Palette by Nature Organic Hair Color Review. Still Gray.

palette by nature

About a year ago, I ran across an article about Act By Nature, an organic permanent hair color, which is now known as Palette by Nature. What caught my eye was that it was PPD and ammonia free along without all the other nasties you see in permanent hair color. Thrilled to see such a product is an understatement!  But when I used it, what a disappointment.  See my video below, then read on because realize that this is my experience.


Coloring and I go way back

I am no stranger to hair color and have been coloring my hair since my late 20s.  Gray whisks started to pop up all over my hair in my late teens.  You could say I was destined for gray-head. Over the years, I have looked for safer alternative starting with a lower ammonia based color to now using Organic Color Systems which is ammonia free but has a low PPD amount.  See my review of Organic Hair Color System here.

Be forewarned it contains lot of chemical jargon in it for those who loved to know the nitty gritty of product.  (Jump in to comment as well, please.)

Skin deep Database of PPD

The thought of still using PPD (known as P-Penylenedaimine with alot of other assorted grim names ) was scaring me to death.  Even though Organic Color System uses a low amount of PPD, I longed for a PPD-free alternative.  One day, my happy mouse found Palette by Nature and I thought it was too good to be true. On their website, the Company states,

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% naturally-derived 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 as one of the safest alternatives to conventional hair color for chemically sensitive people.”

Sounds to Good to Be True?  In my Case, Yes.

Who wouldn’t want this product?  I  even read all the forum questions and answers before I bought the product.  As a side note, the forum is no longer on the new revamped Palette by Nature site.

And the price?  Sticker shock for beauty.  Right now it is listed for $23.90 which does not include shipping. You have to buy $100 worth of product for free shipping. I paid $32 for the product which included shipping.

This price is more than twice the price of Herbatint, another eco-hair box color you can buy in the health food stores. In fact, as of today, you can buy Herbatint for  $9.33 excluding shipping at Vitacost!  But, I bit the bullet and purchased.

The Hair Color Test

PBN works similar to Organic Color Systems.  You use heat to get the hair color to penetrate the hair shaft.  According to PBN’s instruction, you use continual heat for 35-40 minutes and more if you have stubborn gray. I bought the fragrance free product since I hate smells.  My son remarked that it smells horrible, but he has an ultra, ultra sensitive nose. It still has a smell but it did not bother me.

Palette by Nature product
The product comes with a developer, plastic cap, gloves, and color.

Coloring my hair with Palette by Nature

Coloring my hair. Two step process.

Ready to Use the blower dry with Palette by Nature

Finished applying the color and ready to use the blow dryer for 40 minutes.

End result of Coloring my hair with Palette by Nature

As you can tell from the above picture I was disappointed. See how much gray is still left? My hair felt coated.  In fact, my hairdresser noted that it felt like a henna does.

Company’s Response

But being the kind person that I am I try to give the product the benefit of the doubt and contacted the Company.  I told them that I am about 80% gray and the product basically covered about 50% of my gray. So, that you know in everyone of my email signatures denotes that I have a website called Green Talk with its email address. Here was their reply:

“Dear Anna,
Thank you for contacting Palette by Nature.
Our hair color is 100% natural and does not contain PPD.
In comparison with other natural hair colors ( organic color is not a natural hair color since it contains PPD) it has a cumulative effect and at 80% gray it might require couple of applications at the beginning to achieve the desired results.

We would recommend repeating the application.”

Are they serious?  At $32 cost? I replied:

Thanks for the advice. At $24 a piece with shipping, I don’t think I will try again and again to make it work. I think perhaps you should put that on the website or forum that if you have more than “x” gray it is possible that you should buy a couple of boxes to see if it will cover the gray citing the cumulative effect idea of the product.I think the color will have a cumulative effect on the balance of the hair, but not so much where there is new growth each month prior to application.”

Their response.  Nada.  Nothing. Zippo. Did they change their website to reflect what I requested?  Nope.

Did they offer me a refund?  Nope. In fact, their return policy is really lame.  Return within 15 days of purchase in its original condition.  Plus a $10 restocking fee. How about 100% guaranteed?  Especially at that price.

Bottom line

So, I would not recommend this product for two reasons: it did not work for me. Plus, they don’t stand behind their product.

Readers, have you had any experience with this product?   Any recommended PPD free color products that you have personally tried. (Please self-promotion.)

Photo at the beginning of the article courtesy of Palette by Nature.

Similar Posts:


  1. 4


    I am terribly sorry for your poor experience. I regret that this company did not stand behind their product.

    I am a long term reader of your blog and have always been grateful for your thoughtful insight into living a more green lifestyle. The subject of organic hair color is particularly personal to me and I appreciate articles like these.
    Scott Mitchell´s last blog post ..Top 6 Myths and Facts about Professional Salon Products and Cosmetics

  2. 5


    I am currently compiling a list of the top 100 green blogs for students, and I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about you and your blog to include in the list. I was also hoping you could recommend some other green blogs that are written for/by college students if possible. Please e-mail me and include the title of your blog in the e-mail, thanks!

  3. 6

    Addy says

    I am a Professional Hairstylist licensed in 2 states, Color & Curly Hair are my Expertise. I also do my best to put only the purest into my body and enviroment, use Alternative Medicine…

    I believe Palette By Nature was correct in suggested two applications for better coverage. Even with some of the best hair color lines safe or not, some gray is very resistant. In these cases, we stain the hair (one application mixed w/ water instead of developer) then we do a normal color process…For every retouch. Be careful fellow hair color lovers and think about this: EVEN THOUGH SOME OR MOST OF THESE SAFER HAIR COLOR LINES ARE SAFER TO BREATH AND ABSORB INTO THE SCALP THEY PERMANTLY DESTROY THE CUTICLE (THE HAIR GETS FRIED AND DRIED) AND WITH EACH USE OR OVERLAP IT GETS WORSE! This company at least keep the integrity of the hair so that is stays healthy! Also remember: All DARK HAIR COLOR EFFECTS & CREATES hormonal imbalances, which effect the LIVER & HEART! Also, when a client is 75% or more gray, that it matches the complextion better to go 1-3 levels lighter than WHAT USED TO BE THE NATURAL HAIR COLOR WHEN YOUNGER…BEFORE 50%OR MORE GRAY OCCURED. Our natural color changes through out the stages of life (some more than others). Go a little bit lighter and the blemishes and imperfections of the skin will not stand out as bad and it is healthier. Love & Blessings, hope it was helpful!

    • 7

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Addy, thanks for your advice. In my case, the first coat barely covered any of my gray and my hair felt like it was coated like a henna. In my case, I really doubt that additional coating would have helped since my hair still grows. The product in my case felt like it was just a coating. Have you used the product?

      Actually the color used on my head is lighter than my orginal color. I wished that I could go blond and highlight! But my skin color would conflict with being blond. Sign. Anna

      • 8


        Very pleased to have found your site and that you had the same experiences as I did with this product. I own a salon that is dedicated to non-toxic, crulety-free products or at the VERY least.. much, much more chemically diminished than the standard brands. We try almost everything ‘natural’ that comes on the market.
        I used this colour on over ten people with varying amounts of grey. The results were extremely inconsistent and hardly anyone, regardless of texture and percentage of grey, had successful grey coverage. And yes, the cost was crazy.
        “Changes” by Herb UK had a fantastic semi colour that blended grey hair beautifully and their ingredient list was impressive, though not perfect. Apparently they have taken it off the shelves temporarily to improve it all the more. It might be worth keeping an eye on.
        Hopefully the big companies wise up and realize that the demand is growing far faster than the products are.
        We love to test at the salon but have sadly found that most companies take one chemical out just to replace it with another. That being said, if you’re looking to avoid PPD.. also avoid aminophenol.
        Anyhow, rambling aside, great to find a forum to share information like this. It’s important that we have healthier options for this.

    • 10

      Jeni says

      I think this customer is being unfair. You cannot expect a 100% natural product to ‘behave’ like a chemical/toxin laden one. The UN-natural hair colors do their jobs, sure – but they leave your hair damaged in the process, not to mention the many toxic chemicals you are exposed to. Nature by Palette is correct – their hair color works with a ‘cumulative’ effect, it will take more than one application to get the desired results. I used it for the first time last night and yes, there was still gray hair visible, but I intend to re-apply hair color until the gray disappears. The price? I’d rather pay the $23 and know I’m getting something healthy for my hair and body, than pay $5 and get a load of chemicals which can do permanent damage to my body and hair. Thanks.

      • 11


        Jeni, I am glad you are happy with the product. Let us know how many applications you needed to use to make it work well. The one application I used didn’t cover any gray. Maybe, I am just too gray. Are you all gray too? Thanks for posting. Anna

  4. 12

    Cat_Ottawa says

    Hi Anna have you ever tried Sanotint Light hair dyes? Here’s my review on the product hope this helps.

    I’ve been getting more and more sensitive to hair dyes over the years where I was trying the ammonia free ones with little success of covering greys and/or the colour lasting more than two weeks. Besides the last one I used I broke out in a rash all down the sides of my face, I could hardly breath so badly I had to take my inhaler and rinse it off earlier than I should have. It’s been four months since I dyed my hair so my roots had grown out about 3 inches.

    After searching on the internet I finally decided to break down and buy Sanotint Light which is free of PPD where their other types are not. This means you cannot go more than two shades lighter than your natural hair colour. At this point I’m happy with just covering the grays and having my hair all in one colour. Cost with shipping and taxes was about $32 for one box.

    The application of this product is longer than the normal boxed hair dyes since you have to apply it with a brush and it is not watery. I actually thought I wouldn’t have enough but I just barely made it to the end with not a drop left.

    My hair is a little darker than I thought it would be but the important part is it took out all the red tones I had and my hair is really brown, no bad smells and soft. I avoided using the shampoo and conditioner that came in the box as it’s not gluten free. Instead I used the Curelle brands I currently use and left a bit of conditioner in without rinsing. Overall I’m 100% impressed.

    Five weeks after my first dye with Sanotint I had regrowth of an inch with no gray hairs. I found that odd. Anyhow I ordered another box of Sanotint and my hairdresser kindly offered to apply it for free and her and the shampoo girl asked me why I was dying my hair. I had to dye my hair even though no gray was showing because my scalp is naturally oily but when it’s dyed it’s normal.

    Advance eight weeks today from the 2nd application and I have two gray hairs showing on the top with two inches of regrowth and a few grays near my ears. I’ve just ordered my 3rd and 4th box which I figure should last me until next March.

    • 13

      Anna@Green Talk says

      How gray are you? That is so odd that you don’t have gray regrowth? I have regrowth even with regular hair color. Thanks for the amazing review. Anna

      • 14

        Cat_Ottawa says

        I’m about 20% gray maybe more now not sure. I have regrowth but the hairs that were gray are growing out the colour of the dye. It’s very odd I know my mother looked at my hair today and couldn’t believe it’s been 7 weeks. Plus the first time I used the dye I was very careful not to wash my hair often. This time around I washed it 4x a week because I was working out a lot. BTW my hair is long mid shoulder blade and the one box just does the trick.

        • 15

          Anna@Green Talk says

          Cat, is your gray hair back to the color of the dye? Is your gray near your face? I find that gray near my temples is so much harder to color. I am not sure if this product would work for me. I think I am about 90% gray. What do you think? Anna

          • 16

            Cat_Ottawa says

            I have grey hair scattered all over and the usual ones near the ears and above my forehead. I was able to just mix a bit of the mixture and dye the roots in those areas. As I said before it turns out a bit darker but in two weeks the brown will lighten up and blend in with the old dye.

