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Herbacuticals Naturcolor

Reviewed by TIA Community Member May 20, 2013 38 Comments

Reviewed by Leslie

After a year plus of happily coloring my hair with Surya Henna Brasil Cream, I decided to try a new "natural" hair coloring product called Naturcolor ($14.95). It's made in Italy for Herbaceuticals and is advertised as a "Permanent Spagyric Herbal Based Haircolor Gel to Cover Gray Hair" with no ammonia or resorcinal.

I've loved the way the Surya Henna has left my hair incredibly soft and shiny and full. But it was having increasing trouble covering my gray temples and thought I'd give this a shot.

One thing that I find remarkable is that it leaves NO color residue after the initial rinse (hence permanent?). Not on the towel, not on the pillowcase. It has much better gray coverage and you can mix and match the colors to customize your own shade, which they encourage you to do. It went on easily, and looks very good.
My hair doesn't have quite the same amount of shine as with the Henna, but it is still very soft and natural feeling. I only bought one brown shade to start, but next time will mix it with a red to get more of an auburn highlight. If the lovely folks at TIA would like to vet the ingredients, I will be even happier to know it's not harmful in any way!

TIA adds: It is very interesting that there is a 3% dose of hydrogen peroxide. This is naturally occurring, builds up over time and some researchers think is the cause of gray hair. Most people will recognize it as a teeth whitening ingredient and mixed with ammonium hydroxide it is the “peroxide blonde’s” hair bleach of choice. So it would seem somewhat counter-intuitive to see it being used in a gray hair cover up. It is combined here with etidronic acid, used typically to stop peroxides from degrading. Etidronic acid may be an environmental pollutant and it inhibits calcium metabolism (although it seems that it is easily ejected by the body via urine - source).

The only real nasty is sodium metabisulfite, an irritant and possible toxin – but, according to tests only at high doses.

Ingredients in Naturcolor:
Spagyric (TM) Herbal Infusion, Burdock, Centella Asiatica, Nettle, Sage, Hops, Lavender, Rosemary, Lecithin, Lavender Oil, Coconut Oil, Soy, Oleic Acid, Ethanolamine, Shea Butter, Mango Glycerides, Chamomile Extract, Vegetable Resin Extract, Bilberry Extract, Red Sorrel Extract, Walnut Extract, Sodium Metabisulfite, Jasmine Absolute Ascorbic Acid, Hydrolized Wheat Protein, P-Phenlyenediamine, P-Eminophenol, M-Aminophenol.

Ingredients in Naturfix:
Water, glycol, hydrogen peroxide (3%), etidronic acid

  • August 4, 2016

    by Lisa

    There is an alternative, its called Hairprint. Truly all natural hair coloring that restores your hair! The three ingredients that Christine mentioned should be a red flag for everyone. Two of them are used in photo developing - yuck!

  • June 25, 2016

    by Jennifer

    Great article and discussion! I've been using Naturcolor for about 2 years now to cover my 10% grey. I totally like the subtle effect and it does not feel damaging, though I do find it drying. Have been thinking about trying Surya Cream for a change. May stick with Naturcolor. Any more feedback comparing the two?
    Thank you : )

  • March 12, 2016

    by Christine

    I am thinking of trying this product to cover my greys. I checked on the Environmental Working Group about three ingredients at the end of the ingredient list that scare me: P-Phenylenediamine, P-Aminophenol and M-Aminophenol. Anyone have any thoughts on these? They register as cancer concerns on EWG's site. I am a cancer survivor so I am a bit paranoid.

  • February 24, 2016

    by Sharr

    Other than henna there are few healthy alterntives. If you understand what it takes to permanently color hair you will see that the industry relies on nasty chemicals. I don't know why they cannot find a healthy alternative. I guess if people place beauty above health you will just be stuck with mediocre or much worse chemicals.
    You see how vanity can be a deadly sin.

  • January 4, 2016

    by Cyndee

    I`ve used 4M & 5M Pomegrate for yrs. I Love it. When I Shampoo w/ coldish water I see color coming out & it`s on my cotton t`shirts I use to dry my hair. Is this normal? I`ve called the comp. twice with No call backs... T.y.

  • December 16, 2015

    by lia

    This is the best and least toxic hair color I have been able to find (have used it for at least 15 years). It saves a lot of money as the Aveda salons cost a lot and they would be my only alternative. Thanks to truth in aging for providing this forum.

