By Emma Peters from Belle & Sage
Have you ever looked at the back of a conventional hair dye packet? It’s likely you’ll spend half
your time trying to pronounce the ingredients and half your time googling what they mean. Then
when you’re done, you may spend some time rocking back and forth in the corner wondering why
you’ve been so mean to your hair and your health for so long!
The first synthetic hair dye was created in 1907 and they haven’t changed much since, containing
the same toxins, endocrine disruptors, coal tar dyes, carcinogens, and other chemicals that cause
continual damage to the hair and scalp.
Not only damaging the health of humans, these environmental pollutants get washed down the
drain into our waterways and affect the health of aquatic life.
Natural hair dyes aren’t much better. Most still contain the allergen p-Phenylenediamine (PPD) and
a list of far-from-natural ingredients that can still damage the hair at the follicle.
Enter Hairprint. The first and only grey covering system created by “green chemistry”
This product wasn’t invented by a hair dresser or a big corporate company. It was developed by a
chemist, Dr. John Warner, of the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry in Massachusetts.
Instead of opening up the cuticle and depositing coal tar dyes, Dr Warner perfected a process that
mimics what the hair does naturally, infusing the hair with natural eumelanin pigments. This
restores light brown, brown and dark brown hair to it’s pre grey colour, restoring richness and
Hairprint is made up of only food grade ingredients making it safe for people suffering from or
recovering from illness, those sensitive to allergies, and is safe to use during pregnancy.
This whole process requires you to do things a little differently from your conventional at-home-
dye-job. But keep in mind that it’s so far removed form the quick fix instant dying process but the differences are a good thing. It means that something other than just staining-the-heck-out-of-your-hair is at work.
The following are my personal tips and tricks to getting the best application out of your Hairprint
packet. There’s also a whole lot of information, FAQ’s and trouble shooting on the Hairprint website which I highly recommend
you check out to make sure this is right for you.
These tips are from my own personal trial and error only!
Use them at your own discretion. I’ve found Hairprint to be a very personal trial and error thing.
What seems to work for one, isn’t necessarily great for another. But once you’ve cracked what
works for you, and find your groove with it, you will be hooked.
Give your hair a break from conventional hair styling products (or any styling products for that
matter) and only wash with natural shampoo and conditioner for a week leading up to your colour.
Hairprint shampoo and conditioner are great for this.
Wash with Hairprint Chelating Shampoo a week before and the day before your application.
Sometime near the beginning of my trials with Hairprint, I read to mix the pretreatment with a
teaspoon of baking soda. I’ve found this to be amazing. The occasions I’ve done this, the colour
has taken so well, and the times I’ve omitted the baking soda, it hasn’t been as effective. This is my
own personal tip and it works for me. You may choose to experiment with this or not.
This will only work on light, medium or dark hair. There’s no formula for red or blonde hair yet. My
natural colour is mid brown, but I’ve successfully used Brown and Dark.
There are great tips for transitioning from chemically coloured hair on the Hairprint site. Ive had
times when Ive adhered to those and times when Ive thrown caution to the wind and straight up
covered some highlights without any problem.
I do like a good ballyage, and occasionally- maybe once a year, I’ll have an intricate chemical
colour done. Then continue to touch up the regrowth with Hairprint. My experience with this
required a bit of trial and error, and this is what Ive come up with:
-Prep the hair with Pre-treatment, rinse and towel dry as normal
-Cover all areas of the hair that you want to keep unchanged with a generous coat of Shea butter.
Make sure you keep it well away from the scalp though
– Do this in chunky sections making sure you still have good access to all of the roots because
you’re going to need to pack the Hairprint into the roots.
– The Shea butter will remain even through the rinsing process.
– After the complete sachets are “complete”, rinse the colour off until the water is clear. You’ll then
need to wash the Shea butter off, and in my experience, shampoo doesn’t do it! If you’re a
hairdresser- block your ears now!- Use an eco dishwashing liquid to scrub the shea butter off the
ends of your hair. Avoid using it at the roots though. Once this is rinsed, apply a generous
helping of a Hairprint conditioner. And rinse.
– Have a back up packet on hand, if you’re anything like me and get distracted easily and find you
accidentally mix the wrong components… it’s super helpful to have another pack to break into!
– The whole hair print process is a messy one, and the colour will adhere to porous surfaces, so
make sure you’ve got dark clothing on, some dark towels and I even lay down a drop cloth just to
This can all sound a bit daunting at first, but once you find you groove with it, Hairprint is so so
The benefits are huge!
– It’s is a protein treatment as well, so your hair should be strong and shiny afterwards.
– NO TOXINS!
– No weird smell that lasts for days
– The regrowth (I swear!) is less grey than after a chemical treatment and it grows out far more
naturally than the intense demarcation line of a chemical ‘do
– Your hair still keeps it’s natural high and lowlights, not one solid chunk of colour like a
conventional dye job