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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 December 9, 2019

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

    Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

    Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

    Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

    1. Get Rationally Optimistic

    Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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    This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

    In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

    The result: no more mental stress.

    2. Unplug

    Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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    How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

    It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

    Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

    3. Easy on the Caffeine

    Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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    Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

    4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

    That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

    How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

    • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
    • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
    • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

    While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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    5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

    This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

    The result: mental stress will be gone!

    So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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    Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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