Organic Color Systems: Wash those Grays Away with a Safer Hair Color

organic color systems
Do you need to put on a mask before coloring your hair?

Note:  this post has been updated 2/15/2010 with further information from Herb UK.

I have been turning gray since my early twenties. It must be hereditary since my grandfather was all gray at an early age. When I had just a few gray strands, I would literally “wash that gray away” with the product of the same name. It would cover the gray for about a week. As the years progressed, I became grayer and grayer. As I approached my late twenties, one of my clients remarked that my gray hair aged me. That was it for me.

The next week I made my first appointment to rid my dark brown hair of those ugly gray stands in my hair. This decision started a twenty year love/hate relationship with hair color. I yearned to stop coloring, but my gray hair was wiry and unattractive. At this point in my life, I am almost one hundred percent gray. When it is time to color, I look like a skunk with a silver band running down the middle of my hair line.

Have I been slowly Killing Myself?

The amount of chemicals that I was exposing my body to was horrendous. According to the National Cancer Institute, “[t]he evidence for increased risks of other cancers from hair dye use is limited and inconsistent.”  See their article, “Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk,  for further detail.  Just to give you a little peek into the world of hair dyes, many products contain ammonia,  parabens, resorcinol,  toluene, and  p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), which all received high hazard scores on the Environmental Working Group’s  Skin Deep database.  All in the name of beauty.

(See here for health risk  information regarding the exposure of high levels of ammonia, especially if you are a hairdresser. Just enter the word, “ammonia” in the search box.)

I knew what I was doing to myself was not healthy.  In th mid-90’s,  I  brought a box of Herbatint to my colorist to apply it. It burned my scalp. In retrospect, I may have washed my hair the day before and my scalp was just sensitive. Nonetheless, I never tried Herbatint again and reverted back to using salon hair color. Always searching for a better alternative,  I transitioned to  a low ammonia hair color about ten years ago. But I still wasn’t happy.  I wanted to be free of the ammonia . One fateful day, I spotted New Jersey’s Salon Boutique’s business card at my local health food store. This new salon uses organic and natural hair products.

Could Organic Colour Be the Answer?

Excitedly and a little skeptical, I called the salon and spoke to Stacy, one of the founders, about the products that they used. The salon uses Organic Colour Systems, an ammonia-free hair color along with other organic and natural facial products and hair products. (In the US, the product is distributed under the name Organic Color Systems.)

Stacy further explained that in addition to the healthier product lines that they use, the salon was created using low VOC paints and bamboo floors. In addition, a water filtration system was installed to insure that the water used with their products were free of harmful chemicals. The hair gods had answered my prayers.

I had read that hair color needed ammonia to be able to open the hair shaft in order for color to be applied. If Organic Color hair color did not use ammonia, then I wondered what other chemicals were they using? Being the ever skeptic, I emailed back and forth with  Herb UK, the parent company of  the color system.

Organic Colour was created sixteen years ago by London hairdressers/colorists, Stephen Landreth and Stuart Taylor, who since retired, as a solution to Landreth’s allergy to hair color. Landreth remains the technical advisor to the Company. The product took four years to develop, and uses a base of alkaline oil to soften the cuticle and heat rather than ammonia to open the hair shaft. The activator, which is comprised of a range of 0% -12% pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide lifts the color in order to achieve the desired shade of hair color. (12% grade hydrogen peroxide is the European limit.) According to the Company, Organic Colour is the only product that contains organic roman chamomile to soothe and protect the scalp.

What concerned me about this product is its name which implied that the product was organic, especially looking at the list of ingredients of the product.  Names like PEG-2 Soyamine, and Cocamide DEA did not sound too organic to me.  The Company’s response was “the name ‘Organic Colour System’ is a trade name which was launched in 1994. At the time, organic had a broader meaning in the context of ‘natural’ and ‘of the earth’ and ‘organic development.’ It has only recently come to be used as ‘organically grown produce.”

According to the Company, they are working with Eco-cert to obtain certification for their products which takes into account the raw materials used and the process of how the products are made. At the present time, all of their products contained certified organic materials, many of the raw materials are naturally based, and there is only a small amount of synthetics used when no natural alternatives are available.

Is the product free of chemicals? No. So, is it safe?

Since the product is not listed on the Skin Deep Database, I had to do some of my own research.

The product does contain PPD since it acts as a carrier for the hair to attach to the new pigment being used. However,the Company states that the product contains a low level of no more than 2%, which is lower than the European limits of 6%. For those coloring their hair for the first time, a patch test is advised to ascertain any allergic reaction to the product.

In addition, the product also contains PEG-2  Soyamine and PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, which may contain contaminates 1. 4 Dioxane  as part of the manufacturing process.  1, 4 -dioxane  was previously listed as  a possible human carcinogenic on the Canada’s Environmental, but has since been removed. [1] Many environmental groups were dismayed by the Canadian government’s conclusions.  However, 1,4-dioxane remains on the “Hot list” for ingredients that are intended to be  prohibited or restricted in use; however, it may be present as a manufacturing by-product. [2]

I asked the Company if 1,4 Dioxane had been stripped from the product when manufactured.  However, as of this date, I have not received a reply. The Company confirmed that its ingredients do not contain 1,4 Dioxane.

Other ingredients contained in the product were listed in the Skin Deep database with a score of moderate to hazardous depending on the application of the chemical.  PPD receives a high hazardous score.  Although all the ingredients are not organic, I respect Organic Colour for listing their ingredients and believing in full disclosure.

As mentioned above, the jury is still out on whether or not hair coloring causes cancer.  Organic Hair Colour does not contain ammonia or resorcinol, and has a small amount of PPD.  I personally had to weigh my own vanity of not allowing my hair to remain gray with the exposure of possible carcinogenic chemicals.   In the end, I found that Organic Colour was the best choice for me now and hope that more products will be made in the future without any harmful chemicals.

Does it work?

I decided to be a human guinea pig to put the product to the test. What was the worse thing that could happen? The color did not last?

Samantha, my colorist, did not apply any protective cream around my hair line. When I questioned her, she explained that the product does not stain like other hair colors. That was a relief. Many times, I had walked out a salon with either dye stains near my hair line or red marks from the product used to remove the hair color.

She proceeded to apply the hair color in a similar manner to my prior hair color sessions. I still wondered what were they going to use as the heat part of the equation for the color to penetrate my hair shafts. Well, I got my answer when Samantha brought over a George Jetson like rotating donut and turned it on. I felt like I was in a science fiction movie with this halo circling around my head heating up my head. After about ten minutes, the halo structure was stopped and I sat for another ten minutes. Thereafter, I was washed, and there was absolutely no hair color left on my skin.

Results of Organic Hair Color Systems

After my hair cut and blow out, I noticed my hair was very shiny and soft. See the picture above of my hair after color.

I took pictures of my hair over the next three week period so you can see that the hair color actually lasted. Realize as my hair grew, so did my gray roots. I keep my hair short so my gray part is not as noticeable.

Results of Use of Organic Hair Color
Week 1

Week 2 of Results with Organic Hair Color
2nd week

Right before using hair color

3rd week (right before my color.)

As you can see from the pictures, my color did not fade as my hair grew. In addition, it remained soft and shiny until my next appointment. I have been using the hair color for a year, and couldn’t be happier. Now, if someone could just invent how to permanently rid my hair of gray, I would be ecstatic!

A word of caution for pregnant women.

Can this product be used by pregnant women? The Company indicated that it should not be used during the first trimester. With any product, check with your doctor as to its safety during pregnancy.

Where is it Distributed?

The product is being distributed in Australia, Europe and the United States. In the United States, the product has been distributed under the name of Organic Color Systems for six years by Hilton Bell, a hair dresser who felt this product was safer for fellow hairdressers as well as the public. The US website lists those salons using the product. Bell has a YouTube page with various videos for hairdressers who wish to make a switch to a healthier alternative than ammonia based color systems.

Tints by Nature is UK Herb’s retail box color. You can purchase it at various natural food stores or on Amazon. See the Amazon buy it now above.

Other sources of ammonia -free hair dyes:  Herbatint UK, Light Mountain, products by Susan Henry, and John Masters’s Organic Color Line,  and PPD, ammonia, resorcinol-free product by Act by Nature.   For more information about the ingredients in each, contact the  respective company.

I will be testing Act by Nature next. (Update, 7/31/10:   I tested Act by Nature now known as Palette by Nature.)


  • have you used any of the listed permanent hair color?
  • If not, what do you use?

Photo of woman with mask courtesy of Hilton Bell of Organic Hair Color Systems.


Skin Deep database

[1]Schmidt, Sarah, “Chemical found in baby shampoos not toxic: Health Canada” The ‘Gazette, September 4, 2009.

[1]” 1,4-Dioxane CAS Registry Number 123-91-1” Chemical Substances, modified December 10, 2009.

Note, the Tints by Nature is an affiliate link, which Green Talk makes some money on every purchase you make. It helps to provide the great content delivered here!

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  1. 10

    Elizabeth Sato says

    Thank you for all the research and information provided here. I too come from a family that grays early and have been coloring my hair since age 16 (now 56). After battling breast cancer at age 42, and losing my hair to chemotherapy, I decided to try Herbatint which I purchased from Wild Oats (now owned by Whole Foods). I applied it myself at home with no heat. I used a blonde color because I had so much gray I did not want to have a white part in a couple of weeks. The color worked okay, but as my hair grew, I reverted back to using a Loreal product which I still apply at home. I live in the Kansas City area. My ex-husband is a hairdresser, but I’ve never had my hair colored in a salon. We don’t have any “health conscious” salons here. After reading your article here, I will try Herbatint again and put a plastic cap on while it processes to create a little heat. Thanks again!

    • 11

      Green Talk says

      Elizabeth, you might want to try Act by Nature since it does not contain PPD. I think Herbatint does. The only problem with Act by Nature is it does not lift your hair color meaning going from dark hair to blond. They have a forum so you could ask in your situation if it would work. It is more expensive than Herbatint. Anna

      • 12


        Elizabeth, I know its been 2 years since you posted, but I ran across this website just now… I started an eco-conscious salon in Olathe(kc suburb) and have been using Organic Color Systems for over 8 months now. Couldn’t love it more! Had to switch color lines after 20 years in the business because of mounting health issues(hormonal disruption, etc) and so glad I found OCS! It has changed my business and allows so much more creativity in haircolor because it keeps the hair healthy. It lasts longer and is keeps its shine. I love it! Let me know if you are still looking for someone using OCS and come see me! info @ identitysuitesalons

        • 13

          Adrian Kost says

          I am just in the process of opening up a new all green salon
          in Orland Park Illinois. Considering using organic color system
          and Mastey color line. Wanted to get your thoughts.

  2. 14

    Vicki Morgan says

    Hi. I’ve just found your website and am really enjoying the articles. They’re incredibly informative. I just had a look on the Act By Nature website and was unable to find an ingredient list. I would be interested to know if they have replaced their use of PPD with PTD (Toluene Diamine). Many people don’t realise that this raw material has exactly the same toxicity characteristics as PPD, however, it has to be used at twice the percentage to achieve the same result. It can therefore be quite misleading when a colour is advertised as PPD free without disclosing the use of PTD. If they are not using PTD what are they using? I’ll keep my eyes peeled for your review of Act By Nature to see what you come up with.

  3. 16

    Vicki Morgan says

    Hi Anna,
    I’m pretty sure that PPD is the actual colour pigment which is deposited to change the hair colour when lightening and darkening. Hydrogen Peroxide is what achieves lift ie going from dark to light which they don’t have in their product hence it doesn’t lighten (only same shade or darker). They must have some kind of colour pigment other than PPD in their product. Really looking forward to hearing what that is :)

    • 17

      Green Talk says

      Vicki, did you look at the list that I referenced in the reply. Did you see anything that look odd? They use heat to get the color into the cuticle, hence no ammonia. But, it is a hair depositor. Do you know a lot about chemicals? If so, can I run it by you when I get into the nitty gritty of the product? I want to see if it even works. My hairdresser does not think it will because it is a hair depositor and I am really, really gray. Anna

  4. 18

    Vicki Morgan says

    Hi Anna,
    Email me the full list of ingredients when you get the product and I’ll do a bit of research (I’m not sure if the list on their website is the full list as it states only ‘key ingredients’). It all looked pretty natural to me but, like your hairdresser, I’m wary of how it would cover greys without some sort of colour pigment.

  5. 20

    Reemis says

    Hi, I have just come across your blog when searching for a natural hair dye. So it seems that the last post was in march and the plan was to find out about ACT OF NATURE. So what happened? did you try it? any updates? thx!

    • 21

      Green Talk says

      Reemis, I did try it and will be posting a video about it. Let’s just say the product DID NOT meet my expectations but then again I am mostly gray to begin with. Anna

  6. 22

    Dominique says


    I enjoyed reading this article very much and I am wondering are you familiar with a product called Mastey Teinture Zero Ammonia, No MEA, Hair Color? I had been vacilating between using this color line and the Organic Color Systems. I had more recently been leaning toward using the Mastey Teinture but then I saw some alarming information about Mastey Teinture using highly carcinogenic DEA in their products and not disclosing it. I was wondering if this claim was true or some sort of hoax because this product is marketed as being more gentle than even the Organic Color systems line. Are you famiiar with this product or with these new claims? They have been posted on a few websites and threads by a John Bailey under the title “Mastey is Nastey”I would appreciate your thoughts or any research you may have.

    Kind regards,

    • 23

      Green Talk says

      Dominique, I am not familiar with them and did a little research. They claim they don’t use PPD but use something else. What that something else is, I have no idea. They don’t disclose. I would ask them to disclose their ingredients and % used. Ask them if they comply with the EU limits for certain for chemicals. I have a problem with a company that does not disclose.

      It is funny because on their website they specifically mention not to use products with DEA in them. Anna

      • 24


        Hi Anna and Dominique, Please give me a call if you have questions about Mastey Teinture. The article you mention is a complete hoax. We make our ingredients available to any stylist as the color is only sold to licensed hair dressers. If you would like to discuss the benefits, features and ingredients of the products please feel free to contact me at or 800-662-7839 ext 247
        We make and have made a ZERO AMMONIA, ZERO DEA color for over 25 years. We recently completed our transition to a ZERO PPD formulation, 90% of our shades were PPD free and in May we completed that formulation change. We use different dyes that are listed on the ingredients list, and we do not use Resorcinol. If you or any of your readers have any questions please feel free to contact me.
        Best regards,
        Erick Calderon

        • 25

          Anna@Green Talk says

          Erik, thanks for weighing in. I am about 90 percent gray. Will your product cover my gray? I used another product which was PPD free and the color just laid on top of my hair like a henna. How is your different? Anna

        • 26

          Dan Coleman says

          Erick, respectfully, your color contains something that causes my clients that are known to be allergic to PPD’s have horrible reactions. I have read the research reports on your color and have done my own patch tests. I am not just making this up and hold no ill-will against you, your company, or your brand other than my strong suspicion that you and your company are being less than honest with us and risking the health of our clients for the pursuit of your profit. This is not an ethical tradeoff and it personally offends me.

          Please explain, and use small words with basic sentences so us hairdresser types can understand, why we should believe our patch tests are incorrect only with your color?

    • 27

      Norman DeLise says

      All of these ingredients have been around for years. Since low or no ammonia is mixed with peroxide the percentage cut in half. The color mix should be on the hair not on the scalp. The higher the tone the less pigment is in the mix so, coloring to the scalp is safer. Mastey Teinture has been around for almost 30 years (1981). Now, if your salon is ventilated of which it should be if you do perms, nails and color. If you use Mastey Teinture you “never” use heat to process. Lifting is done by the volume of the peroxide. Heat opens the hair shaft which causes damage. Now, the cuticle is opened very slightly , the molecular structure of the color is such that it can penatrate. We all fear what we do not know. I have been a cosmetologist for 38 years and have met and talked to many of the industry’s best; such as Jheri Redding, Leo Passage, Paul Mitchell and Henri Mastey. Henri Mastey had something Jheri Redding wanted for his color, Instantane which help prevent color fading. Mastey had no ammonia color for a long time, before anyone else in the US.
      Sincerely, Norman

  7. 28


    THank you sooo much for posting this I thought I was the only one getting grays in my 20s:(. I am 24, and I have to dye my hair once a month because the grays just keep coming in..its just so embarassing. but I know ive been slowly killing my hair and possibly giving myself cancer so this is sooo great that u found a healthier alternative, im definitely running out and buying that next time a dye is in order.
    thank you :)
    Bold Colors for Your Hair´s last blog post ..An Easy Summer Makeup Look

  8. 29

    maria says

    Re: your assestment of haircolor “act by nautre”. Still waiting for your review of the product. Will you be writing a review soon?

