Like the majority of American women, Ronnie Citron-Fink colored her hair. Yet as an environmental journalist, she knew all those unpronounceable chemical names—para-phenylenediamine,toluene, ammonia, parabens—on the back of the hair dye box were far from safe. After twenty-five years of coloring her hair dark brown, she decided to confront the powerful beauty influences in her life, ditch the dye, and go in search of answers. What are the risks of coloring? Why are hair dye companies allowed to use chemicals that may be harmful? Are there safer alternatives? True Roots: What Quitting Hair Dye Taught Me about Health and Beauty is the unforgettable story of that truth-seeking investigation.

True Roots shatters the misconceptions with surprising revelations about the regulation of beauty products in this country, suspected carcinogens in hair dyes, and who is most vulnerable to these dangers. It reveals a study from the National Institutes of Health that concludes salon workers can experience a fivefold increase in cancer risk compared to those not exposed, links between dark hair dyes and bladder cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and more. While True Roots takes a realistic look at the dangers associated with chemicals in hair dye, she raises hope. Some promising signs include proposed, bipartisan legislation that would mandate greater FDA oversight over beauty-product safety, a cultural shift in how women with gray hair are feeling empowered, and breakthroughs in safer hair products.Throughout, Citron-Fink also offers readers an honest account of her experience—and its emotional upheaval—as she transitions from dark dyes to natural gray. The result is a deeply human look at one of the most charged intersections of wellness and beauty facing women today. Through her expert investigation and personal account, anyone who chemically alters their hair can discover a new hair story built on individuality, health, and truth.

Check out Chapter 8 "A Greener Shade of Gray?" below or download the PDF here.