I'm a hairstylist and to be honest i've been checking into these same things. Since reading The Kind Diet I too would like to switch out the color I use at the salon and use cruelty free and vegan color. I do know that alot of the ingredients are not good in alot of these products. For instance I do alot of the brazilian straighteners and they contain formaldyhde. My eyes and nose burn like crazy when anyone in the salon are doing them. I've recently switched my shampoo and conditioner to Giovanni per alicia's recommendation and i love it. I too get my hair hilighted and for my own use as well I'd love to know what Alicia uses for her hilights as her hair does look amazingly healthy all the time.
going lighter rather than darker, unless you're using henna or a coloring brand that u can get at whole foods, is much healthier for you. the dyes in dark colors often times contain coal tar, which is carcinogenic. And if you think about all over color vs highlights, the highlights dont usually touch the scalp and its covered in foil, whereas the darker color is sitting on the entire scalp. going a little lighter will blend grays in nicely too. My hair is naturally dark blonde and i get my hair done at an aveda salon that uses aveda color. I stick w/ a high lift tint for the highlights so bleach doesn't touch my hair- way more chemicals and unhealthy, u can tell by the smell! if you avoid bleach your hair will be so much healthier too, I go a little lighter, 2 different shades of blonde woven in, and everyone thinks it's my natural color- love aveda hair color! All nutrients would be another good brand to look into, i think it is organic, they use it at an intelligent nutrients salon here in milwaukee, but i havent personally used it.