Expert Advice

5 Reasons Why You Should Go Organic With Your Haircolor

Lauren Salapatek | February 12, 2015 | 1:24 AM
Thinking about making the switch to organic haircolor? (photo credit: Getty Images)
Photo By Getty Images

As a beauty professional, you’ve probably heard the term “organic” haircolor. Maybe, you scoff at idea. Maybe, you’re a health-conscious hairstylist whose ears just perked up. Either way, step away from the hairspray-laced coffee and take a seat (for once) – there’s a story to be told here.

At this point in time, 100% organic hair color does not exist. Some synthetic ingredients are still necessary to color hair at a professional level, (“some” being the keyword). 

MODERN SALON spoke with Organic Color Systems and asked them why colorists should think about going organic.

In 1990, Organic Color Systems (OCS) was created in Lymington, England, not realizing the explosive growth organic products would have a decade later. As the name infers, OCS products are powered by organic and natural ingredients, working together as a holistic hair system that they claim out performs traditional hair color lines.

Organic Color Systems is 98-99% organic or naturally-derived, depending which level you’re trying achieve. At this point in time, 100% organic hair color does not exist.

So why should you try organic hair color? Here are five reasons, according to Organic Color Systems:

1. Healthier, Shinier Hair with Virtually No Fading: At Organic Color Systems, they live and dye by this healthy hair equation:

pH + Moisture + Protein = Healthy Hair

The isometric pH of hair is 5.5 – the further hair gets away from its natural state, the more damage (and fading) will occur. The ingredients responsible for changing the pH in all hair color are ammonia and/or Ethanolamine (or some derivative) – their job is to open the cuticle. So, healthy haircolor has nothing to do with ammonia or no ammonia.

The higher the concentration of these ingredients, the higher the hair’s pH will soar. This prevents the cuticle from closing/retaining moisture, protein and color molecules (it doesn’t matter which conditioner you use, the pH is will always remain semi-altered). That’s why all ammonia-free hair color lines are not created equal. You cannot simply swap ammonia for Ethanolamine in the same percentages, and expect long-lasting, healthy hair color.

The key difference with Organic Color Systems begins with the base of the color (the main ingredient). Not only is it oil-based and alkaline, it’s also a conditioning agent that softens the cuticle, which allows for better color penetration (especially on gray hair, where the cuticle scales are tightly packed). According to OCS, they’ve completely eliminated ammonia, and use Ethanolamine in the smallest percentages possible in order to open the cuticle.

 2. Great Hair Color Choice for Sensitive Scalps

Most everyone has at least a client or two that complain of scalp irritation. Since pigment is the number one cause of allergic reactions in hair color, OCS uses it in smaller percentages. Due to the pH of the color (~9), they’re able to use less pigment (also known as PPDs or PTDs). When the cuticle is more open, you need more of every ingredient because they essentially “fall out” during the washing process.

OCS color contains ingredients like aloe, orange peel, and comfrey root – all of which help soothe irritated scalps. Their special developers only contain pharmaceutical grade peroxide, distilled water and organic ingredients that also lessen scalp discomfort. The lightening powders also contain B vitamins and proteins to help fortify and protect the hair during lifting processes.

3. Safer for Hair Stylists, More Pleasant for Clients

The World Health Organization (WHO), has stated “a career in hairdressing is probably carcinogenic to humans due to regular exposure to hair color, processing agents, and other common chemicals at the hair salon.” Seriously, studies have suggested the only careers more toxic than Hairstylists are those in the pharmaceutical industry. Armed with this knowledge, Organic Salon Systems created products with:

  • No ammonia means less headaches and easy breathing for stylists and clients.
  • Low to no ppds means less irritation and allergic reactions.

They’re in no way suggesting you run and hide from all chemicals in life (that would be exhausting), or that you’ll somehow suffer if you don’t use safer products. But the fact is hairdressers have higher risks than most, and going organic, can be a good alternative.

 4. Ethically Sourced Ingredients:

Organic haircolor suppliers, like Organic Color Systems work with ethical suppliers who minimize their environmental impact and pay fair wages in safe working conditions.

 5. A Better Business Opportunity

You can charge more for organic hair color. It's healthier for you and the client in the long-run.

For more information about Organic Color Systems, visit





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