Organic Hair Colour

At Lily Jackson Hair & Make Up our health philosophy is simple – less chemicals not more.

With the plethora of organic hair care products on the market, we’re sorry to inform you that Organic Hair Colour does not really exist. 

But there are certainly ways to reduce your exposure to chemicals or avoid animal ingredients in the quest for beautiful hair and an organic or vegan lifestyle.

Organic Hair Colour Style


Don’t be fooled into thinking that organic hair colour is organic

The word organic is not regulated in Australia. Many consumers think they are doing the right thing by choosing a salon that says they offer organic colour.  The fact of the matter is that if you are changing the colour of your hair (or permanently change how it behaves like curly to straight), then you cannot be using products that are considered organic in the truest sense.

The term “certified organic” is regulated however. This means that any product carrying this claim must have all its ingredients  National standards.

By this we mean that any product carrying this claim must have all its ingredients reviewed for compliance with the organic standard this means synthetics and processing aids such as EDTA and DEA would not be permitted under Australian Certified Organic and NASAA (National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia), the two largest bodies in Australia who certify products.

We’ve checked, and the only  hair colour products that have been certified as being organic by these organisations are some types of henna.

Some types of henna hair colours are certified organic but….

Now before you go running off to your search engine and typing in “henna”, there are many types of henna products are not certified organic and probably more dangerous to you than conventional hair colour.

Plus the images on the advertising would have been photoshopped just as much as any other hair image.  Our experience with clients using henna and then going back to conventional colour is that the hair is permanently altered in such a way that makes re-colouring a very big process.

Synthetic hair colours (even the “healthier” ones produced for professional use in salons) may still contain ingredients that could be an allergen for you.  But lawsone, the principal color ingredient in henna, has been found in some research to be mutagenic (affects our genes), not to mention allergenic and not suitable for use as a hair coloring agent.

With an estimated 75% of women colouring their hair, we can however make choices that reduce the chemical load.

One of our suppliers coined the term Clean Colour Technology and we like that.  Colour technology should be as clean as possible, and technology implies that it’s the best available at the time, but like our computers, it’s always being upgraded.

Not organic colour but the next best thing

At Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup in Darlinghurst, Sydney, we spend a considerable amount of time doing our own research in the area of “organic hair colour” which keeps us informed of innovations and allows us to remain independent of being influenced by any marketing claims. We also place a high degree of pressure for our suppliers to be honest and ethical in this area.

We have used many different product ranges on the quest to finding colour that reduces the chemical load on clients and still delivers outstanding results. At this stage, the company that best meets our “less chemicals not more” philosophy is Wella Professionals. Wella Professionals Couture Colour Services offers exceptional hair colour results minus the chemical cocktail, which is better for your hair and your health!

Wella Professionals hair colour is free of a commonly used chemical in hair colour called Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). PPD is also used in temporary tattoos and is responsible for severe allergic reactions in children.

PPD is aniline dye also known as a “coal tar dye” which is derived from petroleum and linked with quite a few illnesses, so it is definitely best avoided. Aniline is used to make a wide variety of products such as polyurethane foam, agricultural chemicals, synthetic dyes, antioxidants, stabilizers for the rubber industry, herbicides, varnishes and explosives. It was combined with other chemicals to create indigo and mauve coloured dyes in the past, and is still used in hair colour today.

Wella Professionals use an ingredient called Paratoluenediamine (PTD), which has been developed as an alternative to PPD. It helps form side products with less risk to develop allergy but the difference in colour is not significant. It performs the same way for grey/white hair coverage colour spectrum and depth as PPD.

The Colour Touch range in Wella Professionals is 100% free of PPD, so is a great alternative for those who know they are allergic to this ingredient.


Organic Hair Colour

So what exactly are EDTA and DEA?

EDTA’s are chelating amino acid compounds added to the products we use and food we eat to stabilise them. Chelating means it attaches to heavy metals and removes them naturally from the body. Sounds like a positive action, however chelating agents are cytotoxic (attack cells) and weakly genotoxic (potential to mutate DNA).

