hues such as varying shades of blonde, red, brown, and black. You won’t find colours like poppy red or magenta, but if you’re looking for very natural-looking hair colour, or aiming to match your natural tone and just cover stray silver bits, this may be the perfect option for you.

    Ultimately, it’s up to all of us to do our research with regard to our personal care products, and sort out which ingredients we’d like to cut out of our beauty regimen, and which we can make allowances for. The same goes for our comfort level with the ethics of how our preferred products have been created. If you dye your hair regularly, you might want to do some research to find out whether your dye of choice was developed via cruelty-free methods or not, and then determine whether you feel that animal torture is justified in order to create the perfect hair dye shade, or if that particular hair colour is worth needing chemo and radiation for somewhere down the line.

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    Catherine Winter

    Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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