By Mary N. DiZazzo

Is It Natural or Out of a Bottle

Ciao bella,

Natural hair color by today’s standards usually means a highlight, low light, or a henna application. A highlight is when some strands of hair are separated from a head of hair and the color is removed chemically with a developer so the strands are made lighter. A low light is the exact opposite, when some strands of a lighter head of hair are separated and made a deeper shade.

Both procedures when professionally acquired produce pretty effects.

Henna, a plant-based color is considered a “permanent” color because it does not wash out with shampoo or rinses. It can be removed with mineral oil. Henna mixed with other plant dyes such as tumeric, indigo, and senna change the color. Use of henna (neutral or a color) is considered a conditioning treatment. It is not recommended to perm or use a permanent hair color when henna has been used.

To keep the gray away usually a semi-permanent or a permanent dye is the best way to go. Semi-permanent is formulated to deposit color on the hair shaft without lightening it. It has no developer; heat may be used for penetration. Color lasts 18-14 shampoos. Once again, professionally applied for all procedures is a must do.

Some people sensitive to chemicals found in most hair dyes lean toward alternative based dyes with fewer chemicals or plant-based.

My North End friend Patricia swears by Tints of Nature, a hair dye free of harsh chemicals such as ammonia. This product is enhanced with tea and/or coffee with herbs.

So, since women have been dyeing their hair for over four thousand years it certainly has become professionally perfected.

Buona capelli and God bless the United States of America!

Have you missed any of Mary's columns in the Post-Gazette? Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns on her website She is a third-generation cosmetologist and owner of Mary for Nails, etc. natural nailcare salon in Andover, and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183. She also sees select clients by appointment in Boston at (617) 742-6881.