There are two ways to know when you’ve found “the one”:
When a man proposes to you at an ancient Greek temple at sunset with a calligraphic message in a bottle
When a product experience is flawless and leaves nothing to be desired
Today we’re going to talk about the latter (although the former will make a lovely future post).
And the product in question is a potential revolution in natural hair care.
That product is…Hairprint.
Before I dive into the product, first I must take you on a trip down memory lane. If you have a hair color history as sordid as mine, you will want to read before proceeding with Hairprint.
This post has an entertaining but lengthy back story. Click here to skip down to the Hairprint product review.
My Hair Color Saga (aka The “Roan” Less Travelled)
My history with hair color is best described as…labyrinthine. Our Facebook relationship status would say “It’s Complicated.”
Growing up, I was blessed with thick, long, and bountiful honey-chestnut brown hair. It had a kaleidoscope of tones, and would highlight ever so beautifully in the summer sun.
Look at those natural highlights. I’m soooo annoying, right?
And yet, like many high school kids, I couldn’t stand the sight of myself. I fantasized about having brown eyes instead of blue, and any hair color except my own.
The irony is that today, I would bare-knuckle fist-fight a two-headed jackal to get my original color back.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a peek at my high school Discount Dan Glamour Shot (this made a memorable Throwback Thursday):
Other than my lovely locks, can we talk about that come-hither stare? Those subtle Greek eyebrows? That classy flannel shirt I poached from my dad’s closet?
Linda Evangelista had nothing on me, child. #sarcasm
Things got hinky when a psychic medium I saw shortly afterward predicted my entire first two years of college.
Her most haunting prophecy? That I would dye my hair flaming red. Lady you just lost me, I thought. That’s just cray cray.
Two years later, a hair show agent stopped me on the street. She offered me a super-fresh new cut and color at her next hair show, completely free! Ehrmagerd!
For a glam-obsessed and broke college sophomore, this was a moment akin to being offered the blue pill or the red pill. Oh, to have taken the blue pill.
There I was a week later, receiving my free “color refresh” along with the other unwitting participants victims. The stylist couldn’t wait to show me my new, “gracefully subtle auburn hue”.
Apparently, “subtle” and “auburn” leave much room for interpretation.
When they turned the chair around, I had to scrape my jaw off the floor. My chestnut tresses were gone, unceremoniously replaced by a look I can best-describe as The Human Torch. Bleached Orangina-dyed roots faded to deep Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper at the tips.
My golden tresses were now violently ablaze, as my psychic had uncannily foreseen. It certainly turned heads, but in the least flattering way possible.
That experience kicked off a decade-long affair with the bottle. I went from deep cherry red to purple-black to strawberry blonde in a few short years.
Because of my hair’s tendency to pull red, each color cast would ungracefully fade to a brassy peach hue that made me crazy. Wash, rinse, repeat, cha-ching.
Then my deliciously darling baby boy came along, aka The Judgey Bear. I often found myself admiring his glorious brown mop with golden, sun-kissed streaks.
Suddenly, I was very nostalgic; ready to get the red out and get back to my roots (pun so intended).
Back to the salon I went, in search of my original color. Each time, I would request a neutral sandy brown, like the sun gently smooching my crown. With NO RED, if you please.
And every time the chair turned around and the towel came off, epic disappointment. The new hue was always too red, too dark, and too…un-me.
Going home smelling like paint factory was always the cherry red on top. And after several bouts of fume-induced migraines and scalp burns, I’d had enough with caustic conventional color.
Organic color, I hate to tell you, isn’t much better. It still uses ammonia and can contain harsh chemical fragrance. And when a “natural” hair glaze triggered a severe immune breakdown two years ago, I finally broke up with all chemical hair dye.
Want to sport the Granny look for free? Take one traumatic birth and breastfeeding experience, add a stressful corporate job, and mix in a minor health crisis for good measure.
Not only was my body in complete throes of battling several chronic and acute illnesses, but the stress I self-imposed from hunting down every last cure kept me awake for months.
As part of my detoxification protocol, I let my roots grow out for the first time in years. I was shocked to learn that at age 35, I was almost 50% gray.
Yikes. Now, I believe age is a state of mind, so this didn’t bother me at first. A sweet girl I met at a yoga retreat at Kripalu in the Berkshires remarked how much she loved my “real” hair.
