Natural Hair Dye Facts

People have been colouring their hair using hair dyes with many different formulas and ingredients for thousands of years.  Hair color can be the magic that instantly transforms dull mousy locks into glorious golden lights that shimmer and shine.  It can also instantly erase years of age by covering gray.


While the end results of gorgeous color seem worth it to many people, there is no easy way to get from dull to dynamite without some form of coloring product.  Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, hair-coloring products will almost always require the use of some form of chemical agents.  For permanent hair dyes to work, you have to be able to open the hair cuticle to lighten and deposit color.  Without this process of depositing the dye into the cuticle, it will wash right out during the next shampooing.


Although not all experts agree, many believe that a leading cause of hair color allergic reactions are related to PPD which is short for para-Phenylenediamine.  Others argue that serious reactions in hair color can be linked to ingredients such as ammonia, peroxide or diaminobenzene.


If a hair color product claims that they do not use PPD then they will use something else that can be even more damaging like mercury, lead or other metals.  Consumers often state that they shun products containing PPD for "safer" alternatives like Loving Care by Clairol.  Most products that do not use PPD may actually be more dangerous due to the high concentration of metals, leads and mercury.  SANOTINT Light uses none of these harmful ingredients and is tested to make sure none are found within the product.


Almost all coloring products that lighten hair contain some amount of hydrogen peroxide.  This colorless liquid achieves two major actions.  It will first break down the natural melanin in the hair shaft which instantly "lifts" the color of the hair making it lighter.  SANOTINT uses hydrogen peroxide to release oxygen, which combines with the dye molecules and helps them to develop and deposit color.  The depositing part is important for covering gray.


Although many people worry about the toxicity of using hydrogen peroxide on their hair there are more potentially toxic ingredients, which can be found in popular hair dyes.


PPD Related Reactions


PPD, p-Phenylenediamine may also be referred to as phenylenediame, phenylenediame dihydrochloride or benzenediamine dihydrochloride.  It is also known by the name aminoaniline dihydrochloride.


All of the various PPD derivatives may cause allergic reactions in chemically sensitive individuals. The key word to remember is, May.  Not all people will react to PPD and even less with have severe reactions.


Reported allergic reactions have also included facial and neck swelling.  If swallowed, it can cause vomiting.  The chemical may be toxic if inhaled directly and may cause coughing, sneezing, shortness of breath and in some rare cases, cyanosis (blue lips).  In extreme cases respiratory distress has been reported.  Although rare, if you experience any of these reactions you should seek medical attention immediately.


When PPD makes contact with the skin it may cause rashes and contact dermatitis. Eye contact may cause irritation, redness and pain.  Corneal damage and loss of vision has been reported in some very isolated cases.  Chronic exposures to PPD may affect kidney or liver function and can cause bluish discoloration of the lips or tongue.


Therefore, Should You or Should You Not Color?


With all of this negative information about hair color chemicals, does it mean that you shouldn't color your hair?  Not necessarily.  With everything in life there are tradeoffs.  Many foods that we enjoy contain chemicals that may have toxic implications or simply may be an allergen, such as peanuts, which may be deadly to a very small percentage, but are enjoyed by many all of their lifetime.  Do we therefore give up our favorite foods?  Not necessarily.  However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks with any life decisions we make whether it means coloring our hair or eating certain foods.


Patch Tests:  Prevention


Who should perform a patch test?  Everyone, as it is hard to predict what ingredients may cause allergic reactions.  (SANOTINT Classic does contain a very small amount of PPD. 0.1 to 1.6 % per volume, where SANOTINT Light contains 0.0% - None).  People can be allergic to a wide range of ingredients from more natural ones like walnut to the chemical additives. You just never know what one person will react to that will be fine for the majority of others.


If you have a history of experiencing sensitivities to hair color formulas you should check with your primary health care consultant before using SANOTINT or any other hair dye product. Although the majority of the populace may use SANOTINT Colors with no problems, La Vita Nuova, Inc. always recommends you perform a patch test first before performing a treatment. 


How to Perform a Patch Test


If you have never done a patch test before it is relatively simple to do and will provide you with peace of mind that your body can handle the product ingredients with no problem.


It is recommends that you apply a little bit of the product to the inside of the elbow and then leave the mixture uncovered for a minimum of 48 hours.  The key to doing a good test is to leave the product uncovered.


