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.


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.


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.

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