            If you do the patch test and you don’t have a bad reaction to Sanotint Light then I say go for it. I love this product because I only have to dye my hair fully every 3-4 months with a touch up in between.

    • 17

      Angel says

      Oh my goodness, I have been researching healthy dyes, because I am sick of my scalp burning, and do not want to risk cancer and immune system problems, etc that all come with toxic dye. I am not going to try Henna, I am going with your advice, with Sanotint. Wish me luck:) I have a lot of grey at the top, and it may not be a brown I even like, but my health is more important than vanity. I seriously think my immune system is broken down from using toxic dyes. I am in excellent shape, a runner and 44 yrs old. I have noticed a huge difference since I have been dying my hair. My gut feeling is telling me is may be the dye, either way I don;t want poison in my body anymore 😉

      Thanks for sharing your experience, it helps me!

  5. 19

    Allie says

    Dear all,

    Just want to warn you that Sanotint Light contains resorcinol which is a known endocrine (hormonal) disruptor believed to increase risk of breast cancer and not the kind of thing you want to absorb into your body either if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.

    I have used it 3 or 4 times and I’m really happy with the results, but I’m concerned about the resorcinol and for that reason I’m considering finding another solution (need coverage of first grays).

    • 20

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Allie, thanks for the heads up. Have you tried P by Nature? If you only have a few grays, I think it will work for you. I am too far gone in that department. In fact, I am not sure if I have any original color left. Anna

    • 21

      Cat_Ottawa says

      Hey Allie good to point out that resorcinol is in Sanotint Light which is .04% of the mixture. Considering I’ve cut out all chemicals soaps, make up, detergents etc and that I have zero reactions to Sanotint I have no issue with this percentage. However I will keep my eyes peeled for a dye that works as good as Sanotint and has zero chemicals.

      Let’s keep each other updated …great site btw glad to have connected with you all. Cat =^:^=

        • 23

          Angel says

          Ladies: update, I just did my hair:)

          Went with “Tints of Nature”, you can buy at Whole Foods. I used light golden brown, turned out a bit darker than expected, but lovely!1 It smelled great, and made my hair soft as shiny. Best part is it covered all my grey!! Not kidding:0 And I have a lot. It was $ 13.89 a box, and I have long hair, down to my shoulder blades,, and it covered it all. I left it on for 45 minutes, a little longer than usual as I have grey.
          Ladies, it really worked great, no reason to try Sanotint after all, I didn’t want to order it, so I went with TINTS OF NATURE. I have curly, dry hair, and mucho grey, so if it worked for me, you all should try it!

          • 24

            Cat_Ottawa says

            Glad you found a solution! I recognize Tints of Nature as it’s sold at our local grocery store. I passed on it because it contains soy and wheat which cause havoc on my hair. But it also has a small percentage of PPD which I was trying to avoid all together.

            From what I read it should be like Sanotint and your regrowth should be the same colour as the dye for the first few weeks, as it goes right down to the cuticle. Keep us updated on how the colour fades in the next few weeks. I have a few girlfriends who would be interested.

  6. 25

    Angel says

    “Tints of Nature is the only available line of permanent hair colors to use natural, certified organic ingredients wherever feasible. The highly effective formula also has a naturally derived base. It is paraben free and contains no harsh ammonia, resorcinol or nonoxynol, thus helping to ensure damage free results. We use extra mild, low odor, pharmaceutical grade peroxide and the lowest possible percentage of PPD pigments (Paraphenylenediamines) – ranging from 1N (the darkest) at 2.0% to 10XL (the lightest) at 0.03% – giving an average of 0.6% across the line. You can darken your hair by several shades, lighten it by 1- 1 1/2 shades, simply match or even enhance your natural color, and gently but effectively cover all gray hair. You can choose the color and we take care of the condition – leaving your hair soft and silky with a deep and lasting shine.”





    • 27

      Anna@Green Talk says

      Angel, tints of nature is the box color for Organic Hair Systems. This is the color that I use. I mentioned in the post. Thanks for letting others know about the box color here. Glad you like it. Anna

  7. 28

    Angie says

    I had an almost identical experience. I grayed early, started coloring my hair in my 20s, looked for chemical free color, found palette by nature, it colored ineffectively. If anyone knows of a safe color that works, LET ME KNOW-Please
    Your blog was a great help. Thanks-Ang

  8. 30

    grandmommy says

    hi there! I realize this comment may be so late that no one will read it, but it’s an important subject. I have had breast cancer twice, PLUS two brain tumours…I finally realized how toxic hair colour is, and started looking for an alternative.

    The best that I have found is Act by Nature, despite the problems that you described (your description fit with my experience). Unfortunately there is no better alternative out there…I saw a video on this company…ABN’s chemist has worked in hair colouring (e.g. L’Oreal) for years, but to stick to truly natural ingredients, this is the best possible.

    The problem is that “organic” only means that the product contains (some) organic ingredients. Even 95% natural only means that the 5% is the really toxic part…to be quick and easy to use AND to really cover grey in one application, it must contain PPD which is the one thing you really need to eliminate, if cancer is a concern to you.

    I actually find the ABN “grey blending system” is better than the permanent colour. It actually covers resistant grey about as well (and also needs repeated applications to fully cover it). It is a truly all natural product. What I do is shampoo while I am having my shower, and don’t condition (so the hair is as porous as possible)…then comb step 1 through like a conditioner…I leave it longer than the recommended 5 minutes…wash it out and comb through step2 product…leave for 7 to 10 minutes (supposed to work in 5), rinse it out, then use the leave-in step3 spray product…it actually is pretty quick and easy…it leaves the hair very shiny and in good condition…re-use every shampoo if you want because it’s safe, and gradually get rid of the grey.

    Advantage: no sharp line of “roots” to grow in. Hair very healthy. No chemicals especially PPD. From your photos I would guess you’d get at least two or three applications from one pack. Also, once you have used the blending system a few times, the permanent system will cover your grey better if you want to add/change colour.

    Disadvantage: very limited colour choice…I find the dark brown too dark, and the light brown too light…hopefully they will bring out a medium brown (ideally their Chestnut which is beautiful in the permanent colour). You can mix the two shades, but it does become a bit more of a project at that point.

    It all depends how careful you want to be about avoiding carcinogens. As I understand it, the PPD is seen as essential in hair colouring products and therefore is allowed by governments, even though it is so dangerous. It is a “buyer be ware” situation. Be aware that herbatint, organic colour systems, tints of nature etc. all claim to be safe, but they contain PPD which is the one thing you really need to avoid. It is a potent chemical so that is why it is such a small percentage of the total ingredients…even if the other 98% is top quality organic, it does not protect you from the PPD.

    meanwhile, stay healthy and beautiful!

    • 31


      Grandmommy, this article is quite popular so everyone will read your comment. Thanks you for such a detailed comment. I emailed ABN about my issues and all they told me was to buy more since applications build on each other. No extra help. No offer to give my money back. Nada. I was completely disappointed with their customer service.

      Maybe they should hire you! You are great. Are you as gray as me? I hate using PPD. Hate. Hate it.

      Have often do you need to apply the blending product?

    • 32

      DESPERATE says

      Hi everyone out there. I’ve been reading these posts for a while now and find that you are so generous in giving inormation and details about your experiences.

      My problem is that I have many allergies and after 20 years of using toxic commercial dyes I have now developed problems with my immune system and two years ago after my pregancy started having allergic reactions to almost every dye there is out there. So I stopped using dyes for about 2 years because I thought I had a PPD allergy. Until I went to see a dermatologist specialized in patch tests for hair allergies and discovered that I’m allergy to ammonia, benzol peroxide and disperse blue (tint colour in some dyes)…especially brown colours) but not to PPD (very suprised).

      My question to you all is first are PBN and ABN the same product. From your posts it seems that this is the only product that does not contain any of the ingredients that i”m allergic to.

      Also, does organic hair systems have the ingredients I’m allergic to.

      Also to grandmommy, is the blended grey system as messy as the permanent dye which all of you complain of leaving dye stains on hands and bathtub, and feeling heavy, etc.

      Thanks for your posts and hope you can help me find a safe and easy to use (non messy) product.


      • 33


        Desparate, ABN and PBN are the same. I listed the ingredients in the post but just to make sure I would do a patch test. There is peroxide in OCS but I don’t know if it has that particular peroxide. I would call the US office, and ask them about what you are allergic too. See They are based in Florida. Let me know what happens. Anna

        • 34

          DESPERATE says

          Hi Anna,

          Thanks so much for the info. I will call OCS and ask for ingredients and possibly order their product before trying ABN and hopefully will have no reactions. I will let you know how it turns out, maybe in couple of weeks, since I have to still order the products.


          • 36

            DESPERATE says


            OH, I thought it was an acronym for Organic Colours Systems. I really get confused with all the different companies you guys mention on the posts, like ABN and PBN why two different names for the same product? I guess I will have to do some research and call a few places before ordering anything…but thanks for the tip.


          • 37


            Desperate, no OCS is organic hair color systems. What I meant is I don’t think they will sell you color because they sell to salons. However, they do have a box color they sell in retail stores. Tints by Nature, if I recall.

            Acts by Nature was the original name and then they decided to change it to Palettes by Nature. I don’t know why.

            I would definitively call both places. OCS can talk to you about if their ingredients will work for you. Let me know.

  9. 38

    Young and Desperate says

    Hi I wanted to share my experience with Palette by Nature and issues with hair color in general. I am 29 and the gray hair is starting to become noticeable. Until last September I never dyed my hair. I loved my hair! But vainity got the best of me and decided it was time to color.

    First I tried professional Redken demi permanent shades. Unfortunately it didn’t cover the few grays I had. My sister, who is a hair stylist, suggested that I use permanent color if I wanted to cover the gray. So I tried the professional redken permanent gels. The color came out extra brassy and I wasn’t thrilled with it. A few days later I got really sick, my eye lids extremely swollen and face and ears itchy and rashy…this lasted for 5 days and I took Zyrtec which only helped a little. Because the reaction occurred days later I wasn’t certain it was the hair dye. I decided to put professional toner in my hair to darken up the brassiness. It worked and I didn’t get sick, but since toner isn’t a permanent color the brassy highlights found their way back soon. So a few months later I thought, let me try and again to get this color to my natural medium brown hair color. Again I used the same Redken professional permanent color in a slightly different shade, but unfortunately it was still too brassy for my liking. 5 days later I got very sick again with the same symptoms swollen eye lids, itchy face and ears. I did some research and now I’m pretty certain the culprit is hair dye…and I think it’s the PPD, but I’m still not completely certain on exactly which hair dye chemicals I’m allergic to. I got a patch test for common allergens at the allergist and I didn’t have a reaction to PPD. Kind of weird I thought. Also I was able to use semi/demi permanent dyes with smaller amounts of PPD without getting sick. For now, my hypothesis is that I’m allergic to large amounts of PPD. What exactly is a ‘large amount’ I do not know. What’s been very frustrating is Redken will not tell me how much PPD is in both their permanent or semi permanent color. So I don’t know my threshold for the chemical without getting sick. I understand this information is part of the proprietary formulation for their company, but it seems like any company should be required to tell you more details if you get sick. But that’s for another day….and maybe one of my lawyer friends.