Remember, when in doubt always discuss the use of chemical products with your personal physician and get their advice.


Honesty Is the Best Policy


SANOTINT believes that honesty is the best policy for all hair care consumers.  We always recommend that a patch test is performed to become informed of your own possible product sensitivities, they will tell you that while it is rare, a small percentage may have reactions.


SANOTINT Classic does contain a small amount of PPD (0.1 to 1.6%) in the form of Phenylenediamine.  This is significantly less than the commercial hair color lines and most other natural hair dye products, that may contain as much as 6% PPD or more. The European Community currently approves up to 6% of PPD for hair coloring products.


Both SANOTINT Classic and SANOTINT Light is completely free of ammonia, which is a known culprit in inhalation and odor concerns.  SANOTINT makes a point of limiting the types and concentrations of chemicals in their SANOTINT line as much as possible.


Depending on the hue selected SANOTINT may also contain propylene glycol, EDTA, and Resorcinol.  As always, SANOTINT tries to limit the concentrations of any of the chemicals that they do include in their products.


SANOTINT permanent coloring products do not lift color but deposit pigment, it will not help a dark haired brunette become a platinum blonde, and it just can't happen with such a mild hair dye such as SANOTINT. We want this information to be clear so there is no doubt on the part of the consumer.


SANOTINT Does offer a hair lightening kit, which is peroxide based and will lift from one to three shades lighter.


The unfortunate thing is that consumers need to understand you can’t have it both ways. A coloring product that is as natural and mild as possible just won't have the lightening and coloring powers that the chemical based hair dyes do.


SANOTINT will color and cover gray and will deposit color and will not damage and dry your hair but will rejuvenate it, as it is rich in conditioning properties.  The hair lightening kit is required to achieve a lightening affect from one to three shades lighter.


The SANOTINT’s colour range includes 30 different shades in the Classic and 12 different shades in the light version.


La Vita Nuova, Inc. also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee; we will refund your money even if you experience a reaction.


SANOTINT Ingredients


We will be more than happy to offer by Email or by fax information on all of the SANOTINT ingredients upon request.  This information is available for the consumer for their own education and awareness.


Propylene Glycol - Organic extract:  Next to water, this is the most common moisture-carrying vehicle used in cosmetic formulations.  It has better skin permeation than glycerin, and it also gives a pleasant feel with less greasiness than glycerin.  Propylene glycol is used as humectants since it absorbs water from the air.  It also serves as a solvent for antioxidants and preservatives.  In addition, it has preservative properties against bacteria and fungi when used in concentrations of 15% or higher.  There is a concern that propylene glycol is an irritant at higher concentrations, though it appears to be quite safe at usage levels less than 5%.  The level of Propylene Glycol in SANOTINT is 1.0 % in the Classic and 0.9 % in the Light version.


P-Phenylenediamine – SANOTINT Classic, from 0.1 to 1.6 %, depending on the shade.  Provides colouring for hair. 


SANOTINT Light contains 0.0% (none) of the PPD ingredient; therefore it is limited to offering 12 shades only.


EDTA - Organic Extract (ethylendiamine tetra acetic acid) a preservative.


Ethanolamine - Organic Extract (not of animal original).  An emollient.


Glycol - Organic.  An emollient


Hydrogen Peroxide – Chemical:  A bleaching and oxidizing agent.  Detergent and antiseptic.  Generally recognized as a safe preservative, germ killer, and skin bleacher in cosmetics.  If used undiluted, it can cause burns of the skin and mucous membranes.


Water - Water is an important skin component and is essential for its proper functioning.  It is the most common ingredient used in cosmetic formulations and therefore is generally listed first on product labels.


Resorcinol – Chemical:  In very mild solutions it is used as an antiseptic and as a soothing preparation for itchy skin.  In slightly higher concentrations it removes the surface layer of skin (the dry dead cells) and it is used in lotions for irritated skin and particularly in connection with acne.  In still higher concentrations it can act as an aggressive surface skin exfoliates.  Resorcinol can also be used as a preservative.  While it is beneficial skin care ingredient, when used in low concentration, it causes irritation in higher concentrations, with a strong burning sensation and a reddening of the skin.  Used in high concentrations as a peel, resorcinol may cause a variety of problems.  SANOTINT contains levels of 0.1 to 0.5% per volume and the Light version contains 0.04 to 0.4% per volume.