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  1. Hi Irina,
    What do you use to color your hair, is there a safe option apart from henna that frankly takes so much effort and time that is very discouraging.

  2. Thank you for all your work you do to inform us. I have to cover my grey. What happened to me 10 years ago I quit coloring my hair.
    A incidence happened I had colored my hair for like ten years at home. I would get the color from Sallys beauty supply. I had put the color on my hair all the sudden I felt like I was being smothered. The smell was so strong I couldn’t take breathing it. Also it stung so I immediately jumped in the shower. I washed it out and was afraid to color my hair again. So I stopped.
    I guess I had a reaction. After reading your information it wasn’t just me having anxiety or something.
    It was real. So now I have to cover the grey in my hair. I have medium brown hair. Where do I start? do I purchase your hair color list? I am interested in semi permanent I guess. Please let me know what next steps to do. I want to look good again. I would like to do it safely.

    Thank you Irna,
    Lisa from Utah

  3. What an eye opener to soooo many products! Irina’s Beauty Bundle is worth every penny!

    Think of it as a gift that eliminates money spent on products known to have harmful ingredients in them and the pain and suffering they could cause?

    If a salon permanent haircolor is not on the Beauty Bundle Permanent Hair Color pdf list is it possible to get an analysis/opinion of it’s contents?
    (Matrix SoColor/Dream Age-DA-509NG? I do have the packaging if the content info is required?).

    Many Blessings
    Wendy Simon

    1. Hi, Wendy: I’m so glad you’re enjoying the Beauty Bundle. Yes, I can rate it for you. Please see the instructions on how to request it on page 25 of the Permanent Hair Color Rating List e-book. Does it make sense? ~Irina

  4. Hi Irina. Thank you for your email course. It was sad news but I love that I’m more informed now and can help educate others. I also saw some of your blog posts (and the comments) and YouTube videos which were also very helpful. It was a reality check seeing in your video that person’s photos of so much hair falling out from a dye marked “natural” and sold in “natural, organic” grocery stores. Wow.

    So where this all leaves me is I have dark neutral blonde (or very light brown) hair with zero dye in it and a very noticeable amount of grey. I’m eager to dye it. I don’t want to use any coal-tar dyes. Plant muds like henna, cassia, indigo, amla, sienna really interest me but I’m unsure they can achieve my natural color. Hairprint really interested me but I lost interest reading many negative reviews of it on makeupalley (mixed with positive reviews). Hairprint sounds confusingly hit-or-miss even apparently if used carefully and correctly. Plus very time-intensive though some salons may be willing to help and I hear it gets easier.

    Thank you for all your care and hard work! I’m sending wishes of health and peace to you and everyone reading this, and everyone else too! It’s very empowering making healthier choices.

  5. Hi Irina:
    I have very much appreciated your links and references! It gives a very powerful objective framework.
    Thanks for providing this essential service!

  6. I was interested to learn that repeated exposure to toxins can cause an allergic reaction after the initial exposure has not caused such a reaction.

  7. Hi Irena, what I learned is that the FDA not only doens’t test, coal-tar dyes in hair dye, and leagally they can’t. I am acutally not surprised about that, disappointed, but, I had already heard, that the FDA does not do much as far as the comsmetic industry. I think if we dig deeper and follow the $$’s, we will all understand why. Also, after reading down the other comments, I find it reallly concerning that EWG is not accurate on their rating for Redken products as listed above. So, can we assume, that EWG is basically useless, since we can’t trust that they are testing everything in a specific product or that they may be out of date? I hate to make that leap, when maybe I should only take a step, but if they are not accurate on one product why/how should we believe anything they say?

  8. I had no idea that the FDA’s ability to take action against coal-tar hair dyes associated with safety concerns is limited by law. This makes no sense. I think we all need to become more educated about the risks of hair dyes. I have had a reaction to Elumen, which has resulted in intense itching, initially just my scalp, but then spreading further down my body (now up to the tops of my legs, but excluding my arms.) After reading the first lesson in Irina’s email course, I began looking for semi rather than demi hair colours. I was disappointed to find that all the colours available in my local pharmacy (Boots the Chemist) were, in fact, demi permanent, (up to 24 washes) although the shelf label said semi. I’m now looking into Daniel Field water formula hair colour. I’d like to try Hairprint, but not sure, as I’m 53 and no idea if I’m already 50% grey!
    Belinda (UK)

  9. I was shocked to read about the lack of regulations on coal tar dyes. It was also really helpful to read the differences of the types of hair dyes and how they work on the hair. Thank you!

  10. Redken Color Gels Permanent Conditioning Hair Color has a 1 on ewg. Has anyone tried it? Irina, do you know about it?