    At this point I have decided to stay away from PPD and see what my alternatives are to get my hair color back to my original color. I would do anything to go back to September and just deal with the very few grays that I have. At least for now… It seems I’m going to have to do this research on my own. Most hairstylists don’t even know what PPD is and if they do some say they can ‘fix’ my hair but won’t give me any insight in the formulations of the color. If ANYONE OUT THERE knows an EXPERT COLORIST, willing to help me PLEASE let me know.

    First I tried a semi permanent box color (natural instincts loving care). I mixed medium ash brown (to try and get rid of that brassiness from the Redken dye) with dark brown. I didn’t get sick, but it barely changed the color of my hair and didn’t cover the grays well. I could still see the 2 inches of my natural root vs the old Redken dye from 3.5 months ago. And apparently this brand is not being sold anymore in many basic drug stores.

    I read your blog a while back and decided it was time to try Palette by Nature. I knew it wasn’t going to be perfect, but I figured I wouldn’t get sick. All natural. No PPD, and like you said Anna, none of the many other chemicals some people fear. I used the natural medium brown. Putting it on was simple. First time I ever put color on my self and it wasn’t too messy and easy to hit most of my head. I bit the bullet and held the dryer up for 40 minutes. No problem. Then it was time to rinse….ugh that’s where the mess was! Black dye all over me and the shower! I rinsed it for a long time in the shower, washing it several times and it seemed like the dye kept coming and coming. Finally, I figured enough was enough and got out. Dye was all over my tub which I had to scrub down right away with chemicals. After my hair was dry it was still heavy with something…I guess dye. Dye was coming off on my hands when I touched my hair and it was all over a towel I slept on. In the morning I washed it another 3 times. Then on my way to work, I was putting my hands through my hair and by the time I got to work my hands were black. It took about 4 days, and at least 9 shampoos, for my hair to feel normal, lighter and for dye to stop coming out on my hands. However, it’s now been 6 days and if I scratch my scalp black remnants of dye still comes out. I guess this is the price you have to pay for natural dye. In any case, my recommendation for anyone using Palette by Nature permanent dye would be to get it rinsed out at a salon. It’s not worth the mess in the tub to do it at your house. You’ll just need to tell that person they will initially need to wash it many many times. It may seem like dye is not coming out anymore, but go ahead and put in more shampoo and much more black will continue to flow.

    My other recommendation with Palette by Nature permanent color is to go for a lighter shade. I chose natural medium brown and the positive is that the brassiness from the Redken color is gone! The negative is that my hair is almost black! So all this work and it’s still not my natural color. I have emailed Palette by Nature to see if they will exchange the other 2 natural dark browns for lighter colors. I can’t believe how dark my hair is. It is not awful and many people say they like it, but my goal is to get my hair back to my natural color so that I can stop coloring for a few years until I’m become more gray. I’m trying to avoid the 2 different color problem of letting dyed hair grow out.

    Good news, as expected, I didn’t get sick from Palette by Nature. Bad news, even though I don’t have a lot of gray hair, it didn’t cover the grays too well.

    It’s been quite the adventure since September and all I can hope for is that my next application of Palette by Nature will bring my hair a little closer to the natural color. What’s certain is I will be applying it at a salon. And I’ll have to deal with the gray a little later in life. Hopefully, in 10 years, there will be another PPD free solution!

    • 39


      Young, wow! It was a mess for me too but I didn’t have color come out on my hands after I shampoo’ed. I think they have another product you are supposed to use which might help. I didn’t buy it because the color was so expensive.

      The color felt heavy on my hair as if it was coated. If you don’t care about they grays, can you just let the color grow out and cut it a little shorter? Or get your color back and be done with color.

      Have you tried Organic Hair Color? It has a very low PPD amount. They could patch test you.

      Have you thought of highlights to hide the gray? Check with Organic Hair Color but I was told by a friend that their highlights don’t have PPD in them but she also has light colored hair.

      I use color since I am all gray. I started graying when I was 18. Always wondered if I have a B vitamin issue.
      Anna@GreenTalk´s last blog post ..It’s Gardening Time! Roll out the Compost!

    • 40

      Addy says

      Young & Desperate,
      I must inform you that color cannot lift color. Only Salon Full Foil Highlights or Salon “Color Correction” will take you lighter! That is why it is best for people TO GO TO THE SALON! Find a Salon in your area that uses less toxic color lines. My favorites are Wella Koleston Perfect or Infinity (a healthier line). Google both, call the salons in your area and ask what they use and if anyone can help you. Avoid Redken, obviously if there is something in it that makes you sick, also avoid Scruples, Clairol, Framesi, Goldwell, Schwarskoff (or any German line!) if it smells bad, it probably is bad! Blessings and hope. Addy

    • 42

      Addy says

      I use Kinesiology to test anything I put into or on my body! I also take Nux Vomica before I go to work. I am learning about other ways to absorb fumes around me at the salon. Drinking lots of water and Dandelion Root tea, Ginger…Newton Labs detox homeopathy remedy. We can research and read (listen to others experiences) all day. Listen to your body, it knows best! Wella does have PPD, its bleach lightner and color are THE BEST. Aveda has fabulous products…however its chemicals (color, perm, and lightner are VERY TOXIC, the dyes may be safer the catalyst is TOXIC and thats what opens the cuticle in the hair and scalp). Find the best homeopathy Dr. that uses Energy Testing and they can help you. Warren King is on Facebook and has his own Website, people travel from all over the world to see him and get food, and product testing, healing, advice…

    • 43

      PPD allergic says

      If you have hair dye allergies, especially if it is PPD, you have 2 choices #1 don’t color your hair or #2 use a PPD free product. I suppose you could add shave your head but not many of us want that look. I am in my mid 50’s developed my allergy in my 30’s. I didn’t color for a while, then tried having my hair dresser use papers and not touch my scalp-pretty color but it never completly stopped the allergic reaction. Now with the knowlege of the dangers these chemicals might have on my body I began trials of PPD free color. I HAVE TRIED THEM ALL!! The best by far and the easiest is palette by nature. The gray is difficult to color but repet applications will do it. I prefer my hair color to be dark brown with red highlights in it. I have used many of their colors( was black for a while-yuck), I have now hit upon a combo that works for me. I have used this for about a year. Have beautiful soft dark brown hair with red highlights. I no longer need to color my whole hair only the roots. I mix light chestnut brown and intense medium copper blonde. Because I only color the roots now, I can use one box about 3 applications. You don’t have to sit under a drier, or hold one for 40 minutes, just put a shower cap over your head to hold in the heat. I leave it on for much longer than the directions recommend, this is what covers the gray. And if gray is not covered well enough-do it again. I usually leave it on for about 1.5 hours. You have to find the time that works for you. Is this expensive? Have my trials of every product on the market and having a wacky new color of hair every month or so over the years been expensive and frustrating? OF COURSE!!! But I am a 56 year old that looks 36 and I want pretty hair without gray! These natural colors will NEVER look like the ones with PPD. So forget what your color used to look like before and either just stop coloring your hair or experiment! To me that’s like not having sex so you won’t get pregnant, there other alternatives!

      • 44


        PPD, I am so glad it worked for you. For some reason it didn’t for me. I do like your idea of just putting on a plastic cap for 1.5. Holding the dry for 40 minutes was so hard. Anna

      • 45

        cathy zises says

        PPD Allergic- I am a writer for Natural Health Magazine and would love to speak to you further about your experiences. Is there a tel I can reach you at? My office # is 212 743 6692 and I am in office next Mon and Tues.

    • 46

      Carol MacWhirter says

      I am a licensed cosmetologist and someone who is highly alergic to parapenylenediamine. I too am looking for a hair color solution. So far, here is what I’ve been doing and it has worked satisfactorily for me. I am a darker blonde with shades of blonde and light brown. My hairdresser uses traditional hair color with foils to keep it away from my skin. We use lots of foils. Once the foils are done, she paints the roots with the pallette by nature. This mutes the gray. My hair style is layered and not very long, so the roots are somewhat hidden. Pallette by nature does not give the look of the traditional hair color, but it certainly helps. This is a vanity solution only.

      I would also like to point out that I thought I hit the jackpot when I purchased a product by CHI Ionic. The front of the package says, “formulated without PPD and ammonia free”. I tried a patch test and had a reaction. As of this writing it’s been less than 24 hours, so I don’t know yet if it’ll blister. I can tell you it’s a bit red. Doesn’t seem to be as violent a reaction as with traditional colors. I just looked at the fine print and it says it contains phelylenediamines. What! How can they claim it’s formulated without PPDs? I just emailed them to find that out.
      Thank God I tested it first. I could have ended up in the hospital. I’m that allergic.

      • 47


        Carol, thanks for the idea. I would be outraged about that product that claimed no PPD. I think organic hair color systems highlights are PPD free. You should check. Your hair dresser would have to protect your scalp so much. Anna

    • 48

      Young and Desperate says

      Hi Everyone,

      Just thought I’d post to recap the past year of my hair dying experiences with Palette by Nature. Because I thought I was allergic to PPD, I knew PBN was my only PPD free option. I accepted the limitations and continued to dye my hair with PBN, but had my sister do it for me using a hair dresser sink. She was able to get most of the product out of my hair with the inital couple washes, so this solved the mess problem. In any case, turns out after many allergist appointments and tests, I am not allergic to PPD. My allergy turned out to be from dustmites – CRAZY! Timing was so coincedental with the hair dye application so I was so certain it was the PPD. I was wrong! That being said, for the past couple months I’ve been using regular hair dye (aka with PPD). I tried Organic Color Systems at a salon with a small amount of PPD which turned out great, and covered the stubborn grey completely. The only downside was I felt like it gave me a little orangy tone, which I didn’t like. Then once I tried the salon color, which I believe has more PPD. I’ll let you all know how that turns out and the details or the chemical make up.

      As for PBN, I’m going to stop using that for a while, since it turns out I’m not allergic to PPD. For those of you who are allergic to PPD and want to try PBN, let me know. I’d be happy share more best practices. Also, if anyone wants to buy the color from me which I already bought, but now won’t use, I can sell it at a discount. I have 1 Light Natural Brown, 2 Medium Natural brown, and 1 Grey Blending System (Dark). Thanks and good luck!

      • 49

        Also Desperate! says

        Unfortunately I am severely allergic to PPD and Color. I am allergic to textile (clothing) dye, food dye, all dyes!! I have had my cousin do my hair with foils all over my head and it has worked pretty well up to now but I think my allergy is worsening. She did my hair over a month ago and I am still reacting. It has almost gotten worse. My scalp is swollen, my lymph nodes are swollen on my head and neck, the burning and itching is unbearable. My dermatologist thinks I am an idiot to continue dying my hair but I am 38 and don’t want to be white haired. I am really at the end of my rope and willing to try anything!! I am thinking about trying the PBN and not letting it touch my head using the same foil all over my head technique. I also think the darker the dye the worse reaction for me. The last time she dyed my hair it turned out really really dark and this is the worst reaction I have had so far. I think I would like to try the Light Natural Brown if its still available? Sounds like I might need to use two boxes. Where can I buy more? Help!