    • 30

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Maria, so sorry for the delay. Unfortunately, I won’t be giving acts by nature a good review. Anna

  9. 31


    I really appreciate your web site. I’ve been dyeing my hair for almost 25 years and worrying just as long. I was about to switch to the new Loreal product, but after reading your blog I think I’m going to give OCS a try. I periodically contemplate lowlights or just giving it up and going au naturel–but I’m not ready. Do you happen to know if there are any safe(ish) Brazilian type treatments. I’ve had one–my hair has been great. However, I was (ever so naively) led to believe it was all natural keratin and only later discovered that the active ingredient is formaldehyde. I’ve heard that Brazilian blowouts are bad too. What is a girl to do?

  10. 32

    Lee Thomas says

    Is there a safe(r) non-permanent hair color product? I am not interested in looking reddish-orange, so I have stayed away from henna. I do not think that permanent hair color looks natural on an older person, and the new growth of gray is way more obvious. I had been using Loving Care by Clairol and mixing shades to achieve a more natural color. Now I cannot find it in the local stores. Using it has been a health worry for me.


    • 33

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Lee, you can opt with low lights which blends the gray into your hair. Your gray would be lighter shades. Or they can make your gray more uniform. I have thought of this but I am totally gray. I color my hair every three weeks so you don’t see the gray. I am pretty sure Organic Color has highlight colors as well; however, you would have to go to a beauty salon.

      I don’t know if this works but worth a try: http://planetgreen.discovery.c.....-hair.html. Let me know if you try this. Anna

    • 34


      I just became aware of the product Love Your Color by CoSaMo (by CoSaMo) that some who used Loving Care in the past have turned to. I just ordered on The reviews online seem pretty good for those who want to avoid the permanent dyes with PPDs, etc.

  11. 35


    Hi Anna,

    Yes the color will cover your gray. I would need a little more information from you in regards to what level you are so that we could formulate a proper formula for you.

    The differences:
    1. Type of Dyes in the color: From your post about the PPD free color you used, I would guess they are using Direct Dyes, kind of like stains, Color companies will use these dyes to help with gray coverage and tonal issues when lifting. The problem is since they are stains they lay on top and wash out over time. When you leave the salon it looks great but after a few washes you start to notice the fadage. This is usually the worst in red shades. This type of color line is very popular for certain situations, but not the best choice for covering gray hair permanently. Usually direct dye colors are classified as semi or demi permanent colors. Some you can even use without peroxide and only heat to give shine and color to dull hair especially after relaxers etc…

    MASTEY uses all oxidative dyes, there are no stains. This helps to cover the gray permanently and also makes it so that the color will not fade or wash out the way direct dyes do.

    2.Timing: It looks from your article you had the color on about 20-30 minutes. Matey processing time is 45 minutes. If you have resistant gray you can have it on 55 minutes. The timing is so that the color has the time to fully oxidize and lodge itself in the hair.

    As I am sure you know the alakaline agent will open the cuticle and then the color oxidizes to lodge itself in the hair. If you wash color off too soon, the color is not fully lodged in the hair.

    Hair color can be oxidative, direct dye, or a mixture of both. We believe using an all oxidative dye formulation makes it so that the hair color will truly last longer and look the best.

    3. Color Selection in comparison to other brands. Most colors are cream based. Mastey is liquid and we use what we believe to be the highest quality dyes available. We also do not add the typical additives you need to add to make the color a paste base. This higher quality pigment is a more pure tone. So for example if you were using a level 6 Natural in a paste based color, you would use a level 5.0 (5 Natural) in Mastey to achieve the same level but a more beautiful and richer looking result.

    4. Peroxide choices and availability. Due to the purest dyes and the lack of ammonia in the color you can use variable volumes of peroxide to get more lift or better deposit. Most color lines will give you peroxide in 30 or 40 volume and bellow. If you used anything higher you would get a lot of damage. With Mastey since there is ZERO AMMONIA you can use up to 60 Volume peroxide in your formulation to get more lift. On certain clients you can use a 10 or 15 volume instead of 20 to get beautiful gray coverage.

    5. Hair condition: We use a blend of ingredients that include: Rice Amino Acid, Natural Moisturizing Factor, and Antioxidants to help condition the hair while coloring. We also have some treatments that stylist can use on you if your hair is very damaged. The difference here, and you cna check with your hair dresser on what she uses, most hair companies will have you color the hair and then apply conditioners to seal the color in. This is because of the ingredients in the conditioners, oils, waxes, etc… Things that make the hair look visably healthier, however the condition of the hair is still the same. When these conditioners wash out the hair is still dry and damaged. Mastey is different in that we reccomend our conditioners before the color or other chemical process, our combination of ingredients will actually help to rebuild the bonds in the hair so the color will last longer. It is also a testament that we do not have coating agents in our conditioners that we would ask you to do it before the color.

    Lastly I would like to add that Mastey is a family owned and operated business. We are not just a brand, we actually own and operate our own Manufacturing Facility and Lab in California. WE MAKE EVERY BOTTLE OF MASTEY PRODUCT EVER SOLD IN A SALON. My Father-in-law founded this company to bring healthier gentler products to the hair dresser and their clients. This is not a new trendy mission for us. Mastey was founded on this basic principle in the early 1970’s and in

    1978 we created and sold the FIRST SULFATE FREE SHAMPOO, now sulfate free is all the rage and everyone talks about sulfates, we have been preaching this for decades.

    We have sold a no ammonia color since the 1980’s. Growing it from its original 12 color pallet to today’s 61 color selection.

    We have talked about 1.4 dioxane, sulfates, ammonia and DEA for decades. Not because it was trendy or green, but because we felt it was the right thing to do.

    Thank you for your forum and your work in getting the right information out. Please contact me so we can get you a good formula to try for your grays. I think you will be much happier using Mastey Teinture as you will definitely have beautiful color results and healthier more beautiful hair.

    • 36

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Erick, I use 4N in Organic Hair Color. I am 85% all gray. Thank genetics to this. When I used Palette by Nature, I had the dryer on for 40 minutes. I know I sit in the chair about 40 minutes but part of it is under the heat lamps with a plastic cap and the other is letting my head cool down from the heat. How is your product different from Organic Hair Color? I know you don’t use PPD. When I used one of the ammonia free off the shelf product, the peroxide bothered my scalp. I thought it was burning. I am game to try your product.

      On a side note, kudos to your company about not using 1.4 dioxane, sulfates, ammonia, and DEA! Anna

    • 37

      Lee Morris says

      Hi that was a very interesting article… I have been having bad reactions to hair dye for a while now so I changed to Inoa but that product did not work and the last time I had a reaction in December 2010 I thought I was going to die – my throat felt like it was closing up, I came out in a red swollen mess all over my legs and arms and my head, face and ears felt like I was on fire…. as you can imagine I am too scared to get my hair coloured again and have been searching for something without PPD.
      I consulted my hairdresser obviously and she contacted her suppliers and basically they said to her to “chuck” me as a client and move on! Good One!
      On another website I saw that some products do not have PPD but do have something called PTD (Toluene Diamine) which they use to replace PPD… can you let me know if your product has this in as I am getting desperate to find something – call it vanity about not wanting to be grey or frustrated :o)
      Please contact me and, if I can use your product, is it available in NZ or can I get a supply from you. Thanks.
      PS Not sure how this whole thing works but can you email me direct as I don’t go on computer much. Thanks.

  12. 40


    Hi Anna,

    You could do it 2 ways depending on the look you are going for. If you are after a deep dark look, you can use our Teinture 3.0 with 15 or 20 volume. It will give you a beautiful deep color. If you are looking for a more dimensional color result where you can blend some of the grays so it looks like highlights, you can use: Teinture 4.0 with 20 volume.

    Both will give you beautiful looking hair, very soft, very shiny. If you would like to have your hair dresser call me, I can walk her through the processing time and formulation.

    With our hair color, since their is ZERO AMMONIA, you can use up to 60 Volume peroxide with it for higher levels of lift. But this is where the stylist needs to use their professional judgment. We are all different, most clients are fine with this, but to make sure the stylist should be doing a patch test and strand test when using new products on their client. Very easy and quick these 2 tests can tell you how you will react to a color line as well as what the color outcome will be. I can walk her through those over the phone as well.

    For you using 15 or 20 volume, you should be fine. You may also have been reacting to something else in the color formulation. We use Rice Amino Acids so even if you have allergy to wheat, silk, or human hair keratin you wont have issues with our color.

    As far as “ORGANIC” hair color. We take the word Organic very seriously and hope that the irresponsibility of some companies out there does not fool the consumer/stylist into thinking they are buying some they truly are not getting.

    1. There currently is NO regulation or certifying agents specifically for cosmetics.
    2. The use of the word “ORGANIC” or “CERTIFIED ORGANIC” on the front of a package is supposed to tells the consumer that 95% to 100% of the ingredients of a product are organic or are on the allowed list of natural & synthetic ingredients in the NOP (National Organic Program). There is no current hair color that meets those food based standards.
    3. The NOP is currently looking at how to regulate the use of Organic, as well as organic certification for cosmetics. Cosmetics currently fall under the FDA and not the USDA so they are looking at how to deal with certifying cosmetics and sanctioning those companies that irresponsibly and willingly confuse the consumer into thinking they are buying organic.

    The National Organic Program has a place where you can file a complaint about companies claiming Organic and Organic Ingredients etc…

    At the core what makes our products different is the philosophy that has been our guiding principle since the founding of the company in the 1970’s “To create superior performing products using the highest quality ingredients for the benefit of our stylists and their customers.”

    What this means is that the product needs to work. It needs to do its job. And that we know that of all the people using the products the stylist will be exposed to it the most. So we use the healthiest possible ingredients to create products that do the job they need to do.

    Give me a call or have your stylist call me when she has a minute. I can help her formulate the right shade and developer and get it out to her so she can try it on you.

    Best regards,
    p.s. sorry if I sound rough around the edges when it comes to Organic, I speak with stylists and consumers everyday that have been told bad information and it upsets me that companies out there get away with that sort of bad behavior.

    • 41

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Erick, Organic Hair Color had its name for 14 years before organic became what it is today. It can sound kind of misleading I agree. Maria has brought up an interesting questions. I hope you are following the comments. Anna

  13. 42

    maria says

    Re:Mastey Teinture haircoloring & Eric. He stated that product is PPD free & uses oxidative dyes. He needs to explain exactly what are the oxidative dyes & if the are synthnetically made. Somes dyes are just as carciogenic or even more so than PPD”s!

  14. 43

    Vicki says

    Oh this is getting good!!! Fantastic question Maria, I’m waiting with great interest for a response to this one too.

    • 46

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Barbara, Maria brought up an interesting question and want to hear what Erick has to say about his dyes before I try it. If I am comfortable with his answer, I will ask my salon if I can try their product. Heck, I don’t mind being a guinea pig. What have I got to lose? Grey hair? Anna

  15. 47


    Hi Vicki & Maria,

    I will try to answer both your comments in one post.
    1. Instead of Ammonia: We use a blend of ingredients so that we can provide the best permanent color coverage along with the healthiest looking results. The hair after the color process will look and feel healthier than before the process. And as I mentioned in my previous post this healthy hair concept is based on truly trying to rebuild and repair the hair, not coating it with waxes or oils.
    Alkaline Blend:
    AminoMethylPropanol (Skin Deep Hazard Score 2)
    Rice Amino Acid (Skin Deep Hazard Score 0)
    Panthenol Vitamin B5 (Skin Deep Hazard Score 2)
    Cystine Amino Acid (Skin Deep Hazard Score 1)
    AntiOxidant Grape Seed Extract -Vitis Vinifera (Skin Deep Hazard Score 1)

    This blend helps to open the cuticle, and helps to protect and repair the hair as it processes.
    You will still need to use peroxide, since there is zero ammonia you can use higher volumes of peroxide which give the stylist the ability to get more lift without the same damage or irritation.

    2. Synthetic dyes: Yes the dyes are synthetic. They have a lower allergy reaction when compared with PDD and we believe less of the other effects that make the use of PPD undesirable.
    The dyes combinations are different based on which one of the 61 shades you are using. Through the skin deep database our dyes are all lower than PPD.

    Note: Your use of the word carcinogen: I think that it is important to realize that words like this have great meaning. When you use a word like carcinogen it makes people believe that using something will give them cancer. That is a serious charge. Here is a link to the EPA (not a company selling a competing product, but the Environmental Protection Agency)

    Here they state that while there are issues with PPD, they also say “No information is available on the reproductive, developmental, or carcinogenic effects of p-phenylenediamine in humans. EPA has not classified p-phenylenediamine with respect to carcinogenicity. “

    We do not use PPD for the other factors listed on that EPA document as well as for the allergy issues that stylists have reported when using PPD on their clients. However it would be irresponsible and very wrong for any company to alarm people of a claim that is not proven.

    We strive to make the best products using the best ingredients for the stylist who will have a much longer exposure to chemicals in their everyday work life. That is our goal, and over the years we continue to update and create new products with this in mind.

    You have to ask yourself what you want.

    If you want the most natural solution: For now you will have to embrace what God/Nature/the Universe/Chaos (did I leave anyone out) gave you, enjoy your natural color and embrace that beautiful gray.

    The next step might be using something like a hair dye made with food/vegetable based dyes, I am not sure of the other ingredients in those, so take a look yourself, but the main issue with these products that I have heard would be how long they last. These types of dyes seem to fade very quickly and there is a limit on the shades that are available.

    Some will steer you towards HENNA. You can do your own research on that, I am not an expert . I will give you my personal opinion from seeing the affects of long term henna use. This past January we launched Teinture Hair Color in Dubai U.A.E. & in Kuwait. The hair dressing community in the Middle East LOVES when companies come and offer educational events. Over a 14 day period, we saw hundreds of hair dressers for classes that we gave on using Teinture. We had both local stylists and stylists that flew in from Bahrain and Saudi and everywhere else in the Middle East. I am so grateful for such a wonderful experience! We had models for every stylist in every class. Every class had at least 2 models with HENNA in their hair. After many applications of Henna the hair felt like plastic to me. In some situations it was impossible to get out even with bleach. I would personally not recommend it.

    Lastly you have your choice of PERMANENT Hair Colors. Some use Ammonia, some use MEA, some will use DEA, some will use AMP, we use a blend of AMP and other ingredients to help with conditioning.

    I believe if you tried our hair color you will Love it. You will love the way your hair feels and the way your hair looks.

    Final Note: The internet is a great place for sharing ideas and learning new things. I Love it! It is also a place where people can make baseless claims, or claims based on bogus or misleading information. Case in point, the article that one of the posters references above claimed Mastey used DEA in its formulation, totally not true, not only do we not use DEA in our color,we have never purchased DEA as a chemical to use in any of our products EVER! This same article praises another company, originally mentioned here, for not having DEA, yet when you go to their corporate website and download their ingredients list…Their alkaline agent (can I get a drum rollllllll…..) Cocamide DEA.

    Then someone who is well intentioned will tell all their friends about this article, thinking it is true, and thus a baseless rumor is started.

    I love the internet! But I hope that I am always responsible in my comments.

    Thank you all for reading.

    • 48

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Erick, going back to hydrogen peroxide since I had such an issue with it in the box color, Organic hair color uses “0% -12% pharmaceutical grade hydrogen peroxide lifts the color in order to achieve the desired shade of hair color. (12% grade hydrogen peroxide is the European limit.)” I don’t understand volumes, etc. Does your product fall under the same percentages?

      Additionally, do you have to sit under a heat lamp for a certain amount of time and then let your hair cool? Are you required to use a certain type of conditioner afterwards?

      Also, does your company have a box color for those wishing to avoid the salon? Anna

  16. 49


    Hi Anna,
    We do not sell a box color or consumer based line. We only sell to the salon professional.

    The limits on peroxide use are usually due to its interaction with the other ingredients in the hair color. For example most color lines will not recommend using anything over 12% (40 volume) Peroxide because when that mixes with the ammonia it will cause damage and or discomfort.

    We sell from 3% (10 Volume) up to 18%(60 Volume). As I mentioned before for your formula, and normal gray coverage applications, we would probably recommend 6% (20 Volume) and that will do the trick. You would only use the higher percentage or volumes to get more lift.

    Processing: If you have difficult to cover gray, we would suggest 10-15 minutes under the dryer. Then cool for 30 -35 minutes for a complete processing time of at least 45 minutes.

    Since you say you are very gray we would recommend the stylist mix a specific shade for you. For example if you were looking for a very neutral look at a Level 5: they could mix the 5 Natural with a 4 Natural equal parts, if you wanted something a little warmer they could use a 5 Natural with a 4 chocolate in equal parts. The lower level lays down as a base and the color looks beautiful, very rich.

