Is Natulique Hair Color Certified Organic?

posted in: Hair Color | 8

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I often get questions about Natulique permanent hair color. Some of you tell me that Natulique hair color must be healthy because it is “certified organic.” I recently investigated this claim. Let me tell you what I learned.

Natulique Hair Color

When you type the word Natulique into the Google search engine, you will see the words “organic” or “certified organic” written all over the page.

Natulique Hair Color Ingredients

When you visit the Natulique hair color website, you will see the words “certified organic” in the its logo.

Natulique Hair Color Ingredients

The Natulique hair color website has the word “organic” written all over it.

Natulique Hair Color Ingredients

 

No wonder people think that their permanent hair color products are certified organic or natural, or at very least, are safer than other permanent hair color brands.

 

By the way, when you go to the Natulique permanent hair color product page, you will notice their narrative switches from “organic” hair color to “natural” hair color. And it is the phrase “natural” hair color that is featured on the product box itself.

Natulique Hair Color

 

On the same page, Natulique states that it is “98,02% derived from natural sources.”

 

Let me give you some perspective on this claim. First of all, “natural” is virtually meaningless. Lead and petroleum and snake venom are all “natural,” which does not mean they are safe. Second, while some substances can start from a natural source, the derivation process might involve a multi-step process with additional chemicals used along the way.

 

For example, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) can be made from coconut oil. While this sounds healthy and “natural,” let’s take a look how it gets there. First, coconut oil is turned into fatty acids that are used to derive lauryl alcohol. Then lauryl alcohol is treated with sulfur trioxide gas or chlorosulfuric acid to produce Sodium Lauryl Sulfate.  And finally, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate is treated with carcinogenic ethylene oxide to make Sodium Laureth Sulfate. This process is called ethoxylation.  As a result of the ethoxylation reaction, carcinogenic 1,4-dioxane is produced and can be left in the final product.  So, it’s important to understand not only of what an ingredient is derived, but also how it was derived, and what byproducts may be present that are not listed as “ingredients” (and which do not have to be disclosed.

 

Another example is that Cocamide DEA, a surfactant derived from coconut oil, was classified as a carcinogen in 2012.

 

“But wait!” you say. “We don’t have to worry about any of this, because Natulique is ‘certified organic!’ We don’t have to worry!”

 

Not so fast. True, Natulique is certified organic. So what’s the problem?

 

Well, a couple things. First, hair colorants/dyes, which have to be present in a permanent hair color, are not agricultural products, so they can’t be certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture, and they can’t use the familiar and comforting USDA Organic label we have all been trained to look for in the grocery store aisles.

 

Instead, Natulique is certified organic by something that calls itself “360BIOCERT.” You can find Natulique’s statement here and the screenshot of the text below.

Natulique Hair Color Certified Organic

 

I have not been able to find any information about the 360BIOCERT agency and they have not responded to me. In fact, my email bounced back three times and there is no phone number to call. I wonder if there are any other companies besides Natulique that are certified to this certification. I wonder who founded this certifying agency.

 

I noticed several things noteworthy about Natulique’s claim to be “certified organic” by 360BIOCERT.

 

First, the standard itself is very low and does not inspire my confidence in products that allegedly would meet its standards. There are two 360BIOCERT standards: 360BIOCERT Organic and 360BIOCERT Natural. 360BIOCERT Natural only requires that 95% of the ingredients be “natural” – but, importantly, the standard does not define what this means.

 

Second, the 360BIOCERT Organic standard only requires 10% of the ingredients to be organic. Compare this with the USDA requirement of 95% to consider a cosmetic product to be certified organic. Take a look for yourself as to how low (and vague) these standards are. Or, better yet, don’t, because right now this website enjoys no traffic at all, so let’s not dignify it by going there, hee hee.

 

Third, Natulique claims it is “certified organic.” However, it clearly does not meet the 360BIOCERT standard, because that standard requires “no MEAs and PEGs,” but Natulique has them.