  10. 50

    Young and Desperate says

    I will definitely check out those options, thank you. And I’ll be sure to come back on and share the results. Never thought about the vitamin B deficiency. I’m pretty sure my grays are genetic. My dad had a grey patch at 16 and my mom started going grey at 24. I guess I am fortuntate to have gone this long without dying my hair. :)

  11. 51

    Young and Desperate says

    I called a local salon a while back who uses Wella and they said there is PPD in that brand of hair color. I also went into an Aveda salon and saw for myself that their permanent color also has PPD. I will check on Infinity since Addy you said that it’s heathier. Anna, I found the website but I don’t see ingredients, either. I sent an email to the company with that question and I’ll post the response.

    On another note, Palette by Nature will exchange unused color if the box is closed. So that’s a plus. Though I will have to pay for shipping. I also had another positive customer service experience with this company. When I initially ordered the color and got it in the mail, the box was leaking all over. I emailed them and right away then sent me a new clean box of color.

  12. 52

    Mohsina says

    Hey Anna

    I would really want you to try Act Naturals and give us your valuable review. It seems Act Naturals are the actual formulators of PBN Hair Color formulas – Im not sure though.

  13. 54


    I am eagerly reading all of these posts. I used blond henna four times and it didn’t work. I have used PBN twice now and I REALLY like it. I am about 40-50% gray with light red hair. I have never used another product so I can’t compare. I am just trying to tint the gray blonde, not match my hair. I can’t believe how soft and full my hair feels and have not had any rinsing problems. The downside is it only lasts about 2 weeks but I can touch up with what’s leftover from the original job. It is time-consuming, 45 minutes under the dryer. But that does require a complete application every 3 weeks which adds up. For me the fact that it isn’t unhealthy means there will be some trade-offs. Either I graciously go gray or I have to pay a little more, and spend more time under the dryer (I bought a dryer bonnet so I can relax and read a book). But at least I’m not poisoning my skin. Until something better comes along…

    • 55


      Kim, this is great to hear. I think my problem is I am so dark and so gray. *Sign* Or perhaps my gray is just too stubborn. It barely covered me.

      It is funny that you said you got a bonnet. I looked at that too and was hoping PBN worked for me. I even looked for an energy efficient one!

      When did you start turning gray? Me? 18.

      • 56


        I was probably 35 so I can’t complain. I do think the bonnet makes a difference. It’s some fairly intense heat and I know the color is cooking evenly. I do tend to leave it on for an hour, I don’t know if that makes a difference. And I haven’t bought color-safe shampoos yet. That might extend the job. Are you using any hair color right now?

  14. 58

    Green Queen says

    Anna – I have no grey but do have mixed ethnicity super super fine easily damaged easily tangled hair and sensitive skin. Every boxed hair color I have used has left my hair brittle and dry and makes it snap and come out when I brush and wash so much more quickly, including Tints of Nature. I generally stick to demi-permanent low-ammonia salon colorings twice a year to get rid of my red and light brown undertones and take my color back to a dark chocolate brown. I like the results and my hair is generally shiny soft and healthier right afterwards however I really wish I could color more often without the dangers associated with using even low-level ammonia.

    At first seeing your review of Organic Color Systems I was so excited to find professional quality salon color with no ammonia and low PPD but then seeing it is made by the same company as Tints by Nature which I did not like was dismaying! I am worried that the products are very similar and that if I try OCS I will experience the same breakage as I did with Tints, do you know how similar the formulations are or what the difference is?? Perhaps the clarifying treatment the website recommends before color and the deep conditioning after prevents this from happening?

    Also I use John Masters Organics haircare and although I have been looking at several other natural brands with a high percentage of organic ingredients (The Organic Pharmacy, Rahua, Intelligent Nutrients, and Rare E’lements for those readers interested in high quality luxe organic haircare) I was interested to see in another post of yours that John Masters may be coming out with their own color line (apparently later this year) do you know anything else about this? Will you try it and review it when it comes out? Thanks so much for your reviews and help!!!! XOXO!!

    • 59


      Green Queen, you should try P by N. I does make your hair feel good but it is still box color.

      Did you call Organic Hair Color System in Florida? OCS makes Tints by Nature. You also might want to go to a salon which uses OCS which is the professional version of tints by nature. They will know what to do with your super fine hair. In fact, jump on over to that discussion (on organic hair color) and put in a similar comment about your issues with tints by nature. There is a tons of hair dressers who comment on the article. May be they can give some guidance. Anna

  15. 60

    Mandy says

    Nice to find this website…sad to see there are no solutions that seem workable for those of us with PPD sensitivities/allergies. After years of watching my post-dyeing symptoms get worse and worse, I finally concluded that the PPD is going to kill me. My “real” hair is 90% grey…or so my hairdresser tells me. I’ve tried Eco-Colours which have a small amount of PPD and had the worst reaction to date. Had to go to the doctor for that one.I belong to a message board for people like me and there just doesn’t seem to be a reasonable solution. I am so bummed. i don’t have the complexion or the mindset for grey!

    My hairdresser began adding blonde highlights (using peroxide) to my dark brown and this helps for awhile but the greys keep growing in and peroxide doesn’t touch grey. I’ve considered shampoo-in color but the safest one, Loving Care by Clairol, is no longer made.

    You simply cannot trust the companies to be honest with you. That’s been my experience. And if you have sensitivity to ppd you have to know how to find it in an ingredient list…it has many disguises and many “cousins” that are also dangerous. The FDA doesn;t care. The chemical was banned in Europe but the companies pushed and lobbied and now most european products are allowed to have up to 6% ppd. If you are allergic – 6% will knock you out! It’s like telling a person with a peanut allergy that there are only a few peanuts in the product.

    • 61

      Young and Desperate says

      Sorry about your troubles. I certainly feel your pain. I’m going to another allergist in a month to get a more specific ‘hair dresser’ patch test in hopes of finding out exactly what I’m allergic to. A few months ago I had small reaction to nothing. I haden’t even tried to die my hair but I woke up one morning and my eyes lids were swollen. Thanks for the info about Europe and PDD. I think the FDA requires PPD to be under 10% of a product. But I can’t find where I read that.

      Loving Care probably wouldn’t work to cover your gray anyway. It doesn’t do too much to change the colors of stubborn grays and only lasts 6 washes. If you wanted to try it, you can still order it on Amazon. Apparently some people saw it was no longer being manufactured and stocked up. Gotta wonder about that.

      Keep us posted with what you’re trying. My only update is PBN medium and light brown color got my hair close to my natural color (well I had to lighten it with some lemon juice because it was again almost black) and now I’m just seeing how long I can last before I go crazy with few the grays and feel the need to dye again.

      Part of me wants to quit my job and come up with a solution to all of our issues!

      • 62


        Young, I guess this is how new products are developed. They are in response to personal issues. Have you tried going to a chiropractor and getting muscle tested for sensitivities in addition to the doctor. You might be sensitive to certain chemicals that he or she might not pick up. Anna

      • 63

        skeptical says

        Isn’t PBN a henna product then? Henna products should not price so high as you can get them cheap at certain grocery stores. Modified henna products may try to fetch high prices. I’m thinking of using henna products myself if I can find a way to make it work with the almost dyed black hair I have. Just think Lucile Ball red hair color under black dyed hair, don’t think they match!

        Sorry to say as I read on, I felt I’m reading a commercial in some way. But thank you for introducing PBN product.

      • 65

        Mandy says

        I have not tried PBN…it sounds like a nightmare and I am worn out from trying. My hairdresser applies whatever I find so application isn’t an issue. Fear of reaction is! Those of us with allergies (and there are thousands of us) need a collective voice…we are scattered all over the place. Maybe ONE good company would hear us and see an opportunity for making money while meeting a need. I’d pay $50 for something that works!!

        I am ordering something from Italy called Na-Yo…no ppd. It p[robably has other horrible ingredients though. I will let you all know.

        I don’t care so much about covering the gray…blending would be okay. Shampoo in and temporary would be okay…but there is NOTHING out there.

          • 67

            Mandy says

            I am highlighting….but it is a temporary fix on a long term problem. The grey/white grows in and highlighting helps reduce the contrast between what was medium brown and is now mostly highlights …but eventually I will have a grey/white “cap” on top and blonde/gold highlights on the bottom. YUCK..

            I used to think that blonde shades didn’t have ppd.. and that if worse came to worst I could remove all color and just go blonde…I don’t know why I thought that – I think someone told me that. But it’s not true.

            The growing-out stage will be unbearable for me…I can’t exactly conduct business looking ridiculous!! I’m planning to stay in all winter and only go out when I can wear a hat (that must sound very dramatic!)…I could cut it real short but I have hard to manage hair and don’t know what I would do with real short hair…especially real short white/gray hair.

            I’m whining. I know it. It could be worse. At least i have hair.

    • 68


      Hi Mandy, I’m looking into a ppd-free product at the moment called Logona (not sure if anyone has mentioned this yet). It looks to me to be a henna type colour without all of the henna problems linked to it. The hair needs to be detoxified first (either a product they sell or potentially just baking soda and water in a paster over shampoo) and then the product applied. I haven’t done any tests with it so far but thought I would pass it on just in case. I do have a few clients that are able to use a PPD-free professional product called ‘nutrilux’ but it still has other ingredients similar to PPD. While some walk away with no irritation or reaction, others have the same reaction as they do to full PPD colouring.
      I hope this is of some help! Good luck and I’ll keep you in the loop should I find anything new!

  16. 70



    I am sorry that so many of you have had problems using Palette by Nature. As someone allergic to chemicals in hair dye I know how frustrating this is. I am always trying to find different brands that work for me and the readers of Natural Living for Women so I have tried some of those currently available like Naturtint, EcoColors, Tints of Nature and Palette by Nature. Would have liked to try SanoTint but had an intense reaction during the patch test.

    My results overall have been positive but I have found most products leave my hair feeling very dry and always use some kind of conditioner.

    Palette by Nature was no exception but judging by the replies above I seem to be in a minority. I have to wonder why. I am about 75% gray but I am thinking that possibly my hair a gray/blonde mix accepts color more easily than some other hair. Maybe the lighter shades are easier to use and more effective at gray coverage. I saw that several of you had issues with rinsing this product out and while I did try this product a while back I do not remember this being a problem. My short, fine hair might be easier to rinse though.

    If these same conditions apply to you you may find that Palette by Nature works for you too. If the expense doesn’t bother you I think it’s worth a shot especially since there are so few safe options.

    I did write a review of Palette by Nature including pictures. You can read this and info about other products at: http://www.natural-living-for-.....color.html

    I also noticed someone looking for ingredients in Aveda. I was able to get a copy of these from one of their salons and have them posted on NLW along with a review from one of my site visitors.

    Hope this helps.

    • 71

      Pam S says

      Pamela I too ad a reaction to Sanotint, I tested it on my arm and I looked scarred and it was hell for about a month, if I had used it I am not sure I would still be here.
      I am going to try PBN so lets see what happens.
      Thanks for the info.

  17. 75


    I’ve seen some curiousity in this discussion regarding Aveda colour and wanted to share what I know. Any colour technician or person who works for Aveda will be able to say “no, there is no paraphenylenediamine” in this product. This is a true statement, but all of their colours contain m-aminophenol, and o-aminophenol. Anyone with a severe allergy to PPD will react as though these are the same things. Word is that they are trying to come out with a truly PPD-free colour, so I’ll keep my ear to the ground on that, and also John Masters is launching a new colour line in the fall (supposedly)that may well be free of PPD. I’m not one to fill others with false hope, so I’ll be sure to update as soon as I find out. Oh, and has anyone heard of the ‘water colour’? Is this ppd-free? Good luck ladies!