DEA’s are wetting agents that provide lather in haircare products.  To quote a website dedicated to preventing cancer:

“DEA by itself is not harmful but while sitting on the stores shelves or in your cabinet at home, DEA can react with other ingredients in the cosmetic formula to form an extremely potent carcinogen called nitrosodiethanolamine (NDEA). NDEA is readily absorbed through the skin and has been linked with stomach, esophagus, liver and bladder cancers”.

Organic Hair Colour for Women

We exclusively use Goldwell Kerasilk for our keratin treatments – find out why it is our choice.

As you can see there are some great options to meet your needs if you prefer plant and mineral base products. The technology is improving in this field and we benefit from it, as does our hair’s integrity and beauty.

Each range has its own merits – which is why we’ve hand picked them.  In coming to Lily Jackson Hair and Makeup for your “organic” hair colour and hair products, you can feel safe and secure that we will make recommendations to you that will deliver outstanding colour results with the lowest chemical intervention possible.

Clients who have known sensitivities are given a skin patch test to determine if our colours are suitable.

Even if you purchase colour from a health food shop, read this article about why DIY hair colour from a supermarket is dangerous and can never deliver the kind of results you would get at a salon.

We are more than happy to talk to you about what will work best dependent on your desired outcome and your needs. Just contact us through the our contact page or on (02) 9360 8708.

Call us today on 02 9360 8708 (Darlinghurst), 02 9331 0111 (Potts Point), or easily book online today...

21 replies
  1. Deb
    Deb says:

    I have just been advised that I have an allergy to Balsam of Peru and should avoid fragranced products. On top of this I also have rosacea and am trying to find a gentle permanent hair colour that will not aggrevate either condition.
    Can you recommend anything?
    Many thanks – Deb

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Deb, we use Nectaya by Goldwell this is ammonia Free and I have clients with Rosacea who are fine with this colour system.
      I hope this helps would love to see you in salon.
      Cheers Jules Peacocke

      • Rosa
        Rosa says:

        hi there ,
        I would like to know if Nectaya hair dye by Goldwell contains sulfites and parabens.


      • Lily Jackson
        Lily Jackson says:

        Hi Rosa
        Thanks for asking this important question.

        Just to be sure, did you mean sulfite and not sulphate as they are two different things?
        Sulphates are found in hair shampoo as a lathering agent and is not contained in Nectaya.
        Sulfites are used in hair colour as part of the colouring process. Nectaya does contain sulfites and we are in the process of identifying exactly which ingredient it is.

        We are in contact with the Goldwell technical team who will confirm this as well as whether it contains any parabens.
        Also could you please share any specific allergies or sensitivities you might have so that we can ensure we provide you the most complete answer?
        Many thanks, the Lily Jackson team.

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Jeanine, Thanks for your question. After consultation with Goldwell Technical Assistance we can confirm that methylisothiazolinone is not in any of the Goldwell professional hair colouring products we use in salon. This ingredient is however in some of the Goldwell Style Sign and KMS Styling products. Please let us know if we can be of any further help, we are just a phone call away too on (02)9360 8708.

  2. Janet
    Janet says:

    I am undergoing chemotherapy. My drug should not cause hair loss, but thinning of the hair and perhaps skin sensitivity.
    What hair colouring (to cover grey) product would you recommend? I live in country NSW so am unable to visit your salon.
    Many thanks

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Janet. Sorry to hear about your health challenges – we hope your recovery is speedy and that you are supported.
      Depending on how remote you are from a town, the best thing to do is to go to a salon that offers ammonia free, reduced chemical colour. Off-the-shelf colour is often loaded with higher doses of chemicals than you would be exposed to if you went to a salon. This is because off-the-shelf solutions have to create a one size fits all “recipe” that delivers what the products claims to deliver for all hair types.
      A stylist always customises your colour for your specific hair type and lifestyle factors.

      You could ask a salon to design an at home colour solution – this would probably be a one colour all over application and require the colour to come into contact with your scalp which perhaps isn’t ideal in any situation.
      Ask to get a skin patch test – the colour is applied to the inside of your elbow, washed off after 20 minutes and you monitor for at least 24 hours for any reactions.
      The other solution is to consider alternative strategies with the colour application: highlights do not come into contact with the scalp – your stylist could create a medley of highlights in colours that blend in with the grey hair. This solution will require time in the salon however.