    Conditioner: If you hair is damaged we would recommend a purifying treatment with Use Me First Hair Purifier, and then a Conditioning Treatment with SuperPac Deep Reconstructor, depending on your moisture level if needed you can then follow up with a moisturizing treatment with Moisturee. Then Color the hair. then seal the cuticle with HC FORMULA +B5. We do our conditioning before the color to ensure maximum repair and strengthening.

    • 50

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Erick, please see Maria’s comment. Also, why does Mastey not choose to put on their website they are PPD free? Anna

  17. 51

    maria says

    Re: Erick’s 10/20/10 response. You gave an extensive reponse yet I still didn’t get the info I was searching for, so I will try to be more direct. You select any dark brown shade from your collection & give me the total list of ingredients. Thanks

    • 52


      Dear Maria,
      I am sorry that I was not able to answer your question. I will try again here. All of the dyes we use have a lower score on skin deep than PPD. You asked if our dyes were synthetic, yes they are. Each shade of color contains different dyes and different percentages of those dyes. Like mixing a color. Here are the dyes that would be in a shade. I have included the skin deep scores, just as a reference*.
      2,5 Diamine Toluene Sulfate : 5 moderate hazard
      4-Amino-m-Cresol : 4 moderate hazard score
      2-Methylresorcinol : 2 low hazard
      M-Aminophenol : 6 moderate hazard
      2-Amino-4-Hydroxyethylamino Anisole Sulfate : 1 low hazard

      Note: On skin deep scores, I only use it as a reference because that is what the general public looks at online to get their information. Their Score for PPD is 10 high hazard, to my knowledge the highest score they give is 10. So using ingredients that rank lower on their scale should help the person who is researching such things in that way. It is still not an apples to apples comparison because those scores are based on compiled data of lots of different sources all with their own procedures and or flaws/biases. Also each ingredient has its own data gap or amount that is actually factually known about that ingredient. As that data changes and we learn more about ingredients then those scores and that gap changes.

      Science, in this case chemistry and as an extension product development is an ever changing art. Scientist are taught to question, then create a hypothesis, then test it to see if we are right. But right is limited to the data we know today. As new data comes out and new discoveries are made we adapt and try to create new and better products.

      Are you looking for a permanent solution; a more natural solution; a semi/demi permanent solution; a gentler alternative to what you use today? Are you looking for something that is completely natural and free of anything synthetic?

      I hope you understand that every product has its limits. If someone tells you otherwise they are not being 100% truthful. Today, if you are looking for a PERMANENT non ammonia, non PPD, color that will leave your hair looking and feeling healthy and soft and beautiful; I would invite you to try ours. I think you will be happy with the results.

      If you are looking for something completely natural or organic that is a PERMANENT hair color, I’m sorry but I do not think you will find one. Especially since hair color is not currently classifiable as organic.

      I do believe that companies like ours as well as others mentioned will continue to try to make better products available in search of that goal of something completely natural. But right now, it’s not out there yet. Hopefully one day it will be, and hopefully we will be a part of that revolution. Believe me we are trying.

      Now if you are looking to do something completely natural that is NOT PERMANENT, there are things you can try that I outlined before, and as a note, we do not make any of those solutions, food based dyes, henna, etc… Please look into each process as they each have their benefits and drawbacks.

      To answer Anna,
      Why it does not say PPD Free all over the web site yet…
      We have been making no ammonia hair color since the early 1980’s. Since then we have tried to make it better and better. For the past few years we were making a color that 90% of the shades were PPD FREE. As of May 2010 all the shades became PPD Free. We were finally able to convert those last few shades into a formula that was PPD Free and still lasted and looked as good. In our business we DO NOT sell hair color directly to the consumer. We sell to a distributor that then sells to the salons that then uses it on their clients. That said we need to make sure that all the product in the market has turned/been used in order to let the consumer know it is all PPD free now. We will be making that addition to the web site shortly as we are coming up on 5 months since we made a shade with PPD.

      Lastly, I wanted to ad that as a company we grow our business through the word of mouth of happy stylists and their clients. (Not through advertising) We have, since the birth of our company in the early 1970’s, striven to create better, gentler products for our stylist customers. We always bring it back to our stylist customers, because they are really the ones with more exposure to these chemicals than any consumer out there. Think of shampoo and hair color, two things stylist use a lot of. A consumer will wash their hair maybe once a day, a stylist may do 10 -15 shampoos a day on clients. When it comes to hair color: the consumer may have their grays touched up once a month, the stylist is doing 5 – 15 color processes a day. We have and always will keep the health and safety of our stylists in mind when creating any product. We are one of the last family owned and operated hair care companies out there and I believe that makes our perspective different than most companies. Each bottle carries the family name on it, and each bottle is originally formulate by our father. I hope you will ask your stylist to try our hair color I think you would both be very happy.

      If we do not make a product that is healthy enough for you yet, hopefully one day we can. Thanks again for the interaction. I appreciate your site.

      Best regards,

  18. 53

    maria says

    Erick from Mastey Teinture Haircoloring. Thank for the list of 5 ingredients in your haircolor however I would like to resubmit my original request to you. You choose any permanent dark brown shade color from your collection of colors & give me the entire list of ingredients. I would also like to add how puzzled I am regarding the difficulty in trying to get a list of ingredients. You speak highly of your product so I would think you would be typing as fast as you can to get out the list!?!

  19. 54

    maria says

    Re: Erck & Mastey Teinture. I would like to know why my last comment was taken off your site? Is anyone able to erase entries? This is what I posted; I thanked Erick for the list of five ingredients he provided but I still wanted he to chose any permanent dark brown shade in the collection & list the all the ingredients. I had also said since he spoke highly of his companies hair coloring product I would think he would be typing as fast as he could to give me the list of ingredients.

    • 55

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Maria, your comment requesting the ingredients is still on the Green Talk site. Are you talking about a comment you put on Erick’s site? Thanks for being so diligent about getting your answers. Anna

  20. 56

    maria says

    Re:Erick & Mastey Teinture Haircolor. Well its been a couple weeks now & Erick did not take my challenge in giving me the entire list of ingredients in their haircolor. Huge red flag for me. I won’t be using their product. Also if anyone is interested I found comments from a person who claims to be an ex-employee saying that Mastey lies about their haircolor ingredients. Site: then search mastey de paris.

    • 57

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Maria, I found it odd that they don’t say right on their website they are PPD free. This is a huge selling point. Hmm. Erick where are you? Anna

  21. 58

    Angel says

    Leave poor Erik alone, he has answered a whole lot of questions, for God’s sake.

    If you are 100% picky about not wanting any chemicals in your hair, grey or not, THEN QUIT COLORING IT!





    • 60

      Moet says

      Me thinks Angel is Erick. He (as Angel) misspelled his name and some other little things to try and throw people off but the sentence structure, particularly the use of the commas and paragraphs are so Erick’s style.

      A question of full ingredients was asked a few times and was answered but not with what was asked until later “a little too late.” Under the heat “Angel” (how fitting) comes along and tells you guys to bugger off. Erick you got my head swirling with all your talk but the way you handled this turned me off. Looking at some of the reviews online (including some of the links here) you guys called “liars.” Enough said, my assumption stands between you and your pseudonym “Angel.” Not cool, brother!

      • 61

        Moet says

        BTW I’ve been using herbatint black !N dye for several years and I like it but it’s drying to my hair. Lately, I’ve read about a few people having bad reactions to it over time so I’m looking to see if there’s anything better. I’m 20% gray near hairline.

        Professional salon dye is expensive and even Aveda burned and the hairdresser was clueless what to do.

  22. 62

    maria says

    “Poor Erik” as you say may have given plenty of answers but they were not answers to the question asked. Since he boasted soo much about his product all he needed to do is give the list of ingredients. It was a simple request. And to your comment “either find a dang product or quit coloring” well inorder to find a dang product you need know whats in it so you can decide if you can use. There are consumers that have allergies & need to review ingredients before they buy. It was not about “not having any chemicals” it was about which chemicals!

  23. 64


    Dear Maria,

    Link to full ingredients list:

    This is the list all of our salons have. If you spoke to a stylist that uses Mastey Teinture, as I recommended, they would have shared this with you.

    Also here is a link to a Google page with over 60 comments that discredits the site you mention in your link.;hl=en

    I think it is sad that you would choose to spread baseless and untrue rumors about a company you know nothing about.

    On October 15th I placed my email address and phone number in a post here for anyone who had any questions to call or email me. To this day I have not received a phone call from you.

    I speak highly of our company because I am proud that for over 30 years we have striven to make the gentlest and healthiest hair care products for the salon professional and consumer. We developed SULFATE FREE shampoos in the 1970’s. We have sold a NO AMMONIA hair color since the1980’s. We have a ZERO AMMONIA Permanent Hair Color with over 61 inter-mixable shades so you can make any color you want to.

    And we’ve done and continue to do all this with the health of our stylists as our primary concern.

    WE DO NOT SELL ANY HAIR COLOR PRODUCTS FOR DIRECT CONSUMER USE, so you would not be able to buy our product to use at home. WE SELL ONLY TO STYLIST PROFESSIONALS.

    A consumer will use a shampoo, maybe once a day, and do their hair color maybe once a month.

    A stylist on the other hand is shampooing clients maybe 10 times a day and applying hair color to clients 3-10 times a day. They have a greater amount of exposure to chemicals in all these products. That is why our focus when developing products is the health and well being of the Salon Professional.

    We have thousands of salon professionals around the world who Love Mastey and Mr. Mastey in particular for his work creating innovative healthier alternative products for use in the salon.

    We have hundreds of thousands of consumers who have loved Mastey for over 30 years, since they first tried one of our shampoos, or had their hair colored in a Salon with Mastey Teinture.

    I speak highly of our company because we are an honest family-owned and operated company that over 3 decades has built a lot of great friendships, wonderful relationships, and a great business.

    If you are truly a consumer looking for a better alternative, I wish you good luck.

    If you are a competitor spreading false rumors about your competition, I am sorry for you that you feel the need to compete this way. I am not surprised that a lot of your stylists are leaving your hair color line and switching to Teinture. 😉

    If anyone has questions about our hair color or products, or would like to have their hairstylist try the color on them. Give me a call: 800-662-7839 ext 247 or email me at

    I would be happy to speak with you.

    Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! and have a Joyful and Blessed New Year!

  24. 65

    maria says

    Erick I just tried your link for product ingredients. Unfortunately the ingredients seem to be missing on the site. I do hope you fix the problem.
    Regarding your false accusation of me trying to spread baseless & untrue rumors & that I am a competitor: Mr. man of many words that tends to rely on imlpied distractions, I am a consumer that had a simple request for a list of all the ingredients of a selected product from your haircoloring line. You dragged your feet & would not provide it. It’s that simple. No conspiracy to harm your company. The End!

    • 66


      Hi Maria,
      To see the list of ingredients all you have to do is click the link in the post. I have tried it, and it works from here. I also can see the Google traffic that goes to that page everyday, so I know others see it as well. I gave you all the information needed to contact me, so if you have any more questions or concerns please feel free to call me. As far as your accusations, I believe you can read your own words and bogus links in your posts, and I am sorry you feel the way you do. I have been nothing but courteous to you.
      office: 800-662-7839

  25. 68

    maria says

    Thanks Gina for your comment. I first asked Erick for list of ingredients on October 18, 2010. So finally on Dec. 16, 2010 he gave a link that he said had the list of ingredients. I just tried the link again & the names of ingredients are not visible.

  26. 69


    WOW! I just went through and read all of the comments.
    First, let me start by saying that I am a professional colorist for almost 10 years. I proudly feature the most natural professional products available. I say mostly natural, because my extensive research has shown that there is really nothing NATURAL out there. I currently have been using
    OCS in my salon and have recently tried mastey. I have compared and researched every ingredient listed. They are very similar color lines, have very similar ingredients and are both trying to acheive the same thing. A heathier formulation than the formulas we have been using since the fifties. Neither one of these lines are natural. Neither line is organic.They are both chemical based and contain synthetic ingredients. In order for a color line to work properly, you have to have a ph balancer. Ammonia is what has been used for years. OCS and Mastey formulations allow there to be no ammonia and the lowest percentage of those chemicals that are needed. for example: So instead of 2.5% of a specific chemical, OCS and/or Mastey may only need .02%. You cant get away from chemicals if you want to cover your grey. But due to amazing technology, we have do the choice to use lines that more conscience.
    I have had no problems getting information from either company. Both companies have been open with answering any questions about specific chemicals in their line. I have achieved amazing results from both lines with full grey coverage.
    If you are looking to be chemical free then go all grey,
    We live in a chemical society and have to adapt the best we can. There is a product out there for everyone.

    Just a note- Drug store hair colors and health food haircolors are pretty much the same. Plastics, metalics and other harmful “organic” materials dont have to be on a list of ingredients unless over a certain percentage.

    • 70


      Karli, thanks so much for your comment. How do you decide which product to use on your client: OCS or Mastey? Is one better than the other in certain colors such as redheads? coverage? less fade out? Anna

      • 71


        Hi Anna,
        Both OCS and Mastey give great results. Any problems with coverage is, in most cases with any professional product, due to the technician. If applied and processed properly, both give great grey coverage, very even on tone fadage, and leave hair shiny and silky. The Ingredients are also VERY similar.
        I am still using OCS in the salon and am weighing my options as to wether or not I want to change to Mastey. Its not a matter of wether or not it works on the client, since i already know both lines are a superior product, but what is going
        to be the best for me as a business.
        I am located in hawaii and shipping charges are astronomical. OCS distributorship is located in florida and my shipping charges are always ridiculous. OCS has been great with working me and sends it USPS instead of UPS or FED EX, but its still a big charge. OCS also just raised their wholesale prices on their color line and comparativly Mastey is MUCH less pricey. Mastey also has a distributor in hawaii, which will save me a ton on shipping. All in all, if I stay with OCS, i will have to raise my prices and I really dont want to. The economy still hasnt fully recovered, and I know my clients would appreciate keeping prices the same.
        Another thing I am weighing out is education. The cost for me to get to florida to take classes at OCS is just ridiculously expensive. I am the only salon in Hawaii that carries the color line, there is no continuing education for me on the islands. Continuing education is so important for stylist to keep up to date and current with today trends and styles and to also know their product better. Mastey is more readily available here due to local distribution, so I have more opportunities for education. Also, their headquarters are in Valencia, Ca and I travel to LA often to visit family, so it would be very convenient for me to get more education there.
        Some other thing I am weighing between is processing time. Mastey takes 45 MIN. to process. OCS only takes 20-30min. and time is money. My clients are used to processing a short amount of time, so I dont know how they would feel about Mastey 45 min process time.
        One thing I do like about Mastey process, is that you dont need heat. With OCS 10 min. is under the dryer, and for those women who have their own “personal summers”, this can be challenging and has always been the biggest complaint about the color. People just dont like to sit under heat.
        All in all, both products are great. As I said, I am still using OCS and deciding if I want to change to Mastey. I will keep you posted and let you know what my ultimate decision will be.
        For the consumer: OCS and Mastey are competitors. The products are so very similar and neither one is “more harmful” than the next, and either one is better than an ammonia based color. If you are weighing between the two, choose by technician. A stylist who is educated and knows their product. When you get bad color, its the technician, not the color line.

        • 72


          Karli, how does Mastey process if they don’t use the heat? How does it open the cuticle? Also, Mastey says they don’t use PPD which is the carrier for color. What do they use instead?

          I have a stubborn gray spot which OCS can not dent. They had to use a low ammonia product to get it to go away. Which one do you find works better with stubborn resistant gray? Anna

          • 73


            Aloha Anna,
            So I made the switch. Since the above posting I have completely swithched over to Mastey. I LOVE IT!!!! I havent been this excited about hair color in years! First off, it smells like grape koolaid. Leaves the hair sooo amazingly shiny. I have actually had my clients call me days later to tell me how much they love their color! It covers grey with no effort at all, and the color is so rich and beautiful. I am in love and have a new zest for the day to day of resistent retouches and all over color. I am so in love with the product that I am trying to be an educator for the company. I have even switched over all of my retail to their shampoo/conditioners and styling line.
            This line is far superior than OCS in depth of color,shine and grey coverage.

          • 74

            Mary says

            I have been a hairdresser for over 40 years. I’ve used just about every color out there. In the 80’s, I used Mastey and have used and recommended Traite shampoo for 30 years. For the last 4 years, I have used both OCS and Mastey. Please forgive me, but I love them both and they intermix for me with just fine results. I get excellent grey coverage and on tone lasting results. Mastey stresses to shampoo the client’s hair first with their Use Me First clarifying shampoo. In my opinion, this does two things. 1) It removes anything that isn’t hair, ie, product,oils, dirt, sweat. 2) It opens up the hair for color. Think wet v.s. dry sponge. I resisted shampooing for a year because of the time factor and added product use. I finally spent a lot of money to fly to a Mastey workshop and have them tell me in person to shampoo first. Now I get full coverage, faster application and use less product as the damp hair grabs the color. Mastey recommends that you use their developers and they are great. I also love OCS’s Turbo developers. They are faster, heat activated and they nail the gray. (I routinely place my clients with Mastey or OCS and regular developer under a warm dryer with a cap for 25 mins.) Then out to cool for 20. I am in Colorado and have found Mastey to be delivered faster from order time to delivery. They are a bit less expensive as well. Both companies have answered every question I’v had either immediately or very shortly after.

