Low Toxic Hair Color

Are you aware of the health risks you are exposing yourself to?

Low Toxic Hair Color

Are you aware of the health risks you are exposing yourself to?

I have written on social media many times to call attention to how dangerous our color lines are. And with that many have reached out asking which color lines they should use.

Before I go into the safer professional color line alternatives I need to say this.

There are NO non toxic hair color line(s) that I have found on the market …. YET.


I was extremely disappointed to learn that even the safest color line in our industry still contains some toxic chemicals and you still have to take the proper safety precautions and procedures before and while handling. Let me state that again.

You still have to take the proper safety precautions and procedures before and during handling!

The more research and reading I do the more disappointment and anger I experience. I have come to realize that we are going about this all wrong. Our industry’s culture is wrong and needs to be changed. Our timings need to be changed, our working routines need to be changed, we need to be doing Job Hazard Analysis everyday with every service we do. Our prices need to be adjusted to the amount of risk that is involved and the value we provide to our clients.

The fact is we are perpetuating these broken low standards by not changing and not taking our safety into our own hands and giving it the seriousness and attention it deserves. Self-care? or is that only for after hours? What about your entire career routine that results in compound exposures to these proven harmful substances.

The truth is the hair industry and the color lines have not done their jobs to properly educate stylists that purchase and use their chemicals. Nor have they educated the consumer about the amount of risks associated with use on humans or the environmental impacts.

It should be an industry law or standard that everyone that purchases chemical has to take safety training on how to wear the proper personal protective equipment, how to read an MSDS, how to protect clients, and how to trouble-shoot any work related illnesses that may be triggered by chemical ingredients.

We are actually very unsafe in most of our work practices as an industry. We treat chemical like it is some sort of baking product, or makeup. We eat & drink around it, we get it on our clothes that we take home, we don’t use the proper gloves that will protect to the proper degree. Most salons do not have a proper ventilation unit (let alone knowing when they should be using one) so we are inhaling fumes and toxic gases all day long. Are other stylists working near you? If its dangerous to be exposed to one service, what about 5 at a time in a busy salon? Warm day? Lets turn on a few fans to cool off and circulate those chemicals more. Sarcasm aside, when you start thinking through it, we need to step up and do better.

A lot of us were never taught how to read a label, or were never taught the rules and regulations in place for job safety, which includes how to read a material safety data sheet. 95% of stylist’s don’t even know what MSDS or SDS (SDS is the newer term OSHA uses) stands for.

Every product that contains dangerous chemicals in a salon, and I mean EVERY product has to have an easy accessible MSDS or SDS for all staff to review. This is the OSHA standard. You are legally required to have these for yourself and staff, doesn’t matter if they are chair renters or an employee.

As a salon owner you are legally required to provide chemical safety education for your staff once a year.

Yep, didn’t know that when I started a salon.

As stylists and business owners we put a lot of money toward color theory, and placement classes so why are we finding it so hard to put our money towards saving and protecting our health?

Is it because we don’t value it enough?

Think about it.

So why make the switch to a low toxic color line if it is still in fact toxic?

Because at least it’s better than the conglomerate lines that have never cared about us or the environment. They fill their chemical lines with cheap, toxic ingredients that just are not necessary to attain a fabulous result.

What are some ingredients to watch out for?

  • PPD
  • Resorcinol
  • Ammonia
  • Toluene
  • Nitrosamines
  • MEA
  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Below are some slides I use in our color and chemical safety courses that break down what the ingredients are and some of the effects on us and the environment.

Here’s the thing, most MSDS say that our chemicals should never come into contact with the environment. But we wash them down the sink… So it does come into contact with the sewer systems. A lot of these ingredients don’t degrade fast enough to not have an impact on our oceans and wildlife. All MSDS say that we are (stylists, the user of the chemical) are the ones supposed to be regulating how much chemicals we are dispersing. But there’s no way to measure that… That I have found yet.

Price Increase

Your prices should increase dramatically, and you shouldn’t worry about what others around you are charging because the industry standard is broken and no one should be charging as little as $150 for a chemical service with this amount of health & liability risk involved.

