Friday, 12 June 2015

Herbatint Vegetal Temporary Hair Colour & Normalising Shampoo Review

I used to have my hair highlighted during my mid-teens but since then I haven't bothered with colouring my hair. Lately though, I've fancied a bit of a change and have thought about dyeing my hair. However, since I've started to gradually stop using products that contain potentially harmful chemicals, I've struggled to find hair dye that is natural as well as obviously cruelty free and vegan. 
Herbatint are an Italian company that make a range of ammonia-free permanent and semi-permanent hair colours as well as shampoo and conditioner. They are certified as cruelty-free by PETA and are registered with the Vegan Society. All their products are also gluten-free. Herbatint kindly offered to send me a hair colour to try. Their permanent colours, whilst free from ammonia, still contain PPD which is a known skin sensitiser and possible carcinogen. Therefore I decided to opt for their semi-permanent vegetal colour instead.
The vegetal colour retails at £8.30, is free from ammonia, peroxide and diaminobenzene and lasts for 6-8 washes. It doesn't lighten your hair but is formulated to add highlights to your natural hair colour and refresh colour tones between permanent hair colourings. My hair is brown but has golden and copper undertones, so I picked the Golden Blonde shade. Here is my natural hair colour:
The full ingredients list for the vegetal colour is:
aqua, PEG-200, cocamidopropylbetaine, hydroxyethylcellulose, tetrasodium EDTA, resorcinol, C.I. basic brown 16, C.I. basic brown 17, C.I. basic yellow 57, C.I. basic blue 99, C.I. basic red 76, C.I. 12251, ethanolamine.
I noticed after I used the colour that it contains resorcinol, and on Herbatint's website it claims that the product is resorcinol-free. I contacted Herbatint and they advised me that I was sent an old version of the vegetal colour, and since 2012 it has indeed been formulated without resorcinol. Therefore if you wish to avoid this chemical (which is linked to skin and eye irritation and sensitivity, organ system toxicity, and possible endocrine disruption) make sure you check that you are buying the new version of the vegetal colour. The new version is also free from ethanolamine, which has been linked to cancer, environmental concerns and organ system toxicity.
Cancer, environmental concerns (bioaccumulation), organ system toxicity - See more at:
Cancer, environmental concerns (bioaccumulation), organ system toxicity - See more at:
The ingredients in the newer version are:
Aqua, Hydroxyethylcellulose, PEG-18 glyceryl oleate/cocoate, PEG-2 oleamine, HC Blue 2 solid, HC yellow 4, Basic red 76.
Skin and eye irritant, skin sensitizer, organ system toxicity, and possible endocrine disrupting chemical - See more at:
Skin and eye irritant, skin sensitizer, organ system toxicity, and possible endocrine disrupting chemical - See more at:
Skin and eye irritant, skin sensitizer, organ system toxicity, and possible endocrine disrupting chemical - See more at:
Skin and eye irritant, skin sensitizer, organ system toxicity, and possible endocrine disrupting chemical - See more at:
I was also sent an application kit with the vegetal colour which consisted of a protective cape, a measuring jug and a brush which retails at £4.50. Plastic gloves were also provided in the vegetal colour box.
I found the colour was really easy to apply, especially as I've never dyed my hair myself before. I followed the instructions which were to wash your hair first before applying the colour to damp hair, covering with a shower cap and waiting 45 minutes. You then rinse out the colour until the water runs clear and apply the Aloe Vera Royal Cream conditioner sachet which was included in the box. I started off by using the pot and brush to apply the colour but as I don't have a lot of patience I opted to apply it directly onto my hair from the bottle and distribute it through my hair with my fingers. I found it easier to apply this way but if I were using the permanent colour where you have to mix the colourant and developer then it would probably be more useful. The kit doesn't supply a shower cap but luckily I had some at home courtesy of previous hotel stays! I found the protective cape handy as my hair is long and I didn't want to get any colour on my clothes. I did clumsily drop the bottle and some colour splashed all over the wall but it came off really easily with a damp cloth. As my hair is so long (waist length) I was a little worried that there wouldn't be enough colour to cover my whole head but there was just enough. If you have shorter hair then you can get 2 applications out of the bottle.
After rinsing the colour out I blow-dried it as I was eager to see the results. Whilst there may not be an obvious difference to my hair colour, I definitely noticed a subtle enhancement of the golden
 undertones. The pictures don't show it up too well, but when my hair is in the sunshine it really picks up the golden blonde highlights. I loved how soft, glossy and shiny my hair was after using the colour and the conditioner.
Herbatint also sent me their Normalising Shampoo, which retails at £8 and is specially formulated to work with Herbatint. It is a gentle, pH balanced product containing aloe vera to protect and enhance hair colour and is free from SLS and parabens. The ingredients are:
 Aqua (Water), Magnesium laureth sulfate, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Aloe barbadensis (Aloe vera) leaf juice, Moringa pterygosperma (Moringa) seed extract, PEG-75 Meadowfoam oil, Imidazolidinyl urea, Palmitamidopropyltrimonium chloride, Parfum(Fragrance), Sodium dehydroacetate, Propylene glycol, Sodium benzoate, Citric acid, Glycerin. 
When I used the shampoo a few days after colouring my hair, I thought my hair looked even more vibrant afterwards. My hair felt really clean and soft after using it. I have also tried the shampoo on my uncoloured hair and it had similar effects. My boyfriend also tried it and we were surprised to find that it showed up gingery undertones to his naturally dark brown hair that we hadn't seen before!
I would use the vegetal colour again now I am happy that the new version does not contain resorcinol. I prefer my hair lighter in the summer and darker in the winter, so perhaps in a few month's time I will see what effect a copper/red colour has on my hair.
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  1. This sounds really good! I've always considered dying my hair but I I'm always a bit scared! I considered using henna dye, but I love that this is semi permanent :)

    1. Yes I was a little scared too which is another reason I went for a semi-permanent colour :) x

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  2. Hello from the States! I found your blog from your most recent article for Vilda magazine about hidden animal ingredients in makeup-- great article, btw! I'm glad to see your review for the Vegetal semi-permanent hair color. I've been vegan for almost 8 years now, and I've had a really hard time finding vegan-friendly hair color that isn't henna or crazy colors. Pre-vegan, I used to love to dye my hair auburn, and in all my Googling, I found the Vegetal hair dye. Have you tried any other colors since you wrote this post? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.


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