  27. 76


    I work at a salon that uses Organic Color Systems, and I LOVE it, but this Mastey sounds interesting!

    Anna, what all did they do to try and cover your greys? There are lots of extra tips and tricks with OCS to cover stubborn grays..

    Jen in PA

    • 77


      Jennifer, they used another color (Jaco-spelling?) which has a low amonnia to cover that part. 2 weeks since they colored it, the gray is back. We have tried not using a cap when the heat is on, slathering it on alot, and washing me before color is put on. Any suggestions? Anna

  28. 78


    Well, there are different developers, a colors that are designed to give better coverage, and you can process with the heat for longer.

    Not using the cap makes it dry out faster, which would be negative especially if you are going for extra coverage..

    Your stylist probably/hopefully was aware of the other things i mentioned, but I wish i could give it a shot! :)

    • 79


      Jennifer, I was wondering too if I could stay under the heat for longer. It is so strange. This one piece of gray which never gave me a problem before. The reason she didn’t use the cap is because the elastic part is right by the area that won’t color. I should take a picture of it and post it so you all can see. Anna

  29. 82

    Norman DeLise says

    I am a cosmetologist in Las Vegas, Nevada. I am a CEU (continuing education units) instructor for the Nevada State Board of Cosmetology and presently attending Destination Academy in Las Vegas to become a cosmetology instructor. My CEU class is Comprehensive Hair Coloring. I find a need to educate every professional cosmetologist about color, especially non ammonia color. INOA was on the shelves as Natural Match. After a few refinements the product was pulled from the shelves and became INOA. Henri Mastey and Jhei Redding basicly made color better. EU laws force European color company to do no harm. That’s why OCS, Natrique, Voila, Compagnia Del Colore and even Mastey produce save color. Ammonia free color has been around for over 15 years. I work wonders with Mastey color. Lift color with color (21%) is just one of the many things I can do. Highlight ((24% peroxide) without any foil or cap or plastic by using the Framesi Spatula. Now, that’s a color class.
    Sincerely, Norman DeLise ( 37yrs Experience)

    • 83


      Norman, thanks so much for our comment. We need experts like you on the thread. How do you feel about PPD-free color? Can you truly cover the gray? If so, what do you have to sub in instead of PPD?

      Doesn’t Framesi have a low ammonia amount? My old colorist used Framesi on my hair for years until I found OCS. Anna

  30. 84


    Hi everyone i am a salon owner in N. Brunswick area, ReCreations Salon. We are using organic color systems for 6 years now at the salon. As a stylist/colorist for 30 years this is something that i was looking for long time as a colorist i’m expose to color more then any client will ever be, OCS its not only organic but performs just like any other chemical base color with everycolor under the rainbow. Some day all colors will be organic but for now its the only one. If any one of the readers have any questions please feel free to contact me at the salon. (dont know if i am permited to post the phone number.)

  31. 87


    I would like to start by applauding everyone for educating themselves and taking a genuine interest in the constant evolution of the hair industry. I come from a family of hairstylists and educators with over
    50 years experience. We recently have brought over an Italian line of hair care products to the US with a no ammonia color option. I encourage anyone looking at no ammonia for their salon to try our Saphir I’m Free color. I am happy to discuss the color further with anyone interested and I hope you get a chance to use it.
    Nico T´s last blog post ..Facebook

  32. 92

    Debbie says

    My hair naturally turns very blonde, almost white. The roots are a light brown. I look very washed out with such light hair and have tried many products, both in a salon, and retail, but they all wash out in one wash up to two weeks. A light golden brown is perfect for my coloring. Will your product work for me? I don’t have gray hair, but very fine hair. Thanks.

    • 94


      Hi Debbie before I answer your question i like to know some information. Please try to be specific.
      1: what is your natural color
      2: did you have any highlights or blonde coloring on the ends of your hair.
      3: Do you use well water or city water (very importan for me to know)
      4: What is the color that you want to be
      5: what is the lenth of your hair.
      Let me know and i will answer you what it needs to be done.

      Thank you

      • 95

        Debbie says

        My natural color is a dark blonde.
        I always use a darker color when I color my hair. It turns light blonde in anywhere from 1 washing to two weeks. My hair was light blonde when I colored it last week, but it was due to fading. I never use blonde coloring. I use city water and want my hair to be light golden brown. My hair is almost shoulder length. I was really hoping tht the shampoo in color would work, and be less damaging. My hair is very fine, so I don’t like to weigh it down with heavy conditioners. I have been using Loreal everpure sulfate free color care system moisture shampoo and the conditioner that comes with the coloring. My hairdresser used what I believe was ISO with 10% which lasted up to two weeks, butit was too expensive to keep going in for that. I have tried Feria (great color, but only lasted one shampoo- which was two days after coloring) Garnier Nutriesse and one more that I can’t recall the name of. I am 54, and have no gray, just want pretty hair!

        • 96


          One of the reasons why color fades is also because of the porosity of hair. Porosity is the measure of the hair’s ability to absorb moisture. This is determined by the condition of the hair’s cuticle layer. Overly-porous hair also releases moisture easily Hair color will take much more quickly and strongly in overly porous hair but also will fade much more quickly. Now this is how I get tricky the faster the color fades the more we color the ends of the hair for longer time and the more porous the ends get.
          What I will normally do is the following, Acid-balanced conditioning treatments to contract the cuticle layer and lock-in moisture on overly-porous hair. Cut down on the timing of the color on the ends and shaft of the hair (if color requires 30 min total timing I will do 20 min on new growth and 10 min on the rest of the hair and after color use an acid base conditioner.) Also very important is do not use any more the 10 vol developer on your hair for this specific color you are darkening the hair no need for anything higher. Also the first time when you do this ask your colorist to use a filler on the ends of the hair she or he will know what is a filler.
          Hope this works for you

  33. 97

    Debbie says

    I would like to add on to my last question that I use sulfate free shampoo and a sulfate free sunscreen on my hair.

  34. 98

    Nikki says

    The salon I go to is supposedly an organic salon and uses the Mastey color line… I was wondering if you have heard anything about this line? I know it’s ammonia and ethanolamine-free, but I really don’t know too much else about it and it’s hard to find the info on-line. I have been getting an all over color to dye my natural dishwater-blond hair to a dark brown/black color. If you have heard anything about this line, please let me know!

  35. 100

    Nikki says

    Wow.. Just looked through all the comments and found a lot of info on Mastey… but still not really sure what to think… Anna – let me know if you have any updates on this product line! :) thanks!

  36. 104

    Norman DeLise says

    I have noticed that almost all the concern is with nonprofessionals. The professionals give the answers, Karli, Steve, Nico and Erick, etc.
    As I have commented before: Mastey Teinture has been made for almost 30 yrs. It’s a good product. The internet is full of information. Now, John Bailey makes a comment without a physical test of the color in a salon setting. If color is applied in a box, the results are whats in the box. If you perm someones hair in a box, I guarantee they will get sick and pass out. In a salon with proper ventilation most products are safe. Now, the repeated use of a product by a professional is the greatest concern. A client might get a reaction after 25-30 uses, for some colorists that’s 3-4 days. Color envelopes hair so the chemical reaction is contained, otherwise the color doesn’t work. The professional knows what to do. Home Hair is not professional. All of these “yeah, but” has to stop. The professional colorist has the lowest insurance premium, because of the low risk. I pay about $100 per year. For a family business of 50yrs, Mastey must be doing it right. Natrique Color and Voila Color have no ammonia colors. A toxity evaluation was done on non ammonia colors; Mastey and Natrique were the safest. INOA (formerly Natural Match at the store) was the worst. Sincerely, Norman

      • 106

        Norman DeLise says

        I can’t find the link to article. I read so many articles online I tend to forgot writing down the URL. I don’t know what color chemistry is. Natrique is from Ireland and Voila is from Italy. Natrique follows the EU of do no harm ingredients. Voila makes both types. Natrique makes a non ammonia seaweed bleach of which I didn’t know about. I don’t know how and why it works. I haven’t used this type of product, yet. I don’t like ammonia bleach because of its harshness and the terrible accidents I had using bleach in beauty school (1972). My knowledge of Mastey started in 1974 at the Chicago Beauty Show. That’s where I met Jheri Redding. He grew up in Illinois and our birthdays (March) are close. I was young and he was the teacher. I listened and he talked. He told me about Henri Mastey and how inportant he is to the industry. Henri Mastey invented foil coloring and worked on a product that prevented Jhirmack Gel Color from fading, called Instantane. I got hooked on being a colorist. I faded away after salon owners didn’t want anyone creative with color. I opened my own salon (1989) and started coloring my way. Well,that didn’t work out. Customers wanted the old way. I switch to Goldwell. Now, everything has changed and I’m getting a third chance. I will find the best color and safest ingredients. Sincerely, Norman

  37. 108


    Good morning everyone, I like to say from a colorist point of view that I have used and work as a color educator for many many hair color companies. I work with product development and the chemists that make some of this colors. I am not working for any color company now i run my salon. So the answer to the question is NO COLOR IN THE PROFESSIONAL MARKET IS 100% SAFE.
    The all have some or all ingredients that if you look them up you get your answer to how safe or not is that color. And some of the ingredients list as Derived from organic source DERIVED is the key word. The above color that we are all talking about i check some of the ingredients they are NOT SAFE = Diamine Toluene Sulfate Here is a website that you can look up lots of products not only hair color and also look up ingredients one at a time. Even some of the safest organic or natural ingredients some times mix together and under special contitions they become very toxic. Thank you webmaster for giving us the freedom to speak.
    PS: My self i beleve that the safer professional color as of now in the market is OCS

    • 109


      Norman, I enjoyed your comments. I would be interested in providing you with some color to test. We also carry an ammonia-free bleach as well. We as a company appreciate the professionals input and thoughts because that’s who we are at our core and that’t who we will build products for. Email me at so we can discuss it further.
      Nico T´s last blog post ..Facebook

  38. 110

    Kim Glenn says

    My husband’s a MD and I am a chemist and I am very particular about the products I use. I do not care to take sides in this battle, but consider both Natrique and OCS to be excellent products. I like Voila and do not know much about Compagnia Del Colore. I am very aware of the hair color products, professional and retail, on the market.

    I want to FIRMLY state my objection to the clear and blatant spamming by Mastey in these posts. It is disingenuous and serves as an example of the way the Mastey “family business” operates. Norman DeLise saying that “Henri Mastey and Jhei Redding basicly made color better” and comparing him to the likes of Paul Mitchell is just plain stupidness. Mastey may also want to consider using INCI compliant nomenclature as to not mislead the public and explain their use of PTD’s .

    The Mastey Teinture “Ingredients List”, includes 2,5 diamine toluene sulfate which is their primary pigment contained in all of their color. The ingredient is more commonly known as PTD. PTD is extremely toxic ,

    Despite what Skin Deep seems to only give PTD the same black marks as PPD, PTD is an extraordinarily toxic ingredient and is classified as an “Experimental unstable carcinogen”. There are two documents that detail a very thorough evaluation and comparison of these two substances which are “Cosmetic Dermatology: Products and Procedures”, John Wiley and Sons, 2010 and “An overview of hair dye safety”, Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Harald Schlatter PhD, Timothy Long PhD, and John Gray MD.

    While I am certain that Mastey Teinture has its merits, the disgraceful behavior of the company and complete lack of transparency is on par with the lousy standards of the rest of the beauty industry. I am sure all of the products listed here can improve upon the honest communication of the ingredients in their products, but as I read the post from Erick Calderon, Vice President of Mastey, with incredulous astonishment, I could not help but wonder why any executive would conduct himself with such defensiveness rather than going through the courts to have any false complaints filed against him thrown out. Unless, of course, they are not false. It seems like small family businesses would know who their previous employees were.

  39. 111


    I’ve been using OCS since discovering this site and I really appreciate Kim’s comment. I’m wondering, Kim, if as a chemist, you can distinguish how PPD differs from PTD for a lay person. I’m also wondering if PPD is any less toxic than PTD, since Skin Deep classifies them as similarly horrible.
    Many thanks, Barbara

  40. 112

    Kim Glenn says


    I agree with Skin Deep in that PPD and PTD are similarly horrible. The key differentiating factor is that a formula would require twice as much PTD as PPD to accomplish the same result. Both are used as a primary intermediary and responsible for the color reaction component of the oxidative reaction. PPD is particularly well suited for the oxidative reaction from a chemical composition perspective while PTD requires higher concentrations to achieve the same reaction (roughly 125% – 160% more). This makes the use of PTD’s much more dangerous. In short, if an oxidative color actually works, and they advertise as “PPD Free”, it is likely incredibly harmful. There is no other way to achieve an oxidative reaction with hair color. If there was, we would all know about it. If there was a way to run a car on water, it would be great. Sadly, neither a way to achieve an oxidative reaction without PPD or PTD, or a car that runs on water, exists.

    • 113


      Thanks so much, Kim, for clarifying. I will continue to use OCS–and hope for the best. Years ago there were reports linking dark hair color to lymphoma–all of which, I believe, were discredited. Still, one worries. Do you have any take on this?

  41. 114

    Tracey Miller says

    I think Kim makes a very good point. What attracted me to to OCS was the quality and performance of their product and the fact that they don’t sell their products through any non-salon outlets. I once used Mastey in a previous salon and had some issues with grey coverage and some inconsistent outcomes, but I didn’t have a lot of experience with the color so it could have just been me. The thing I can say for sure is that clients with allergies or scalp sensitivities seemed to be much better off with OCS than with Mastey but I can’t say for sure whether it had anything to do with ppds or ptds. I do know that I sure am glad their are companies out there that care enough to try and make better products and no matter what your opinion, we should be happy that all of these companies (and especially this blog) exist!

  42. 116

    Norman DeLise says

    This is what I found on Act by Nature Color

    Palette by Nature Hair Color: Purely botanical. Naturally Revolutionary.
    All natural hair dyes made from living plants using the latest scientific achievements in green chemistry – Palette by Nature™ utilizes a revolutionary breakthrough in dye technology based on more than 30 years of research by leading experts in hair coloring industry. The result is a new, 100% natural plant based permanent patent pending hair colorant that is free of: paraphenylene diamine (PPD), resorcinol, m-aminophenol, p-aminophenol, toluene- 2,5-diamine, azo-dyes, diazo-dyes, disperse dyes, ammonia, and parabens – all synthetic chemicals which are known allergens and suspected carcinogens.
    These safe and plant-based all natural hair dyes are carefully combined with natural color enhancing actives including antioxidants like Chlorophyll, Hawthorne Fruit, Emblica, Green Tea, and Rooibos Leaf extracts and bioflavonoids like Quercetin.
    Empowered with pure organic herbal active extracts like Ginseng, Nettle, Lemon Balm, Rosehips, Honeysuckle, Calendula to nourish hair and soothe scalp for beautiful natural hair color without harm.
    Palette by Nature™ is the only all natural 100% plant based colorant with more than 50% organic ingredients that benefits you while making your hair beautiful.
    Palette by Nature™ is approved by American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) and MAYO clinic CARD Database (Contact Allergen Replacement Database) as one of the safest alternatives to conventional hair color for chemically sensitive people.
    Awarded Premium Vendor Status by Whole Foods Market
    “No” can be a good thing, too. Purity and quality are our guiding principles.

    No PPD
    No Amines
    No Ammonia
    No Peroxide
    No Resorcinol
    No Parabens
    No Phthalates
    No GMO
    No Gluten
    No Nano
    No Encapsulates
    No Animal Testing
    No Petroleum Based Ingredients
    No Dioxanes
    No PVC
    No EDTA

    Palette by Nature™ All Natural PPD- Free Permanent Hair Color is ideal for those looking to permanently cover gray or make a change to their natural hair color. Palette by Nature™ hair colorants provide beautiful wide range of long lasting tones while nourishing hair with anti-oxidants , bioflavonoids and pure organic herbal actives and extracts for damage-free results.

