Organic Colour Systems from HerbUk

Organic Colour Systems is more than outstanding products – it’s a system of total hair care. Used together, our ranges deliver outstanding results with coloured hair.


The Organic Colour Systems care range and colour range work together for outstanding results. Unique shampoos and re-constructors soften the hair before colouring and gently open up the outer layer (cuticle) so colour is easily absorbed. Then our nourishing conditioners close the cuticle completely, and restore hair to its natural pH value. That means colour stays locked in and hair looks smooth and shiny.

Ocs’s care range products also contain natural UV light filters to protect hair and keep colour longer-lasting. Nourishes, protects and strengthens coloured hair. All the products are packed with natural moisturisers and proteins that nourish, protect and strengthen coloured hair during every process from shampooing to straightening. So hair looks healthier than ever. Even damaged hair can safely be coloured and styled with Organic Colour Systems.

Common Questions

* Are the colours permanent?

Ocs is a full colour range including not only permanent colours but also semi and demi-permanent, hi-lifts, toners, clear and toned glazes, a range of ppd & ptd free semi permanent dye and unique lightening powders.

* Can you cover grey?

Ocs covers up to 100% of greys without ammonia however resistant grey can be stubborn in which case Ocs will result in a blending of greys. When hair proves resistant we employ a variety of techniques to swell the stubborn cuticle before colouring to achieve best possible coverage.

* I use a different brand, will Ocs work over that?

Just like any professional colouring system in the hands of an experienced stylist you can switch brands. The only time we cannot colour is if you’ve used henna or grey hair colour restorers.

* Why can’t you colour over Henna or Colour restorers?

Metallic elements in these kinds of dyes are a contra-indication to service, severe damage is inevitable resulting in compromised hair condition and breakage. If you have these colour we will perform a deep cleanse and treatment to remove all traces of the dye and then we can continue as normal, this will add about 1.5 hours to your service.

* I am pregnant, can you colour my hair?

There is no evidence to suggest that colourants are harmful to fetuses however we always wait until 1. after the first trimester, 2. a second trimester patch test shows no reaction and 3. we will patch test you again after birth and again 4 months post birth. Though colouring is safe please remember that pregnancy affects can affect hair’s normal condition resulting in hair resistant to colour.

*What is so wrong with Ammonia?

First you have to understand the chemical reactions which take place during the colouring process and second you have to understand Ammonia’s place in the process.

1. For colour molecules to be deposited into the hair cortex (the inner centre) first they must pass through the cuticle layer.

2. Once in the cortex a chemical reaction takes place (oxidation) which swell the molecules until they are too large to pass back out of the cuticle layer and the molecules become lodged in the cortex.

3. To open the cuticle layer and allow those molecules to pass through (deposit colour) we must raise the ph value of the hair.

4. To make sure those molecules can’t pass back through the opened cuticle layer (colour rinsing out) we must then close the cuticle layer back down, return the ph to it’s natural point.

Ammonia is a chemical which is great at raising ph and so has been the main choice for use in colourants. However ammonia is very aggressive, resulting in damage, drying, fumes and irritation. (We’ve all reached for a comb to have a little scratch haven’t we?). On top of all that when dissolved in water it makes corrosive ammonium hydroxide . It is also a carcinogen; related to cancer.  Ammonia causes loss of protein and moisture from the hair and it damages the cuticle.

Hair is 5.5 ph
Optimum ph for colouring is usually 9
Ammonia can raise the hair to as much as 10.5 to 12

All this in essence means that Ammonia is simply too aggressive for it’s purpose and the use of Ammonia in itself results in damaged hair and colour fade from the unclosed cuticle layer and hair not returning to it’s natural ph. When you consider the toxic nature of Ammonia compared to its efficacy in colourants it is clear another chemical could perform the same action with less damaging effects.

This is where Ethanolamine comes in or MEA. MEA, commonly known, is no by means a wonder chemical. It also causes drying and cuticle damage and it also is considered a carcinogen however the International Agency for Research on Cancer have decided that ethanolamines do NOT pose a cancer risk to humans. MEA is considerably less aggressive on hair compared to Ammonia, it is used at lower percentages and coupling with emollient oils makes it less volatile and corrosive.

We consider this to be much more preferable to effects of Ammonia. In practice the salon air environment is less toxic, stylists and clients don’t suffer from skin irritation, (many customers say Ocs feels just like water on the scalp), damage to hair is much reduced and a stronger cuticle layer results in less colour fade. 

* Why Organic Colour Systems and not another ammonia free colour line?

Simply put we respect OCS’ philosophy. Breaking away from industry standard ammonia nearly 20 years ago in 1990 (well before it was fashionable ;P) was an extremely brave choice for a colour company and they have committed firmly to both the health of Clients and Stylists since. As well as putting health first Ocs products are made in the UK and deliveries are carbon neutral, their organic ingredients are certified by the Soil Association, every product in the range is cruelty free certified by Leaping Bunny and they are certified as cruelty free and vegan by Peta. The colours are water soluble, breaking down harmlessly, playing their part is reducing toxic water runoff, all packaging is recyclable and orders are even shipped with magical foam that dissolves in water with no water taint. You can see why luxey loves this company.

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