  18. 76

    Annie says

    Like most permanent hair color, PPDs are most evident in darker hair dyes. Like Anna said, I don’t believe there any PPDS present when highlighting the hair (not using high lift color). The mixture is developer and Naturlite powder (blue or white). No PPDs there. The colour present in Naturlite blue highlighting powder is CI 77007 (Pigment Blue 29). If anyone can find PPDs in that then there are, but from my research it does not contain any. Just the color has small traces any where from (.03%-2%). The 2% is the black color (darkest).

  19. 77


    I stopped using chemical colours years ago on my scalp. For anyone that simply wishes to go a couple shades lighter, simply buy 3% bottle of h202 from the pharmacy and spray this into your hair and sit out in the sun. Leave for 30 minutes and then rinse out. Condition it well. If anyone is worried about h202, don’t be. I highly recommend you research h202. It’s a natural chemical created by you’re body anyway and at the 3% potency can do no real harm, but it lightens the hair well.
    I would also recommend if you’re grey, that you use h202 to “prime” the grey hair and open up the cuticles before you apply the natural colours as I suspect that this is the problem… resistant hair has tighter cuticles for the most part and h202 open cuticles a fraction. So you could do 30 mins with h202 on your hair combed through, then wash off, rinse and apply you’re colour as normal and the cuticles would probably be opened up nicely to allow the colour in much better. Well, having worked as a hairdresser and gained up to level 4 qualifications (one level to fully qualified), this is my tip.

    Frankly these days I’m happy to just lighten my hair up and just blend the sparse grey’s with a couple shades of blonde lighter.

    h202 is harmless at that potency and you can take it 50|50 and do it a lot more slowly if you prefer. Our bodies make h202 anyway and it is a great product to use on the skin…try dumping a couple bottles 6% h202 in you’re bath tub full and some epsom salts. Do it in the morning, as you will be full of energy foe the day. Visit earth clinic and hit the remedies tab and look up all the condition that h202 is being used for. Nuff said. Raw honey is full of the stuff by the way and you’re gut bacteria make it when you’re gut’s have too much bad bacteria. Once you get over the problem of using h202, you will use it and never think of it as a chemical again.

    • 78


      Valerie, is there a natural color that you can use once you open the cuticle? Actually hydrogen peroxide is used in hair color. I used a few drops in my ears to help with colds. It really works. Anna

      • 79


        Sorry for the late reply. Raw honey contains hydrogen peroxide (weak) I’ve heard. But you would need to leave that on the head for well over 6 hours to see a shade or two of lightness. Hit the long hair forums and you will see a few threads where ladies have lightened their hair with a mixture of Raw Honey and Cinnamon (for a brassy blonde). Or Raw Honey and Cardomon (sp?) for a silverish blonde.

        I know that h202 (hydrogen peroxide) sounds unnatural, but it is not. The h202 that is produced by the beneficial bacteria in you’re gut, and by neutrophylls (white blood cells) in you’re blood is exactly the same as the h202 in a bottle bought from you’re pharmacy. The h202 in hair products is 6% solution so it is stronger, and a little more caustic and can burn you’re scalp. I suspect they make it that strength so that people using it can colour their hair quickly. h202 in hair product is only there to lighten you’re hair to the shade required for the colour to take. It is not the most harmful ingredient in the product, and if it wern’t for it being at 6% strength, it would do you no harm. That’s why I say purchase 3% solution and use that directly on the hair. People are placing 3% solution in their ears to loosen ear wax. It is that safe. Not recommended around the eyes, but can be used everywhere else as a mild anti bacterial and anti fungal also and will do you’re skin no harm.

        It is only at the much stronger strengths that h2o2 is harmful and when it has the capbility of producing skin burns. If you are allergic to anything in the hair products, it will be all the other chemicals listed, and the fact that you’re using a 6% h2o2 solution which can irritate the skin (removing the acid mantle on the scalp) and allows deeper penetration of the said chemicals into the skin of the scalp.

        It may be useful for you to know that anything applied to you’re scalp will affect the whole face. Recently I developed an allergy and had itching scalp and had to apply beta Scalp solution (steriod). I could actually taste it. A lot of people when applying ammonia and bleach based products assume that if they can taste this it is the fumes I guess, but I can confirm that it is not. The solution will be getting into you’re blood stream via the scalp, and thats why you taste this in you’re mouth. Thats been a concern for me for many years now as a hair dresser. I stopped working as one because of the chemicals and the fact that it affected the skin on my hands a great deal as well as washing hair. I had bad eczema on the hands that would never clear. I could not work with rubber gloves much, and even shampooing a clients hair irritated my skin condition (and you cannot really wear rubber gloves to shampoo a clients head).

        If anyone has scalp burns, or allergic reaction, I would visit you’re GP in that instance and get them to prescribe Beta Scalp or another type of steriod or anti histamine cream until the scalp irritation settles. I would seriously advise that people limit their use of those types of hair products. Am unsure about the natural products myself or the ingredients in them. Google is you’re firned on that front. Google every ingredient listed. Even skin products penetrate the skin much as the ingredients in a hormone or nicotine patch, and get directly into you’re blood stream. Pays to only put stuff on you’re skin that you would eat in my opinion. That includes not using hydrogentated oils on you’re skin but extra virgin raw organic varieties. Cheers.

        • 80


          I forgot to add that the bottles of 3% h202 solution bought from the pharmacy sometimes contain additives. If you are going to really get picky about all additives in everything then it pays to check – it will state on the side of the bottle what has been added. If it only states that there is h202 in the bottle, there will be no stabilisers and addtives added.

          If you do not want to use h202 that has stabilisers added, you can buy 35% food grade h202 solution and dilute it 1:11 with pure distilled or spring water down to a 3% solution. (That’s one part 35% h202 and 11 parts water). Don’t use chlorinated tap water as chlorine will react with the h202 irregardless as to how weak a solution it is. This will give you h2o2 as natural as you can get it as it is produced by the body. You can water the 3% solution down to 1.5 % for a milder effect by adding 1 part water to 1 part 3% solution. Use that mixture immediately or store it in a tightly capped bottle or it will lose it’s strength/potency over time.

          When handling 35% take safety precautions. Rubber gloves, goggles. Google safety precautions when handling h2o2 and it should give you an idea. Use a funnel to pour solution from the 35% bottle so you get no spills. Cheers.

    • 81

      skeptical says

      My naturalist sis used h202 before she dyed her hair since a long time ago. All you need is to remember to condition your hair with a good conditioner. Valerie, we can be allergic to natural products too, but can you recommend natural products to use to cover gray? I’m allergic to almost all commercial products in varying degrees, and am tempted to mix henna and other products like coffee and tea to cover my gray hair. My hairdresser said I still have non gray hair last week when I got my hair dyed, hooray! Back to henna, Valarie, do you have experience with henna? Does it weigh hair down with multiple coating?

  20. 82

    Laura says

    Thanks ya’ll. I have severe reactions to PPD and saw this site while I am conducting my research for a new hair product. So far the reviews point
    to Organic Color Systems-Tints by Nature or Sanotint, but will have to do a patch test.
    I still have welts and itching from my last color 6 weeks ago. This is horrible.

  21. 83


    Organic Color Systems wrote tw0 articles about coloring grey hair and hair dye allergies for my blog a while back and I learned something very helpful. I had tried Sano Tint without ppd and had a bad reaction, which really surprised me, while doing the patch test. In discussing my reaction with the women at Organic Color Systems I discovered that in some instances ppd’s are replaced with other hair dye intermediates. I asked them to address this in their blog post and ptd’s or 4-toluenediamine was discussed as a similar replacement and also an allergen.

    I checked the ingredients for Sanotint ppd free hair dye and found toluene-2,5-diamine listed as an ingredient that may be in their product. (I am guessing but it is probably in some colors but not others.) The similar sounding name caught my eye so I checked it out and found that it like ppd and ptd is a hair dye intermediate and is also listed as an allergen on the Skin Deep Database.

    So, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you are positive you are allergic to ppd’s and you choose a hair dye that is ppd free always do the patch test anyway. I know they are a hassle but it needs to be done. Leave it on the recommended time and I find that doing the test on the skin behind my ears is the most accurate.

    If you are interested to read the blog posts written by Organic Color Systems check them out at Natural Living for Women
    Pamela´s last blog post ..Surya Henna Best for Women with Greyer Hair

  22. 84

    Elane says

    There are circumstances that sometimes requires a little cautions in which our health is greatly at stake. As we speak of assurance to health it definitely includes keen observation and examining the products that were using right now. Check it out and be assured that it does great not just dying your hair but also to your scalp.
    Elane´s last blog post to stop hair loss

  23. 85

    Kristy says

    I am a hairstylist that uses Organic Color systems haircolor for 3 years now. It may not be completely chemical free, but it is the best thing out there for you with the best results for grey coverage. I used to use Goldwell color. It was very strong. I am glad I found OCS. I would never go back to others. They have a nice perm too, that is WAY better than salon perms. My grey is stubborn too, but OCS covers it. My hair is in better shape than it ever has been. I color every 5-6 weeks. I am about 30% grey. I am 41. I think someday they will find a way to take out more of the bad chemicals…..

  24. 86

    sonia says

    i am highly allergic to normal hair dye. i tried the expensive palette by nature and found the same results. did not color alot of the gray and my hair felt hard without alot of shine. cant understand though, why it is a two step process. can anyone give me the answer? what would happen if you mixed the base and dye together for a one step? can anyone suggest another product i can use? i have been hospitalized several times on normal dyes.

  25. 87

    mary lou says

    pallete by nature is GARBAGE. its a scam. I have only 10% gray hairs and i used an entire bottle. I even bought a bonnet to use with my blowdryer. i blow dryed the pallete by nature dye on my head for 45 minutes on high. My head felt like it was on fire because of the heat. I thought it would come out great but none of the hair got colored in. by the way the hair dye is perfect for dying the skin but not the hair. I had to use the special cleanser they gave to remove the dye from my skin and it really stinged and irritated my skin. this product is terrible. A week later i colored with revlon and all 100% gray covered in 25 minutes. i bought revlon for $2.99. pallete by nature is a scam, they play on your fear of cancer to sell you a product that does not work. please save your self the trouble and be realistic. look at their returns policy. it speaks louder than any comment. they themselves don’t believe in their product because there is no 100 % satisfaction guarantee. also they charge restocking fee. Please understand that this product is bad, horrible, terrible, scam, fake, misleading, and waste of time. I hope you will not be their next victim. I sure was but wanted to take the time to say that i’m so sorry I doubted ANNA @ Green Talk. I read her review and thought maybe my outcome would be different since I have only 10% gray but it was terrible. Please don’t fall for their trap.

    • 88


      Mary Lou,

      I even said in my review that the product might work for someone that didn’t have as much gray hair as me. So, I don’t think this counts as doubting me. I wish you had a better experience than me. I wasn’t thrilled with their customer service either.

      I am so glad you posted about your experience. You might want to try Tints by Nature which is Organic Hair Color’s box color. It has a low amount of PPD. I haven’t tried it myself since I use their salon color and love it.

      Thanks again for posting! Hope to see you around the blog. Anna
      Anna@Green Talk´s last blog post .. Arsenic in Organic Brown Rice Syrup. Who’s to Blame?

