Byrn Mawr Professor, Chemist Skeptical about Natural Hair Dyes

Photo courtesy of
Michelle Francl
Michelle Francl

While natural and organic cosmetics have become a multibillion-dollar industry, many experts, including chemist Michelle Francl of Byrn Mawr College, agree that there is little truth behind the natural label, writes Lateshia Beachum for The Washington Post.

After combing through a list of 25 ingredients that are commonly present in the most popular brands of natural hair dye, Francl concluded that it would be hard to call the ingredients “natural.”

All the dyes she examined had at least one synthetic material listed: etidronic acid.

Etidronic acid makes it possible for products to remain intact in water making it a key ingredient in many soaps and shampoos.

However, she notes that it would be extremely difficult to have a hair dye that’s all natural. For those who want to color their hair in the most natural way possible, she suggests using henna, mineral powders, or lemon juice together with sun exposure.

“To take the color out of your hair and put new color, or to cover up the color, is a nasty chemical process,” she said.

Read more opinions on the issue in The Washington Post by clicking here.

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