      Finally there is a product by Goldwell called Reshades specifically for grey hair – it takes 5 minutes to apply in the shower and just evens out the tones. This is a solution if you decide to embrace your natural colour and just want to bring a little more depth to your natural colour.

  3. Marissa
    Marissa says:

    Hi there – I have allergies to fragrances, including oak moss (yes a natural product) and found in some of my, what used to be, favourite shampoos and conditioners. On top of the colour systems, do you have any products that are fragrance free? Would like to be able to find a hairdresser I can see without worrying about this. I am in Sydney so actively looking! Thank you

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Marissa
      Unfortunately we don’t have any products that are fragrance free. I have allergies and sensitivies to fragrances, especially essential oils would you believe? I use many of the Goldwell products without any problems and we can supply you some samples to try out. You should also get in contact with the Goldwell technical hotline who can answer your queries about fragrance ingredients.
      Julie Peacocke

  4. Mel
    Mel says:

    Hi! So I recently discovered the elumen range by goldwell and have been using Pk @all. The colour has lasted 2 months! It’s absolutely amazing! I have been looking everywhere to get more, but I can’t find any in Australia. Do you guys sell this product ? Thank you xx

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Mel
      The [email protected] is a great pink colour isn’t it? We have a number of clients using Elumen and totally LOVE the long-lasting vibrant colours!
      Elumen is a professional range due to the technology used. The intensive Elumen pigments are physically drawn deep inside the hair where they are anchored securely through a magnetic charge process to produce amazingly intensive and long-lasting color results. To achieve this the hair requires a prep service and a lock service which should only be delivered by a hair technician in a salon. So sorry, we couldn’t sell you the colour even if we wanted to!

      Hope you’re using the Elumen Shampoo and Conditioner too! They are essential to to keeping the colour locked in too! Send us a selfie!

  5. chritine nepe
    chritine nepe says:

    hi is there any stokists in west sydney i get an allergy with hairdye never used to im 56yrs of age very grey at the moment i live in lansvale sydney thanx..

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi, unfortunately in cases where there are allergies, you should get a test done to identify which ingredients you are allergic to first.
      You should also see a salon for a skin patch test.
      Our recommendation would be that you start getting creative with your colour and haircut so that the colour application does not come into contact with the skin and we make the most of the grey hair to your advantage. To this end, home application of colour is not advised.
      So we can’t recommend any stockists in Sydney for at home colour – what we do recommend is investing in your hair in such a way that works for your budget and lifestyle and health factors. Good hairdressers should be able to do this without any problems.

  6. Marilyn
    Marilyn says:

    I have been coloring my hair for many years and found out that I am allergic to black hair dye PPD. I have been tested and I wasn’t having severe reactions until this last coloring. I have little grey, but need to have it colored with hi-lights. What products do you recommend that are truly PPD free?

    • Margi
      Margi says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      I also have recently developed a severe reaction to PPD after colouring my hair for 30 years. As such, I have the same question.

      • Lily Jackson
        Lily Jackson says:

        Hi Margi
        As stated in the article, Goldwell hair colour is free of Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). We recommend you come into the salon for a skin patch test.
        Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup

    • Lily Jackson
      Lily Jackson says:

      Hi Marilyn
      As stated in the article, Goldwell hair colour is free of Paraphenylenediamine (PPD). We recommend you come into the salon for a skin patch test.
      Lily Jackson Hair & Makeup

  7. Jayne
    Jayne says:

    Hi. I have sensitivity to smells including fragrance. Are their any hair colours that you could recommend that I could use at home

    • Amajjika
      Amajjika says:

      Hi Jayne
      Without knowing what your colour requirements are we couldn’t recommend anything.
      Due to colouring formulation process being quite complicated, we don’t ever recommend that colour be purchased from supermarkets or chemists to be done at home. You would have to contact the individual product companies for an ingredients list (and perhaps a free sample) to understand which product could work for you. Good luck!

  8. A
    A says:

    Hi there,
    I’m pregnant so have been avoiding hair colours and chemicals when possible. I went to a salon the other day who said they used a charcoal based blonde colour alternative for foils which was less toxic than standard colour products. Have you heard of a product of this type?


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