    • 89

      skeptical says

      I can see that you’re upset with PBN, but why make yourself suffer more over a bad product? Someone bought me a box of Revlon because I’m always complaining about different hair color products, but I wouldn’t want to use Revlon even if it’s $2 a box. Try other products until you find one that works. There’s a natural way to keep your hair pitched black, but I haven’t figured what it is yet. As a little girl, I saw a domestic helper using some sort of liquid to wash her long hair to keep it from showing gray, and her hair is always shiny black. Black hair definitely beats gray, right? If anyone knows what it is, please tell. Thanks.

  26. 90

    Charu says

    Hi All

    Have been trying to deal with grey hair and avoided PPD containing hiar dyes as they would make my hair fall and scalp itch. I have dark hair and 70 % grey. I have used henna for many years ( 2 hrs at a time) followed by indigo ( natural – pure crushed leaves of indigo plant) for an hour after rinsing out henna. Unfortunately though it covers the grey hair it leaves it feeling coated with indigo staining the skin and leaving stains on bedclothes for a few days as described by someone above who used PBN. The best thing is to shampoo out one’s hair with dilute shampoo soon after rinsing out the indigo and using gloves all along. I feel that PBN is probably 100 % pure as indigo is what causes the staining if clothes and skin as described by someone above. I have read terrible info about organic color systems containing something more toxic than PPD and am v wary. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to anything on the market with results like those of a PPD containing dye but am making do with henna – indigo combination for now… the hair however doesn’t feel as it used to. Will keep visiting this forum for new ideas !

  27. 91

    Lana says

    Last year in April I noticed flakes on my black sweater, it was rather embarrasing to say the least. I was more concerned with others noticing this so I am not sure my training with assiociates went all that well. In October of last year my head started to really itch and noticed that I had welts. I would scratch at night not realizing what I was doing and my scalp would bleed on to the sheets, this was also happening to my upper chest and neck. After years of going to the dermotolgist to find out what the heck is going on they finally prescribed a patch test. That in it self was agonizing…..when they took off those 50 pisky chemicals they gasped and of course this scared me, they had never seen such a strong reaction to PPD or phenylenediamine. The hair dye I was using was killing me slowly. Oh yeah, I also failed to mention my hair has been falling out as well. I am despret to find a color with out PPD and from all your posts I do not see any chance to cover the grey. I have dark brown hair and like you it started early in my 20’s, I often speak in public and would accept any recommendation of where to turn…..

    • 93

      PPD allergic says

      Hi, on this blog you have probably read about many products, you have a PPD allergy. You will no longer be able to color your hair as you used to. This doesn’t mean you have to go grey. But you will have to give in and accept that your hair will not look like it did with PPD containing dyes. Some people on this blog are simply wanting a more natural product, when they try to use a low or no chemical product with no PPD they are disapointed with the results. Then these people have sometimes opted to use a product which is much lower in chemicals and has a very low amount of PPD. It works beautifully in a lot of cases, they are very happy because they have soft, evenly colored hair, and the product was relatively inexpensive. They curse the natural PPD products because they didn’t cover the grey, made there hair feel harsh and coated and less than soft, and were expensive. So they think they have found the answere for them and they can throw away the PPD free products. Well for them they might have found the answere. But for you and me and all of the other true PPD allergic, that will never be the answere again! If you want to color you will have to experiment with different products, different colors, and different combinations of colors, until you can find something you can live with. This will be frustrating, but if you want to color you will do it, and you’ll get smart and creative, but you will probably settle on something that doesn’t look like you did before. But the alternative-is grey. I have done all of this experimenting, spent a lot of money and have finally settled on something that works for me. I use Pallette by Nature, a combo of light chestnut brown and intense medium copper blond. I have long hair, with extensions. I only color all my hair about twice a year, usually just before I am getting my extensions replaced. The rest of the time I only color the new growth. The results of this is dark brownhair with red and copper highlights. The grey hair seems to take on the red and copper colors easier. Most of the brown doesn’t get darker than my original hair color, but some of it does. So the colors I have in my hair are very dark brown, brown, red and copper. I tell myself this looks like I just have highlights. I actually get a lot of compliments on my hair. Is it perfect ? NO! But it’s not GREY! I leave the color on a long time for the new growth touch up. There is more grey there. Sometimes this is hours. Without chemicals this does not damage your hair. I also mix the 2 bottles together and I don’t apply them separately. In the initial product when the company was called act by nature this is what you did so I just kept it up. I have found with the touch up at the roots you don’t need any special conditioner, but when you color all over you will need to use a heavy duty conditioner like an ethnic product that contains olive oil. You leave this stuff on with a cap on your head for at least 20 minutes, I of course leave it on a lot longer. I also use in between times, a Rusk keratin care product conditioner for shine. I truely have very pretty dark shiney hair, with some colored highlights. I think I said everthing, hope this helps

      • 94


        PPD, thank so much for commenting again. Can you tell me how long do you think you have to keep the root application on for to get the red highlights. I do agree if you are PPD allergic, you have no choice to use this product or nothing else. I think Organic Hair Color now has a PPD highlights, which may be an alternative.

        So, just so I understand, you color your roots with a lighter color but your original hair is darker. Mine is dark brown. I use a 5N. Anna
        Anna@GreenTalk´s last blog post ..Coffee Grounds for Your Compost. Get Your Brew Right.

  28. 95

    Hannah says

    I have recently started to get grey hairs and was sick of the burning and itching of my scalp. I was advised to try a natural product in order to avoid the allergic reaction. I ended up in the emergency room with my whole face, scalp and eye swollen. My head was covered in puss and my body covered in a rash. I spent two days withou the ability to see and then 5 more with swelling that increased in severity with everyday. I’ve had slight reactions to PPD in the past, but this was extreme. After researching PPD I found articles of girls who died after applying hair colour to their head. This is ridiculous. I just ordered Palette by Nature, because it’s my only option right now. Reading your description of how it felt like a coating and didn’t quite work makes me extremely sad. It was my last hope and being in Canada I paid over 80 dollars with the shipping costs added.

    I will do the patch test of course, but is this product not PPD free like they state? Should I avoid this at all costs??

    • 96

      Hannah says

      My apologies-I didn’t mention that I used herbatint from a health food store. This product may contain one or two organic products, but it contains a massive amount of very harmful chemicals as well.

      • 97

        Sonia says

        sorry to tell you, you have wasted your money on pallette. i am like you, serious allergic to hair dye resulting in hospitalization. i purchased this for both myself and my husband. IT DOES NOT WORK. DOES NOT COVER GRAY! AT ALL!!! LEAVES YOUR HAIR HARD TO THE TOUCH. not worth the time or money i spent. bought 100 worth of product for free shipping that is in the garbage. i have been using a semi-permanent hair color which is clairol beautiful colors. no allergic reaction to this for years, the only problem is it washes out in about 8 shampoos, but makes your hair full and shiny. i have been using for years. i just tried herbatint yesterday as a patch test and lo and behold, ate through my skin. at wits end so back to clairol until another product is tried!

  29. 100

    Evelyn Crawford says

    Stumbled here searching for an alternative solution for my present hair color. I have also been coloring my hair since my 20s. For the past decade or so I’ve been veering to more natural alternatives as I discovered them. For the past few years I have been using a product from LUSH cosmetics called Caca Brun. It has worked for me HOWEVER I have discovered that the company actually supports terrorism in the Middle East and my conscience cannot support such a company. I am quite horrified. The product is primarily cocoa butter/henna/coffee based and I was wondering if you know of any similar alternatives? Tremendous thanks for your help.

    • 101


      Evelyn, I use organic hair color systems because I am all gray. Do you have gray hairs too? I can’t vouch for this product since I haven’t used it but I saw Henna Hut was recommended in You Tube video. Anna

  30. 102


    I am a hairdresser who is uniquely situated to be knowledgeable about the ingredients in the products that I use because my husband is a Cosmetic Chemist. I have been using Organic Color Systems for over 5 years and would never use anything else. All permanent hair colors, or any other product that has color, has some level of PPD’s or PTD’s in them as these are the chemical names for “pigment”. Any product that has less than 1% of any single ingredient in it can claim that they are “free” or even “100% free” from that ingredient and do not have a legal requirement to list it on the ingredients label, except for some ingredients that are regulated as exceptions. The only reason why Organic Color Systems discloses that they have any PPD’s in them is that they have a strong commitment to transparency, nothing more. We have done countless tests on all so-called PPD free or PTD free hair colors and they ALL have some PPD or PTD in them. If they did not, they simply would not work. It’s that simple. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do a patch test regardless of what the label claims they are free of. Then, try Organic Color Systems because it is truly a revolutionary product that is incredible in every way.

    I am biased towards Organic Color Systems because it enabled me to return to hairdressing after a long and severe battle with cancer. My husband and I did not take this move without serious research, testing, and consideration for my delicate and valued health. This product has changed my life in so many profound ways and I take issue to any hair color that advertises as PTD or PPD free because they either do not work or are misleading.

    Also, please note that false “PPD free” claims like the ones that PBN seem to be making was responsible for a teen’s death in the UK last year This is very irresponsible behavior.
    Denise Young´s last blog post ..Natural Hair Color Basics

    • 104


      I just had a horrible experience after applying clairol medium brown dye, My right eye was severely swollen skin rash burning flaking scalp, ect…. Im 34 years old and have thin dry hair does anyone have any suggestions for me, Im affraid palett by nature might be to heavy on my thin hair !

  31. 107

    Mohsina says

    we are an eco cosmetics dealer based in UAE. Its a small company and I try my best to source best possible products and effective I can get my hands on. I agree with PBN contents happen to be the only choice for completely natural solution to extremely sensitive users. However due to their ad service, no response to fone msgs or emails we stopped dealing with them. I’m currently looking at another product call seem to have same ingredients and talking to them they told me they were the parent company of PBN who purchased the formula from them. I’m not sure of the authenticity of their statements but please give me your reviews if anyone has tried them. Price points are the same.

    • 108

      skeptical says

      If PBN is not good, then what does it say about Act Naturals which uses the same formula?

  32. 109

    grandmommy says

    here’s a follow up to my comments of March 2011:

    Having had breast cancer twice and two brain tumours, I am determined not to use chemical products any more. A year ago I reported that the best, easiest solution I had found was Palette by Naure’s Grey blending system…it was quite easy to use, but had only two shades, neither of them right for me. Over a long enough period of time, I became dissatisfied with the colour I was achieving, and started looking again for a solution.

    I caught on that Palette by Nature and Act by Nature (actnaturals,com) were originally one and the same…must have split over some business problem…now their products and prices seem almost the same, except that Act by Nature does not offer the Grey Blending system. Importantly for me, Act by Nature has one colour that Palette by Nature does not carry (Chocolate Mahogany) and that happens to be exactly the colour I want. So I thought I had finally found my solution. However, Act by Nature has an even worse Customer Service department than Palette by Nature…I got so discouraged trying to get a response to my emails that I started looking around again for another option.

    As far as my experience using the permanent colour from both companies is concerned, I found that:

    -timing is super important in that you have to get heat on it right away! get your partner to clean up the bathroom while you super-quickly cover with a plastic cap and start the drier.

    -I bought a fabric hood attachment for my blow drier, so can sit and watch TV while it cooks…to cover the grey and make the colour last I spend 30 or 40 minutes with the heat on, and then wear the sh0wer cap around for a long time after that as it gradually cools off…you won’t harm your hair by leaving it on.

