Coloring grey hair safely is an important topic in the natural beauty world for good reason. The chemicals used to cover grey hair in traditional dyes are harsh and can lead to some pretty awful reactions and health consequences in the long and short term.
If you’re someone who has experienced irritation, rashes, burning or other symptoms from hair color, but don’t want to stop coloring your hair as its going grey, then hold on to your seats…
A company called Hairprint has come out with a product called the “True Color Restorer” that claims to be the safest way to banish grey hair, and seems to be turning the hair color industry on its ear with a revolutionary technology that isn’t actually a color or a dye!
My Hairprint Review
Just warning you now, this is not going to be some 2oo-word, fluffy article. I’m diving deep into this review on Hairprint True Color Restorer. I subjected my own head (and I’m super precious about my hair) to testing for your benefit — and potentially my own too.
If you’re a regular reader, you know I almost never do reviews or single posts about one product, but this one seemed way too juicy to pass up. Because finding the safest way to color grey hair is majorly important to many of you.
In full disclosure, Hairprint sent me their products to use and this link will give you 15% off your first order (I’ll also get a small commission, which helps me keep the bills paid, so I can continue to write fabulous articles like this), but they did not provide compensation for my review.
Not Willing to Go Grey Gracefully?
It’s totally understandable that you might not be ready to embrace your grey hair quite yet. Studies have shown that the more grey hair a person has, the instantly older they register in perceived age.
That perception can affect how people subtly treat the with regards to things like a being a potential mate or new employee. Unfair, but true.
On the flip side there is a huge movement towards full acceptance letting grey hair take over – particularly in the millennial culture, where the latest trend is purposely dying hair to look grey!
I fully support whatever you want to do with your hair, especially if it gives you more bounce in your step.
The safest way to color grey hair naturally
The problem with most brands of so-called “natural” hair dyes (including the one I usually use) is that they are better, but not perfect when it comes to avoiding harsh chemicals.
Most have replaced nasty ingredients like ammonia, but in order to really penetrate the hair and covering stubborn greys, they still include PPD.
Henna is an option for some people, but not everyone is excited about the way henna works or how the color ends up looking. That’s why Hairprint True Color Restorer is a serious contender for those who just want to restore their natural tones without the toxic junk.
What makes Hairprint the safest?
MADE SAFE is a private certification body (which I cover in The Ultimate Natural Beauty Shopping Guide). They put these products through the wringer, scrutinizing all of the ingredients, and decided Hairprint was the safest complete brand of hair care products on the market.
You can find out more about MADE SAFE’s standards on their website.
Who does Hairprint True Color Restorer work for?
If (and this is a big if) you don’t have more than 50% grey and naturally have black, brown, or light brown hair.
They are still working on formulas for blondes and redheads. You can dramatically reduce your grey hair if it’s over 50%, but they don’t promise it will go back all the way.
Magic. Sorcery. Green Chemistry: How Hairprint Works
The folks at Hairprint say they’re not about hype or outlandish claims, but it’s pretty crazy what this product promises to do: be a totally non-toxic way to restore the pigment of grey hair back to its original color!
To me, this sounds like some sort of sorcery.
I’m no scientist or chemist. So I’m just gonna lay it down as how I understand it, after it was explained to me.
Apparently the wizardry is actually a genius development in green chemistry that the co-founder, Dr. John Warner, found to mimic the way a chameleon can change color.
Somehow he studied and isolated the thing that makes that change happen, got to thinking (probably over a cauldron with some eye of newt) and found he could do the same thing with grey hair.
Rather than depositing color onto and into the hair cuticle, like a normal dye would, Hairprint’s formula creates a non-toxic chemical reaction that changes the pigment of the strands of hair themselves.
Essentially the safest way to “cover” grey hair non-toxically is actually to restore it!
Why Hairprint True Color Restorer isn’t a Dye
It took me a long time to wrap my head around the idea that Hairprint True Color Restorer isn’t a dye. Here’s my simplified version to help you understand:
Dye is matte because it absorbs light. But skin, eyes and hair don’t have color, they refract light.
Dye immediately absorbs into skin.
Hairprint True Color Restorer has a pigment molecule small enough to go into the hair, but not the skin. It refracts light and the arranges itself based on the naturally occurring melanin and protein in your hair.
The company has more details on how all this works if you want it.
So let’s move on to what the experience is like of using it.
How To Use Hairprint to Restore Color to Grey Hair
First, make sure you get the right color package to sync up with your natural hair color (prior to going grey – not the color you wish you had).
Then really review all of the instructions thoroughly way before you begin. You’ll get the best results if you do what they tell you and not assume you’ll figure it out along the way.
I have a hard time following specific and/or complex directions. I’m the person who will mess up at least one step of a precise recipe or set of directions pretty much every time. That’s why I don’t bake or put together furniture from a box. But give me a bunch of vegetables and spices and I’ll whip up a delicious, improvised meal!
If you have virgin hair (AKA never been colored or chemically processed to alter the texture), the directions are pretty straightforward.
Using Hairprint if you already have colored hair
If you’re like me and you already have color in your hair, and you want to continue to add in highlights over your natural tones, it gets a lot trickier.
