- How To Keep Dyed Hair Healthy
- 1. After coloring, wait a full 72 hrs before shampooing
- 2. Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
- 3. Add dye to your conditioner
- 4. Turn down water temperature when shampooing
- 5. Wash hair less often
- 6. On off days, use dry shampoo
- 7. Use leave-in treatments to protect hair color when styling
- 8. Use heat protectant spray before using hot tools
- 9. Prepare your hair for next color process
- 10. Avoid chlorine
- 11. Keep up with trims
- 6 Tricks to Keep Color-Treated Hair Healthy
- Dying Hair Darker To Make It Healthier – Facts VS Myth
- My Professional Suggestion For Conditioning Treatments
- FACT: Dying Your Hair Darker At Home Can Turn Out To Be A Disaster
- FACT: Not All Hair Color Brands Are The Same, Even If You Are Just Going Dark
- FACT: Coloring Your Hair Dark Is Cheaper If You Stay The Same Color
- Eight Rules for Safer Hair Color
- Mild Shampoo + Protective Conditioner = Longer-Lasting Color
- How To Dye Your Hair in the Healthiest Way Possible
- What Do You Mean By Organic Hair Color?
- Does 100% Organic Hair Color Exist?
- Do Organic Hair Colors Work?
- What about ammonia-free hair colors?
- Benefits Of Organic Hair Color
- 10 Best Organic Hair Color Products
- 1. Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
- 2. Naturtint Permanent Hair Color
- 3. Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Color
- 4. Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner
- 5. Logona Natural Herbal Botanical Hair Color
- 6. Surya Brasil Henna Hair Cream
- 7. Naturigin Permanent Hair Color
- 8. Madison Reed Root Touch Up
- 9. Radico Colour Me Organic Hair Color
- 10. O&M Mineral CCT Permanent Hair Color
- Sorry: 100% Organic Hair Dye Doesn’t Exist
- Hair Dye is Safe, Though
- The Cleaner Hair Dye Options
- Hair Dyes
- Types of hair dyes
- How are people exposed to hair dyes?
- Do hair dyes cause cancer?
- Are hair dyes regulated?
- Should I limit my exposure to hair dye?
- What does “natural” mean in hair dye?
- How does hair dye work, again?
- And what about henna?
- Ready to try au natural? First, figure out your color goals.
- The 10 Best Vegan Hair Dyes That Actually Work
- 1. A Permanent Dye That Covers Grays: Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
- 2. A Strengthening Henna Cream: Surya Brasil Henna Cream
- 3. A PETA-Approved Cream Color: Good Dye Young Beautifully Obnoxious Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- 4. A Conditioning Botanical Powder: Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner
- 5. A Unisex Henna Powder: The Henna Guys Henna Hair & Beard Dye
- 6. A Shine-Boosting Formula For All Hair Types: Naturigin Permanent Hair Color
- 7. A Super-Pigmented Semi-Permanent Dye: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair
- 8. A Colorful Cult Favorite: Manic Panic Classic Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
- 9. A Vibrant, Keratin-Infused Dye: Jerome Russell Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Color
- 10. A Gentle Dye That Won’t Damage Hair: Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color
- Best Organic Hair Dye Brand That Really Works
- What makes a hair dye organic?
- So if it’s ammonia-free, does it pay off in terms color and longevity?
- Top 5 Best Organic Hair Dye Brand
- 1. ONC Natural Colors
- 2. Light Mountain Natural Hair Color
- 3. Tints of Nature
- 4. Naturigin
- 5. Logona
- Why we highly recommend ONC Natural Colors?
- DO: have realistic expectations
- DO: protect your face! And your bathroom
- DON’T: leave dye on for longer than recommended
- DO: be careful playing with chemicals
- DON’T: turn your hair to jelly
- DO: be prepared for it all to go horribly wrong
How To Keep Dyed Hair Healthy
The 10 commandments to follow after you colour…
So you’ve joined the Colorista clan, you’ve gone rogue on your choice of shade. But even though Colorista formulas care, coloured hair simply needs some extra T.L.C. So how to keep your colour fresh – and your hair silky, shiny and smooth? There are 10 top secrets that every Colorista should know…
1. Wash your hair less frequently
The more you wash, the quicker your colour will fade – it really is as simple as that. So buy back some time in your everyday routine and skip the frequent washing. The best way to care for your colour is to wash only twice or thrice a week – then soak up oil from those roots with dry shampoo when needed.