    -I have not had a problem washing the colour out…use lots of conditioner, then a second wash and condition. after that, the colour stayed on my hair…doesn’t even stain my pillow.

    -speaking of getting your partner to clean the bathroom, the colour BADLY stained our acrylic tub…it is fading very slowly but still there after more than 6 months despite every cleanser/bleach/lemon juice/whathaveyou …I lean over the tub to disperse the colour through my hair…now I know enough to have water in the tub so if you get spills in the tub it is diluted AND get your partner to clean it up right away.

    MOHSINA: as far as I can tell, Act by Nature and Palette by Nature are offering the same products, having split from each other, with the exceptions I mentioned above.

    ANNA: this whole topic is discouraging for anyone trying to find a truly natural (not necessarily organic) hair colour. Since you have several different threads going on this topic, read everything, and have developed the ability to notice the subtle but important differences in wording about ingredients, would you consider doing a summary of your findings for us?

    -At this time, are Palette by Nature and Act by Nature the only truly natural products available?

    -I read somewhere that Palette by Nature and Act by Nature both contain some kind of colour salts that are not safe…but I suspect this may be a myth put out by other colouring companies who are trying to bash the competition, while disguising the PPD and other chemicals in their own products by using different names, slightly changed formulations, and so forth.

    – How could we find out if these products are actually derived only from plants, and if they are totally safe?

    -OHMYGOD!! I just went to the (Act by Nature) website to check that I had the company name right, and got the message that they have gone out of business. SIGH. back to the drawing board.

    ANNA: what about merging the threads on all natural hair colour, and doing a summary for us?

    getting pretty discouraged,

  33. 111


    Hi grandmommy, After having a severe allergic reaction to clairol natural instinc amonia free, I have been reading alot on the subject I came across sanotint light by la vita Nuova inc. Im tempted to order the natural brown the highlighting kit shampoo and conditioner, I heard their classic sanotint does contain a little ppd but was told sanotint light does not have any ppd amonia or any other of those harsh chemicals, this is something you might be interested in researching, tomorrow im trying sage leaves brewed for half an hour let sit for 2 hours with a little rosemary a lady tried this with 70% white hair said she had to do this once a week until she got the desired brown color she wanted and once a month afterwards at this point I have nothing to loose from trying a natural product i make my self as I am still very scared of chemicals being in hospitals and missing days work again…. over all I am a healthy 34 year old with white roots not willing to let them show more than they already do! If any one here has ever used sanotint your feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!!

  34. 112


    Could I just make a relevant point here. Even herbals can be cancer causing as there are some herbals out there that act like xenoestrogens as well as being phetogestrogens and I would be extremely wary about putting any product on my head if I had had brain tumours or brain cancer as everything you apply to the skin and scalp is absorbed. The skin is an organ.

    Your health needs to come first, and gray hair is not as bad as the outcome if you cause any health issues with hair colour applications.

  35. 113

    Valerie says

    The following link leads to an article that talks about Lavender and tea tree oil for example being estrogenic. So much so that two young boys developed gynecomastia (breasts) just using the stuff in shampoos or skin applications and there have now been studies this confirm this.

    There are a LOT of other herbals and ingredients in natural products that have the same effect, and I would advise that you do a search for such ingredients, to find a comprehensive list if what can have the same effect, and check ANY natural product that you’re using. I was shocked to come across this above article and read about the studies.

    As you know cancer can grow quite rapidly in the presence of estrogen, so it is a case of just avoiding anything that can raise your estrogen levels. Your skin is very absorbent and a lot of the stuff you put on it can be absorbed much more quickly than consuming it orally.

    I really would be careful what you use, and even evaluate if you really need to use it if you are still having appointments after cancer treatments and still in the time frame where you need regular checks with an encologist.

    • 115

      grandmommy says

      wow. beyond shocked. I avoid soy, and lots of herbs that I know are phytoestrogenic, but I was still totally naive about the potential harm from such natural sounding ingredients as lavender in a personal care product.

      we actually had a related event in our family, when my son and husband both began to develop breast lumps while using a protein powder that turned out to be mainly soy protein…luckily we figured that out, and the problem disappeared when they eliminated the soy from their diets.

      so do you have a good place to research the estrogenic or other metabolic effects of plant extracts? I don’t think Skin Deep covers this sort of topic, does it?

      thanks for the heads up, grandmommy

      • 116

        skeptical says

        I lost someone to cancer and heavy use of soy products might have contributed to it. But soy was introduced and raved as a healthy product. Who knew!

        Grandmommy, seems like you’ve a happy family there, and let’s pray that you continue to share that happiness with your family. We’re all vain to want to change our hair color and keep gray out. You don’t need that vanity and risk your health. Silver hair or whatever %age gray hair you may have would still look good if you keep it natural and shiny, of course, with an updated coif. Think about going au naturale. Peace.

  36. 117

    Valerie says


    The term phytoestrogen means a type of natural estrogen devived from some foods and herbals such as ginseng, red clover etc. If you do a simple search for a list of phytoestrogens on Google, it should throw up quite a lot.

    Xenoestrogens are chemicals that act like estrogen when they’re taken up into the body orally or via skin. They can be leached from plastic wrap (that we wrap food in) polystyrene cups or anything plastic that we eat from that is not BPA free.

    When either xenoestrogens or phytoestrogens are taken into the body, they act like estrogen. However, they cannot provide the same functions as a genuine estrogen molecule in your body. They may not for example help in the conversion of estrogen to other needed hormones etc because they don’t have the same traits.

    In exposing yourself to them, they are capable of taking up the space on estrogen receptors in your body (such as breast tissues etc) and because of the estrogen receptors being filled, this leaves less receptors for your own estrogen to fill. Not to mention that taking so much “extra” estrogen into the body causes a situation called “estrogen dominance” whereby your estrogen levels are much higher than your progesterone levels.

    If you do a search for estrogen and cancer growth you will find that excess estrogen levels cause rapid growth of tumours and cancer cells. Cancer needs estrogen for growth. Progesterone (opposes estrogen) normally would balance your own bodies estrogen levels, because “natural” estrogen is converted to progesterone eventually and this balances any situation where you have excess estrogen. However, if your natural estrogen is not getting to the receptors, and the fake stuff is taking its place as well as having much higher levels, then your own hormones feedback mechanisms cannot assist and cancel out the issues.

    The only way to avoid the above situation is to avoid taking any pill such as synthetic hormone pill, or avoid anything that mimicks estrogen when it is absorbed by your skin or swallowed as a supplement. That means xenoestrogen or phytoestrogens.

    It’s said that the menopause symptoms are actually a similar imbalance to the above and when we take either a synthetic or natural “prescribed” estrogen the same thing occurs. Likewise when we use some of the natural products orally or on the skin, those phytoestrogens are also robbing space on the receptors. This is why some women try the products and don’t feel much better.

    There is a lot of information out there and I would highly recommend researching those two estrogen terms and then completely removing any products that contain anything containing them. I did a lot of research a few years ago as we have breast cancer in the family and I simply wanted to reduce the risks.

    I would also recommend that the lady above removes roll on anti perspirant if her encologist has not already asked her to avoid the use of it as it contains many estrogenic substances, but because of the nature of the way it works, the estrogen is locked into the breast tissue and cannot escape via perspiration as it normally would. So estrogen levels build up in the breast tissue and glands. Hope that helps to explain, it’s about as simple as I can make it.

    • 118


      Valerie, thank you so much for that wonderful explanation. So do you think bio-identical are not the way to go for menopausal symptoms? (I know this off track, but you peeked my interest.) Anna

  37. 119

    Valerie says

    I don’t personally believe they are and there is a lot of opinion out there coming to the same conclusion now. Any estrogen above your natural levels would be a problem if you have a hormone sensitive condition such as cancer.

    Also there is so much in the environment that we cannot control (waterways from chemicals and also from soils getting into veggies, or hormones in meat) that you really are probably getting too much of the wrong type already.

    A lot of women’s menopause symptoms ease when they clean up their diet, or reduce their exposure without even going to the bioavailable type anyway from my understanding.

    Most western diseases are virtually non existent in non westernised women such as chinese or south african tribes women. I think that says a lot.

    • 120

      skeptical says

      That is what we are led to believe – westerners are not healthy as vs non westernised groups. They also have various diseases that’s we suffer. When we read statistics, we need to know how the base it’s drawn. I question statistical results too (see my screen name?). It’s exercise mostly that we lack that caused most diseases, I believe, and compound that with junk or unhealthy foods and chemicals laden products, we’re of course more prone to develop diseases.

      We would be healthier if we eat less or no meat or meat products, and exercise an hour a day. Take up a clean and relaxing hobby. And you may find your health condition improved.

      • 121


        Skeptical, thanks for all of your comments! I have to agree with you on soy since it is in so much of our food. I only eat tofu or tempeh. Vanity is part of our culture. I too suffer from it since I went gray in my 20s. So, I hope the beauty industry steps it up and produces a PPD free product since so many people are allergic to it. Anna

  38. 122


    Just spent the better part of 30 min. reading all these comments concerning a natural hair coloring product. I am extremely allergic to PPD and will check into two products mentioned that I’ve never heard of, Ya No and Logona. Anyone tried them yet? I think there are more and more women, that have been long time users of chemical laden hair dyes, becoming allergic to these products. Knowing there are thousands of desperate women willing to pay decent $ for a safe quality product I don’t know why the big name companies, L ‘Oreal, Clariol, etc. haven’t come out with one. I’ll keep checking here to see if anyone has found anything new.

  39. 124

    Tudy says

    I followed the instruction exactly, even purchased a heat bonnet to use with the product. But it did not work for me. My grays are still gray, my scalp is dark and itchy. I already purchased 2 boxes so I might give it another try to see if the “cumulative effect” works better.

  40. 126

    KC says

    I am looking for a safe hair dye free of toxic chemicals. I tend to have sensitive skin, so am really worried about breaking out. I’ve never dyed my hair before, and have no gray hairs. I have medium/light brown hair and am looking to go a bit more blonde. I’m not sure if I really want to dye all my hair at this moment. Just looking for something that will work to lighten my hair up a bit.
    I’ve done a bit of research and found Sanotint, but many of the reviews I found say it actually does contain PPD just listed under another name. Many of the reviews also stated that they had terrible allergic reactions. So…I’m not sure if i really want to try it.

    Do you think Palette by Nature would work for me since I’m not covering up gray hairs?? I read the ingredients for one of their blonde dyes and it listed henna… I don’t really know anything about henna, but it seems like it adds a heavy coating to your hair. Is that correct? Also, since it contains no PPD can I only go 2 shades lighter?
    I’m grateful for any other company suggestions!
    Thanks for all the help!

    • 127


      KC, my understanding is PBN won’t lighten your hair. I don’t know alot about hennas. You could always highlight which is not as intensive as coloring. Check with Organic Hair Color System in Florida. ( I think their highlights are PPD free.