Be the change you want to see.

I’m really sick of hearing “we will lose all of our clients”. You may lose those clients, but if your serious about making a change and commit to it and let your community know why you are making this change you will find the right clientele for you and your mission and you will get paid the correct amount for the work you do.

Put away the placement and color theory for a minute and just think about the risk involved.

Color & lighteners are very risky to work with, they cause irreversible lung damage, endocrine disruption, & cancer at the very minimum.

Can you afford the results of using this chemical?

Chemotherapy out of pocket is $12,000 a month. How many chemical services would you have to perform in order to cover that if you didn’t have medical insurance?

It’s a sobering thought.

What if it was a legal requirement for us all to wear respirators when working with chemical? Would you charge more for this inconvenience, would you do color and lightening services at all anymore?

A cleaner alternative to toxic color exists!

Original & Mineral COR Clean Color Technology

This is a high performance low tox or low toxic color that is resorcinol, PPD, and ammonia free!

Want more info on getting started with Original & Mineral COR Clean Color? Reach out to Chelsea Renee-DeVere Captan (@chelseareneehair). Chelsea is a Simply Organic Beauty Rep, you can sign up with her here.

It’s rad! It has super amazing coverage for grey, is vibrant, rich, and smooths my clients cuticles for weeks on end. These are the best toners I’ve ever used, my clients hair looks even better as they fade out because it’s such a cool toned line. If you are struggling with ammonia free lines and their warm outcomes give o&m COR a try, it won’t disappoint.

Do your clients know what lines you are using?

I have a lot of people’s clients reaching out to me about how they can’t stand the smell of bleach or color and they don’t understand why their stylist aren’t using this. So, to me that’s a clear indication that stylists shouldn’t be scared to try a cleaner line because clients actually do want it, and they are happy to pay extra for a less risky color & lightening option.

So if you don’t want to do it for your health think about your pocket book - just kidding 😂, think about your wonderful humans in your chair. Don’t they deserve to know what’s being used on them? Don’t they deserve to be educated about the harmful effects of these huge conglomerates that throw unnecessary chemicals in their color and lighteners just to mass produce and make larger profits?

Hair Stylist Resistance & Pushback

The vast majority of hair stylists I’ve known are overworked, underpaid and suffer burn out frequently from the toxic practices & culture in the beauty/hair industry. Most don’t have the time or the energy to learn a new way of hairdressing. Many are frightened of change, they are scared to experience judgment within the industry and sincerely believe they will be alone and suffer a lack of support.

In my observance I see that the real change will come from the consumer demanding a safer option.

My advice to stylists that are making the low tox switch and are running into this problem is: educate the people that want these services. When enough people start asking their stylists why aren’t they using it, that’s when you will see a real change. Only then will stylists be willing to change over to a less harmful option because they will see the market swing and will offer whats in demand.

Stop supporting cancer causing and otherwise harmful products lines offered by companies such as Redken, Wella, Schwarzkopf, Joico, Kenra, Goldwell, Loreal, and Davines. All have chemicals known to be dangerous to humans yet work hard to present a different image. A false image they actively profit from and maintain.

Yes, they do offer education on color theory, and the latest hair trends. However, they are not offering ANY chemical safety instructions other than a MSDS that you are required to look up yourself, tiny fine print in the color tube box, that barely any stylist reads.

Shouldn’t the new industry trend be a safe one?

I’m 📩 here to help. If you want my help as a consultant please get in touch. My goal is to help others navigate this complicated but needed change in their own salon or services. My consulting schedule is filling up since these media stories broke.

#originalandmineral #oandm #corcolour #lowtoxic #cleanbeautyrevolution #theparlorseattle #nontoxichairstylist #ammoniafree #resorcinolfree #cleancolorseattle #foryourhealth #betterfortheearth #cultandking #hairstory #nontoxic #safecolor #isitreal

Whitney Murphy
Educator, Salon Owner, BTC

Changing the industry through education and community. It’s more than hair, it’s people.