Cosmetics tips: Is hair color really chemical- free?
At first I was fascinated at the notion someone might have really
developed a permanent hair color that didn't use hydrogen peroxide.
From everything I've ever read and from every hair-care chemist I've
ever interviewed, it seemed improbable.
I went to the Color by Robert Craig's Web site and sure enough,
there it was, the claim that his hair dye "is the all-new permanent
hair color that delivers gorgeous, natural results without a trace of
harmful peroxide, ammonia, alcohol or perfume." As colorful and
hair-healthy as that sounds, at best the entire claim is completely
misleading. Here's why.
What this product does contain is an ingredient called sodium
perborate. When mixed with water, sodium perborate reacts, releasing
hydrogen peroxide (in fact, a lot of hydrogen peroxide). Sodium
perborate is frequently found in laundry detergents and other products
as a way to keep hydrogen peroxide stable in the product.
Just as shocking, however, is that while this product doesn't
contain "ammonia" it still has a very high pH, also due to the sodium
perborate, which releases borax as part of the same chemical reaction
So, while this product doesn't technically contain peroxide or
ammonia (and they are not listed on the ingredient list), just add some
water to the formula as directed and voila! you get hydrogen peroxide
and an ingredient that raises the pH of the product to the same level
ammonia would. You also get a hair dye that is just as problematic for
hair as any other.