      When I wanted to go lighter years ago, I highlighted. Maintenance was about every quarter rather than every month when you color. Anna

  41. 128

    Kris E says

    Palette by Nature…Personal Review
    I don’ t agree with or dispute any claims made in this article/blog. But I’m hoping my comments might help others who find themselves like me severely allergic to dyes and perfumes. This allergy diagnosis literally changed my life a few years ago not only in the products I used on my hair and body but also the products I used for laundry, foods containing dyes I could no longer eat or in high moderation etc. Now to my hair….I went completely grey, nearly white in my mid to late twenties and had chemically colored my hair on a regular basis since then at age 50. Unfortunately, I had to completely, cold turkey, stop because of what the allergy was doing to my skin. While my inner person never changed my outer person and my thoughts of my personal appearance changed dramatically. I hated how I looked and I felt like I was 70 instead of 50. Palette by Nature has totally saved me and how I felt about myself. I started with one color and it wasn’t quite the color I wanted to then purchased two different colors and mix them together to achieve the color I want. I have a friend who is a cosmetologist so I take the product to her and she applies and I set under her dryer to activate the color. If I didn’t have this option I would most definitely purchase a bonnet dryer and still do it myself.
    Now, here are a couple of tricks we’ve learned along the way:
    1) Sit under the dryer for about 15-20 minutes to activate the coloring process. Turn the dryer off for about 10 minutes to let the color set and the product cool down. Finally turn the dryer back on for another 15-20 minutes to activate the color a second time.
    2) Rinse out the product. DO NOT use the cleanser product that comes in the box as I have found that it rinses away too much of the color. Use a SMALL amount of shampoo (theirs or brand of your choosing) to finish rinsing the product out.
    With those two tricks I have found that this product while no does not last as long as the traditional chemical coloring products will last about 6 weeks. One thing I really like is that the color fades away rather than grows away as the chemical coloring products do so I don’t experience that regrowth color line at the roots so much.
    Thanks for letting me give you my thoughts and as I said I hope that this will only help someone else in my same situation or someone looking for an alternative to chemical hair colors.

    • 129


      Kris, thank so much. What color are you now? I am white too now. I actually dried my hair with a hand dryer for a really long time per their instructions. Do you think the cooling then re-heating is the trick?

      • 130

        Kris says

        Hi Anna,
        I don’t use a hand blow dryer so can’t speak to what the results would be. Although I would think they wouldn’t be as good because you don’t get that all over constant heat source like a bonnet. They do make attachments for hand blow dryers to turn them into bonnets.
        I use a bonnet dryer in my friends salon (private shop) and yes sit under it for about 15-20 minutes to activate the coloring process, then turn it off and let my hair cool down for about 10 minutes then back under the dryer for another 15-20 minutes to activate the color a second time.
        The second trick was to NOT use that cleanser product that comes in the package but to just use a small amount of shampoo after rinsing.
        One think I forgot to mention in my first post was there is some color residue left on your scalp and I suspect it’s because of the longer processing but it washes away after a couple of shampoos.

      • 131

        Kris says

        I also didn’t mention that with this product I can order it in an unscented formula which for allergy sufferers like myself was another huge plus.

    • 133


      Lorriane, you got me all excited that you found another great product. As I read the ingredients, it contains Toluene-2,5-Diamine, which is just as bad as PPD. My understanding is companies have to double the amount to create the same effects as PPD. Do you know anything about their formulation? Anna

  42. 134

    Kendra says

    I just tried surya henna cream. No smell and was fairly easy to use. I’m about 20% gray. But I’m thinking I look better with the gray. I think I’ll just go Gray and thank God I’m alive. I think white hair is pretty. I’m a brunette, 49 years old, and only started with a few gray hairs at around 39. Didn’t think it was enough at the time to worry about. Getting more now, but just had a hysterectomy last August for Endometrial cancer. I’m not for anything that may add to the cancer possibilities. Once you’ve had that diagnoses, you never forget the feeling. I’m cancer free thank GOD and not planning on going back. I’m very chemically sensitive anyway. I tried Palette by Nature and I couldn’t tolerate the smell. I’ve never used permanent hair dyes of any type, mostly because I know they smell. I liked the Surya henna, but It has made my hair a little redder than I like. I may decide to go natural and love my hair as it grays. I can understand wanting to dye it, but it’s expensive and can kill us. Is vanity worth it? Not for me. I’ve seen some great hairstyles with gray hair, and it’s really fierce. I think that’s my choice. If a haircolor comes out that I decide is safe enough, I may try it.

    • 136

      grandmommy says

      hi Anna and Kendra,
      you’ll see some old posts of mine from ages ago, and realize that I am still not ready to settle for gray!

      re the Surya Henna…I have read that it is the same formulation as Colora Henna Creme, only more expensive. I have just tried the Colora Henna Creme.

      -the Colora Henna Creme was so simple to use…no mess, no mixing, no drip…the only downside is that it needs to be left on 2 hours (or less if heated for a while). the coverage is pretty good…I believe that a second coat will do the job, and then I could re-colour every 4 weeks or so to get the roots as they come in. I used Mahogany, and was a bit disappointed that the highlights are more caramel than red, but still it looks pretty natural.

      -here’s the problem: Colora actually makes two henna products…one is pure henna. but the Henna Creme (which is so simple to use, no mess, etc.) is NOT pure henna. the label says it MAY CONTAIN the following:

      Solvent Black 5, Disperse Blue 1, Basic Violet 14, Basic Yellow 15

      I started to try to google these, but gave up due to confusion! e.g. “solvent black” led me to find 56 different dyes with different numbers all named solvent black…whether some of them are safe and others dangerous, I don’t know.

      Can anyone provide any help with this? are these just food dyes that have proven safe over time, or are they potentially dangerous?


  43. 140

    Kathy Wall says

    Anna, have you heard of Eco Colors? They say that Dr. Mercola recommends them. He is a VERY respected internist and integrative Dr. Could it be false advertising? Nobody seems to be watching these hair companies. I’ve been using their product for a couple of years with great results. I know it still has a low level ammonia & ppd, because I also have dark hair. Do you know if Organic Color Systems has less than them?

    I was also wondering what famous & rich women use on their hair to avoid all the toxins. You would think they would know a way around all the toxic dyes.

    • 141


      Kathy, I talked to Eco Colors while ago. They were really nice. I really can’t tell you if they are safer than OCS. They use a different type of rescinol then other color lines. I would talk to them and ask them. I would be curious what they say. By the way 2 of their blond shades don’t have PPD in them.

      Personally, I think all the famous women are in our same boat. Anna

  44. 142

    Anna Maria Knapp says

    Regarding Palette by Nature, somebody said that the Dermatological Assoc and Mayo Clinic endorsed this product. I could find no info on their sites. In an older world, the smell of the product would indicate toxic ingredients. Especially my urine but also stools emit product odors for several days. But then asparagus also makes urine smell in a peculiar way. So I don’t really know if that smell is an indication of something toxic or not. I’ve used the product three times, the first time exactly as the directions required. The developer stained my scalp and made it itchy in a scary way. Using the hair drier on the plastic cap created odors that burned my eyes and nasal passages. I know those odors were not healthy. Exposing plastic to heat in close proximity to eyes and nose is clearly unhealthy. Someone on this blog said that she mixed the developer and color together. I tried that, and the combo didn’t stain my scalp more than a very little and didn’t cause itching. The other thing the same person suggested was to simply wear the plastic cap for 2 hours without heating it with a hair dryer. I did that, except that I heated the hair without the cap for 10 minutes as Palette by Nature directed. Results were good. I followed with a second application several days later and the gray turned darker. Although this product doesn’t work perfectly like a normally toxic dye, it will blend gray hair to the extent that the total effect will be as dark as I might want. So assuming that this product is not toxic, I’ll continue to use it. But I’d sure like to see the documentation that the Dermatological Assoc and Mayo Clinic provided.

  45. 144


    re Palette by Nature – Today I tried the Gray Blending System in medium. It has a fresh scent that reminds me of cherries and my hair is softer but other than that, I don’t recommend. For a minimal difference it’s fussy and expensive. The shipping cost alone is not worth it and Palette does not accept returns on used products. For the amount of money she is charging, I feel Palette should stand behind her products.

  46. 146

    sue says

    Anna have you tried Eco Colors. I was using Tints by nature and finally had a reaction to it.
    It seems the darker I go the more of a reaction.


    • 147


      Sue, I know about them but never used their color. They are very nice to talk to so give them a call. I bet you are reacting to the PPD in the color. Are you all gray? If not, organic hair color has a semi which has no PPD in it.

  47. 148

    nAT says

    Hi I am researching hair colours as using indigo and henna and fed up with the long messy process, I have found manic panic, has any used this? its supposed to be free of all nasty chemicals.

  48. 150

    Jade... says

    Hi Anna,
    (I know this is an old post but wondering if you have any updates…)
    Thank you for this post…. I’ve researched this topic many times. I currently use naturtint in black that I buy at whole foods. Used herbatint in black before but whole foods no longer carries it. I actually preferred herbatint because it lasted longer and made my hair very shiny. I am 50 years old and lucky to only have little gray on my bangs and sides by temples. People think I’m in my late 30’s. I am on the search for a haircolor that’s totally chemical free as I know naturtint or herbatint are not!
    I also wanted to share what I have found for gray hair remedies. I have not tried this so not sure if true. Coconut oil and lemon massaged into scalp few nights a week is suppose to stop the grayling of hair and has even reversed some grays. Of course the coconut should be the purest possible. Like I said not sure if true but I read women in India use coconut oil to prevent gray hair. I have not tried this just yet as I am still researching it.

  49. 152

    Jade says

    Have started the coconut oil and lemon on hair. Haven’t noticed any improvement on grays but my hair is super soft and shiny. I suppose if it does work I wouldn’t be seeing it for awhile. In the meantime I bought color mark for touch ups It has no ppd until I can figure out if I want to try palette by nature or tint of nature.

  50. 154

    Jade says

    I was going to touch up grays end of November but it seems like coconut oil has helped somewhat. This is hard to explain but it seems like coconut oil has made grays more manageable and not as coarse or unruly. Grays even seem to blend right into my very black hair and they definitely don’t look as white. I put it on hair twice a week before I shampoo and leave on for at least an hour. Will keep you posted.

  51. 155

    Jade says

    I bought tints of nature but it says to wash hair before coloring. I always thought dirty hair was best because oils on scalps protect from chemicals being absorbed. How do you use it… Clean or dirty hair???


    • 156


      I don’t wash my hair for a few days before color because I have issues with all coloring. (I use the salon version of tints by nature.) It makes my head itch. I would follow the instructions on the package or maybe call them. Anna

      • 157

        Jade says

        Hi Anne,
        Happy new year!!!
        I finally used tints of nature. I liked it but only problem is I used it on December 21, 2014. And EVERYTIME I was my hair I see color on towels. A little concerned. Is that normal? This has never happened with the others that I’ve used, even herbatint. I usually wil see color on towel first and maybe second wash but not this long.

  52. 159

    sher says

    Hi – after reading all your texts, still not sure whether to use Palettes by Nature or Organic Colour Systems. I think I’ll stick to semi-permanent hair dyes. I had a bad reaction to Nature’s Grey Busters which was supposed to be free of everything. I live in the UK so not sure if I can purchase the dyes though.

    I learnt this from another site which may help other users:

    1) coconut oil (at body temperature) works really well as a deep-conditioning treatment on my hair, leave on for one hour before applying dye to hair and don’t wash off,
    2) Sanotint Light dye can be used directly on top of (liquid, that is body temperature) coconut oil with great results.

    I’ll definitely continue to use coconut oil as a deep-conditioning treatment and I’ll also use it again to pre-oil before dyeing.

    Hopefully, I’ll eventually find something to suit my scalp and hair. Reading about all the toxins which enter your bloodstream is pretty scary!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge