Dyeing My Hair, The Vegan Way

My hair is one of my favourite features, not just because of how it looks but because of how it represents both sides of my family. Most of my mums side have dark, thick and curly hair, from the arabic genes, but my dads family are all very much white. So I’m in the middle with lots of curly, fine, light hair. It’s a good mix all in all, especially if you’re too lazy for styling like me, but my hair isn’t great for dying because of it. I’ve never been able to have fun colours because my hair wasn’t strong enough for bleach, and now that I’m aware of non-toxic beauty I’m not exactly keen to go near heaps of chemicals anyway. It seemed like the world of colours was just not one for me.

But not today, because one of my good friends decided to give me some Maria Nila products as a gift. I finally got round to trying them out this week, and now my hair is pink! Well, for a little while.

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So who are Maria Nila? They’re a haircare company, with a twist. All of their products are 100% vegan and cruelty free, free from parabens or sulphates, and their packaging is 100% CO2 compensated. All of their product development, production and filling is done in-house in their production plant in Helsingborg, Sweden under ethical conditions and strict quality control supervision.

My friend gave me this pink pop colour refresh, which is basically a nourishing hair masque with temporary colour pigments in it, lasting about 4-10 washes depending on how intense the colour is on you. To use it you simply wash your hair with shampoo, towel dry it, apply the colour refresh and let it sit for 3-10 minutes (the longer it sits the stronger the colour), then rinse your hair and condition, making it a pretty speedy process. You are provided with gloves, but I would recommend using something reusable instead if possible and passing those gloves on to someone who needs them (maybe a friend in something like hairdressing or catering who has to use disposables). I also used a Maria Nila shampoo and conditioner in the dyeing process to see what they were like, pictured further down.

In terms of a hair quality, I definitely noticed a difference straight away. Asides from the fact it was pink my hair was also left softer, shinier and more manageable, probably due to the argan oil in the pink pop formula. All of the products smell wonderful, especially the shampoo with added pomegranate, and you don’t need to use a lot of them at all. I’m quite bad for not cutting my hair often enough so it can get a little damaged sometimes, and my hair was significantly softer and stronger after I used these products, not just immediately after washing but in the following days too.

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Unlike dyes that require a full head of bleaching first, Maria Nila takes to the natural tones in your hair. For me this means the pink dyed only the blonder parts of my hair so it looks like I have pink streaked in, which I like. If you’re someone that has super blonde hair, you can end up with a full head of pink, blue, silver or whatever colour you like pretty easily, however if you have naturally dark hair it won’t be best for you. That being said Maria Nila do have hair masques in a variety of colours, meaning that you could take your hair to a more intense brown or black pretty easily, whilst also applying a nourishing masque at the same time.

I left the pink on for the full ten minutes and I really like the colour I’ve ended up with. It’s definitely a lot of fun, and one of the best things about dyeing pink is that as it fades I still like all the other colours it’s going to go through before returning to my usual blonde. It looks like I’m in for a fun few weeks of pastel and peachy tones. The other good thing is that I didn’t need to use the full bottle, even though I have quite a lot of hair, so I’ve got at least one more pink session left in me before my product runs out. I’m thinking of bringing it back in August for maximum summer fun.

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The one thing I will say is, while I did try these as they were given to me as a gift, these bottles are very much plastic. The colour refresh, shampoo and conditioner are plastic type 7 (a bit of a miscellaneous ‘other’ category) which can be recycled but is more complex, so it’s best to check with your local facilities. However the heat defence spray is plastic type 2, which is easily and widely recycled basically everywhere, so if you’re a person that uses a lot of heat on your hair at least you can use this as a more earth-friendly, animal-friendly alternative. For your regular shampoo I would recommend going for a zero waste solid option or refillable if you can find it, and if you do want to use Maria Nila intersperse it with your regular washing routine for some extra care now and again, making the product last longer and cutting down on your plastic use.

When it comes to dyeing your hair you basically can’t avoid packaging. While most traditional hair dyes come in those non-recyclable tubes that are kind of similar to toothpaste, at least Maria Nila comes with some sort of recyclable option, whilst also being vegan and cruelty free, having multiple uses in one bottle, and nourishing the hair. If you are going to go for a non-permanent hair colour, then it’s probably one of your better options. For now, I’m just going to enjoy my pink hair in the rare British sunshine.

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Until next time, stay magic y’all.
Wearing: secondhand dress and sunglasses

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