Bio: I am the owner of Raw Hair Organic Salon in Naples, Florida, as well as the owner of Raw Hair Organics, a one-of-a-kind 100% natural / organic professional quality hair products line. I am a master stylist with over 15 years behind the chair, internationally trained, former member of Intercoiffure, former Broadway stylist, a member of the American Board of Certified Master Hair Colorists, as well as an examiner for the organization. I am also an educator and known throughout the country as the organic haircolor "guru", and am invited to some of the largest professional hair shows to teach organic haircoloring.

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43 thoughts on “About”

  1. I had radiation treatment to my head 12 years ago which has changed my skin. My skin burns in the sun and could be burnt by a blow dryer. I have more greys than I like and I was wondering if you have come across a product that works well for radiation treatment patients. I understand that some people have gone back to use ‘regular’ hair dyes but I have lead a more organic lifestyle since my brain tumor treatment and I would prefer something without any chemicals. Thank you.

    • There are no hair color lines that are completely chemical-free (unless you use henna).
      The most gentle line that I found with the least amount of irritation and the least amount of chemicals is Organic Color Systems.
      But, if your head burns from a blow dryer, anything may be risky. It sounds like you are very high risk for irritation.

  2. hi, one of my friend is making a organic hair dye & he says it has no chemicals like ppd, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, but contains only henna, indigo, clove, acacia. His powder is dark brown in color. we should mix the powder in water and apply to hair. If we leave it on hair for 1hours it turns grey hair brown & if we leave it for 2hours it turns grey hair black. When I saw carefully there are small tiny whitish powder in it. What could it be? And the powder smells somewhat acidic. Kindly let me know what he would have added in it.

    • Thanks for the question, Raj.

      However, I have not made my own hair color. I have very little experience with henna. I would go back and speak to your friend and get the answers that you need.


  3. Hello Melanie, I just came across your blog today. I am hoping that you can help me. My dad (who is Indian and turned 60) wants to apply hair color to his greying mustache. He tried a few of the commonly available brands and when he did it caused a severe irritation on his lips. Are there any brands that you’d recommend for him that aren’t known to cause such irritation? I tried googling and came across this brand called Wolfshead Beard Dye, but don’t know if that’s good/effective. I’d appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks.


    • Thanks for the question, Roshan.

      I’ve used my professional color line that I use in the salon for mustaches and beards. I’m not really sure what’s available for sale retail, but I would recommend one that’s ammonia free and uses 10 volume developer.

      If you have any other questions, let me know.


  4. Hi Melanie, I’m wondering if you did review the Keune So Pure hair color line at the end. I would love to read your review on it. Thanks in advance.

  5. Nina Taylor said:

    Hi Melanie
    I have a client who started to get allergic to PPD I have been doing her hair for years. Nothing has changed. I have read all of your blogs. Do you know anything about a semi permanent color. What ones is the best or should I keep the permanent color. Is one better for her or not. It’s so confusing. Thank you

    • If the problem is truly PPD’s, I don’t think there would be a difference between permanent and semi-permanent. There is still pigment in both of them. Try using one of the lines that replaces PPD’s with a different ingredient and see if that helps. There are several lines that are not using PPD’s.

      Good luck to you,

  6. Nina Taylor said:

    Thank you for getting back to me. I tried inoa on my self it’s not bad but in reading there is tdr in it. Will it do the same to her. She was going to find another salon the use Phyto subtil botanics color. What do you think about that color.
    Thank you

  7. Nina Taylor said:

    Does resorcinol do the same as ppd
    Inoa has that in it but not any of the other names that are components of ppd
    Your thoughts

  8. It is not the same as PPD.
    However, It can be a “possible” skin irritant

  9. What dye+developer would you recommend the most?

  10. Carolyne said:

    I have had an allergic reaction to Fremesi, Chromatics by Redken and the latest was Organics. The products have caused extreme itching and scalp scabs. I am a brunette and need to cover the grey roots. I would appreciate any suggestions. I do not want to go grey!

    • You can try foiling, but it sounds like you don’t have a whole lot of options when you have so many issues.
      I don’t normally recommend henna, but that may be your only choice.

      Good luck to you,

  11. Carolyne said:

    Thank you.

  12. Can you review: Susan Henry Natural Hair Coloring System

  13. What an excellent blog and complete Bio! I’m not a hair stylist or hair colorist. I found your blog while researching how to formulate hair color. In the last week I have spent $255.00 on BAD HAIR COLOR (again!) I do not understand WHY Stylists claiming to be Color Experts CANNOT FORMULATE HAIR COLOR.

    • Mary,
      I don’t know why either, but search out a colorist like me who is certified by The American Board of Certified Haircolorists.
      They have much greater knowledge and education and professionalism than the average stylist.

      Good luck,

  14. Hi
    I’d like to see your review of All-Nutrient Hair Color. It is certified organic. I have been using it for about three years now and love it.

  15. What are you finding to be the safest hair colors for someone with dark brown hair and has about about 25% stubborn grey hair. I was recently diagnosed with an early breast cancer and have always been very health conscious but coloring my hair really concerns me. At the same point it makes me feel so much better being confident about my hair!

