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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 January 11, 2021

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

    Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

    Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

    1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

    Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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    2. Stress Relief

    Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

    3. Improved Sleep

    Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

    4. Appetite Control

    Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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    5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

    When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

    6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

    Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

    7. Mosquito Repellant

    Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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    8. Pain Relief

    While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

    9. The New Anti-Viral

    Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

    10. Improved Cognitive Function

    Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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    11. Money Saving

    With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

    Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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