Sunday, June 01, 2008

Cruelty Free?

In on of my recent modules at school, I participated in a group project about animal testing. Since then I have tried to purchase cruelty free products when possible. So, when it was time to buy hair coloring, I went to the health food store to see what was available. There were two or three brands and, with advice from the saleslady, I chose the one that was priced in the middle. The box didn't have very much information on it, so I didn't know what I was getting into.

When I started reading the instructions, I felt my brain being squeezed. I had to use distilled water, which had been boiled in a glass container, to mix with the green powder which smelled like something. L and H said it smelled like kelp or poop. I thought it smelled like collard greens. I don't even know for sure if I know what collard greens smell like, but that's what came to mind.

L had to use gloves to put it in my hair, which is normal. But the solution was very grainy and thick and it was hard to tell if it was getting through to the gray. We had to be very careful not to get it on any skin because it will stain. While it was being put on, some dripped and before we could stop it, Cooper had licked it up. I hope she's going to be okay. She should because it's all natural, so it says.

We didn't know how long to leave it on my hair because we hadn't done a test sample. I don't know how anybody could have the time to do this hair coloring the way the instructions say to do it. When you do a test strand sample, in order to see how it's doing, you have to rinse it off and let it dry. I would not have the patience to boil the water, mix it up, and do this several times for different lengths of time just to see which is right.

Then, there are all sorts of things you can add to the solution for special effects: an egg or yogurt for extra conditioning, chamomile tea for lightening, ceylon or black tea brewed with three bags for golden highlights, three tablespoons vinegar or fresh lemon for rich golden or copper highlights, one teaspoon ginger, allspice, nutmeg or paprika to enrich browns or reds and leave hair smelling fresh and distinctive, day-old, black, hot coffee (not instant) (and not brewed in a metal pot) to enhance brown tones.


Several times during the process, I thought of how I was saving poor little rabbits from the horrible testings that I had read about. I just don't think it should be so difficult to try to save the poor little creatures.

At this point, my hair is still drying. I'm not supposed to shampoo it for 24 hours. That's not going to happen because I will not go to work with unshampooed hair. So some time tomorrow, probably after I arrive at work, I will see what my hair looks like after this escapade. I hope I don't have to shave my head.