I think it's to each his/her own. Ultimately, yes you are probably subjecting your body to lots of unnecessary chemicals, and depending on what kind of hair color you use, it may not be very kind to animals, and I'm sure it's not kind to the environment.
However, as someone who started going gray at 18, twenty years later, I'm now pretty gray - more than 50% - and in my opinion, not old enough to just let it completely go gray. I don't want to look 50 when I'm only in my 30's.
There are kinder alternatives. There is henna of course. There's also Aveda, which is great, but pricey. I understand in NY, there's John Master's. And there are a growing number of of friendlier colors out there, for example, Palette by Nature. I love Aveda color, but just can't afford it - though I have splurged now and again on it.
I go to John Master's - love love LOVE it! yes, if I were the perfect back-to-earth gal I would be pretty gray right now....but I'm not that gal yet and John Master's helps me do it at least in a better way.
This is the one thing I cannot let go of. I've been dying my hair red since I was 16, and now, at 39 I can't stop because I have too much gray! I just read "No More Dirty Looks" and the authors could not recommend any "natural" hair dyes because apparently they are THAT awful. I can't afford to get my hair dyed at a salon- I've always done my own. So until something affordable comes along that looks decent (or I suddenly feel comfortable having grey hair!), I'll have to keep applying toxic chemicals to my head on a monthly basis.
I use Naturtint . . . still chemicals, but less than others . .. . no ammonia so not smelly . . . most importantly they don't test on animals or use animal products. Works just as well as the other ones that I used to use and they have a decent selection of color.
I can't speak to the grey issue since it is just not nearly as much of an issue for men but I have notices something rather startling.
Those women who regularly go to hair salons have the worst looking hair of all. The healthiest looking hair is inversely proportional to the number of salon visits. What ever it is that they do, it takes it's toll.
Very true Justin, it usually looks broken and unhealthy. I think it comes from all of the bleaching and coloring (some girls change their hair color constantly!) as well as all the flat irons and blowdrying. It breaks there hair easily and makes it brittle.
You know, I can tell a big difference since I stopped blow drying and using curling or flat irons daily. I can get away with that being mostly a stay at home mom right now. But my hair is so much healthier just letting it air dry and if anything using velcro rollers.