2. Skip straight to conditioner
So, you’re having trouble weaning yourself off daily washing – you’ve been doing it for years. At the very least, put your hair on a “low poo” diet by skipping shampoo and jumping straight to conditioner. You’ll add softness, shine and caring nourishment – all without washing that crazy colour away.
3. Pick the right shampoo
There’s a reason why colour protective shampoo was invented. Whilst some regular shampoos can wash away your colour and accelerate colour fade, formulas like L’Oréal Paris Elvive Colour Protect Shampoo actually work to protect your colour, helping to keep your pastel, vivid or metallic shade looking beautiful and vibrant. Whatever you do, choose a “low sulphate” shampoo as it will help to wash out less colour from your hair.
4. Condition, condition, condition
When we colour our hair, it becomes more fragile – this helps the colour make an exit and therefore, that’s when fading occurs. So allow the oils, butters, conditioning polymers and other hydrating elements that often go into a great conditioner to help form a protective barrier and help prevent your colour making a bid for freedom.
5. Heat Protection
They work – In particular, the ingredients in heat protection sprays reduce heat damage, most likely by evening out how the hair heats up. However, they can’t insulate your hair from most of the damage, so you still need to minimise your hair’s exposure to heat styling!
6. Make time for masks
Did we mention condition? Just for good measure, it’s back in at number six. If you’ve been on a colour break and become slack about masking, now’s the time to get back on the wagon. Just 5-10 minutes of masking twice a week can add a super dose of healing nourishment that helps to repair damage, increase shine – and naturally, keep that colour going stronger for longer.
7. Air dry
There’s a blow-dry backlash brewing amongst the style set – and we think we know why. Addicted to colour – that’s crazier by the second – they know that all that heat from blow-dryers, straightening irons and curling tongs may not only be damaging to the hair, but also be pressing play on yet more moisture loss and compromising that radiant colour. So do as they do and simply apply L’Oréal Paris Elvive Extraordinary Hair Oil to damp hair to nourish and add shine – all whilst helping to save your colour from the perils of the hairdryer.
8. Use filters
One of the number one enemies to long-lasting, super bold colour is UV light from the sun. Even in winter when the days seem dark, light loves to play havoc with your hair. So add a UV filter finishing spray to your morning routine and show the sun who’s boss.
9. Swim smart
Remember the stories about chlorine turning coloured hair a slimy shade of green? Chlorine can not only change your colour (obviously not colouring it green), but it can also fast forward fading. So if you’re heading to the pool, prep your hair and pre-condition. Apply a layer of conditioner to your hair and spin it up into a bun to form a protective barrier against chemical damage. After all, if you’d wanted to go green, you’d have picked Colorista Spray in Mint.
10. Eat right
Condition – like beauty – starts from within, so feed your hair from the inside out. A diet rich in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel will nourish your hair with omega-3 fatty acids, making it shiny and strong. Add some walnuts in and get a hit of vitamin E to help combat dry, brittle hair post-colour.
Be a Colorista. #DoItYourWay
Whether you have platinum blonde, brunette, black, red, or even blue hair, color treated hair needs a little extra attention if you’re wanting your color to last long. Nothing is worse than spending big bucks at your hair salon for the newest trending color and then having it fade after a week due to not taking care of your locks. Trust me, I learned the hard way. Coming from someone who has had pink, orange, black, brunette, and my more natural color, blonde, I have had to learn a thing or two about getting color to last longer. Here are my tips that I have gathered over the years!
1. After coloring, wait a full 72 hrs before shampooing
When coloring hair, your cuticle layer is opened, making it easy for color to penetrate the hair shaft. When you wash your hair too soon after your appointment, the cuticle layer could still be open which then leads to your color being washed down the drain. It takes up to three days for the cuticle layer to fully close, so the longer you wait to shampoo your hair after you color your hair, the more time the color pigment will have to soak into the hair cuticle – which will help your color last longer in between salon visits.
2. Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
Sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium laureth ether sulfate, is a type of anionic detergent that is found in many personal care products. This ingredient is used to help produce a foaming effect to your shampoos and conditioners. By using sulfates, you run the risk of stripping your hair of its natural oils and moisture, which can then lead to stripping your beautiful color treated hair (which you just spent hours and dollars at the hair salon to achieve).
Try using a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to keep your hair color from fading. L’oreal has great options for all hair types, so whether you have frizzy, curly, straight, or even thin hair, there is a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner option for all!
EverPure Sulfate Free Shampoo & Conditioner, $7
3. Add dye to your conditioner
If you’re rocking a brighter look like pink, purple, or even blue, try adding a little bit of your dye to your conditioner when washing hair. This will slightly re-dye your hair every time you wash to keep it looking fresh until your roots grow out.