    Dear Kim, 25-30 years ago the industry needed change and some tried their best. I may have used grammar improperly. I may not have all of my memories in order but, I sincerely think they made a difference. Now, someone may have allowed changes to Henri Mastey’s intent. These men are seperate talents. They left an impression on me. Color was junk and most still is. Some companies are saying their junk is better. We have the same interest and you have more knowledge. I try to teach and learn. I offer a knowledge class on no ammonia color and your information will be part of my class. Sincerely, Norman

      • 118

        Norman DeLise says

        I was looking for Act by Nature and found Palette by Nature color. OCS has a NN color series. My old school answer would be use a deposit formula. You can used a lower volume peroxide by mixing 10 vol and 20 vol together to create a 15 vol that would give you a 7.5 working volume. A working volume over 8.6 becomes a lifting formula. Also, you can use more colorant in ratio to the peroxide to create a 8.6 or less working formula such as 40cc of color and 25cc of 20 volume peroxide. Now, the color used should be one and half to two shades lighter than the color chosen. If you want your color to be a 6 level, you should be using a 7.5 to 8 level color. This works well on grey/white hair or hair with any mix of grey. I never use heat. 45-50 minutes should be enough time to process the color.

      • 119

        Dan Coleman says

        Anna, my experience with Palette by Nature has been exceedingly disappointing. Horrible grey coverage, translucent results, fading off tone, severe damage to the hair, and considerable scalp and eye irritation. I ended up throwing most of the product away because they would not take it back, even at half the cost. Was you experience similar?

        I just found your website tonight and I am growing addicted to it!

        • 120


          Dan, thanks again for the compliment. I am blushing…

          As for Palette by Nature, I had a horrible experience but chalked it up to being too gray. See my article here. I told the company by email that they should tell people it isn’t for people who have alot of gray. They knew I was unhappy and never offered to refund my money. Anna

  43. 121

    Robert Brooker says

    After using it for almost five years, and building my very prosperous career around it, I have to say that I will never use any other color other than Organic Color Systems. It is undoubtably the only way to truly be an artist and let your creativity shine through. I never knew how confined I was before I was enlightened with this limitless product. I am not so much concerned with ingredients than I am with quality. As for act of nature, mastey, etc….. I was able to find them on eBay, amazon, target, and other consumer websites which is cause for some concern. I prefer to use my skills and artistic expression to build my own brand, not yours. Thank you.

  44. 122

    Robert Brooker says

    After using it for almost five years, and building my prosperous career around it, I have to say that I will never use any other color other than Organic Color Systems. It is undoubtably the only way to truly be an artist and let your creativity shine through. I never knew how confined I was before I was enlightened with this wonderful and powerful product. I am not so much concerned with ingredients than I am with quality. As for act of nature, mastey, etc….. I was able to find them on eBay, amazon, and other retail websites. I’d prefer to use my own skill to build my own brand, and not yours, thank you!

    • 123

      Kristen Douglas says

      Robert, you should add to your list of where consumers can get Mastey Teinture. Bottles of color for $9 with free shipping. No cosmetology license needed. This is much less than my distributor tried selling it to me for. What a savings! If anyone wants to try this color for themselves, at home or at the salon, this is a great way to get it on the CHEAP!

  45. 124

    David Anderson says

    Last year I made the switch from Goldwell to Organic Color Systems and could not have been happier with the decision. Since then my business has almost tripled but the real point I wanted to make is my business has grown not only from the clients I have that care about the ingredients in my products, but also from the ones that can care less. It is clear to me that the product is just better than other colors I have used in the past. While I can’t speak for all the ingredients, I can also say that I feel better physically this year than any other year since I started my salon.

  46. 125

    Dan Coleman says

    The report Norman is referring to found extremely high levels of PPD/PTD in INOA, Mastey, and Eco colors. It was a study conducted by the formal official of the US FDA. I will find the link and post it here for reference.

    Act by Nature doesn’t work and causes all of my clients that commonly have reactions to PPD’s to get REALLY irritated.  Always do a patch test before trying a new color, but be especially cautious with this one.

    Also, I have used OCS for 5 years and will not change.  Most of their shades have no PPD’s but their darkest shades have 0.4% which will dilute down to 0.2% after developer.  Most companies advertise anything under 1% as “free” from that ingredient which I think the laws allow, but I appreciate their transparency in being truthful and forthcoming. But, the proof for me is that my clients with PPD allergies don’t get reactions and the color works wonderfully. Their approach to caring for the hair rather than just coloring it goes along way with me.

    I am not surprised at the number of comments on this post at all. OCS is the kind of product that is going to attract the bottom-feeders to try and get their brands associated with it. And those of us who truly know the OCS products are nothing short of religious about them. It is amazing to me that anyone who knows this industry at all would think they would get any mileage from bad mouthing their competition. Those of us who are actually successful in the salon industry have learned that success made only with collaboration and coop-etition.

    Good luck to all and I am grateful to this excellent blog for providing me an outlet to voice my opinion.

    • 126


      Dan, thanks for the compliment. A friend of mine did have to stop using OCS since she had a reaction to the hair color. I bet it was from the PPD but no one knows for sure. So I think there are some people are sensitive even to the littlest amounts. Anna

  47. 127

    Nat says

    I started reading all the comments here about an hour ago, and at this early hour of 2:30am, I must say, I am about to give up, but not because I am tired, but because I am confused.
    Can someone please draw a conclusion and say “this product is the least harmful of all; can be purchased for home-use, and yes, it does cover gray hairs”? While all these comments here are very useful and educational, they are also overwhelming. So many brand names thrown in the discussion; so many harmful chemicals, and one does not know anymore which way to go.

    I am your average user, a woman in mid 30s, with about 20% gray hair that I’ve been coloring for at least 15 years. I believe it is time to think of switching to something safer than Loreal and similar hair colors! I go to a salon every couple of months or so, to have my long hair colored dark brown, but unfortunately I need to have it touched up every 3 weeks or so. I can’t afford to go to the salon every so often, but I also can’t afford to risk my health.
    If anyone would be kind enough to point me to two-three brands available for purchase online, and yes, as safe as it gets, than I would be one very happy user.
    Thank you all for your time to post here, it was about time to tackle this huge health concern.

    • 128


      Nat, here are some suggestions:

      Organic hair color systems makes a box color that you can buy in the stores. Tints by Nature. It will have PPD but a low amount. I go to a salon every 3 weeks. It is expensive. I am not a chemist but for right now I am sticking with Organic hair color systems until I can find a PPD-free hair color system that works for me. I have found it to be the safest on the market, but this is my sole opinion. Any one hear can add their 2 cents.

      There is also Palette by Nature which has no PPD. You can buy it online. It didn’t work for me but I am 100% gray at this time. (Read my article here.) Some say it works. Other’s don’t. It is worth a try. If you try and like it, please comment on my P by N article. Just because it didn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else. Anna

      • 129

        Nat says

        Thank you Anna for your reply! I ended up buying Tints by Nature as a result of your recommendation and as a result of what I could read here and on the manufacturer’s website. Also, it did help knowing that they are located in UK and that they have to stick to the EU regulations about the product safety, unlike in the US. I moved from Europe to the States, and it infuriates me that: a) safety of the beauty products made and sold in the US does not always compare with the similar products in EU; b) that european beauty products may not always be available for purchase in the States, for whatever reason. In the US manufacturers do not have to prove that their beauty products are safe (yay FDA!), where in Europe it is quite opposite. I guess the lobby here is stronger than common sense?
        Again, I am happy I was able to find a safer version of the hair color, and I will take any time the lower PPD % over what I was using all these years.



  48. 133

    Janice Davis says

    I have had nothing but bad luck with Palette by Nature and Mastey. The only color I use is Goldwell and Organic Color Systems. OCS is incredible for grey coverage and none of my sensitive clients react to it. I also love the Soothe Plus and Revamp products. I am not a fan of their retail packaging.

  49. 134

    Norman DeLise says

    Now, the excitement starts for me. Organic Salon Systems is working with me to prepare a hair color class. This is greatly needed for all professional cosmetologists and cosmetology instructors in Nevada. I hope I can develope a course that will be useful in all of the states that requirer continuing education to obtain their license renewal. Sincerely, Norman DeLise

  50. 135

    Dan Coleman says

    I thought I would never find it…. but, here is that research document that I saw a while back about Mastey Teinture, INOA, OCS, and Ecocolors regarding PPD’s. The researcher’s office number is available somewhere on SSRN listed with this paper. Be careful, the guy really likes to talk!

    Happy Tuesday Everybody!

  51. 136

    Kelly O'Malley says

    I just wanted to share that I have had a horrible experience with Mastey. I have only be using the color for a month, bought it from a discount beauty supply store because it was so cheap, and I certainly got what I paid for. My first client had a sensitive scalp problem that Matey absolutely agitated. The next two clients I had to re-do with my normal color because it couldn’t cover their grey. Their grey wasn’t even that resistent! This color is horrible. That’s my opinion anyways! I hope you don’t mind me sharing.

    • 137

      Norman DeLise says

      Hello Kelly, Your experience was terrible. Was the color in a small brown 2oz. bottle? You bought it real cheap? Was the seal broken? How old was the color? You used it on other clients after the first result? Which discount beauty supply store?
      The color was there because there isn’t a buy back policy from Mastey as with many companies. I don’t buy online or at a discount store. These products are deverted. I buy from a professional distributor for professional cosmetologist. When it comes to your client; less is not better. If a color application costs me ten dollars and the service takes one and half hours I charge a set hourly wage plus product. How much an hour? Fifty dollars an hour plus product which equals eigthy five dollars. Now, that’s 60cc of color and 60cc of peroxide and my over head for that time is is forty dollars. I made thirty dollars an hour; forty five dollars. I use the best color OCS and my next client gets the same. What would you use on your hair? The cheapest or the best?
      Your clients deserve your best.

      When I go to a restaurant I don’t order bad food twice; I just never go back.

  52. 138

    Steven Mueller says

    Norman, I can’t agree with you more on so much of what you said, except I believe you are charging too little for your service. I switched my salon over to Organic Color Systems about 10 months ago and since then I have been increasing my prices every month and the clients keep coming and coming. My book has never been so full and stylists are bring their clients to us too. It was the best decision I have ever made.

    I guess the moral to my story is this. Karma is not frugal but she is a wench. Take care of your wellness and take better care of your clients. Focus on providing the best service with the best products and success will follow. And, above all, have fun with it.

    I may sound like an Organic Color Systems commercial, but it has truly saved my career and changed my life. There is not any other product or person I can say that about in my life. I will say that I am sure others think the same way about other lines out there. Whatever your passion, I believe my moral is good insight.

    To Anna: Thank you so much for a wonderful blog. I read through this entire thread and learned a ton. Most of all, I learned that my trade is not short of passion and vigor. But, then again, was there any ever doubt of that anyway? :)

    • 139

      Gina says

      I don’t get it… So many people on here Love Organic Color Systems… Yet everyone I know who has tried it my self included has gotten horrible results… The alcohol in the product is so damaging that it curls the ends of the hair and then it breaks off… I used it 3 times now and each time needed to get a lot of length cut off to compenste… everyone else I know says the same thing. The hair is left very brittle and weak… It is much better than Mastey though which I won’t even get in to…

      • 140

        Norman DeLise says

        Alcohol? Alcohol derivatives? Which alcohol are you speaking of? Are you speaking about denatured alcohol from corn? Maybe you’re speaking about the derivatives from coconuts or soy beans which are naturally found in vegatables. The ends curling up and breaking off might be the nature of your hair. How long do you go between haircuts and color services? What do you do between hair services? Dry and brittle hair can be a combination of curling or flat iron use the products you use. Was the color pulled through to the ends for a long time? You used the hair color three times with the same results and your friends had the same results? A lot of length cut off, five or six inches, or one to two cut off? What hair salon do you work for? Is this your own business? Are you doing “home hair”? If you are a professional cosmetologist, please say so, Where did you purchase the color? Do you know how much alcohol is in Organic Salon Systems’ color? How about Mastey Teinture or Compagnia del Colore or Natrique or Voila Creme Color or CHI or IDA Nallo Color or Kemon NaYo or JKS International or maybe a hundred more no ammonia hair color companies. If you’re not happy with OCS, try JKS International for $2.95 for a 2oz tube of hair color. Now, I said all of this to tell you that no ammonia hair color has been around for over 30yrs and the USA is just hearing about it. We as an industry are trying to get it right. This is what it’s all about, trying to be professional. All of these companies except Mastey and CHI are responding to my queries to have hair color classes with their color. I’m willing to teach the professional cosmetologist as much as I can about hair color. Sitting at the kitchen table and making up stories is just very old school. Have you heard about seaweed bleach?

    • 141

      Norman DeLise says

      Hello Steven, I rent a station and overhead is $110 per week. Yeah, I know! I easily do 20 colors a week with cuts and finish. My pricing is moderate. I do highlights with high lift color, only. I don’t use foil. I use a spatula (rake) and color with 60 to 80 volume peroxide on dry hair. I section and apply the same as a foil highlighting, except when I use the spatula, weave a parting, place the weaved parting onto the spatula then the color is applied and is pulled though the hair and gently dropped onto the dry hair. Do not press or comb the hair, just let the hair lie. Do the same weave pattern though the hair, do not disturb the hair and apply heating lights to warm the hair and color. Creme and gel hair color don’t swell or run like bleach. Process for 40-45 minutes. Rinse and condition. Ammonia free color allows higher volume usage. 60 volume will lift tinted hair 2 or 3 shades for that natural sunning affect. No ammonia hair color and knowledge go a long way. Now, when I first learned this technique (1980’s) I was using Mastey Teinture with Instantane to achieve the results. I tried Goldwell Topchic with some success. Mind you Mastey color was different then and the only no ammonia hair color at the time. My email is I would like to send you something about this technique which explains more. Sincerely, Norman

      • 142

        ChemistByDay says

        Norman, by using anything higher than 40 Vol peroxide you are removing far too much of the hair’s natural sulfar which will eliminate natural pigment and damaging the hairs natural ability to regulate sebum saturation (e.g. moisture) and if this high of a concentration of peroxide gets on the scalp you will irreparably (albeit over the course of time) damage the sebaceous glands.

        Are you familiar with the concept of sulfur bridges? Using Hydrogen Peroxide at those high concentrations are most certainly going to form substantial sulfur bridges in the hair causing it to be brittle and seem dry, almost like a piece of wood, requiring constant attention and conditioning or breakage will occur.

        You said that “Ammonia free color allows higher volume usage. ” this is absolutely not true. Ammonia does not effect how much sulfur is lifted from the hair. The only reason why hydrogen peroxide concentrations are usually limited to 30 Vol (9%) in hair color is because anything above 12% is going to seriously deplete the sulfur in the hair.

        Jesus Norman! 80 Vol Hydrogen Peroxide is a 24% concentrate! Have you ever read the MSDS sheets on that high of a concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide?

        Please do your own before continuing this. I can’t believe companies are allowed to sell peroxide for consumer applications at that high of a concentration.


        • 143

          Norman DeLise says

          If you use 80 volume (24%) peroxide mixed with hair color you have a working volume of 40 (12%). When coloring hair it is the working volume that is used. When you highlight, the ingredients do not touch the scalp. Hair bleach mixture develope peroxide working levels as high as 60 volume (21%).
          ChemistByDay, I have a few questions for you.
          How many years have you been a cosmetologist?
          During this time, how many heads of hair have you worked on?
          How many hair coloring techniques have you aquired over these many years?
          How many hair color brands have you used?

          I’ve been a cosmetologist for 38yrs and a colorist for 26yrs.
          This industry has cosmetologists which care about their profession and the sky isn’t falling. Sincerely, Norman

          P.S. My name is Norman. My name is not Jesus Norman. Did your parents give that interesting name?

