A review of Hairprint
The idea of a hair colourant that contains no potentially harmful chemicals whatsoever is a pretty attractive proposition for all of us. And the claim that it restores grey hair to its natural colour in 90 minutes by “mirroring the natural process of hair pigmentation” sounds even more intriguing from a vitiligo perspective. This even set me wondering if something similar could be developed that would mimic the natural pigmentation process of the skin. But maybe someone is already working on that. Anyway, I read everything I could find online about Hairprint and also contacted the manufacturers direct to ask a few questions. What I found out was mostly good and I have summarised it below under the headings of PLUS, MINUS and STILL TO BE DETERMINED.
On the plus side, the Hairprint website categorically states that the product is “safe and toxic-free” and that no strand test is necessary before use, unlike any other colourant I have ever come across. This demonstrates a very high degree of confidence on the part of its American creators, who must be as aware as the rest of us of the litigation culture in the beauty industry and in that country in particular. The reason for their confidence is that the formulation consists of just 8 ingredients that are all very innocuous and because the product is a hair treatment rather than a dye, it contains none of the chemicals that have been associated with cancer or any other adverse effects.
The cost, at $39 US, is more than twice the price of Surya Brasil Henna Cream (my current hair colour product of choice), but still seems to me to be a reasonable amount to pay, especially if it does what it says on the tin.
On the minus side, Hairprint only works for brown and black hair types (any shade from very light brown to black). Apparently the reason it does not work on blonde, red, chestnut or auburn hair is because those hair types contain an additional pigment called pheomelanin, whereas Hairprint only replaces eumelanin, the pigment in black and brown hair. However, the manufacturers say they are continuing to develop other formulations that will work on other shades. So, perhaps it is just a matter of time before these become available.
A further drawback (at least for anyone wanting to change their natural colour) Hairprint will not alter your original shade: it only returns the greys to their natural tone. But I suspect that most of us with hair affected by vitiligo are more concerned about getting that to blend in rather than having a complete change of image. So, if you are wondering what the catch is with this miracle product, it is not a permanent “cure” for grey hair. It has to be reapplied regularly because the roots need to be treated as they grow through. But then this is no different from a dye, with the one massive exception that it is not toxic.
STILL TO BE DETERMINED
So far, so good. My impression is that, whilst this product is not a miracle, it offers far more pluses than minuses. However, there were two questions the makers of Hairprint answered for me that I was unable to categorise as either plus or minus, which is why I am including them in this final category.
Firstly, I asked about the one and only ingredient out of the eight that concerned me (the others being water, baking soda, mucuna pruriens, sodium carbonate, carbomer (a thickener), diatomaceous earth, manganese gluconate, and ferrous gluconate). The ingredient that caught my eye was hydrogen peroxide. Whilst the small quantities of hydrogen peroxide that are in this product would not be harmful in any way to most people, I was concerned about the risk of further increasing free radical activity in the skin in cases of vitiligo, where this is known to be part of the de-pigmentation mechanism. The website states: "The concentrations of hydrogen peroxide we use are, 1%, 1.5% and 3%. In conventional hair dyes, peroxide is used to break open the hair, and can be up to a 12-15% concentration. We do not use peroxide to open the cuticle of the hair (which is very damaging) but rather to oxidise the mucuna pruriens extract. When applied to your hair, the peroxide is virtually gone." This explanation went some way to reassuring me but I also asked the company for more information and they replied that their laboratory tests show that the peroxide disappears in less than 180 seconds, and emphasised that it is only present in small quantities to begin with. They could not offer any further advice for people with vitiligo since no specific tests have been done in this context. For the same reason, they were also not able to comment on how well Hairprint works on vitiligo de-pigmented hair as opposed to normal grey hair. I pointed out that vitiligo greys can be particularly resistant to colouring and treatments. They were aware of this fact but no comparisons had been made on this. However, I was told that they do have customers with vitiligo who use the product, which would suggest that they are happy with it.
I have not added Hairprint to the product range at VitiligoStore.com as I have not yet tried it for myself. I must confess that this makes my comments less of a review and more of an opinion based on what I have researched. I am so in love with the grey coverage and enhanced colour that Surya Brasil Henna Cream is giving me that I am in a bit of a quandary as to whether or not to swap products at this stage but I will certainly white another piece on Hairprint if and when I do to share my experiences. Luckily for me, I am a brunette so I do, at least, have the choice of using Hairprint if I want to. And, with the exception of the small amount of hydrogen peroxide (which, incidentally, does not feature in the Surya Brasil product) the purity and simplicity of its ingredients, and the fact that it is not a dye ,do make it a tempting option. One thing is for sure, both products are as pure and gentle as the proverbial driven snow when compared to most other hair colourants on the market. But, when it comes right down to it, the only way to avoid any possibility of coming into contact with a substance that aggravates vitiligo is not to use any proprietary products at all (including shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, etc.) which isn't very practical. So my stance on this is to continue researching available products and choosing those with the safest ingredients that pose the least potential risk.
A vitiligo blogger since 2011. My name is Caroline. I had vitiligo for nearly 50 years before finding an effective treatment. I created this blog to share my experiences with others affected by this skin condition.