  16. Hi, I just read your website for the first time.
    I am an animal lover and my hairdresser uses Matrix hair color.I really appreciated your info on this product., She thought that Matrix was not tested on animals, but looking over your info and seeing that the company is affiliated with L’oreal I’m thinking unfortunately that Matrix does use animal testing. If this is the case, I think hairdressers need to have accurate info about this.
    The only product I have found that is a nice, animal friendly hair color is Paul Mitchell which I really like. But, I also like my new hairdresser so I’m disappointed that she uses Matrix.
    Could you please do a post on other animal friendly hair colors if you know of any and if I am wrong about Matrix, let me know?
    I really appreciated the in-depth reporting you did on Matrix..
    Thank you!

  17. I will start off by saying I’m a non-practicing hair stylist so I have more than average hair knowledge. I am 37 and am 2/3’s gray. I have been using an all over permanent color (wella) on my hair for the past two years. I touch up the new growth every 2-3 weeks just on the top and around my face. The rest of my new growth gets touched up every 6 weeks. The top of my scalp, especially my part, is red all the time now. This seems to be getting more and more noticeable. I’ve been to two dermatologists about it and they even seem puzzled. It doesn’t itch or burn. It’s just red. Over the past two years, of using a permanent color at this frequency, my hair has thinned greatly and has become very brittle. Do you think it could be the ammonia or the ppd in the color? Or do you think it’s more likely an underlying health condition? Regardless, I will be switching to an ammonia free line and will try to space my touch ups out further. Thanks for your help!

    • I see that a lot.
      You could definitely be having a reaction to the ammonia hair color.
      I would for sure switch over to one of the non ammonia brands.
      I have clients that come every 2-3 weeks like you do, so you should be able to keep that frequency.

      Good luck to you!

  18. Hi Melanie,
    I came across a hair colouring brand which claims to be ‘clean’ (plant-derived) but not sure how ‘organic’ it is. Would love to hear your expert advice. Ingredients are as follows-

    Cetyl alcohol 8%
    Octadecyl alcohol 6%
    Propylene glycol 5%
    Liquefied petrolatum 4.5%
    Fatty alcohol (polyoxyethylene alkylphenol) 3%
    NH4OH 1.5%
    Octadecyl trimethyl sal ammoniac 1.5%
    Dimethyl silicone 1.5%
    Dimethicone copolyol 1%
    Sodium d-isoascorbate sodium erythorbate 0.8%
    Resorcinol 0.6%
    P-aminophenol para aminophenol 0.6%
    Maminophenol 0.4%
    Sodium sulfite 0.3%
    Essence 0.3%
    P.phenylenediamine 0.1%
    Sodium benzoare 0.1%


    • What is the brand? That way I can look into it more.
      Even the “organic” hair colors are ammonia-free or low ammonia hair color with a handful of organic ingredients.
      I’ll take a look at it when you get me the brand.
      Thanks for following my site,
      Melanie 🙂

  19. Dianne Tudor said:

    Have you ever reviewed Aveda Full Spectrum Hair Color? I am curious if it is really plant-based and if it is effective in coloring gray well and without fading

  20. Dianne Tudor said:

    Well, I guess, after researching it more, that only the demi-permanent is amonia-free. The permanent color is not. And the permanent is what I need for gray coverage.
    Thanks, anyway.

  21. Could you review Goldwell Nectaya? Compared to Inoa?

  22. Help please. Hello I’m currently looking to take on a new line. And am wanting something ammonia free of course. I think you’re my last hope. I can’t trust anyone that works for the color line. Currently I’m looking at Kevin Murphy’s new color line color me. I had a class yesterday and really wasn’t super impressed. And definitely for the cost of this color line. They claim to have all this new technology but I guess I don’t see it. So my question to you is, first have you heard of it? What is your basic thought on it? Is it anything crazy different then any other ammonia free line? If so what? Is it worth the cost difference? I have a million questions and I can’t ask them.. I have been doing hair for 13 years but have never worked with a line like this. I’ve worked with many lines. My current favorite is Framesi for color, wella for lightener, and provana for direct dye vivids.. Also the big issue with the cost is I have a very big salon. Busy a lot of stylist. Our mission is to provide a high quality service at a reasonable price. And in Chicago that is super helpful for our clients. We never skimp on cost of products in fact we almost go to far the other way. So it’s not like if this product blew me away I wouldn’t go for it. But it didn’t.. I could go on and on. Sorry. I’m hoping you can give me some input and I’m loving your feed back on other products so thank you. Only thing is I wish there was more!!



    • Angela,

      I have not looked into that line yet. I can do that for you, but I am sure it won’t be drastically different than any of the others out there.
      If I were you, I’d look into Organic Color Systems. It’s a great product, cost-effective, and I’m sure your customers will like it. I hope to review this line in the near future as soon as I get the time to do it.

      Good luck to you,

  23. Hi Melanie
    I have been experiencing a tingling in my scalp followed by numbness on the left side of my face and scalp that I first applied the colour to (the side that had the colour on for the longest period of time). The numbness and scalp tightness remains for a day or two. What do you think this is from? I have had it happen twice. Once from a Revlon dark brown and now from the Clairol one. Now decided to search for other colouring options.
    I have been mainly using Clairol dark brown permanent colour 3.5 but after reading up a bit I realise it is full of chemicals that can cause serious complications.
    In your opinion what should I buy from Organic color systems to replicate this colour?I am about 50% grey.
    Kind regards,

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