        • 144

          Norman DeLise says

          In response: ChemistByDay June 4, 2011 at 3:15 am
          Norman, by using anything higher than 40 Vol peroxide you are removing far too much of the hair’s natural sulfar (sulfur) which will eliminate natural pigment and damaging the hairs natural ability to regulate sebum saturation (e.g. moisture) (oily hair and scalp) and if this high of a concentration of peroxide gets on the scalp you will irreparably (albeit over the course of time) damage the sebaceous glands. (What do know about permanent waves?)
          Are you familiar with the concept (not fact?) of sulfur bridges? (cysteine bonds or sulfur bonds?) Using Hydrogen Peroxide at those high concentrations are most certainly going to form substantial sulfur bridges in the hair causing it to be brittle and seem dry (damaged?), almost like a piece of wood (you are correct, I do wood finishing and hair is as dead as a piece of wood), requiring constant attention and conditioning or breakage will occur. (this is what we do? A raised cuticle caused by high alkalines stops the flow of sebum onto the hair shaft and conditioning is needed)
          You said that “Ammonia free color allows higher volume usage.” (No ammonia has far less damage to the cuticle, hydrogen peroxide breaks down to water and oxygen and it is the oxygen bonding with melanin that creates the appearance of lift. Ammonia is not a factor in haircolor other than to open the cuticle) this is absolutely not true. Ammonia does not effect (affect) how much sulfur is lifted (?) from the hair. The only reason why hydrogen peroxide concentrations are usually limited to 30 Vol (9%) in hair color is because anything above 12% is going to seriously deplete the sulfur in the hair.(so, you’re talking about breakage?)
          Jesus Norman! 80 Vol Hydrogen Peroxide is a 24% concentrate! Have you ever read the MSDS sheets on that high of a concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide? (of course, years ago)
          Please do your own before continuing this. (Your knowledge about hair color products and the procedures that are used to create these hair colors is needed)
          I can’t believe companies are allowed to sell peroxide for consumer applications at that high of a concentration. (I am licensed to purchase 110 volume hydrogen peroxide)
          Hair bleach develops 110 volume peroxide (33%) which is a 55 working volume (16.5%).
          Sincerely, Norman

    • 145

      Norman DeLise says

      Hello Steven,
      I was basing cost on my overhead. Has I said, I rent for a $110 per week. 20 colors depending on type of color service. I charge $85 to $175 for color, $35 to $50 for a cut, finish is extra $15 to $50 and my minimum charge for a color, cut, finish is $125. Maximum of $225 is conditional. One service pays my rent. The other services gives $1800 to $2500 per week which means I can make a lot of money on a 6 day week working. Since I am 65yrs, I don’t have the energy and/or the desire to work my tail off. All of my combined services; color, cuts, perms and styling gives me plenty of income. I usually work 2 to 3 days a week, twelve hours a day between 20 to 40 hours per week. Some weeks I earn 600 – 700 other times (around holidays) 2,500. At my age (senior citizen, semi-retired) I have what I need, the rest is dessert. Do the math, 600 to 2,500 per week after taxes is plenty. Take a guess. ………………….. about 60,000 per year after taxes? What I’m trying to say is, “the professional cosmetologist takes care of the client” everthing else takes care of its self.

    • 146


      Steven, good to hear you are thriving! I really appreciate the compliment about the blog. Thanks to everyone who has been commenting. My goal for Green Talk has always been community and this post is making that dream come to true. Now, if more people would comment on the other posts, I would be one happy camper! Anna

  53. 147

    Melissa Kennedy says

    Over the past 4 years that I have been using Organic Color Systems I’ve learned so much more about how to truly “treat” hair and care about the hair’s overall health. There is so much more to coloring hair that just mix, apply, process, and rinse. They say that knowledge is power and this enlightened approach has empowered me to truly differentiate myself as a colorist. No, instead of coloring my clients, I treat my client’s hair. I am able to charge so much more and my book is always packed. I work less, make more, and derive far more personal and spiritual fulfilled from my work.

    I don’t know if this helps add to the conversation or not, but I wanted to put my two cents in. May I mention my salon’s name here? I am not used to posting anything online really.

    • 148


      Melissa, sure. You can also put your url when you post and people can hover over it as well. They can then tell where you are from. Would love a mention on your website about this great article about OCS. :) Anna

  54. 149

    Mackenzie Alden says

    I was introduced to Organic Color Systems on a client’s persistent requests. Once I used the color, I couldn’t believe the outcome. It was amazing. It covered grey with such rich and thorough tones that I literally could not believe my eyes. After styling, the hair looked incredibly healthy and the shine and lister were incredible. When I saw my client for her next appointment, all I had to do is retouch some regrowth and there was absolutely no fading or damage. I switched over all of my 23 chairs to OCS and will never go back to Goldwell.

    With other colors, my grey clients hair always had a little bit of “translucency” and a bit of damaged look that is characteristic covered grey hair. It’s one of those things that you can tell it when you see it. With Organic Color Systems, my clients hair has the same vitality, movement, bounce, and vibrant exuberance that I just can’t seem to explain in words. This youthful look also seems to get more intense as you incorporate their whole system into your services and take home products. I am currently considering moving all of my retail over to Organic Color Systems. Unfortunately, their packaging is a bit ugly. So, we are having a hard time choosing between shelf appeal or effectiveness. I wish they would just improve their packaging. I guess that’s a drawback of an organic line.

  55. 150

    Angela Myers says

    After working in the hair industry for 15 years, I had to stop because my body could not handle the persistent exposure to toxic chemicals any longer. My health was deteriorating and it was just now worth it.

    Organic Color Systems was a complete breath of fresh air. The products work better than any other color line I have ever tried (and I have tried them all) and using them makes me feel healthier, cleaner, fresher, even better. This line has enable me to return to doing what I love and doing it better than ever.

  56. 152


    Now we got the answer for hair color but i like to tell everyone how to make your home hair spray.
    Organic home made hair spray
    2 cups. Water in a cooking pot
    Take 1 organic lemon cut in half. Boil water and lemon till the water turns color and its no longer clear.
    Remove lemon add it to a spray bottle.
    Use it as your hair spray just sake the bottle before each use.

  57. 153


    By the way I am a salon owner and we use OCS in the salon and also i use the hair spray above to my clients and few other home made non toxic stlying products.

  58. 156

    Angela Myers says

    Does anyone know where I can buy Organic Color Systems? I’d like to make the change from Wella to a non-ammonia line and hear so many great things about Organic Color Systems. I also have a few clients that pester me about me about it?

  59. 158

    Kathy Pierce says

    I just had my hair colored with Organic Color Systems three weeks ago for the first time and I was absolutely amazed at how healthy my hair was left and stunned at how beautiful the result. I have had about 85% grey hair that was difficult to cover and now I have found my lifesaver! I feel like a teenager again. My hair hasn’t even faded one bit and it is a rich red color that my husband loves! I have to get my roots touched next week and can’t wait to tell my stylist (Sarah Mathers) how much I love, LOVE, LOVE it!

  60. 159

    Stephanie Wilson says

    HOLY COW!!!! I never knew a color could be so wonderful.

    After moving last month, I was very nervous about finding a new salon. Everyone I talked to recommended Ratana Salon in Los Angeles who used Organic Color Systems on my hair. I could not believe how phenomenal it did in covering my grey. And the shine, oh my God the SHINE! It’s been weeks and there has been no fading and although I need my roots touched, I am so, so, so happy with my color. It is the most amazing thing. I wish I would have found out about this color years ago. Thank you Anna for bringing this to my attention through your wonderful blog and thank you Ratana for being such an incredible colorist!!!

  61. 160

    Annie says

    I had my hair colored by a friend who uses Organic Color Systems in her salon (Yes, they only sell to professionals) and it was incredible! It has been a month and I have absolutely no color fading and as previous comments have revealed, the more at home products you use the better!

    For those with psoriasis or sensitive scalps, ask your stylist about Organic Color Systems Soothe plus treatment. It was just mentioned in Glamour Magazine (based in the UK) and it is truly a miracle product. IT IS made with organic ingredients: Organic fennel seed, organic aloe vera, Oranic Willow bark, Organic sweet almonds, organic sunflower seed, organic jojoba seed, organic bergamot fruit, and the list does go on. Let me clear the air also about their color line… it DOES contain certified organic ingredients, but like ALL effective permanent hair color not all ingredients are organic.

    For all the licensed cosmetologist out there thinking about switching their color line to Organic Color Systems, my friend has spoken so highly about their Tech directors and educators. She says they are so kind and patient with any questions you have about the color line and even help new colorists step by step if they are having issues.

    We are also huge animal lovers and wanted to remind all of you wonderful readers that Organic Color Systems (the color line) is a PETA endorsed product, which means they are vegan and cruelty-free!

    FIND a salon near you by calling them: (888) 213-4744

  62. 161

    Hair by Stacey says

    I have just switched to Organic Color Systems in my salon and will never go back to any other product. Thank you so much for all the information on this forum. It has been an incredible help.

    Not only do my clients love the results, but I literally feel more healthy after just a couple of months.

  63. 164


    I was introduced to Organic Color Systems after attending the Cancer Awareness Program seminar at the University of North Carolina, and the excellent presentation regarding hair color for cancer survivors by Andrea Snyder. My research has brought me to the conclusion that this hair color is far and away the only option for me. I love everything about it, especially the result.

  64. 165

    Elane says

    There’s no sense fighting the curse of nature. It is already destined and written that once we reach the line of aging we do get gray hair and hair fall problems occurs. So acceptance is the best thing we can do to live a fuller life.
    Elane´s last blog post to stop hair loss

  65. 166

    Mary says

    Hi, Thanks for this article. I started graying in my late teens and was probably around 100% gray in my 30s. I actually color my hair weekly (yes, very bad) at home but my gray strip is so obvious and makes me so insecure when it grows out for work/social reasons. I recently read that Kate Middleton uses an organic vegetable dye for coloring her hair and that lead me to looking for at home solutions that are safer. Your article is from 2010. Curious if there are any updates on at home solutions for coloring ones hair that also don’t fade and cover the gray (and my gray is pretty darn resilient). Can you provide some suggestions please? Thanks!

    • 167



      Your experience is similar to mine. I am all gray now and have only found OCS to cover my gray. I did try Palette by Nature (see the link in the article towards the bottom) but it didn’t cover my gray. Perhaps, it would work for someone who has little gray.

      I am too far gone. I am still searching but right now OCS is my best bet even though it has a small amount of PPD in it. I did notice that OCS has a PPD semi-permanent color but I am not sure if it would entirely cover the gray.

      I wonder what Kate is using? Anna

  66. 168

    Holly says

    WHEW!! I found your blog by searching for reviews on OCS. I just made it through all of the comments. The response has been amazing. I have been trying to find a good “organic” hair color to switch to in my salon and after reading all of the reviews, I must say, I think I’m ready to give it a shot! I have been trying to switch my salon over to the most organic products we can find on the market right now for health reasons, but color is a scary thing to switch. I have been carrying a product line that I love for years and am now on the search for color so thank you to all of you for all of the info!

  67. 169


    Whew, Just read ALL of the comments. I started out very confused but now feel ok about trying OCS. I have been on other sites an alot of responses to OCS is quite positive. Yes some people still have a reaction to the line but since I really need to cover these stubborn grays and have been using Redkin color gels for 10 years, which I recently seem to be allergic to, I will now try this and hope it works.
    Side note: If you have an allergy to PPD you may also have an allergy to to a local anaesthic. Which I found at my dentist. I no longer can use novacane. Great info on

    • 170


      Susan, I guess this article invokes many, many comments. It is a lot to read. I didn’t know about novacane. Thanks for the link.

      Make sure they do a patch test before you apply the color. If OCS doesn’t work for you due to the PPD, you might want to try Palettes by Nature. It didn’t work for me since I am all gray but it might work for you. Let me know how you make out. Anna

  68. 172

    lynne says

    Any Sanotint Light users out there? I have been using this for about 2 years now and really like it. It is supposed to be the only PPD-free color out there. Was recommended to me by a friend’s dermatologist who specializes in hair loss. I have a fair amount of grey, but the nice thing is, the color is a bit sheer, so I end up with a natural highlight using only one color because the grey ends of a bit lighter. My hair is med. brown and I use a 50/50 mix of 73 brown and 75 chestnut. I also swim 3x week for 1.5 hours, and it stays quite well in spite of the exposure to chlorine. Anyone???

  69. 173

    Kathy says

    I read the story there about how a woman wanted to find an all natural way to color her hair and she found your product and had a salon put it on her, if I have that right. They used some type of gadget to heat up her whole head for awhile to open the cuticle so the resistant grays would accept the color. But, how can I do that at home using your products? I don’t have a hair dryer, but only a blow dryer. I have been touching up the gray roots myself at home for years, but now I cna’t find anything that will work—not even peroxide or ammonia. Help!

  70. 175

    lynne says

    I think Organic Color Systems is the one that uses heat processing. Sanotint Light you can order through Vivasan US and put on yourself. It’s easy to use. And you don’t get that nasty, solid block of color that one typically gets with store-bought and home-applied colors. However, heavy grey may require more than one application according to the instructions. I am only maybe 30-40% grey now and it covers great. Hope that helps.

      • 180


        Lynne, I just took a look at the ingredients. There are some questionable ones in the list:
        Propylene Glycol (note, been replaced in OCS)
        Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
        Parfum (possible hidden ingredients: BPA)
        May contain Toluene-2,5-Diamine Sulfate (See
        May contain Resorcinol. One of the reason so many people are trying to make ammonia free products.
        Anna@GreenTalk´s last blog post ..Solar Paint? Sun-Believable May Be the First Step

        • 181

          lynne says

          thanks for the link. SLS and Prop Glycol are the least of my worries with hair color ;D “May contain”…that is a puzzle to me. I would think resorcinol is more likely to be in colors that require a lift or brightening effect vs. depositing color, but who knows. I used to go to a salon where they used Keune color products, nasty stuff, and it made my scalp itch terribly when on and the fumes gave me a headache. I even felt a little crummy the next day. When I use sanotint light, there’s no smell (not even a synthetic perfumey smell, which i abhor in all products) and no unpleasant reaction of any kind. I realize there is some nasty stuff in there, but SLS, PG and parfum are pretty common shampoo ingredients. Not defending them, I think they cause inflammation and folks with baldness issues should for sure stay away from them, but the toluene and resorcinol is certainly more concerning. i will ask the rep at VivaSan US what determines whether those chemicals are present.

          Sad to say, all the colors sold at Whole Foods have PPD – Tints of Nature, Naturetint, the lot of them.

          • 183

            lynne says

            Well, sanotint light did remove the PPD, but they gotta put something in there to open the hair shaft to deposit color. I guess that’s where the toluene-2, 5-Diamine Sulfate comes in. I always thought toluene was a type of formaldehyde. No wonder i look so much younger after coloring my hair

          • 184

            Vicki says

            PPD and PTD (toulene) are both colour pigments. It is my unerstanding that they both have the same toxiticity characteristics but you have to use twice as much toulene diamine to get the same result. That’s why it’s misleading when companies say they’re PPD-free. To date I am not aware of a colour pigment that would be considered ‘good’ and colour would not be colour without pigment. It’s a necessary evil at this stage I’m afraid.

  71. 185

    kimberlee says

    I get so excited to learn of new beauty products to switch over only to be letdown when I see they contain chamomile. Ugh! I hate that I am allergic to it, it’s in the goldenrod/ragweed family and gives me hives. It’s in so many products! Grrr

  72. 186

    lynne says

    good to know. Scientists recently discovered that grey hair is the result of the loss of a certain enzyme the body used to produce. Maybe in the next few years we’ll just take a pill to replace it.

      • 188

        lynne says

        Here is a link to an article on the recent discovery. Lots of so-called research out there as well, but the Telegraph seems a respected source and has nothing to sell.

        “Dr Bernard and his team have discovered that while melanocyte stem cells in the skin, which does not lose its colour with age, have a crucial enzyme called TRP-2, this enzyme is missing in the hair follicle stem cells.
        They found that TRP-2 acts to protect the melanocyte stem cells from damage and so help them to last longer.
        They have now developed treatments that mimic the effect of TRP-2 and can be applied to hair follicles to help maintain a healthy population of melanocyte stem cells and allow hair to retain its colour for longer.”
        read on:

  73. 190

    rumila says

    mmm my first comment is not seen , let me write it in brief ,
    Firstly thanks for the article it is very informative and pleasant to read, I am interested in tpic for now is more then ever cause I am pregnant and waiting for my baby to grow health. I live in Turkiye(Turkey) and recently my last investigation came up with the hair dye VIVASAN of Swiss manifacturer. Percentage of chemicals is 1%. The max. they could provide. waiting forward for your comments.

  74. 193

    lynne says

    Anna, found a product called Logona on the Naturismo site that is PPD and ammonia free. Claims to cover grey.;hair=1

    Made in Germany.
    Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alcohol denat.*, Glycerin, Bentonite, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract*, Xanthan Gum, Rheum Undulatum Root Extract, Coco Glucoside, Algin, Law- sonia Inermis (Henna) Extract, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Parfum (Essential Oil), Linalool, Limonene. *Organic certified ingredients.

    Anyone use this?

      • 195

        lynne says

        Me too. Denatured alcohol seems pretty innocent all things considered. It is available at, someone must be using it.

        It does have henna as an ingredient, not sure if that indicates whether it’s permanent or semi-permanent.

  75. 196


    Hello Ana, I am very happy to discover your website. I have read comments as far back to 2010 and most current was Jan. 19,2012. I would like to know if you have tried Organic Color System yourself. I have 70% grey and have tried Palette By Nature and wasted $64.00 I got the same result as yours. Where can I order OCS? Your response will be greatly appreciated. I am allergic to PPD. I have been coloring my hair for over 15 years. Thank you. Lynda
    Lynda Day´s last blog post ..Green Gal Next Door Series Coming to Green Talk

    • 197



      That is my head shots in the article!! I have been using OCS for probably 3 years (or more.) Time flies when you are gray. I am 100% gray now. You can either go to a salon which the links are above or use their box color Tints by Nature. I am going to put up an amazon link. I have not used their box color.

