1 December 2010

Organic Colour Systems: a new way of hair colouring

I've put my hair through a lot. Colouring, straightening, Yuko, IHR, daily blow-drying...so it's not surprising it's in poor condition.

It’s true that some of these things I could avoid. But as a very dark brunette who's going very, very grey, colouring is a must, so I have to have my roots done at least every 6 weeks.

To top it all, I have an incredibly sensitive scalp. Hair dye tends to sting when it's been on for more than 5mins, and for the next two - five days I'm generally very itchy and flaky. And when I say flaky I mean I probably lose an entire layer of skin on my scalp. It’s unpleasant, and it's a lot to go through to cover the grey.

So you can see why I was intrigued to find out about Organic Colour Systems from Herb UK, a completely new way of colouring hair. This system contains really low levels of PPD, whic is the stuff that's in all permanent hair colours, to make it, well permanent. Organic Colour Systems contain 0.6%, but according to EU regulations, dyes can contain up to 6%. PPD is the ingredient most people who have reactions to hair dye are allergic to, and to make it even more tricky, it's one of those ingredients that can have a cumulative effect, one day you don't react, the next your head swells up.

I was lucky enough to go to Karine Jackson's salon to try out Organic Colour Systems. I was sent a skin test beforehand just to be sure I wouldn't have a reaction to the colour, and in all my years of having my hair coloured, this is something that’s never happened before!

My stylist, Arash, explained the processes to me. Unlike standard hair colours which are put on to dry hair, this system is put onto wet, just washed hair. After the wash my hair was wrapped in a hotel towel to open up the cuticles and prepare the hair for the colour. Once the colour is on you’re popped under the heat while it develops. Unlike normal dyes, it smells lovely, a sort of herby liquorice smell.

I was on high alert for my scalp stinging, and although it prickled very slightly, it was nothing compared to what I've put up with in the past.

I was really pleased with the colour, which matched my previous shade well – and yet managed to look a tad more natural. Even Mr Beauty Cult commented on how natural it looked, so it must be true!

Now normally the itching begins the next day. So I waited, and waited. And there was nothing. Just as I was about to jump up and down the joy, three days later the flaking began. When I brushed my hair mid way through the day I could see large flakes, and this carried on for about 36 hours or so and is now (five days later) just a small amount of small flakes. This might sound bad to you, but to me it’s much better than my usual experience. There was no itching, no scratching, and no sore areas from itching too much.

Plus, using the Organic Colour System means I’m doing less damage to my hair, and hopefully long term its condition will improve.

The lovely Karine is determined to get to the bottom of the problems, so she’s invited me back again in 6 weeks when we’ll hopefully solve my itchy head issues once and for all. She’s also recommended I get a Mason and Pearson brush, and give my hair and scalp a good brush daily to really exfoliate it.

I’ll report back again after that! I’ll also let you know how well the colour lasts – though at the moment it’s looking great.

A colour with Arash costs £64, and a cut £33.50 if done with colour, or £43.50 on it’s own.

To find an Organic Colour Systems salon near you call 01590 613490

The Karine Jackon salon is gorgeous, and I'd highly recommend Arash.

Karine Jackson
24 Litchfield Street, London WC2H 9NJ 
020 7836 0300


Tracey said...

I love the sound of this colouring system - wish there was a salon that offered it in Stockton Heath! Its great to read about brands that are consciously reducing the level of potent chemicals in hair dye. Hope I can get to Karine's one of these old days!

@adelemitchell said...

Love to hear how long it lasts for! Hate having to colour my hair (every six weeks to cover 'premature' (!) grey) but not yet found a long lasting alternative to the usual chemical onslaught. Keep us posted!

Beauty Cult said...

Sorry for late replies - flu! I'd say it lasted around 5 weeks, but my hair grows very fast. I ususally get my roots done every 6 weeks. Also it didn't fade through the lenghths - overall I'm really impressed!

Tracey have you tried calling this number for nearest salon to you? 01590 613490 I have no idea how many salon's do this system, but hopefully more will soon.

Gentle Beauty said...

We'd love to think a hair colourant could truly be Organic but sadly they aren't. All hair colours require synthetic and, when incorporated, natural ingredients to work. To reduce exposure to harsh toxic chemicals then Non Ammonia colours are the way to go. Organic ingredients could be incorporated into a product but their synthetic counterparts will outweigh this quality. Which is why we don't make such a misleading claim to jump on the Organic band wagon, but we do make colours without Ammonia, Resorcinol, Parabens, Fragrance or Alcohol - which is kind, gentle and better for you and better for your hair. We very much hope Beauty Cult finds a solution that no longer irritates her scalp. Keep us posted! Gentle Beauty. HerbatintandColourHerbeNon Ammonia hair colours since the 1970s and available here in the UK.

Beauty Cult said...

thanks for your comment Gentle Beauty, I don't think there's enough info out there about hair colouring and the chemicals many contain.

Many people seem to be having reactions these days, so it's great to know there's a variety of products we can now try. I look forward to trying yours!