  11. Irina, I sent you an email on your blog about my experience with Organic Colouring Systems and Tints of Nature Nightmare. I gave you the wrong email address. I would like you to share and comment because this needs to be addressed. It’s been the worst year of my life, one trip to the health food store. Just making sure you have the correct email.

    1. Hi, Loriann: thank you for sharing your story – so important – on the Monat shampoo post I approved and corrected your email address. You might want to share your experience on these posts as well where people can see it: or or Thank you for raising awareness! ~Irina

      1. Hi Irina, thank you so much for all your diligence it sounds like you’ve put in thousands of hours! I know this sounds crazy, but I was totally clueless… I have only begun to study these chemicals and all the effects… I have been a hair stylist for 21 years, I am a salon owner, 46 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2019. I am overwhelmed and at a loss about where to start… I have started to change my personal care products that I actually put on my body, and I am doing a home detox in March, but I haven’t even started with the salon….

        1. This is not crazy at all, Monica. We are not taught this information in schools. You did not know! I’m so sorry to hear about your health but I am glad you are taking steps. Please know that I provide a variety of services to help take actionable and practical steps without stress. Let me know if you are interested in my help. Thank you! ~Irina

          1. Thank you so much for taking the time to respond! How do I find out about other services that you offer? I definitely could use some actionable and practical steps. I hate that I feel like the whole thing is so stressful that I almost don’t know where to begin. I might have some analysis paralysis, lol.

      2. I hope my testimony has helped others with awareness about not only product ingredients but false information on packaging. I pray it has saved at least one person the agony, pain and health problems that come with using these chemicals.

  12. I had no idea that hair color was so unsafe. I knew it wasn’t good for us but not how bad it really was. I remember a scare a few years ago that it caused cancer but this was quickly said to be untrue. Unfortunately it’s all about making money not about keeping the consumer safe. Thanks Irina for all your research.

  13. I have had the “on again off again” sensitivity to the same dyes and do not know why it produces the sensitivity one time and not the next. It also happens only on certain areas of the scalp. I can feel the sting instantly, when it is going to happen and try to remove it immediately but some hairdressers ( in the beginning when I didn’t understand, didn’t want to be bothered and encouraged keeping it on there to see if it stopped. By that time, if it didn’t stop, it meant 1 week of itching hell. Other hairdressers use “Sweet and Low” as they say the aspartame cuts the itch. Now Sally’s has a product to stop the itching but the truth, as I understand it, none of the products that stop the itch, actually stop the damage. They only suppress the sting. My extreme discomfort, itchiness, etc., has been the impetus for seeking something that will cover the gray suitably without damage and it is disturbing to see how little is available that is usable with any kind of confidence.

    I have noticed less problem with the scalp if I stay with light colors, i.e., the blonde ranges. I am told that is because there is less of the PPD or one of its replacement companions (TPD,etc.), in the lighter dyes. Is that true and to what degree is there less? It does itch less or not at all but from what you’re saying here, the itching is a separate issue… just one that makes the process less tolerable. Isn’t it true though that damage can occur whether there is itching or not, because of the toxic effect of coal tar dye itself? When Jackie Kennedy died, there was a lot written about the impact of her hair dye as responsible? If the FDA is saying beware… why are they being so inactive in removing products they themselves consider so dangerous or even potentially lethal? Lobbies?

  14. It is indeed shocking to see that for so long we have been in the dark about these kinds of products and the danger they pose to our health.

    What do you think would need to happen in order for mandatory FDA regulation of these products?

    How difficult would that be given the fact that so many people really want to maintain the denial when it comes to the use and production of products that make them look younger?

    1. I think regulatory change is extremely difficult. But I whole-heartedly believe in the power of voting with our hard-earned dollars. I have seen that powers at work in baby wipes industry. When I started speaking about baby wipes back in 2013, many had formaldehyde and MI/MIC, really bad allergens, in them. Today the baby wipes market is a lot safer. The hair color industry is far behind. We have to start by asking them to disclose ingredients and voice our concerns with them. They will listen eventually. I truly believe that. ~Irina

  15. If the FDA does not have jurisdiction to take action against cold-tar, then who does? I don’t understand this part.

    1. Thank you for your question! 🙂 I know I was in shock and disbelief too when I first found out. That’s the scariest part – nobody regulates coal-tar dyes. The FDA encourages us to become educated consumers. How do you feel? ~Irina

    2. I am 42 years old and just finished my chemo for breast cancer. My hair is beginning to grow back but has come back grey and black. I am looking for a color that will cover grey, but does not have harsh chemicals. Any suggestions.