      However, (hairdressers correct me please) my understanding is the depth of color that you get from a salon can’t be obtained through box color. If you just want to color the gray and used to using box products, this may be your answer. Let me know. Anna

      • 199


        Good afernoon Anna, I’m back andIhave spoken with a salon in
        Columbus, Ohio that OCS is not PPD free. It contains a very small percentage of it. She’s not aware of any of her clients that had any bad reaction to OCS. Do I assume that it is fine for me to use it? You have used it before and I want to know if there was
        itching and you felt uncomfortable in your scalp. Any info provided will be much appreciated. Thank you… Lynda
        Lynda Day´s last blog post ..ioby’s Co-Founder is a Green Gal Next Door. Inspiring Local Change

          • 201


            We mix up a small amount of hair color and developer (H2O2) make sure that is the actual formula that is the desire color (some times a client is alergic to medium red brown and not to a medium golden brown the sensitivity it may be to the pigment also.)
            Apply the mixture to the inside of one elbow. Leave the solution on your skin for a full 48 hours.
            Watch for signs of an allergic reaction, such as redness, itching or swelling if any or all of the signs appear we will not color the clients hair.
            Ps: If you are allergic to PPD it makes no difred the amount in the color if its more or less you will have a problem.

  76. 202


    Hello everyone, home color vs salon color. When hair color is mix by a colorist we dont use one color out of a bottle. 99% at a time we mix 2 to 3 difrend color to creat the color tha a client picks from a color chart. EX: If we have a client that is natural color medium brown with 10% grey and this client wish to stay at medium brown but just cover the grey we need to mix the desire color and also a color that will cover that grey and not make the rest of the color change. if the client likes to go ligheter then the natural color and cover the grey we need to mix the desire color the color to cover grey and also the proper developer (H2O2) to lift the color lighter using 5vol ,10 vol, 20vol, 30vol or 40 vol.
    So colors that you see on the pix of the box you will not get it with one color.
    Hope this answers the question.

  77. 204

    Holly says

    Anyone know how to find out how much PPD is in Matrix SoColor? I’m just curious how it compares to OCS. I have been using SoColor and am getting sick when I use it now and have just made the transition to OCS so I was just curious.

  78. 205

    Kim says

    Anna, thanks for your website. I am a 40 year old who is trying to find a healthier alternative to the box color I have become dependent on every 3 weeks or so due to 25 – 50% gray. I found a salon near me that uses Kemon hair color. I was going to book an appointment to get the “Nayo” color done. Does anyone know anything about this line – good or bad?

  79. 207


    Thank you all for the very informative posts. I am a new hair dresser/ colorist but I am part of the beauty industry since 1997 when I started as an Esthetician. I tried on myself, I mean I went to a Organic Hair Color SALON where the owner is an educator for the OCS. My opinion, I HAD A VIRGIN HAIR WITH 10% GREY AND MOSTLY ON MY HAIR LINE. SHE, THE EDUCATOR FOR THE LINE, didn’t process my hair right, and I didn’t get the 3 minutes conditioning as the company tells/ teaches us to do. My hair was level 4 brown with LOTS OF gold undertone ( virgin) and it ended up blue/ash with little undertones of gold. I almost invested in the $1500+ for opening order with the OCS. Now I am in huge doubt between Mastey and Schawrzkopf as they say they have a line that is Ammonia free , only God knows if they are telling us the truth.

      • 209


        Hi Marcia welcome, sorry about your color not covering or having off tones but please let me explained. I was an educator for various color companies for 22 years. (Just because you are an educator that does not make you a good colorist) Now to the point, I am a certified hair colorist and I use OCS at my salon and also INOA, if someone doesn’t know how to do color it makes no differentif the using OCS or any color with or without ammonia. Simply if you don’t know how to drive driving a Lamborghini or a Smart car it’s not going to make any deferent. I am a hair stylist for 36 years I will personally tell you to stick with the OCS do your health and your client’s health a favor. Just make sure you educated yourself in hair color. Good luck Steve

      • 210


        Marcia, I tried to email you personally but your email bounced. I was going to suggest you talk to Steve since he has been working with OCS for a very long time. Also, I would call OCS in Florida and talk to them about your experience. I am not a hairdresser but never had this experience. I have been coloring for over 3 years with OCS and am 99 percent gray. (I hold out that maybe there is some dark hair left :) If you click on Steve’s name it will take you to his site so you can talk to him. Anna
        Anna@GreenTalk´s last blog post ..How to Recycle Your Old Panty Hose Article Link

    • 211

      Norman DeLise says

      Hello Marcia,
      Stick with OCS. Mastey’s owner hasn’t disclosed the ingredients to my liking. Schawrzkopf Europian formula is ammonia free and I believe they have both formulas to offer. INOA is a re-formulation of an off the shelf demi color “Natural Match”, read their ingredients (has ammonia hydroxide). In solving to hair color : voilet tone cancels gold, an ash tone is a blue or green base, so blue and gold makes a green tone and green makes a muddy green tone. You should also, look into OCS’s permanent waves and straightening products to further your knowledge.
      Sincerely, Norman DeLise

  80. 212

    Kim says

    Here is the complete list of ingredients for Kemon Nayo hair color.

    Let me know what you think. I have a hair color appointment for tomorrow night so I hope it’s good. :)

    Aqua, ethanolamine, cetearyl alcohol, laureth-3, petrolatum, polysorbate 60, propylene gycol, betaine,
    cocos nucifera oil(coconut oil), sorbitan oleate, p-aminophenol, sodium lauryl sulfate, oleth-4 phosphate,
    yogurt extract, linum usitatissimum extract(linseed), calendula officinalis extract(calendula flower extract),
    helichrysum italicum extract, pentasodium pentetate, celeareth-20, oleyl phosphate, sodium sulite
    hydrogenated castor oil, acrylates/steareth-20 itaconate copolymer, cera alba(beeswax), erythorbic acid,
    etidronic acid, helianthus annuus seed oil(sunflower seed oil), propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben,
    imidazolidinyl urea, stearic acid, bht, glycerin, simethicone, sodium methylparaben, sodium dehydroacetate,
    sorbic acid, tetrasodium edta, toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate, resorcinol, 2-methylresorcinol, phenyl methyl pyrazolone
    p-methylaminophenol sulfate, 4amino-2hydroxytoluene.

    • 213


      Thanks Kim, there are parabens, toluene, resorcinol,and petrolatum it the product. Red flags. There are a few hair colors like OCS that are reorcinol free. It seems like they are using toluene as their PPD. I warned about those ingredients in one of the paragraphs above. Check out the Skin Deep database to see about the ingredients. The link is above.

    • 215

      gina says

      Hi Kim,
      I was wondering if you ever went ahead with the Kemon Nayo coloring? I am very interested in this color… was hoping it was gentle on the hair with a translucent color??

      • 217

        Kim Furio says

        Hi Gina,

        Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I did do the Kemon before I settled on a salon to try the OCS. The Kemon wasn’t all that – my roots didn’t match the rest of my hair (which could have been a stylist error), but the color didn’t hold either which was definitely product… I lost hair and remaining hair was very dry. I am hooked on OCS though! It has been almost three weeks since my first treatment and the color has hardly faded and the shine is still incredible! I’ve been using sulfate free shampoo for awhile, but above and beyond that my hair is so soft. I’ve spent the past 20 years using box color to save money, but I won’t stop getting the OCS hair color – it really is that amazing and worth the extra expense. It is holding on the gray as well… it looks like pretty highlights. I am truly in love with this product. I hope you try it. :) ~ Kim

  81. 222

    Kim says

    Thanks Anna,

    I am trying to find a salon near me that uses OCS, but when I did a “chat” with OCS, he indicated he could only give me 4 phone numbers to call at a time – not a full list of Chicagoland salons. The first number I called didn’t answer and had a non-discript answering machine message – they have called me back twice and hang up when I answer… :(

    I’ll keep looking though.

  82. 225


    I have been using Organic Salon Systems for over 4 years and this product is amazing! Everyone I speak to absolutely loves it. As a professional, it has enabled me to continue a career that brings me my livelihood without sacrificing my health. For my clients, it brings them a youthful luster and shine to their healthy hair that they could only dream of before.

    I am a born skeptic and hate all products by default. I don’t think I have ever said one good thing about any product in the last ten years and curse my iPhone every single day. For me to feel so passionately, so thoroughly strongly, so intensely about a product is so out of character for me that my friends and family make fun of me. But, I am an informal and volunteer evangelist for Organic Color Systems and when I speak to my clients or employees about it, my eyes light up and an energy overcomes my voice of which I am unable to articulately explain.

    Anthony Lewis´s last blog post ..Ammonia-Free Hair Color

  83. 226

    Kim says

    Hi all,

    I am happy to share that I had my first OCS color done last night. I love the rich chocolate color and the shine is amazing. I’m not loving the red undertones though as I went with the stylist’s recommendation of 4FR… Will it be easy for her to fix it to a 4CR or 4MO?

    Thanks everyone for your thoughts,


    • 227


      Good morning Kim Yes its very easy to change your color next time. Just to a quick lesson to what numbers before color means. #4 is the level of the color 4 is a dark brown color the letters after are the tone as long you stayning with the same level changing tone is as simple of mixing the new color and applying it. Going up is harder to a 5 or 6 ect. Hope this helps you.

  84. 228

    Kim says

    Thanks Steve, should I wait until next time (3 weeks)? I start a new job on Monday and would love to get it “fixed” before hand. But, if it is a matter of not imparting “damage” I will just wait. Thanks again :) Kim

    • 229


      You welcome, Just remember that the damaging agent in hair color is ammonia no ammonia in OCS so go for it get it done now and have fun. Dont owrry about damage its not going to happen.

  85. 232

    susan r. says


    Does any one know of hair color with no ppd or ptd? Wanted to love ocs but i felt a little itchy at the site of the patch test.


    • 233


      Susan, the only product that I know is Palette by Nature. See the link above for my review. I am too far gone for this product since I am 100% stubborn gray at this point. Be sure to the read the comments in the post. Anna

      PS you might want to consider using OCS highlights in lieu of color. I THINK they are PPD free. You can call them in Florida and ask. (It is made by parent company UK Herb in the UK but is distributed in the US in Florida.) Anna

      • 234

        susan r. says

        Thanks Anna,
        I never thought just to do hi lights or even low lights. If my hairdresser uses foils there is less contact to the scalp. This may work.

        Thanks for the great website. I have become chemical sensitive and was told to try to eliminate chemicals as best I could. I figure the hair dye may be the first to go. I really don’t want my grey hair but until a company comes up with safer dyes I just may have to embrace the grey!!
        Thanks again.
        P.S. Is denature alcohol in ocs.? Is that corn based? I am allergic to corn. Maybe thats my problem,hum?

          • 236


            Hi everyone if you are sensitive to PPD you alson need to know where is also used. The chemical in question is PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) and its cousin PTD (Paratoluenediamine) are petrochemicals that have been used as colorants for ages. These dyes can be found also in clothing, temporary tattoos, photocopying, and are also used to develop photos. PPD/PTD are popular in hair coloring because they are cheap and can be cleansed several times without fading.

  86. 237


    Organic Color Systems has a very low level of PPD/PTD but those who are highly sensitive can still experience a reaction. Organic Color Systems is far and away the only permanent hair color option (believe me, I have looked EVERYWHERE and so has Anna). There are a couple of things you may want to try in conjunction with Organic Color Systems:
    1. Consider using a scalp protection gel. This will protect your scalp and provide a barrier between your skin and the hair color product.
    2. Consider using a cap for highlights. The cap also provides a separation between your skin and the product.
    3. Foils may also help for the same reasons as above.
    4. Use lighter colors. PPD/PTDs are necessary for creating dark shades but usually not used for lighter shades.
    5. SKIN PATCH TEST – ALWAYS. Better grey and healthy than the other way around!

    BTW – I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Organic Color Systems. There is no better professional hair color product in the world!
    Jennifer Cross´s last blog post ..About L’Oreal Inoa Hair Colorant

    • 238

      Susan R says

      Hi Jennifer,
      Thanks for the great tips. Where do you purchase the scalp protection gel? How would I apply it? That maybe a lifesaver for me. I do use foils for hi-lights which helps alot. I just need to cover my new growth at the scalp.
      I was going to try tints of nature first then go to the salon to try on the organic color system. Any thoughts?
      Every one has been helpful,so thank you to all! Susan

  87. 239

    Vicki says

    If you are highly sensitive to PPD/PTDs OCS has just released a PPD and PPT-free semi permanent colour. Called No Limits available in four natural shades and four super bright fashion shades. It will not give 100% grey coverage but it will blend greys. Also, the powder lightener does not contain any colour pigment so is also safe for those with this allergy to use. Highlights can be a great option for grey hair as they help disguise the greys. Used in conjunction with the new semi range, and with the help of a brilliant hairdresser of course, I think you’ll find this could be a happy solution to colouring your hair.

  88. 240

    Rachel says

    Regardless of the debate, no one has mentioned that OCS uses hydrolized wheat protein, which for many of will make us sicker faster than any other toxic ingredient it may have. All the others in the natural color market appear to be gluten-free (including Mastey). I’ve never used Mastey, but was drawn to it because it is GF. It’s so simple for OCS to be GF — and if it were, it would be my preferred choice of hair color. But for now, my search continues for a GF, non-toxic, permanent hair color.

      • 242


        And I read the blogs and comments with people searching for a hair color that makes the hair lighter, darker, red, mocha, and also covers grey. And let’s not forget this hair color needs to be permanent, non toxic, gluten free, PPD/PTDs free, ammonia free do I forget something?
        So we like a product to be like pure water but do all of the above?
        I am a hair colorist for 30 years and 16 out of the 30 years I work for hair color companies doing education/training and research and development for professional hair color.
        OCS is the safer product as we speak to do all of the above (I don’t get paid by the companies and I don’t work for OCS). Or organic pure henna that contains none of the above ingredients but it will not cover grey (it coat’s the grey) not make your hair lighter, it is not permanent ECT. One of the questions here is it gluten free? I will answer that ….. Is gluten toxic? It is for some people and not for others. So even if we have a product that is FREE OF EVERITHING can some where somehow be a person that this product is potentially toxic? The answer is yesssssss.
        Suggestion you don’t have to color hair. Grey hair it is not a life threatening bacteria.

  89. 243

    Rachel says

    Steve, gluten sensitivity is the most prevalent food allergy following dairy. It’s not just celiacs. I don’t think you want to eliminate such a large group of people who could potentially use the product. And let’s not forget, who are the people looking for less toxic hair coloring alternatives — PEOPLE WITH SENSITIVITIES AND VERY LIKELY TO GLUTEN! I’m sure if you took a poll, the majority of people using “natural” hair products are gluten free. Switching to a gluten free alternative is such a simple solution. So many hair and skin product lines have already made the transition. And fyi, I never said anything about FREE OF EVERYTHING. Those are your words. If OCS were gluten free I’d use it.

    • 245


      THIS IS WHAT I FOUND AND SORRY IF I OFFEND ANY ONE BUT PLEASE READ: what Cynthia Kupper RD, Executive Director of The Gluten Intolerance Group, has to say.

      “While investigating the possible absorption of gluten through the skin, I have talked with many regulatory organizations, and research and development people in the cosmetic industry. They all agree that gluten and all proteins are too large to be absorbed through the skin. Therefore, topical care products that contain gluten do not need to be avoided by persons with CD and DH.

      “It is also important to understand that it is possible to have celiac disease and other sensitivities. When it comes to products labeled hypoallergenic, this simply means that the product is ‘less likely to cause an allergic reaction.’ So if you have a skin reaction to a product, you may have a sensitivity that you think might be related to gluten, but is actually related to something else in the product.”

      As Cynthia suggests, you may have a skin reaction to any number of ingredients in any number of products for reasons other than celiac disease (such as an allergy). If this is the case, you should stop using the product and speak with your dermatologist.

      So using common sense, what personal care products might you ingest?

      Products that you use in your mouth, such as toothpaste and mouthwash and products that you apply to your lips, such as lipstick could be ingested.

      You really don’t need to worry about products you apply to your skin, such as body lotion, sunscreen, shaving cream, deodorant, makeup, and perfume.

      You also do not need to worry about products you apply to your hair, such as shampoo and conditioner.

      Hand lotion is one of those in-between cases. If you use a lot of it and often and don’t always wash your hands before eating (yuck!) then you could ingest some hand lotion. Or if you always apply hand lotion after washing your hands, including before eating than you could ingest some hand lotion.

      So using common sense how much toothpaste, mouthwash and lipstick might you ingest?