Hair that has been dyed is more porous, so the “unique ID” of that hair is gone, and the transition instructions are needed so the processed parts of hair don’t go too dark.
The Hairprint folks want you to have a great experience so their customer service team has very descriptive and detailed emails about how to make their product work when you don’t have virgin hair and want to color over it.
My eyes glazed over after the 2nd paragraph of instructions…so I did not try this alone at home.
I sought out the assistance of my long time hair colorist, Julie Ruckman, the owner of Zuzu Organic Salon in Portland, OR. She is a real wizard of hair color and creates serious magic of her own!
About my hair
So first you should know my hair is medium brown, fine, wavy, and I’ve been getting highlights woven in using Oway Hair Color to blend my (approximately 10%) grey hair in and add some lightness to my look.
Preparing The Hair
I had to wait until my roots grew out about 2 inches. No problemo. I’m an overachiever and I had 3 inches of root growth!
Then they suggest (but really it’s a requirement) that you use their Chelating Shampoo for one week to cleanse the hair of all the potential gunk sitting on it from various shampoo, conditioner or other styling products that could interfere with the penetration of the Hairprint True Color Restorer.
I use only the best natural hair care products, so I wasn’t too worried (most people are using hair products with lots of silicones that collect on the hair shaft), but I did what they said and used the shampoo (which felt amazing!) and stopped using all styling products a week prior to the date of my first appointment.
They provide you pretty much everything in the cute little box they send, except a mixing bowl.
Before you start get out a bigger one than you think you’ll need because this stuff changes color and grows like the blob! I told you – it’s sorcery.
Expect to Make a Mess
Maybe after you have some practice, it will be a lot easier and less messy, but your first time…well, make sure you’re not standing over your favorite bath mat or near your organic white towels when you do this…that’s all I’m sayin’.
Hairprint suggested I use a rich natural butter (like shea) to coat the shaft of the hair in places it has already been colored to protect it during processing.
Instead I got cocoa butter in a jar that was a disaster. It was way too solid and got very weird texture, flaking all over my hair.
What worked far better on our second round was the Organic Chemistry Deep Conditioning Treatment.
The actual processing
We followed the directions to the letter, and by “we” I mean, Julie. I sat there watching her.
It’s pretty simple once you get going: mix, apply, let sit, rinse, repeat.
The first time we did the whole process it took us 3 hours. Julie was methodical, making sure each step was followed to the letter. Mostly I think coating my hair with the cocoa butter ate up a lot of time given the debacle we encountered (described above).
By the second round we slashed our time in half!
So like I said before, it may take some practice to get up to speed, and be less messy.
First round of results
Hairprint tells you ahead of time that if it’s your first experience using the product, you made need to do two rounds of processing to get full results.
So I wasn’t expecting things to be massively different until the second round.
Second round of Results
2 weeks later, Julie and I tackled the second round of color restoration.
The grey wasn’t 100% gone, but there was a significant reduction of grey hair.
Adding Color on Top of Hairprint
Like I said before, I really wanted to put my subtle highlights back into my hair, but had to wait until both rounds of treatments were done.
So immediately after the 2nd round we added the lightness back in with a technique called balayage, so there’s no obvious root growth (AKA less maintenance for me).
Each time I experienced two odd side effects after using the Hairprint True Color Restorer. Neither was harmful, just unexpected.
I noticed my scalp felt very tight with a tiny bit of itchiness the first round and less so the second time. It was like I had a swimming cap on. I paid very close attention to any signs of skin irritation and saw none. The sensation was gone in less than 24 hours.
The folks at Hairprint told me this product is alkaline and naturally opens the cuticle which creates the sensation of temporary itching and tightness in some people.
The other weird thing that happened was my hair went almost completely straight. That actually made me panic more than the scalp tightening. I love my wave and it’s a part of my character. Thankfully after 2 washes it was back to its normal wave (phew!).
After all that use, I was impressed at how soft my hair felt. Anyone who’s gone through traditional hair coloring knows that you can end up with very dry, straw like strands after. So this was a happy surprise!
They explained that it works with the natural protein from your hair which is why it feels so soft. Each person’s hair is unique so it may react differently at first.
Conclusion About Using Hairprint True Color Restorer
All in all, Hairprint True Color Restorer is an impressive product. Its ingredients and the way it functions are revolutionary and unparalleled.
Particularly if you are in the brown-haired category and are simply looking to turn your greys back to your normal color, this is a fabulous non-toxic option.
I was definitely a more complex tester, and I think it’s was worth it to go through all of that to demonstrate that even more complex cases like mine, could experience the extra peace of mind and health benefits of using a safe product to turn back time on anyone’s head (with brown hair for now).
Of course, this only works on strands that have come out of your head, so yes, you will need to reapply the magical potion as soon as you feel your roots are too grey again.
Want to get in on this? Click this link to get 15% off your first order.
Have you already tried Hairprint True Color Restorer? I’m so curious to hear how it’s been working for you. Leave me a comment below!
Feature image by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash. Silver hair photo credit by Instagram user @denisedusk. All other photos by Kristen Arnett or courtesy of Hairprint.