Organic Color Systems Review
When we were asked to feature an article about organic hair colour salon treatments from Herb UK, offered at a prestigious London salon, we were keen to find out what all the fuss was about. More importantly, we could not wait to sample these much more natural colour treatments for ourselves. Luckily the treatment is not only offered by London hairdresser of the year 2007, Karine Jackson, at her Covent Garden salon, but also available at Paul Barlow hairdressing in Cheadle Hulme.
Like leading London salon Karine Jackson Hair & Beauty, Paul has introduced an exceptional new range of organic colour from Herb UK, which uses naturally derived ingredients that are kind and nurturing to the hair.
Developed over 5 years, Organic Colour Systems features natural extracts, including aloe vera, comfrey, orange and grapefruit, and doesn’t contain ammonia, allowing the hair to retain its natural moisture and protein balance. Because of its natural base, it closes the cuticle down when shampooing and applying conditioner giving it a natural feel and shine. Where natural ingredients cannot match the effectiveness of chemical alternatives, manufacturer Herb UK utilises precise minimum quantities of only the finest grade chemical additives.
For instance, Organic Colour Systems has the lowest possible percentage of PPDs in order to significantly reduce the risk of allergic reaction. Pharmaceutical grade peroxide, meanwhile, further reduces any chance of skin irritation or burning on the hair.
After having completed the necessary strand test required for all colour treatments 24 hours prior to applying the colorant, Cheshire Mums Magazine’s Sandra Harris, tested the organic colour treatment at Paul Barlow’s salon:
“Since my first pregnancy I have avoided semi-permanent colours that have to be applied to hair and scalp, in favour of highlights that only come into contact with the hair. Needless to say that I was excited at the prospect of covering my slowly emerging grey hair, by opting for a semi-permanent organic colour with highlights,” Sandra says.
“The first thing that surprised me, when walking into Paul Barlow’s salon, was the complete lack of promotional material on the walls or shelves.”
It quickly emerged that Paul is a no-nonsense hairdresser. With over 35 years of experience, he does not think much of make belief and is more concerned with the actual results he achieves by using organic, very low chemical containing alternatives, compared to conventional salon treatments.
“We started offering Herb UK, organic colour treatments just over 2 years ago, after the incidents of customer complaints, regarding scalp irritations and adverse reactions to conventional treatments, just seemed to keep increasing,’ Paul recalled. When Paul’s daughter Claire, a Wella trained colourist and stylist with over 13 years experience, who has worked in the salon for the past 6 years, showed me the colour chart, I was spoiled for choice. The vast array of colours and shades matched those of conventional salon treatments, and with Claire’s expert advice we quickly agreed on the best shades for me. As Claire began to apply the foils and colour for my new highlights she explained, that initially she did not share her Dad’s interest in the organic range: “I was accustomed to the products I used during my training and therefore reluctant to try out a different range of products. But after trying the Herb UK range for myself, I was utterly convinced that the products were worth taking on board. They perform equally as well as conventional, more chemical containing hair colorants, and also last between 6-8 weeks.”
When quizzed about the differences between the regular hair colorants and the organic system, Claire enthusiastically listed a whole range of benefits to both clients and salon: ‘There is a noticeable difference to me and our staff, when working with the Herb UK product range. There are no nasty smells as the products contain no ammonia , and as a typical hair colour application takes between 30-45 mins, it means we are always close to the product, usually breathing in any potentially harmful ingredients. With Herb UK colorants, all you can smell is a pleasant fruity scent. Many customers comment on that. We are not dealing with clumpy, peculiar-smelling henna-type products.’
The environmental benefits are also considerable as Claire continued to point out.
“The Herb UK salon system comes with overall less packaging and is designed to be extremely economical, which means that we can reduce the salon’s carbon footprint significantly. Whilst we order our conventional colouring products on average once a week, this is only necessary every two to three weeks with the organic colour system range. And that is despite an equal customer uptake in both treatments.”
This was something I had admittedly not thought about, prior to my conversation with Claire, and whilst she finished applying the rest of my hair colour, before leaving it under heat for 10 minutes, I was already very impressed by the many obvious advantages this organic treatment has to offer. Another 20 minutes that were required to let the product set without heat, were easily spent by talking to Paul. He feels so confident about the organic colour treatment, that he does not push the product at all:
“Clients have many different reasons for wanting a more natural colour treatment and therefore ask us for it. You will see for yourself,” he said, with a confident smile. “For me, it is like going back to basics! That is what hair needs, and it works! We just expect too much of modern hair care products these days. Products have to de-frizz, smooth, straighten, give shine and so on. Of course, many high tech hair cosmetics deliver all that, but it comes at a price and takes its toll on the hair. With organic hair colour, that uses the minimum amount of chemicals necessary, you avoid all that and achieve a healthy glossy look, because you care for the hair naturally at the same time.”
Whilst listening to Paul I started to think, that he actually has a point, and that his decision to not capitalize on the green and organic trend by over-marketing this treatment, is something rare and refreshing, and clearly works for him.
After the foils were taken out and my hair was rinsed and washed, with Organic Care Systems shampoo and conditioner, I was eager to let Claire dry and style my hair, so I could finally see the result. To my amazement she skilfully managed to straighten and smooth my usually wavy and frizzy hair just by using a blow dryer and brush. No additional straightening serum or iron were needed to leave me with a super sleek and glossy look. I was really pleased with the colour results too. I will definitely make my next colour treatment an Organic one again!