Cue the search for a healthier option. Fortunately, there is a very cost-effective option for those wishing to color their hair in a more natural process: henna.
I will not go into the specifics of henna dyeing here, just my personal experience. If you are interested in learning more about henna, I suggest you check out henna for hair, a wonderful website with a comprehensive guide to all things henna.
After browsing the above-mentioned site for several days, I decided that, at least for my first henna, I didn't want to mess with mixing my own color. Instead, I went with a "ready-mix" from LUSH (found here). LUSH also has a henna picture gallery with fantastic reviews and tips for their product, delightfully called "pictures of happy caca heads".
My henna arrived via UPS a few days later, looking like:
|Sort of like a big brick of chocolate|
|Dark blonde, dry|
|Red! And conditioned.|
Pros: Healthy! LUSH's henna is mixed with a healthy dose of cocoa butter, making it super-conditioning. My usually dry hair is happy. No allergic "itchy" reaction to the henna.
Cons: Depending on how much, and what type of henna--it can cost more than chemical dye, unless you are used to having your hair dyed at the Salon, then it will definitely be cheaper. It takes a lot longer than chemical dye. Also, you need to be cautious about dying with henna if you have previously chemically processed your hair, a strand test is highly recommended.