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  1. Hi Irina,
    I just wanted to thank you for this extremely informative post and comment thread. You have most certainly done the work for us and I greatly appreciate your time and insight.

  2. Hello,

    I dyed my hair for about 15 years never had an issue. About a year ago I went to a new salon and I noticed 2-3 days after my hair was dyed, I developed itchiness and my lympthnodes behind my ear was raised and very tender. I went to a dermogolist for an allergy test and he told me I was not allergic to PPD but said I have an allergy to Nickle.

    The first Salon I went to used Walla and the new salon I went to used Aveda. Do you know what I should do? Are their any dyes that don’t use nickle? I thought aveda (brown) dyes don’t contain nickle? I’m also worried it will get worse….

    Any help would be grately appreciated.


    1. Hi Nan! Thank you for reaching out to I Read Labels for You! We are sorry to hear about what you are going through! The important thing to understand here is that nickel is not an ingredient, it is a contaminant, i.e., impurity. There is no way to tell whether a product has it unless you lab test for nickel the very product you are going to use. Besides, nickel can be practically anywhere, including food. Has your doctor told you what food you can and cannot eat then?

  3. I am with so many of you, looking for a safe hair color, but frustrated with how orange my grays are after henna. I started mixing henna with indigo powder and I now get a really nice, natural brown. Probably will just let my hair go gray eventually. Can’t take the roots every 2 weeks.

  4. Hi

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned Goldwell Elumen . I am allergic to coal tar, I.e. PPD or TDS and my dermatologist recommended this brand. It is a bit opaque , and you have to apply it a few times for coverage, but it makes your hair very shiny and does not dry it out. There are many reviews of the product. I think it is worth taking a look at.

  5. I am looking for semi permanent hair dye to cover grays. I had to stop henna after using it for many years, as all my gray became orange. There is any semi permanent natural hair dye exist in the market please? I did try a few powder mixed with water, liquid etc did not work. I was looking Arctic Fox Color Dye but checking their ingredients felt pretty disappointed…could you advise please? Many thanks

    1. Thank you for trusting me with your product decisions. ☺️ As a small business owner, I don’t have the resources to provide effective free advice/consultation in the comments. I already provide a ton of free resources on my blog. Please use my website menus and type your keyword in the website search engine to locate the information you’re looking for. For further assistance, please book an email product review or phone/Zoom consultation. Thank you for respecting my time and supporting our mission to improve the safety of consumer products. 🙏 🙌 💗

  6. Hi Irina,
    I have been using Light Mountain Natural Color the Gray for years and have liked it. Recently I ordered some more Henna on line from Lotus Brands like I usually do. I noticed that they changed the box. The ingredients are the same (Lawsonia Inermus (Henna) Leaf Powder, Indigofera Tinctoria (indigo) leaf powder,except one other was added; Cassia Auriculata (senna) leaf powder). The directions are the same, etc., however, I noticed my hair was “orangie.”
    My grandaughter is an Aveda Salon hairdresser. She told me that she’d like to try an all natural color (chocolate) on my hair. Well it kinda stung for a little (15 minutes) then went away. It seems like my hair is a little thinner and doesn’t have the natural highlights.
    My question is: Is it okay to switch from Henna to Aveda? And is it safe to go back to Henna?
    Thank You!

  7. Hello, Irina:

    Since you reviewed WELLA KOLESTON PERFECT hair color,
    could you also review WELLA ILLUMINA, too?

    And may I suggest adding BIGEN to the list as well?


      1. Thank you and you’re most welcome, Irina! 😀

        By the way, have you included REVLON COLORSILK
        to your Permanent Hair Color Rating List?


  8. Actually I just saw that you like Radico Henna powder. I’m just hesitant with Henna because if you don’t like it and want to go back to regular color I heard it may break off. Sometimes I use Framesi Eclectic I believe same as Kevin Murphy.

  9. There is a product hair mayraki hair serum that restores gray hair to natural color. Have you heard of that? What brand henna powder is best? Is Kevin Murphy somewhat safe?

  10. Hello Irina,
    I was wondering brand of henna you use. Your hair is a nice brunette. I was looking into Surya Brasil but there were various comments and also you can’t go back to regular color I heard after henna or it can break off. Do some henna brands cause shedding?Right now I use Kevin Murphy.

    1. Hi, Alison: Pure henna powder is not known to cause hair loss. By the way, Surya Brasil is not pure henna. It is a chemical dye with a henna component. ~Irina

  11. Jennifer, I am a hair stylist. I am educating myself reading these posts. I use CHI, because it is “ammonia free”, however. I had a client on STATIN drugs for cholesterol. She started losing her hair. I was checking into Aveda color and found this site. I am at a loss! All this info. is blaring!!! Stop coloring your hair and clients!!!! I don’t think there’s any hair color that’s not going to cause a possible reaction. One lady stylist I know, who works with Aveda color has contact dermatitis, I suspect, due to the color. Henna MAY be safe, IDK!