 

Finally, in digging a little deeper, I noticed that 360BIOCERT is out of Denmark and this is where the Natulique headquarters are. In fact, Natulique appears to be the holder of the 360BIOCERT Trademark, as well as the company that applied for the trademark in the first place, meaning that this “certifying agency” is probably Natulique itself.

 

So, in order to claim to be “certified organic,” it appears that Natulique created its own certification, registered a trademark for the certification, created the standard for organic certification, and then failed to live up to its own manufactured certification, but . . . nevertheless, markets itself as being “certified organic.”

 

Natulique Hair Color Ingredients

 

With this said, let’s look at the ingredients themselves. When I research products, I spend very little time reading their stories, missions, and marketing claims. I go straight for the ingredients. I look at each ingredient and see what the body of science has to say about them. Here is a screenshot of the full list of ingredients for the Natulique hair color, which you can find at the bottom of this page.

Natulique Hair Color Ingredients

I re-arranged the ingredients into 3 groups: colorants/hair dyes themselves, a hair shaft opener, and all the other ingredients. Please see the list below.

Colorants/Hair Dyes
p-phenylenediamine (PPD)
resorcinol
2-methylresorcinol
4-chlororesorcinol
4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene
p-aminophenol
m-aminophenol
2-amino-4-hydroxyethylaminoanisole sulfate
Hair Shaft Opener
ethanolamine
Others
water
sodium coco sulfate
myristyl alcohol
cetearyl alcohol
cocamide MEA
cocamide MIPA
cocamidopropyl betaine
oleth-20
sodium sulfite
tetrasodium EDTA
bisamino PEG/PPG-41/3 aminoethyl PG propyl dimethicone
vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil
natural parfum/fragrance
sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
ascorbic acid
butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter
erythorbic acid
PEG-10 olive glycerides
polysorbate 20
helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed extract
butylene glycol
simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil
prunus persica (peach) kernel oil
prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil
organic citrus medica limonum peel extract
citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil
organic citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil

 

Natulique Colorants/Hair Dyes

 

Let’s look closely at the colorants that I consider the main ingredients because they do the job of the actual coloring. Without them, a permanent hair color can’t exist. They are also the ones that may cause skin sensitization, a type of an allergic reaction after a sufficient exposure.

 

The European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) (link) assessed hair dyes for skin sensitization potency, assigning either extreme, strong, or moderate sensitization potency to them. Please see in the list below SCCS’s assessment of the Natulique colorants/hair dyes with the assigned sensitization potency by SCCS.

 

Colorant/Hair Dyes SCCS Safety Assessment
p-phenylenediamine (PPD) extreme
resorcinol strong
2-methylresorcinol moderate
4-chlororesorcinol moderate
4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene strong
p-aminophenol strong
m-aminophenol strong
2-amino-4-hydroxyethylaminoanisole sulfate insufficient testing

 

The SCCS concludes that “hair dye substances which fulfill the criteria for classification as R43 may not be safe for consumers and that this is particularly so for hair dye substances categorized as extreme and strong sensitizers.”

 

5 out of 8 Natulique colorants are either extreme or strong sensitizers according to these standards.

 

So, as you can see, even though Natulique is allegedly certified as organic, in my opinion, this does not appear to be a safe product after all.

 

Hair Shaft Opener in Natulique Hair Color

 

Ammonia opens the cuticle layer of the hair and allows the color molecules to penetrate the hair. Natulique uses ethanolamine instead of ammonia to fulfill that role. According to Cosmeticsinfo.org, an educational website sponsored by personal care product manufacturers, ethanolamine has an ammonia-like odor, which is no surprise because it is produced by reacting 1 mole of ethylene oxide (a known human carcinogen, rated 10 out of 10 in the Skin Deep database) with 1 mole of ammonia.

Natulique Hair Color Natulique Permanent Hair Color

According to the FDA, ethanolamine may also be contaminated with diethanolamine (DEA) that is linked with cancer in lab animals. In fact, Ethanolamine is rated 5-6 depending on usage (10 being the most toxic) in the Skin Deep database, while ammonia is rated 4-6. So in this case, according to the EWG database, ethanolamine is a regretful substitute for ammonia.

