I have been colouring my hair since I was a teenager. I've had it all, from black, to blonde, to red, even green, blue, and pink!
The last few years I've stayed a more natural colour, and as my hair started to go more grey, *gasp*, I went with highlights to help cover the re-growth.
Since going cruelty free, one of the challenges I faced was how to continue to colour my hair. I didn't want to change my salon, because I adore my stylist, but I needed a hair colour that was cruelty free. Also, I'd been getting allergic reactions to hair colour, and wanted something more natural that I wouldn't react to quite as badly.
Some people say, just stop colouring. But I'm not ready to give into the grey quite yet!
I tried henna. Now, I know most people swear by it, but I hated it. It made my hair feel like straw (although that may have been the weird clarifying mud I put in it before colouring it) and I didn't see much of a change in the grey.
A quick Google search led me to Tints of Nature. Cruelty-free, more natural than most. Sounded too good to be true. The website was full of information and FAQ about this seemingly lovely product. The only problem was, where to buy. You could order it off the website, but the shipping prices made it cost prohibitive unless you bought six items (either colour or other hair care like shampoo etc.). I wasn't willing to do that until I tried it first.
One day at one of our organic markets here in town, I found that they carried most, if not all, of the Tints of Nature line. YAY!! (Planet Organic for those in Edmonton - I believe Whole Foods carries it, and I have seen it at other health food stores, and although they have limited stock, most are willing to order it).
The first colour I tried was a nice auburn red. I mixed two colours, a 6R and 7N - they say to use an "N" colour to help cover grey. My hair turned out a beautiful shade of darker auburn. Perfect!
(That's me after the 6R and 7N mixed application)
Grey was 100% covered. And when it faded, it faded to a red-then-blonde type shade.
The smell wasn't overpowering - I was able to apply in my small bathroom with the door half shut and wasn't overwhelmed by the fumes. Also, very minimal allergic reaction! There are still some chemicals in this, but it is ammonia and paraben free, and made up of mostly natural ingredients. One other thing - any colour I spilled on the floor, counter or wall (yes, I'm super messy when I colour my hair) wiped up easily. And any I got on my face came off without scrubbing! I would recommend putting some lotion around your hairline before colouring.
I have since used it again, using it to colour my hair a very dark brown. The result has been equally beautiful. There are reviews out there that say the colour will be darker than on the box - this is true, but only slightly darker. I have found that to be true of almost all box do-at-home colour, and it will fade a bit over time, depending on how often you shampoo your hair. Also, the second time I used it I had zero allergic reaction.
If anyone is looking for a home colour that is more natural and gentler on your hair than drugstore colour, I would highly recommend Tints of Nature.
They make permanent colours, semi-permanent colours, and a lightening/highlighting kit. I have only tried the permanent colours so far.