A sucker for crunchy compliments, I decided, you know what? I am real. So, Imma do me! To heck with appearances, I’m lettin’ my granny hang out!
Except, that was precisely the moment my digital analytics speaking career took off. And when you’re a professional speaker, you get photographed…a lot. In high-definition.
So after seeing a shot of myself presenting in Australia with ashy roots and Technicolor mane in full effect, I retired ol’ Granny. Some women rock their gray and I completely appreciate that.
But on me, It just looked like I didn’t care. And as a professional in the field of design, I simply couldn’t afford to look like a frizzy matchstick head.
My 14-piece jazz wedding band had nothing on the brass in this shot. Call me vain, but that’s business.
But, I wasn’t about to crawl back to my abusive relationship with salon color. So, I turned to the next logical step in the natural hair color journey: henna.
I was nervous: I’d heard horror stories of flaming-orange color-tastrophes, and cheap formulations cut with toxic metallic salts and other nasties.
So during extensive research, I found an article about how to achieve perfect neutral brown with pristine quality henna without a hint of red using amla powder.
This was it, I’d thought. I’d found my gray white whale. I purchased the products and followed the instructions to. the. letter. Sure, my hair smelled like the sweaty underbelly of a Tibetan yak. But, it was natural and I was going to finally get the red out!
Spoiler alert: Henna magnetizes to white-gray hair and will possibly turn it COMPLETELY FIRE RED. And…that’s exactly what happened to me. I neglected to read that you must first prime your gray with pure henna, then follow with the henna/amla blend.
Oops. So, I did it again. I hoped that this time, it would extinguish the fire. It did not. The sympathetic support staff broke it to me that for some people, amla powder just doesn’t temper henna. Faaaaantastic.
The red was so intense, I actually canceled a fall family photo session. No, it was that bad. Most of my friends reassured me it was just a bit “festive”.
brutally refreshingly honest husband, however, started calling me “Copper Top”. And my only friend willing to tell me the truth sent me this photo several days later:
That’s right, I was now the Merida of the analytics world. Except the only thing “brave” about me was venturing out in public for the next three months.
I’m done, I thought. I was hanging up my harpoon for locating my gray white whale of a non-toxic, economical, and sustainable gray coverage solution.
Since I trust Kelly implicitly, I knew at the very least it must be impeccably safe. The question was, would it work?
So, I thought (in Ryan Gosling’s silky baritone), “Hey girl. Maybe this isn’t the end of the road. Just give it one more try. Because, minerals.”
Good enough for me, Ryan Gosling. I purchased a box, fervently awaited its arrival, cleared the calendar and dove in head first.
What is Hairprint?
In order to understand how Hairprint works, it’s important to know how regular hair dye works. Hair dye uses ammonia to force open the hair cuticle, strip the shaft of pigment, and deposit chemical dye. Sounds gentle, right?
This is why years of hair dye can create such brittle, frayed locks.
Hairprint is different because it isn’t a dye. It’s phrased as a “Hair Healing System”, and actually “instructs” your gray hair to reproduce pigment through a process called “melanogenesis”. Your own pigment, also known as eumelanin.
Hairprint contains just eight ingredients, some of them in your kitchen:
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Mucuna pruriens (velvet bean extract)
- Hydrogen peroxide (used to activate the mucuna, not bleach your hair)
- Diatomaceous earth (a fossilized phytoplankton powder, often used in detoxification protocols)
- Ferrous gluconate (a type of iron)
- Manganese gluconate (an essential mineral)
- Carbomer (a petrochemical, but with a EWG safety rating of 1)
And they’re all food-grade meaning it’s so safe that it’s edible [source]. The Hairprint website offers a much more detailed explanation of the science, and you can find an excellent assessment of ingredient safety over at Mommypotamus.
The Hairprint Color Transition Method
For Hairprint to be most effective, it has to have direct “access” to your hair shaft. This was going to be tricky because my henna was only three months old, and it was covering up years of pseudo-natural and chemical dye jobs.
Ugh…my mane had seen better days. As much as I would have liked to coat my entire head with the stuff, it wasn’t going to be that simple.