 

When I did more research for my Permanent Hair Color Rating List, I found that “there is limited evidence that ethanolamine is a teratogen in animals. Until further testing has been done, it should be treated as a possible teratogen in humans.” (source) (Teratogens are agents that interfere with fetus development.)

 

Other Ingredients in Natulique Hair Color

 

Other ingredients used in this permanent hair color formulation are water, skin conditioners, foaming agents, emulsifiers, and fragrance. For a quick overview, please take a look at the table with assigned score on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being the most toxic) as it is found in the Skin Deep database powered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). By the way, if there is no data available, the EWG assigned 1 to the ingredient, which as you can imagine does not mean the ingredient is safe.

 

Other Ingredients  Skin Deep Score
water 1
sodium coco sulfate 1 (no data)
myristyl alcohol 1
cetearyl alcohol 1
cocamide mea 1-4 depending on use (no data)
cocamide mipa 1 (no data)
cocamidopropyl betaine 4
oleth-20 2 (1,4-dioxane contamination concern)
sodium sulfite 2 (data gaps)
tetrasodium edta 2
bisamino peg/ppg-41/3 aminoethyl pg propyl dimethicone 3
vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil 1
natural parfum/fragrance 8
sodium cocoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein 1 (no data)
ascorbic acid 1
butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter 1
erythorbic acid 1
peg-10 olive glycerides 3
polysorbate 20 3
helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed extract 1
butylene glycol 1
simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil 1
prunus persica (peach) kernel oil 1
prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil 1
organic citrus medica limonum peel extract 1
citrus grandis (grapefruit) peel oil 1
organic citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil 1

 

And yes, there are two certified organic ingredients in the product – organic citrus medica limonum peel extract and organic citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil but I don’t think that it cancels out the fact that this product contains colorants that may cause an allergic reaction.

 

Conclusion about Natulique Hair Color

 

In my opinion, Natulique permanent hair color is neither organic nor certified organic. Moreover, Natulique hair color contains potent allergens and other potentially harmful chemicals.

 

After I look at the ingredients, I take a step further. I compare the product with similar products in the industry.

 

In my Permanent Hair Color Rating list, you can find out how Natulique compares with other permanent hair colors.

 

In the Permanent Hair Color Rating list, you will also find my suggestions on how to protect your hair and health.

 

Your financial support helps me to work full-time to encourage manufacturers to be more truthful and transparent with us. I wholeheartedly believe that together we can demand and receive safer consumer products.

 

Please share your thoughts in the comments and what other permanent or semi-permanent hair color brands you would want to know about.

 

And if you’d like to see what I use and like, visit here.

 

To buy my Permanent Hair Color Rating List, head over here.

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8 Responses

  1. Joy Wygant

    Hi Irina,
    Thanks again for your diligent research and exposing the truth behind these misleading brands! It’s so disappointing.
    I have tried Hairprint a few times and am considering trying a different product next – Wella colortouch. Would be very interested to hear if you have any thoughts on that brand. I’ll plan to search your site to see if you’ve already covered it.

    Cheers,
    Joy

    • I haven’t. It is nice to hear from you, Joy! Thank you for your suggestion. I am very curious how Colortouch by Wella and Blumen by Goldwell would compare. I hope there are other people who would like to know that. ~Irina

  2. Hi Irina,

    Thanks for your post and research, it has been helpful. I have been struggling to find a hair colour product that I’m not allergic to. I have been doing several patch tests on all sorts of brands that classify themselves as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ and I would get a reaction. After so many patch tests I concluded that I’m allergic to ‘ALL’ hair colours and gave up. Your research and post does shed a light on the fact that there is more to a label than just what is printed on them . Maybe I will find something one day that will suit my sensitivity.

    Thanks again.
    Harsha

  3. Hi Irina! Have you done some research on Mastey hair color products (http://www.mastey.com/ ) and Naturigin http://www.naturigin.com/ ?
    They are on our market and claim are the safest options for a healthy hair coloring…but they are not lited on EWG. I am interested to hear your opinion about them.

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