  12. I have been dealing with an allergic reaction and I wonder if it is my Aveda hair color. Can you still react to it being in your hair months after it has been applied?

  13. Hello,

    My mom had a color reaction back in 2017 using Just For Men Mustache and Beard color, hasn’t color since then everytime she color it reacted worse mosquito like bumps dryness nothing else..

    I’ve bought henna indigo combination but it really did not turn mom hair strand brown only orangy brown. Not great.

    I’ve been searching since then can’t find a PPD Free Hair Dye… It’s either the Toluene Diamine Sulfate which I am not sure how safe it is.

    Please help me! It’s frustrating for mom to keep her hair gray it’s now at least 50% gray hair…

    Most natural organic hair dye either have too many ingredients or contain Toluene Diamine Sulfate frustrated. Or if you know any other natural ways to color gray hair would be great. I’ve tried black walnut didn’t work, tried activate charcoal, coffee and conditioner almost everything on the websites.

    Thanks Again.

      1. Hi Irina,
        I’ve looked at the list but what am confused that most of them have Toluene Diamine Sulfate! Is it better safer then PPD? Tint of Nature has PPD for instance.

        Eco Colors is it any safer?

        My mom has smell sensitivity too. So trying to limit to alcohol, perfume, PPD and Toluene Diamine Sulfate…

          1. Hello Irina,

            I’ve looked at the eBook hair dye you have recommended.

            There’s lots of options but am confused that so many have so many ingredients Toluene Diamine Sulfate, etc.. I’ve tried the henna it’s work sometimes not so much other times hard to tell the indigo and henna mix.

            Tint of Nature has PPD.

            My mom suddenly had a reaction when she colored her hair, no more coloring
            She hasn’t done the patch test because they want to put everything that is on the panel plus scared it might cause rash etc

            Been to allergist Dr Bernstein.

            Doctor wasn’t much help or told us any hair dye.

            If we use hair dye with Toluene Diamine Sulfate I don’t know if it’s safe to use.

            Thanks Again.

          2. Salman, the hair dyes listed on the sales pages are rated, not deemed safe or the safest. And yes, you are right that hair dyes with TDS are not safe. In fact, there are no safe permanent hair dyes. The safest choice is henna, which is not challenging for people with a lot of grey hair. ~Irina

  14. I have gotten sores on my scalp for the last 10 yrs. I seem to be sensitive to lots of things. My face also breaks out and is quite sensitive. I no more get sores healed and get more. I’m a hairdresser and have colored my hair for a long time. Any advice?

    1. Deb, I’m sorry to tell you but you have to stop coloring your hair at very least with permanent hair colors. Have you considered semi-permanent options, henna hybrids or henna? ~Irina

  15. Really thanks for sharing this useful post. I Have got very good information about hair color ingredients. Keep sharing !!

  16. It’s been awhile nce I had a severe reaction to hair dye and now I have again. Revlon medium brown that I use on roots only for grey hair kicked my butt last week and kicked some of my hair to the curb. It bears testament to the info you provided about sensitivities suddenly flairing up again. It’s a humbling experience to lose one’s hair. I am off hair dye. Beware these chemical reactions are not worth it at all.

  17. You mentioned Kevin Murphy color, but didn’t say much about it. I have been looking forever for SAFE COLOR FOR MYSELF AND MY CLIENTS!!HELP is Kevin Murphy 👍🏻Or👎🏻

      1. Have you evaluated a brand named “Mayraki”? They claim to have a patent on their formula for gray coverage… I have been looking for the actual proof. I am wondering if it’s legit…? It suppose to work like Hairprint does (restores your hair from inside out), by spraying/rubbing into the roots, supposedly far less messy than Hairprint. I’m just a teacher looking to cover my grays and get my black hair back. Thanks for any leads!

  18. Hello,
    I just wanted to thank you for the info on Aveda hair color!!!! Its a big deal for me. i really am at odds about where to go next. please tell me is there any hair color out there that does cause cancer?

    1. Amy,
      did any one reply to you regarding this question you asked: please tell me is there any hair color out there that does cause cancer?

        1. After being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, I have changed all my products to completely natural. It does take work yo find them but that are out there. I started dying my hair with strictly henna. I bring the package to my salon and my regular colorist does it for me. It a thusly colors my grey better than any other product and lasts 5 weeks instead of the 4 it use to with others. I do have to condition my hair a bit more but the trade off is well worth it. There’s too much research out there connected fair due to breast cancer. We can do this.

  19. Ive been using Hairprint for a 2 years now, but it’s so messy and not very happy with the results. I’ve been reading your reviews of the various hair color products ingredients, etc… So sad, there seems to be no other close recommendations next to Hairprint. Or do you have a recommendation next to Hairprint? Which one?