The lovely support staff at Hairprint explained that depending on the ingredients in the henna blend, applying the product over fresh henna could cause unpredictable results, such as drastically darkened hair.
I wasn’t sure how the results could be worse than my current situation, but I’d been proven wrong before.
I even valiantly attempted to remove the henna using a blend of fruit oils and Vitamin C powder. Not a hint of budging. I do credit the henna for its staying power!
Worst case, I expected something akin to the rings of a tree stump: mediocre coverage of my crown grays, violently brassy ends, and a thick line of black melding them together. Best case, well…there really wasn’t one. I was terribly pessimistic.
What I saw was nothing short of amazing. Let’s look at the process, starting with unboxing the Hairprint kit:
I selected the Brown kit to be safe. It came with a pre-wash packet, three bottles, and three powder packets, each matched according to its stage. I kicked things off with a thorough scrubbing with the pre-wash.
For transitioning from chemical color or henna, they recommend coating colored hair with shea butter, so I melted some and carefully coated my hair at the edge of the henna.
Now I was ready to get down to business.
Stages 1 & 2
The first stage essentially activates the eumelanin in your hair shaft.
I mixed half of Bottle 1 with half of Packet 1 per the instructions (since I was just doing my roots).
It quickly puffed to the consistency of fluffy eggy meringue. The color quickly transformed from a salmon mousse pink to vivid beet red to an inky coal black.
I quickly applied the brackish paste to my roots and waited fifteen minutes.
Yes, I looked like an exhumed dinosaur fossil from a tar pit. But I didn’t care one lick because I immediately noticed something extraordinary.
There was no smell. Not a “delicate scent” like other colors spout. Like, not even the faintest hint of sulphur, gasoline, yak armpit, nada. For someone with a freakishly acute sense of smell, it was…glorious.
I also noticed there was no burning open wounds or tingling scalp. Just a light, cool tar sensation.
I rinsed and moved on to Stage 2. Which is actually the same as Stage 1. But because the active ingredients quickly lose potency, it is necessary to do twice.
Rinsing thoroughly requires the most elbow grease of this process, but the rubber scalp massager I use with my Morrocco Method hair care served well in loosening the paste.
The last stage locks in the newly reawakened eumelanin in your hair for good. This mixture turned into a deep brown instead of black.
And once again, wait 15 minutes and rinse. And now…
My Hairprint Results
Full disclosure: I experienced heart palpitations when preparing to check the color. Painful memories of cringing at the towel removal in salons and at home flooded back.
It was…beautiful. It was…brown!! No Crimson Tide or Scarlet Letter. Just sweet Honey Brown.
My grays were still peeking through a bit, though. Hairprint suggests that some stubborn grays require two initial applications. So you better believe I bunkered down and repeated the entire process.
This time when I revealed my locks, my jaw dropped. My grays were COMPLETELY covered. It was the brown color I had searched out for 10 years, because it was MY brown (and zero red!!).
Even more amazing, my henna looked better. Instead of that cringe-worthy gray fading to orange, the Hairprint tempered the red and they now seamlessly blended together. In total, performing the entire process twice for the first time took about four hours.
After several weeks, the deep brown mellowed into my original hue, and now my gray hairs are highlights! To continue the transition, I’ll be reapplying to new growth every 6-8 weeks, and in due time I’ll be 100% me again!
Oh, and, my root hair is softer, shinier, and silkier than the rest of my hair. I wish I could use the product on my entire head just for the conditioning properties!
If you are struggling with covering your gray in a safe and natural way, you may have just found the answer. Click the image below to visit Hairprint and learn more about this magical product:
Note that the product currently only works for brown or black hair. They even offer a restorative color-free treatment for those desiring a shine boost.
You may find my elation for achieving neutral brown nirvana ridiculous. But you must understand, I literally thought that I would only ever sport radically cardinal locks. And, it just wasn’t me. This is:
Yes, the procedure takes longer than other color systems. But I found the process relaxing, and between rinsings I made Moroccan lamb patties, read two chapters of Untethered Soul, AND rocked out a mini-dance party.
I’m always grateful for products like Hairprint that fill a need so completely and execute it so flawlessly.
Because on my quest to find my authentic self on the color spectrum, Hairprint helped me take one step closer…back to me.
Have you tried Hairprint yet? Comment below!
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