  • September 28, 2015

    by Linda

    I began having bad reactions to conventional salon and OTC hair colors and preservatives and chemicals in general. I started going organic and all natural about 2 years ago. I am in my 50's, maybe 25% grey and am not ready yet to really go all the way grey. This hair color is non irritating and gives great grey coverage from my experience. I also combine colors to get the desired shades. It has one chemical that could be toxic, although I never have any tingling or burning sensation while the color is setting like I used to with conventional coloring products. If I compare the one bad thing in this brand as opposed to the laundry list in other brands, I think I'm still much better off. I just wish it was more obtainable at more retail stores and I didn't have to buy online or in special wholefoods markets.

  • September 22, 2015

    by Ellen

    I've been using Naturcolor for at least 8-10 years- I actually can't remember when I started! I started using 4N which matched my hair color, and as I have aged and become more gray, have tried mixing with 5N, 6N and even some of the C series. For me, the trick is to try to stay more brown and less red, especially since what highlights I get from the sun are red, so I do not want the dye to exaggerate that.

    My process is easy and efficient, and I have never used the long process described by Regina. I wait until my hair is DIRTY, then apply the dye, wait 45-50 minutes, rinse very thoroughly, then shampoo with the provided shampoo and condition with the provided conditioner. That's it.

    When I started dying, my hair was long so I applied the dye everywhere at the roots then combed it through with a wide toothed comb. With 15 minutes to go, I'd comb again with a finer toothed comb. I learned to comb it less and concentrate more on the roots in order to retain the natural highlights and variations in my hair that I liked.

    Once I got a short hair cut and my hair had more gray, I stopped combing the dye through and instead dye it every few weeks at the roots, and only comb it through once toward the end of the waiting period. I also dye my eyebrows to make sure I look consistent!

    People think I look very natural, and much younger than my actual age. I would like to let my hair be more gray and less colored, but have not figured out how to do that yet. I wish Naturcolor had a gray dye that I could apply to darken the white hairs but leave the brown alone!

  • July 5, 2015

    by Regina

    Thanks for a fab post!

    I've used Naturcolor 6N a few years now. At 60ish, my natural color's about half-grey now.

    PROS

    — Leaves my hair soft, w/ nice color highlight variations that look natural.

    — Lasts, as it's permanent. Until my roots grow out, of course. But I only dye once or twice a year, letting more of my grey blend in. Looks really nice and natural!

    CONS

    — Long process. 1) Wash and dry hair. 2) Pre-treat any grey hairs. Wash and dry hair again. 3) Dye. 4) Wash, condition, then dry hair the final time. Optionally, use creme rinse after conditioning. You can speed drying time by holing up in the bathroom w/ a heater going (after letting steam out of the room). Or use a blow dryer, but not too hot, as it can wreck your hair, I hear

    — Naturcolor's website has almost no info.

    — After reading about the chemicals in this post, and comments, I'm concerned.

    BOTTOM LINE

    I love this product for now. Worth all the extra steps. But need to think about the chemicals more. Maybe I should stop dying altogether one of these days...

  • August 25, 2014

    by Maya

    Thank you to manufactures of Naturcolor I have used the product nearly 20 years.
    Yes my hair got mot salt color than pepper as time went on. I still get compliments on texture and color. At age sixty I replaced 2n w
    5n. Several friends also tried the brand and were satisfied. It is not even messy and whopses wash out.

  • July 9, 2014

    by Andrea Sandvik

    My hair was dry and going gray one hair at a time. It was a dry mess. I chose Sagebrush Brown. It looks so shiney - it has not looked like this since I was 10 yrs old, and I love it!!

  • June 6, 2014

    by Penelope

    PS PPD= P-Phenlyenediamine and *is* considered quite nasty. But I still use this product

  • June 6, 2014

    by Penelope

    Hi

    I think you should do a little more research. Peroxide is used in all permanent hair dye to open up the shaft of the hair and let more comour in. Thats why when the colour comes out you can have a brassy bleach effect that it truly permanent. The colour does fade after time. I have been using Naturcolor for about 12 years. I have tried others as well but keep coming back to it. Hair dye does have dangerous chemicals. I suggest you go to EWG to check that out. there is plenty of informaion. I have aserious autoimmune illness and Im careful of chemicals but I can tell you that the mid-dar browns have PPD which is potentially very toxic. naturcolour was open about sharing the percentage (ad it was smaller than the rest). Even Aveda and the so called Organic hair colour has PPD.