      When it comes to toothpaste and mouthwash, if you spit out the toothpaste and mouthwash and then thoroughly rinse your mouth with water, you probably won’t consume much product. When it comes to lipstick, supposedly each woman “eats” 6 pounds of lipstick during her lifetime.

  90. 248

    Crystal says

    Has anyone else had an allergic reaction because of this? I had my first “normal color” salon dye job last week using this system and have been in agony (itchy rash and small sores) since. If it’s any consolation – I do love the way my hair looks and the staff have been really helpful getting me an ingredients list … but omg my scalp is on fire!

      • 250

        Crystal says

        Hi Anna –
        My stylist used the Organic Color Systems … I went from my black natural hair to chestnut brown highlights. I also didn’t wash my hair before visiting the salon.

        What’s weird is that I have used Garnier Nutrisse and Loreal Feria at home before (using a brush and bowl not the bottle) – maybe 2 or 3 years ago.

        I’ve been taking benadryl which has helped a bit.


        • 251


          Hi there Crystal first off all this is a warning of your body and don’t try to avoid this. Please don’t color your hair again with any product that your body reacts so bad to it. Each time it will get worst. Try this for now: Drink as much water as possible immediately after discovering you are having an allergic reaction to hair dye. This is to flush the toxins out of the body as fast as possible.

          If you have some chamomile on hand, make a strong tea of one cup chamomile to a quart of pure water. Boil the water, pour it over the herbs, and let it steep for about five minutes. Cool the tea down with ice cubes, and then use two cups of tea as a hair rinse twice a day until the itching and swelling subsides.

  91. 252

    Divya says

    Hello Anna,

    I know it has been long since you posted this article,but i’ve just started looking or organic hair dyes as i has a reaction to the test patch with other hair dyes.I came across your article and it is so helpfull,as there are so many misleading labels and hair dyes out there.I have not coloured my hair yet and am planning to go for the semi-permanent range from OCS or TINTS OF NATURE(which are PPD and PTD free) as i recall they are from the same manufacturers.Have you or any one tried them or are there any hidden harmful chemicals in them?

    • 253


      My understanding is that Tints of Nature if it is permanent hair color has PPD. Semi does not. My hairdresser and I have been doing an experiment to see how the semi-permanent works. She has less than 10% gray. I can’t try it since I am 100% gray now. (Okay, white.)

      The color looks good. I have been taking pictures every three weeks. However, if you are over 10% it may not cover the gray. Steve, do you want to jump in? Anna

  92. 254

    llasser says

    Allow me to jump in…I have used both OCS and Tints of Nature – with bad results. Both these systems have PPD in them. OCS did not bother my scalp, but Tints of Nature – which does not use heat to help open the hair shaft as salon OCS – was worse than ANY hair color I have ever used. Made my scalp itch horribly for 3 WEEKS. The color faded badly with both OCS and Tints of Nature. I wanted to like OCS, and tried it multiple times over about 4-5 months, but it just didn’t work and dried out my hair badly. Several of the salons I called to apply it initially said they no longer do it because of the fading issue. I went with a highly regarded pro and it cost me $300 first time. Color was nice for 2-3 weeks and then it went carrot orange. This same scenario repeated itself for 4-5 months before I threw my hands in the air and gave up on OCS.

    About 6 weeks ago, I went back to Sanotint Light – the ONLY non-PPD color on the market – and my hair is restored. The color is totally natural, and i can go 8 weeks in between root touch-up. Yes, it has a few nasty things in it, but PPD, ammonia and heavy metals are not among them. PPD is more toxic than touluene diamene, according to Skindeep database. But when all is said and done, if you have to touch up your color with a PPD product like Tints of Nature or OCS twice as much because of fading, you get exposed to more chemicals in the end. If OCS works for you, go for it, but I would stay away from that nasty Tints of NAture if you are the least bit sensitive to PPD.

    • 255

      Divya says

      Hi llasser,thanks for sharing your experience with me but i think you tried the permanent range of hair colour and ‘m referring to the semi-permanent range which states it is PPD ,PTD and ammonia free.Have you or anyone tried this range?If yes please share your experience with me.

      • 256


        Hello everyone , Hello Divya I am a certified colorist and i will answer your question yes the OCS semi-permanent colors are ppd / ptd free (no limits its the name) it is very limited color selection 9 colors, lasts up to (key word is up to 12 shampoos) but i don’t think it does. I will say no more the 6 shampoos. It is made to fresh up color or brighten old color it will blend the grey hair and if its not very resistant, and it will not lift color. Now with this information you will make the decision of what to do.
        PS: I dont work for any companies making this clear. If you don’t have problems using chemical base color the last 2 months i also use in my salon a color line for the ppd and ptd allergic clients, it is the CHI Ionic Permanent Shine Hair Color this is the link to the product

        CHI Ionic Permanent Shine Hair Color has replaced hazardous ammonia with a mild, yet highly effective alkaline called MEA (Monoethanolamine)
        When ammonia is mixed with peroxide it creates unstable gasses which leads to an unstable pH level
        When MEA is mixed with peroxide, it DOES NOT create any gases and the color maintains a consistent pH level
        That’s the companies claim.
        I used it in about 10 clients with ppd/ptd allergies and they have no problem.
        find a salon in your area and go for a patch test this is an old color line and it is reformulated make sure the salon that you find they switch to the new line and not using the old good luck and let us know how you make out.

        Steve Stoupas

        • 257


          Steve, what is your feeling about PPD vs toluene? My understanding is that products have to use 2X the amount of toluene to make up for not using PPD. So I am not really sure Sanotint is more safe than OCS or other low PPD colors.

          What does CHI use in lieu of PPD?

          • 258


            Well Anna i think toluene is more dangerous then PPD (if you not allergic to it)
            It is toxic to Metabolism in humans
            It’s Toxic to Environment
            Sort term and long term it is more dangerous
            I have send and email to Farouk (chi) company no answer yet for a detail ingredients you may try emailing too if i get an answer i will post it.

        • 259

          Divya says

          Thanks for jumpimg in with so much info Steve.I have more then 10% grey hair(salt and pepper) but not willing to use chemical based hair dyes,as i have read they have various side effects.OCS sounds good to me but is not readily available in stores.Is TINTS OF NATURE(semi-permanent) safe to go with?Do any of these brands have any harmful chemicals that are not listed?Never imagined it would be so hard to find a good hair colour!

  93. 260

    llasser says

    If you’re not a chemist, you don’t really know. If you have a question about the relative toxicity of two products, you can always look them up on Environmental Working Group’s skindeep database, where they rate chemicals and tell you what the known issues are with them.
    It is being refreshed, should be available again very soon.
    Sanotint Light was recommended to me by a (thought-leader) dermatologist who specializes in hair and hair loss issues as the only non-PPD permanent hair color. It is applied to the roots with a brush, you don’t slather it all over the scalp like TInts of Nature or OCS.

  94. 261

    billy levin says

    For heaven’s sake, wake up. If it is a permanent color with no ammonia, it uses MEA, a close ammonia substitute. And if it says no PPD, it uses PTD, basically a derivative that it for all chemical purposes, same thing. Both tested same allergenic level–rare. If you want 100% natural, you need henna, and not even all hennas are 100% natural, some have PPD in darker colors, Indigo dye, etc. Stop pretending you are a chemist. You are not simply coloring over your hair, like with a crayon. Permanent color REQUIRES chemicals and they are all similar or derivatives or chemical cousins. Remember “No lye” relaxer? Just used a similar chemical substitute.

  95. 262

    llassser says

    Really, there is no need to be hostile. Not all products are created equal. I do research on EWG’s skindeep database on a lot of chemicals. That does not make me a chemist; nor does it make me a fool.

    The ingredients for sanotint light are listed here.

    They do not list MEA or PTD. I never claimed Sanotint light was on par with Henna as to the potential for harmful chemical content, only that the product was recommended to me by a highly respected dermatologist who specializes in hair and scalp issues and I have had excellent results with it. I am able to cover grey roots in only 25 minutes and the product stands up to 4x weekly swimming for 1.5 hours. I think both the chemical content and the frequency and duration of the exposure to these chemicals should be considered when choosing the right product.

    • 263


      Billy and llasser,

      I have to jump in since this subject seems to a little heated. Everyone is trying to do their best to find the best solution of their hair. We need to keep the conversation open and flowing so that no one gets their feelings hurt.

      That being said, Billy, you made some good points here.

      llasser, I too research on EWG site and agree that it is hard to know how much a toxic ingredient impacts the total product especially when that particular product isn’t listed on the EWG site. It is so so frustrating and I feel I have to become a chemist to understand. This shouldn’t be. Plus, I don’t think you are a fool. I think you are doing investigative work and trying to figure out your exposure.

      However, the product does contain toluene which skin deep says scores an 8. Correct me if I am wrong but EWG says its synonym is PTD. Also Ethanolamine’s synonym is MEA Honestly, I don’t know whether Sanotint is better, worse or the same as OCS.

      • 264

        Deirdra Vierra says

        Anna – great article – great comments section! I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your blog!
        I wanted to jump in on this comment thread because I have just recently left my rental station of 13 years because of the lack of ventilation and inability to control the environment for my clients and my own safety. I have chemically induced Asthma and what appears to be Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. I have been searching out the best lines to use in my new low emission studio that I will be opening next month.
        I have been using OCS since 2009, I am on track to become an educator for OCS sometime this year, and it has been the best thing for my sensitivities and for my clients as well. Because it is a gentler product, the steps that need to be followed sometimes get glossed over by the busy stylist. I found myself having to relearn my chemistry and adjust my scheduling . I have to agree with a few of the people on this thread that the majority of issues had with the OCS is technician error. The education for this product has gotten much better as the new owner has expanded the scope of Organic Salon Systems. I really love the line and would say that one stylist got it right when saying that many stylists have a religious devotion to it. It has kept me form having to leave the industry.
        That being said, there are some holes in the line and not everyone can use it. Some clients are PPD sensitive, period. Some are allergic to the Chamomile and the Comfrey. Patch Test every time a new client comes in.
        I have checked out CHI – they removed the PPD – make sure you check the box cover for the leaf- but the N series and the Grey coverage series use Resorcinol. The company told me on the phone that they did not use Resorcinal, but when I looked at the box – there it was. I tested it out on myself anyway – grey coverage was flawless – tones are all slightly Gold (Ash fades to Gold on 100% white)- which I have found to be true with anything Resorcinal based, in my own personal experience. My head itched and I experienced some hair loss and scalp sensitivity.
        I also tried Essesensity by Schwarzkopf. Grey coverage, but a lot of Gold. The ingredient list would make your toes curl however and they have a less than perfect education team on the West Coast.
        In Mastey’s defense – though I have not tried the line – Henri Mastey spoke to me at great length on the phone and sent me a try me box of product – he assured me there was absolutely no PPD , Ammonia or Resorcinal in the line. I have not tried it yet. I did see 2 ingredients though that had the word resorcinal in them.
        There is also a new line on the market called Simply Organics, created for Post Cancer patients – it has no PPD or Ammonia, but does have MEA4Resorcinal as it’s 6th ingredient. I have not tried it.
        I will post my experiences with each line as I test them out along with ingredient lists.

  96. 268

    Sharon Dignard says

    This is an Excellant site i learn so much here. Anyone know the ingredients list for KOKO from Montreal-based Oligo Professionne hair color. This hair color comes from Canada and is Ammonia free. I do not know the ingredients list. I would also like to know if it compares to organic colr sysytems. Any information would be helpful, Thank you

  97. 269


    Hi Anna

    What a helpful article. Thank you so much for this insightful information. I enjoyed especially the info on on the hair colour not staining. That’s a big plus, and providing where we can get it from, together with your pics of weekly progress. Thanks for being a guinea pig for us.

    Roberta´s last blog post ..5 Most Common Reasons For Hair Loss

  98. 273


    Hi Anna ( and Susan)

    I wanted to update you on the products we have been using.
    We are still using OCS and the results are genius for the most part – but can not be used on clients with PPD allergies. Also have a few new clients that are allergic to the botanicals in the color. We do have grey coverage issues from time to time and we adjust the formula to amend the problem. In California we have wretched water and if the clarifying and hydrating pre treatment is missed – that is usually when problems occur. Also important is the emulsifying that needs to occur at the end of the service.
    We are using a creme based line from Australia called Original and Mineral – it is PPD , Resorsinol and Paraben free. It uses PTD instead – so about 50% of the clientele that is PPD sensitive will still have a reaction. They have an extensive color collection however and the grey coverage is lovely.
    I have used Mastey at this time and there are a few colors that I really love and my clients that I am using it on really love it. It has a more translucent look to it and I love it for grey blending on my male clients – the odor is grape like and I find that some of my OCS clients really hate the smell of the OCS so I switched them to Mastey without an issue. Anything from Level 6 down has great coverage and minimal fade.
    I have had to use Schwarzkopf Essessity or Kuene So Pure on a few of my clients that have baby fine hair that is more than 50% white, those are the clients that fade really quickly or get spotty coverage. Both of these colors use Resorcinal and PTD as pigment in their darker tones.
    I just received a try me box of Davines new line A New Color and will be testing that out as well this next month.
    The one thing that I must stress to everyone that wants grey coverage and less fade while using non ammoniated gentler color is to be sure to clarify your hair prior to service – this means a clarifying shampoo and possibly a demineralizing treatment the night before – or let your stylist take the extra 15 minutes to do it – color can be applied to damp hair. And check your styling products and try not use any Silicone based products a couple of days prior to color service.
    Keep asking questions – I am blown away by how much I have been lied to as I research lines to use on my clients.

  99. 275


    On Skin Deep it gets the same rating as PPD – it is a derivative. From the chemists that I have talked to , what is good about it is that 50% of the PPD allergy population can somehow use it. I am finding in my research of lines that there is some sort of the same few pigments just in different levels.
    In my clientele – some of my clients don’t care what I use as long as it covers the grey and does not fade more than a shade between services.
    My main issue has been Ammonia and Formaldehyde and my salon is free of those fumes and I feel that that is one huge step in the right direction for the licensed hairdresser world.
    What is cool to see is how many color companies are now trying to come up with alternative lines to the standard. It’s a fine balance and not everyone is going to get it right. The sales reps are told what to say and most of them have no idea how bad Resorcinol is or even what pigment is used to change the color of the hair.
    More and more color is becoming available to all of us that is less toxic and more and more consumers are becoming aware of what is being used on their skin and asking for better alternatives.
    I feel like myself and the hairstylists on this thread as well as anyone who has had to open up a private studio or organic salon are all pioneers and innovators in our field. It’s cool to see the change happening in our industry.
    I will keep you posted on what I find and I will sit down and do an ingredient list for you as well.
    As a hairstylist I am happy with the choices I made and I am thrilled that there are people out there looking into what goes onto their heads and asking their hair colorists to find better alternatives.

  100. 277

    Ann says

    Have learnt alot from the above comments. Have never used OCS but sounds a better alternative colour to the ones Ive previously used.

  101. 278

    Sylvia says

    I have used the Love your color by Cosamo. It does not last long but it did give me a facial rash starting on the 2nd day after coloring. I used the Dark brown color as well as the medium Brown and Medium Ash brown. I noticed some rash after each color so I’m sure it was the hair dye. Unfortunately. The dye is temporary and only lasts about 2 weeks if you don’t wash your hair a lot. I’ve heard good things about it but it’s not working for me.

  102. 280


    Hi Anna-
    There is a new product out – I have an order coming and will message you after I use it- but I think it’s worth a look –
    It can only be used by brunettes because it’s formulated to replace Eumalin only. They tells I can actually eat it.
    I also found another color line called Susan Henry Naturals that is excellent at covering grey – no ammonia . It does have PG alginate in it however . She also says the percentage of PPD is as low of not lower than OCS.
    Will let you know how I find Hairprint next week. I have two clients that requested it.

  103. 281


    I’ve been using Organically Blonde. There aren’t any additives… it’s just made of organic vegetable skins and flowers. The owners make it by hand and grow many of the ingredients in their garden. It’s a water-based rinse… I use it as a leave-in conditioner. It adds highlights and curls. It doesn’t really work for shades darker than light brown… but it covers gray quite well.

    I’ve found Henna and “permanent” dyes to be too harsh… Considering chemicals like BPA’s from receipt paper get absorbed into the bloodstream just from touching, I’m paranoid of long ingredient lists.

    • 282


      Benjamin, I actually used chamomile to see if it would cover the gray and followed a similar procedure as the company. I didn’t cover my gray at all. I noticed that the product uses onion skins and other botanicals. Anna

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        My understanding is red onion skin imparts most of the color and flowers add oils for conditioning quality. If you’re interested in trying Organically Blonde I could ask the owners to send you a free sample. I think red onion skins are the magic ingredient and based on their Before/After pics it seems to work great for grey.


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