    Cheers

  • May 22, 2014

    by Peggy

    SCORE! I had been using henna with indigo for several years, but wanted to switch to a product that would put less red into my hair and allow me to go lighter as I'm getting older. The Naturcolor Phone Consultant told me to wait at least 5 weeks since the last henna process (it had been about 10 weeks), shampoo, towel dry and cover my hair with whole fat yogurt, let it sit (and drip!) for an hour while the friendly bacteria took care of any harmful henna residue. It occurred to me I might have preferred a Greek (thicker) yogurt! Even wrapped with saran I ended up massaging my face & neck with dripped yogurt and coconut oil for a nice facial! I washed this out, let my hair dry, and used my choice of "N" series - which she said covered grey best. I chose Sagebrush Brown, to ensure I could cover my henna'd red tones. I next did a test strand just to make sure. With no irritation or color problem, I colored my own hair. I am SO glad to see how nicely it covered my seriously silver-grey roots. This is what my health-nutty friend Cheryl uses happily, and I am now a user too. Yippee!! This is a much easier process (and quicker) than henna, with many more color options. Looking forward to experimenting with Naturcolor's nice assortment of colors in the future.

  • February 23, 2014

    by Carol

    I have been using Naturcolor for 6 to 7 years. I mix three different colors to make one color I like. And by mixing, I use 20m of one color (4M), add another (6D) to 40m then fill the bottle with the third (3N). Which then I can color my hair three to four times. My hair is soft, and natural looking, and I am a full head of silver white hair. So when I have growth it is very noticeable. I have notice in the past that it will turn my hair a red tone or brassiness, which I don't like so I use a very little amount of 4M, I also will wash my hair once a week with a shampoo for grey hair, it seem to help with the red tone or brassiness

  • January 21, 2014

    by Callie

    I've been using NaturColor since year 2000 and I LUV LUV it. I have thin short hair so only need about a table spoon of color and tablespoon of developer. A little goes a long way, so I can get 4 colors out of one box. Plus there is no obnoxious smell, and you can mix colors that are so awesome realistic that strangers sometimes comment on my nice hair color (for my age - I'm a boomer). It covers gray hair great, but if you have light color and want to stay light and have gray it may not work as well since it is for gray, but you can call the company in Napa California and they will guide you. I color my hair every 3 weeks and have save $1000s over going to hair salon (where they ruined my hair and turned in purple on another visit). I am healthier than I have ever been and have no "cancer, side effects etc, - the solution is not on your head that long. Many cancers are caused more by the bad food and drink you injest - and not so much a haircolor ).

  • December 26, 2013

    by amy

    The dye did not work AT ALL! I was so excited to dye my hair and as soon as I finished nothing changed. My hair was the exact same color as before

  • July 15, 2013

    by Guenevere

    Hi there, I have henna color in my hair now. I use Light Mountain brand henna in auburn. Will I be able to put Naturcolor over it? I plan to wait 6 weeks before I color my hair again.... I just dont want it to turn green or fall out because of a henna interaction with this brand.
    Thanks for your help!
    Guenevere

  • June 1, 2013

    by Ellie Matheson

    The last three ingredients in Naturcolor are the ones I'm trying to avoid. They can apparently cause allergies and cancer and be toxic to the brain. It's very difficult to find a hair dye that doesn't have those chemicals, aside from Hennas.

  • April 10, 2013

    by Olena Goshko

    hello. where can I buy this product online? thanks.:)

  • April 5, 2013

    by Christine

    Hi Marcia - I've never heard of reverse color before. Is that simply referring to changing your hair color back to it's original color? Thx!

  • April 4, 2013

    by June Mikrut

    I used henna on grey regrowth and turned my hair lavender. How do I remove surya brasil so I can now apply naturcolor?

  • February 16, 2013

    by raymond chua

    I am a salon owner in singapore.I would like to
    try this color in my salon.p/s let me know how to buy this product.

  • January 8, 2013

    by andrea

    please let me know who sell your products in Italy
    thanks

  • November 2, 2012

    by Marcia

    I've always gone to a salon to do a reverse color (pull through a cap) but decided to try Naturcolor this time myself. Do I just mix up the bottles and apply to my hair like a shampoo. I don't have a root problem.

  • September 17, 2012

    by Lois

    If you have ever had an allergic reaction to ANY hair dye, then this product may not be for you. I did a patch test on the back of my knees a few days ago (couldn't do it on my arm, as I work in a kitchen and have my hands in soapy water a lot) and now the areas are swollen, red, sore, and itchy. I can't even bend my knees to walk up stairs without pain. I did some research and learned that PPD is the main allergy-causing chemical in hair dyes. Even ones labeled "natural" may contain it, because technically it IS an organic compound. Even in low doses, it may give you an allergic reaction, especially if you have reacted to it before (as I did, many years ago to a Clairol product). NEVER neglect the patch test before using the dye on your hair. I hate to think what would have happened had I skipped this crucial step.

  • September 3, 2012

    by penelope

    I have tried many of the so-called natural ones (we know that word doesnt mean anything). I have been using Naturcolor for the past 15 years on and off with others inbetwwen occasionally. When my local store called them in 2007 for the PPD content they were willing to tell me AND they seemed to have the lowest amount compared to say the "Organics" brand. They were also more honest about it. PPD is a worry, but I dont think anyone has come up with anything yet to produce the dark brown colours that works. I tried the Suriya brand but it didnt cover my grey (a big section on top of my head!) I agree that ewg.org is fantastic resource for Americans and everyone on here should support them. Their Skin Deep database is ground breaking!

  • August 6, 2012

    by John

    It seems that the ingredients listed on the boxes are all the same, at least I checked 4 colours. I wouldn't mind knowing which colours have the least amount of the so called bad ingredients as I may be able to use a colour that is slightly less toxic. Does anyone know how to get a more detailed and accurate list of ingredients?

  • July 12, 2012

    by Barbara K

    Just found this on a breast cancer site.. Also you can look up phenylenediamine, very interesting what it is used in and which seems likely to come from China. Knowledge is power.. keep it off your skin and wear gloves if you are going to use this product. "Most permanent hair dyes contain potential irritants and carcinogens like formaldehyde and ammonia. Petroleum-based coal tar derivatives and phenylenediamine cause cancer. Products containing phenylenediamine can cause blindness if the solution drips into eyes. There is suggestive evidence these products increase breast cancer risk. Dark and black colours are particularly toxic."

  • July 10, 2012

    by B.Bailey

    Barbara K.: The P-Phenlyenediamine is what I have terrible reactions to: for days & now, weeks. Doesn't it bother you in Naturcolor? I'm always so afraid to try anything w/ that chemical. Thanks.

  • April 19, 2012

    by Barbara Kowalik

    This is the chemical I have the most problem with. P-Phenlyenediamine (Go to www.ewg.org/skindeep to locate particular chemicals.) The product left my hair soft and natural looking, covered gray well. I will use it mostly at temples and now and then overall, keeping it off my scalp as much as possible.. The peroxide in the fixer did lighten my hair somewhat.

  • April 19, 2012

    by Paulette

    Liked this well enough to travel an hour to Whole Foods. Called number on website and they were very helpful about suggesting colors to mix for desired result.

  • February 28, 2012

    by Jen

    Naturcolor is located in Northern California. Their contact info can be found on the Contact page of their website (search Naturcolor online and it should be one of the first 4 sites that pops up).. i've been using it successfully for years on my dark hair with very stubborn gray!

  • February 27, 2012

    by Lorene

    Whole Foods Market carries this product.

  • February 17, 2012

    by Traci

    Have used this a couple of times, and is the only hair color I have found that I can use with MCS. Had a phone number at one time, but very difficult to located the company online. Can anyone provide contact info?

  • January 29, 2012

    by Chris

    I have been using Naturcolor hair coloring for about a year now. I really like the color it gives me and that it doesn't have all the bad chemicicals in it. The smell is not strong either. My problem is in locating it. I have been having my mom buy it at her local health food store and them mailing it to me. I would like to find a site to order it from on-line. Do you know of any site that sells it? Thanks!

  • December 21, 2011

    by Cindy Bye

    I love this hair color. Working in the cosmetology field for over 20 years I developed MCS and can no longer be around chemicals. This is a fabulous hair color and covers better than the professional products I've used for years. So much safer and I don't react to any awful odors, because there aren't any!

  • May 29, 2011

    by Leslie Wayne

    Dear TIA,
    Thanks for checking this out. Given the couple of nasties in this product, and given that it doesn't leave my hair as shiny as the other, I think I'll just use this to touch up my temples, and go back to the Surya Henna Brasil.

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