4. Turn down water temperature when shampooing
Though hot showers feel amazing to some, it isn’t so great for your hair color. When washing hair with hot water, your hair’s cuticle is opened, allowing your color to wash out while shampooing and conditioning.
To prevent seeing all of your color go down the drain, try shampooing with slightly warm water and then rinse with cold water after conditioning. The warm water will allow the shampoo and conditioner to penetrate and cleanse, while the cold water will help seal in the moisture from your conditioner while preventing color from fading by sealing the hair’s cuticle.
5. Wash hair less often
Washing your hair every day is something you want to avoid if wanting your hair color to last longer. Not only are you washing away the natural oils that moisturize and keep your hair color looking fresh, you also wash away a little bit of your hair dye every time you wash your hair. Try washing your hair every other day or even 2-3 times a week to keep your color on lock.
6. On off days, use dry shampoo
On your off days of not washing your hair, try using color-safe dry shampoos. These will refresh your hair and make it look like you just got a blowout without even having to wash your hair! You can also try color-tinted dry shampoos to revamp your color without having to head to the salon.
Hint of Color Dry Shampoo, $9
Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, $22
Source: Who What Wear
7. Use leave-in treatments to protect hair color when styling
Colored and chemically treated hair needs extra hydration and protection from the sun to prevent damage and loss of nutrients to the hair. Leave-in treatments will help keep your hair smooth and hydrated, and it’s important to find one with UV protection so that the sun won’t fade your hair color.
It’s a 10
Miracle Leave-in Product, $19
CAVIAR CC Cream for Hair, $12
Source: Carrie Bradshaw Lied
8. Use heat protectant spray before using hot tools
Heat will strip away color and hydration and lead to damaged hair. To help prevent these problems from happening while using hot tools, try using a heat protectant spray before blow drying or styling. Heat protectant sprays will help reduce moisture loss from inside the hair, smooth the outside of the hair, and protect your hair from humidity after heat styling which, in all, will help maintain your color.
Heat Tamer Spray, $6
Bumble and Bumble
Hairdresser’s Primer, $28
9. Prepare your hair for next color process
Use a clarifying shampoo the day before your next color treatment at the hair salon. This will strip your hair of any oils that could block your color from penetrating the cuticle at a deeper level. My favorite is Neutrogena’s anti-residue shampoo.
Anti-Residue Shampoo, $5
Source: Urban Outfitters
10. Avoid chlorine
Chlorine is a chemical bleaching agent that cleans pools and will definitely strip color from your hair when enjoying a sunny pool day. Blonde hair is susceptible to turning a greenish tint, while darker shades may become dull, dry out, and lose its shine. So, if you find yourself wanting to go to the pool, try a swimmer’s cap! Or, try getting your hair wet in the shower, use conditioner, and then don’t rinse it out. This will create a barrier on the hair shaft so that the chlorine won’t penetrate.
11. Keep up with trims
Dead ends won’t hold color and will fade even faster, so make sure you are cutting off those dead ends every 6-8 weeks so your color looks fresh from root to tips!
6 Tricks to Keep Color-Treated Hair Healthy
Wash as infrequently as possible and only with lukewarm water.
Hot water opens the hair cuticle, allowing pigment to seep out. To clean hair between washes, spritz dry shampoo on your roots.
Look for a mask with moisturizing and repairing ingredients (like shea butter, glycerin, and keratin), and use it from midlength to ends once a week.
Avoid heat styling.
If you must use a blow-dryer, flatiron, or curling iron, first spray on a heat protector from roots to ends. It helps seal the cuticle, preventing color from getting dull, says Daniel Villano, a stylist at the Frédéric Fekkai Fifth Avenue Salon (and Michelle Obama’s colorist).
Buy yourself two more weeks between dye jobs.
When your roots start showing, dust Color Wow Root Cover Up ($35) on the regrowth. The long-lasting formula comes in four shades (blonde; light, medium, and dark brown) that perfectly blend with your haircolor, and stays put until your next shampoo.
Tips for Coloring Your Relaxed Hair
Always see a professional.
Relaxed hair has been weakened by chemicals, so the strong ingredients in permanent dye can be especially damaging. An experienced colorist will likely cover your roots and darken your shade with a gloss or a semipermanent dye containing a low concentration of peroxide.
Avoid going lighter.
Because relaxed hair is very porous, it quickly absorbs bleach (the chemical used to lighten). The combination of bleach and acids in a relaxer has the potential to literally disintegrate your hair.
More on Color-Treated Hair
- The 5 best products for faded and fried hair
- How to color your hair like a pro—for less than $15
- The best way to cover grays without going to a salon
Dying Hair Darker To Make It Healthier – Facts VS Myth
Let me ease your beautiful mind and let you know I have had my cosmetology license since 2008! I have worked traveling the country with high profile clientele and in my home state of Wisconsin working at various Salons. I know the ins, outs, and all the roundabouts when it comes to beauty. I’m no Joe Schmoe just writing an article based off of an interview I did with someone at a hair salon for five minutes, and now thinking I am an expert writing an article. Not to throw other sites shade but…
You may want to take your locks to a darker hue due to numerous things such as a breakup, the season or perhaps you are into a new Netflix show, and you want to look just like Mandy Moore. Whatever the reason for wanting to go darker, you need to keep in mind all of the myths vs. facts of taking the plunge. Let me help you sort through a few FAQ below, so you know what dying your hair darker fully entails.
Invest in your hair, it is the crown you never take off.
MYTH: Dying Your Hair Darker Will Make It Shinier
Yes, coloring your hair will typically make it appear to shine more. However, that will be dependant on a few different things. If you are coloring it yourself at home odds are it won’t turn out shiny and will instead turn out mucky, muddy and an odd dark brown/black green color. Why is this, you ask? Well, if you are going light to dark, you are going to need a filler color before you apply your final dark shade.
You can’t go brown to blonde without being red in between, and you shouldn’t go blonde to brown without depositing a red filler color in-between. It is, for this reason, why a professional stylist will first fill your lighter color with either a warm or cool red shade and then apply the final dark shade.
Rule of thumb: if you want healthy dark hair and you currently have a lighter shade, go to a professional to do the coloring.
The shine level will also depend on the current condition of your hair. If you have overall healthy hair then coloring it darker will appear shinier vs. if you already have damaged hair, it’ll appear dull no matter what color you are.
Rule of thumb: healthy hair is shiny hair – Damaged hair is dull hair
No matter what color you dye your hair, it will appear dull of it’s unhealthy due to things such as damage, breakage, or frizz.
Cosmetologist Suggestion: This pertains to color choice- if you currently have healthy brown hair and want to go a shade or two darker, you won’t have to worry too much about turning a muck color. Just don’t go more than three shades darker of your natural roots or it might not go with your skin tone.
If you want to color your hair at home proceed with caution and take your time!
FACT: Dying Your Hair Darker Makes It LOOK Healthy And Full
Dying your hair darker isn’t a miracle and won’t automatically fix your hair troubles. Nothing on this planet we call earth is going to fix your hair by just applying something on top of it. Whoever can figure that out will be richer than the owner of Amazon or Mark Zuckerburg.
Appearing Healthy Vs Actual Hair Health
While dying your hair doesn’t fix your hair problems and make it healthy again, it can make it appear healthy. This is because when you dye your hair dark, the color deposits into all the holes and cracks throughout your hair strands, thus making your hair appear thick and healthy. It is similar to getting a cavity filled. The dentist deposits hard material into the holes in your teeth, making them seem whole, but it’s just fake product filing it, and it’s not your actual tooth material. Just because something seems healthy doesn’t mean it is healthy.
Still, doesn’t make sense to you? Think of it as the pothole problem in the midwest. When there are potholes in the road, the state fills it with asphalt to fill the hole, cover up the problem and allow cars to drive bump free. The potholes themselves aren’t fixed, but the problem has a band-aid for the time being. Eventually, the asphalt will loosen and move. Next thing you know BAM, welcome back potholes. This is precisely what coloring your hair darker does. It fixes the outward appearance of it but doesn’t fix the issue at hand.
The only way to make light hair healthy and full is to keep up on conditioning treatments and trims. Conditioning treatments will keep protein in your hair, which will keep it healthy and allow it to grow correctly. Your stylist can do a conditioning treatment, or you can purchase conditioning treatments to do yourself at home. Depending on the severity of your unhealthy hair, you may want to do this 1-3 times per week.
My Professional Suggestion For Conditioning Treatments
Another critical thing for blondes or those with light hair to do is to keep up with trims. Trims cut off split ends which prevent breakage, thus making hair full. Damage is more so apparent on blondes becuase light colored hair allows more light to bounce off of it vs. dark hair absorbs light which helps hide more of the damage, such as split ends.
FACT: Dying Your Hair Darker At Home Can Turn Out To Be A Disaster
Like I mentioned above, you need a filler color when going darker. Unless you went to cosmetology school, you wouldn’t know the proper red to use as a filler. Red isn’t just red. Like we learned in kindergarten, you can have a warm red, a cool red or a neutral red. Going to a stylist will ensure you get the final dark result you want because they will know the proper filler color to use.
The Truth About Coloring Your Hair At Home
Coloring your hair at home is never a full proof guarantee. The color on the box won’t necessarily match the color you wish to put on your head.
For starters, you don’t know what color is in the box until it’s already fully processed. You can’t look at the color in the bowl and determine if it’s the right shade that matches the box. Someone at the factory could have messed up and put the wrong tone in the wrong box, or even worse, kids at the store could mess the boxes up by playing around with them. Trust me, I know. You wouldn’t believe how many color corrections I’ve done because someone got a different color then what the box promised.
Box colors try to be a one size fits all type of product, and those never end up working out for anyone. Everyone has hair that starts at a different level of health, so it’s impossible for a box to give everyone the same result. Factors such as age, medicine, grey hair, length, density, and hair structure are all going to play a factor in the product used and how the hair will accept the deposited color. Even a simple problem like thick hair is going to require more product than one box can offer.
Specific colors need to be put with certain developers to achieve the correct tone, and the developer is going to be situational to the person own hair characteristics. Small things such as a few grey hairs are going to change the developer a stylist is going to need to use. Once again, I stress, hair color isn’t a one size fits all. Example: Two people can come in with different hair color starting points, use the same tube of color with various developers, and end with the same result.
Box color uses a stronger version of ammonia, which if mishandled, will leave your hair looking dead. You can take healthy hair and ruin it with one lousy box color in a matter of 30 min. High ammonia is very unsafe to use by those not trained and isn’t necessary for everyone. A professional stylist may suggest you color your hair darker with a semi or demi-permanent color vs. a permanent one if they know your hair can achieve the same result. Healthy hair is better off using a lower ammonia product whenever possible.
At the same time if you go into a bad stylist they can damage your hair by using poor coloring technique. Check reviews, check Yelp and ask your friends on stylist suggestions.
FACT: Not All Hair Color Brands Are The Same, Even If You Are Just Going Dark
Hair coloring brands, professional and drugstore lines, spend years formulating hair color that will be different and stand above their competitors. While that is great for the consumer, at the end of the day, some hair color lines are going to look great on you, and some will look like shit. It’s not you; it’s them.
Hair color is all science. Cosmetologists have to take chemistry in school for a reason. Yes I know, my family was shocked too when I told them I actually had to take a full 8 hours of curriculum for a year straight to graduate; and didn’t just play with my friend’s hair all day long.
There are a number of factors why some hair color lines work well with the makeup of your hair and why some don’t seem to take well and look like garbage. A few of these factors include:
- Health conditions
If a line doesn’t give you satisfactory results the first time, it won’t be any different the second time around (unless it was stylish application error – like they didn’t leave it on for the long enough time or left it on for too long). Have no fear, there are a million other hair coloring lines out there and one of those is going to give you the results you desire.
Example: My hair DOES NOT work with Aveda hair color, I’ve tried multiple colors with multiple techniques and it is just never going to work.
The Genius Of Test Strands
Test strands are essential in hair coloring for a few reasons. If you are coloring your hair at home or are coloring your hair at a salon, make sure a test strand is done. A test strand is key to keeping your hair health at it’s finest.
What is a test strand? A test strand is a pinch of hair typically cut out somewhere in the back of your hair, that is used to test the color on. The hair strand is generally put in a piece of foil that is then colored, washed, and dried. Whatever the end result on the test strand is will be the end result on all of your hair.
An additional hair color test can be done on your actual skin to make sure you are not allergic to the hair color itself. This can be done by merely taking a dot of hair color and putting it on the back of your neck or on your arm. If you are a person who is nervous or know they have odd allergies, I would strongly suggest doing a test strand.
Peek here at how to get tempory hair color at home! No visit to the salon needed which can be great for those crunched for time!
FACT: Coloring Your Hair Dark Is Cheaper If You Stay The Same Color
Most people tend to change their hair color with the seasons. Style rule of thumb is to have light hair for summer and dark hair for winter. It is typically cheaper to go dark because you only need to deposit color, which requires less time and less product. When you are going lighter, it takes more time, more product, and more steps, thus making it more expensive and harder on your hair.
The Reality of Going Dark to Light to Dark to Light
While your dark hair appointment is going to be cheaper than when you lighten your hair, it can cost you more money in the long run. This is because if you want to go back lighter or even change it to a different dark shade, you will be dishing out some big bucks. Why? Because you will be paying for the bleaching process, which is necessary to go from dark back to light and you will be paying for the coloring process on top of your stylists time.
If you want to go dark for winter, it will be best to choose a demi-permanent color or semi-permanent color vs. a permanent one. A demi or semi color will fade better and will require less work to make lights again vs. a permanent color.
If you are indecisive, it is best not to go more then a few shades darker than what you currently have. This will save you money when you want to go back lighter in a few weeks. However, if you are over being a lighter shade and know you will want to be darker for a few months, or possibly even forever, then yes dying your hair darker is going to end up saving you money.
The Reality Of Corrective Color Charge And Dark Hair
Coloring your hair darker will definitely not be cheaper if you decide to do it yourself at home! Stylist WILL know if you did a box color at home; it the same as spotting an authentic coach purse vs. a knock off one, you just know. When they spot this, you will automatically be charged for corrective color.
Stylists love corrective color because it is the biggest money maker and it takes up a lot of their time, product, and brain power. Corrective color to a stylist is pretty much the same as building a house from scratch; they need to figure out how to first correct the color to a healthy state and then make it match to what you want for a final result.
From a professional to a non-professional just go to a stylist to do a darker color,it is going to save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Just like anything in life, doing something correctly the first time is always a better idea than trying to cheat it by doing it half-assed. It is a fact corrective color prices are at least twice as much as standard coloring costs.
Additionally, stylist charge so much for a corrective color to help prevent people from trying to do their own hair at home. It saves everyone time and effort if you just go to a salon for any hair coloring needs right off the bat.
At the same time, if you go to one stylist and want another stylist to fix the color, you might be charged for a corrective color as well.
If you get color done and don’t like how it turned out, you need to speak up and say something right away, or the next day. In almost all cases the original stylist who colored your hair will change the tone for free or charge you the bare minimum for a product charge. Call the salon and ask to speak to the manager if you feel uncomfortable talking directly to your stylist at the time.
Unless you pushed for that dark black gothic color (most stylist won’t go that dark because many people can’t pull off such a harsh tone) and in that case, you asked for it you will get charged to fix it.
Total 2 Shares
Eight Rules for Safer Hair Color
Hair color is not clean. At all. Even products in Europe, and even most brands labeled “natural,” “herbal,” or “organic,” contain seriously toxic chemicals. Many of us here at goop color our hair, love the results, and in no way plan to stop. But we’d love to at least understand the risks we’re taking when we do—and of course, what we’d most love is for the whole process to become more transparent, and eventually, safer.
Is coloring your hair as bad for you as, say, a regular smoking habit? Probably not, though its effects are (shamefully) less studied. Perhaps the most toxic ingredient, PPD (para-phenylenediamine), rated seven out of ten in terms of toxicity on ewg.org, is in most permanent hair color (some contain the similar compound, PTD), including many so-called “organic” and “natural” formulas. “PPD is one of the most concerning ingredients,” says Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
PPD is a powerful chemical sensitizer, explains Lunder: “It can cause strong allergic reactions.” These reactions can go beyond itchiness or even redness and irritation, though PPD can cause all of those. PPD can also cause fatal anaphylactic reactions—which can occur even if you pass a patch test, even if you’ve been using the same hair color with no ill effects for years, or, conversely, if it’s the first time you’ve ever tried hair color. And the patch test itself is controversial: “People are now studying to try to figure out whether the patch test only serves to increase your exposure—and thus increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction—or whether there’s a benefit,” says Lunder.
PPD is also linked to cancer—in 2001, a University of Southern California study found that women who had colored their hair once a month for fifteen years or more had a 50% higher risk of bladder cancer; in a 2004 study published in the International Journal of Cancer, hair colorists who’d been working with color for more than fifteen years had a five-fold risk of getting bladder cancer compared to the general population. PPD’s also been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2008).
Beyond cancer, research at the Linkoping University in Sweden in 2001, suggests PPD might compromise the immune system, setting off rheumatoid arthritis (women who’d colored their hair for 20 years or more had twice the risk of women who had not), according to the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Despite all this, the FDA has even less authority to regulate PPD than it does other cosmetics. PPD and all other coal-tar colorants—usually derived as byproducts of petroleum combustion—are called out specifically in the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act as exempt from rules for any cosmetic that “bears or contains any poisonous or deleterious substance which may render it injurious.” To quote the FDA website: “FDA cannot take action against a coal-tar hair dye, as long as the label includes a special caution statement and the product comes with adequate directions for consumers to do a skin test before they dye their hair.”
The European Union classifies PPD as a wildlife and environmental toxin; an irritant; a restricted occupational hazard; as toxic or harmful for use on skin; and as an immune system toxicant. The EPA classifies PPD as a known human respiratory toxicant, and as generally toxic to animals in moderate doses (and it acknowledges there are no low-dose animal studies).
All of that said, many of the published studies are based on subjects who were dying their hair pre-1980, and formulas have absolutely improved since then. Improved, though, does not mean there isn’t still PPD in most hair color. Because the FDA requires little transparency when it comes to hair color formulas and labeling, the incentives for companies (both “natural” and not) to clean up their acts are simply not there.
In terms of alternatives, stylists say it’s rare to find anything performs as well or looks as natural as PPD-based color. Some people have good results with pure henna, others do not; henna formulas can contain heavy metals, salts, and, particularly when labeled as “black henna”, PPD. (Lunder says the so-called black henna that’s used in temporary tattoos is made of PPD.)
Studies show, though, that you’re more likely to find non-PPD color options in a salon, rather than on the shelf at the drugstore; one new PPD-free salon line from Wella called Innosense, is getting lots of buzz. Skeptics point out that even PPD-free formulas can contain other toxins like benzenes, also linked to cancer. Again, without any FDA regulation, risks and benefits are hard to parse. “It’s a moving target,” says editorial colorist David Adams, founder of FourteenJay Salon in Tribeca, an Aveda salon (Aveda also offers PPD and non-PPD color; its formulas also replace some of the other potential toxins in hair color with natural ingredients). “The technology is changing all the time.” Top colorist Marie Robinson’s NYC salon also offers non-PPD options, and she too, sees reasons for optimism: “Every day there are breakthroughs in beauty,” she says. “And hair color just doesn’t have the same chemical content as it did when our parents and grandparents used it.”
Mild Shampoo + Protective Conditioner
= Longer-Lasting Color
You can color your hair less if you really take care of it. Focus on clean, nontoxic, ultra-gentle, super-moisturizing formulas—just as you would with your skin.
True Botanicals Shampoo & Conditioner
True Nature’s shampoo/conditioner set packages together two of goop’s favorite hair care products. Both the shampoo and conditioner smell absolutely amazing, are extremely nourishing, and completely toxin-free. The scent is a refreshing mix of lemon and orange peel oils, ylang ylang flower oil, sweet violet extract, and mimosa tenuiflora bark extract. Bonus: The subtle silver tone of the bottles makes this a stunning combination on any shower ledge.
Rahua Shampoo & Conditioner
Sustainably sourced from deep in the Amazon, the hair-nourishing Rahua and Ungurahua oils that create the base for this shampoo have been used by indigenous women to treat hair for centuries. Combined with coconut and shea butter, quinoa extract and Palo Santo (“holy wood”), it leaves your hair utterly cleansed, revitalized, healthy, and shiny. In the shower, the light lather and delicate scent create a soothing aromatherapeutic experience.
Lavett & Chin Hair Wash and Hair Moisturizer/Conditioner
Made with geranium, spearmint, rosemary, and black spruce oils, this works-for-every-hair-type cleanser is gentle but thorough, leaving hair soft and silky. It works with your own natural oils to balance the scalp and stimulate hair follicles. Plus, it feels and smells amazing.
A luxurious mix of coconut oil, rice extract, spirulina, rosemary, geranium and fennel, this ultra-nourishing hydrator seriously increases shine and manageability, leaving hair smoother, softer and healthier. It smells and feels fantastic, and works brilliantly for everyday.
Reverie Nude Shampoo & Conditioner
This luxurious cleansing cream is perfect every day for all hair types, especially color-treated. Made with sweet almond, neroli, grapefruit, sandalwood, and patchouli oils, it’s incredibly gentle yet cleanses thoroughly, leaving hair beautifully silky and shiny.
A brilliant every day cream rinse, this super-hydrator is made with sweet almond oil, zinc, neroli, vanilla, cardamom, and a host of other amazing essential oils. It leaves hair bouncy, manageable, and gleaming with health.
Rodin Luxury Hair Oil
Like all Rodin products, the hair oil is naturally scented and incredibly hardworking. The apricot oil-based formula was designed by famed hairstylist Bob Recine to heal and maintain damaged hair.
Uma Nourishing Hair Oil
For shinier, bouncier, and all-around healthier hair, this all-in-one healing blend of hibiscus, yerba de tago, Indian gooseberry, jojoba, moringa, and grapeseed oil is infused with lemon and grapefruit extract to cleanse the scalp, stimulate hair follicles, and promote healthy hair growth. The best part: Though it penetrates deeply and saturates hair with essential moisture, it doesn’t weigh it down. Apply 5-7 drops of this restorative solution directly to the roots, either as an overnight treatment, or for about 15-20 minutes before you shampoo. Bonus: It’s totally safe for color-treated hair, too.
How To Dye Your Hair in the Healthiest Way Possible
Dying our hair has always been a way of self-expression that many of us take to to do just that. With aisles full of boxed dye and professionals costing hundreds of dollars, here we will go over how to dye your hair in the healthiest way possible.
It all starts with a DIY horror story…
When I was younger, maybe 13 or so, I had dirty blonde hair. Now, this was a time when every girl I knew was either begging their parents for all over blonde hair or at least a handful of blonde highlights to make them “fit in.” Ironically, at this point in my life I wanted the exact opposite, I wanted to stand out. I didn’t want to be just another blonde girl in my middle school. This is when I had the brilliant idea to dye my hair.
Now, being as young as I was, I knew my mom would not be cool with me changing up my “beautiful blonde” locks she adored. So being the rebellious teen I thought I was, my best friend and I went to the local grocery store with the intentions of changing my hair to a pretty light brown.
Now, take my advice, if you can afford to, go see a professional, especially if you have a specific look in mind that you are trying to achieve. Dying your own hair very rarely turns out how you expect it to. I have dyed my hair a countless amount of times from box dye all by myself—and if you must—I will share my tips on how to dye your hair yourself more effectively without completely ruining your locks and your look.
Flashback to the grocery store, my friend and I had picked out a stunning warm brown color called “SPICY.” In retrospect, the name on the box makes a lot more sense for what happened next. This is where paying attention the colors actual name is crucial. Too eager to wait, we ran into the bathroom put on old clothes and started mixing up the concoction to slather all over my head.
Now, if you have dyed your hair yourself before, you already know that the color of the goo you rub into your scalp may not always be a color that makes sense with what color you are actually dying your hair (some blonde dyes are purple, browns dyes are black, black dyes are brown, etc.). Well, not two minutes after we had successfully covered my entire head did my best friend look at me scream at me to get in the shower immediately. Obviously that scared me, so I jumped in the shower rinsed it all out and towel dried my hair. When I finally mustered up the courage to look into the mirror—I was shocked.
My hair was Ronald McDonald red – FIRE red. As red as my face got when I saw my hair was the color of a tomato. Lesson learned, SPICY was red in disguise. I was so scared as I did not tell my mother what I was doing, all I knew is I needed to not have this fiery color on my head when my mom saw me.
So I broke the second rule of dying your own hair: dying it again immediately after you have already colored it once. This is a major no no. Why? Well because the chemicals in hair dye damage and dry out your hair, so dying your twice in the same day compounds the damage to your hair and does not give it time to recover. Lesson learned the hard way; I decided to try and dye my hair a dark brown to cover up the fire on my head. To no ones surprise, my hair turned so dark it was almost black and my hair was now fried as if I had burnt all the ends of my hair with a lighter.
Safe to say my mother was beyond pissed off when she saw the final results. She has always been partial to my blonde hair so when she saw the black/brown mess that was on my head she immediately scheduled me an appointment with our family hair dresser to throw some highlights on my head to start to transition me to blonde.
A lesson learned (and repeated more gracefully)…
This horror story of hair dying tragedies would be enough to stop anyone from ever touching their hair again, but as some of you might understand, dying my hair turned into an addictive way to express myself. From that day until now, my hair has been every color you can imagine at least partially. Pink, blue, purple, black, red, yellow, orange, brown, turquoise, rainbow, bleach blonde—you name it, I’ve had it.
My story above may have made it seem like I am against dying my hair, but let me tell you it is the exact opposite. I LOVE dying my hair; I love changing up my hair color every chance I get. Through my experiences with hair dying-the good and the bad, I’d like to try to help you make the healthiest and safest decisions when it comes down to changing your hair color.
Let me make sure to say, dying your hair is not for everyone. If you like the healthy natural hair color you have, by all means keep it! If you are considering dying your hair, buckle in because I am about to tell you all the ways to keep it from being a disaster (I know, I’ve had plenty).
So first things first, if you are itching to change the color of your mane and have the means to go to a salon, by all means do it. A good hair stylist will be able to accommodate whatever look you are trying to achieve in the healthiest possible way.
If you are stubborn or a poor college student like myself and think you have what it takes to DIY—I won’t hold it against you (seeing as that has been my method of choice for years).
If it is your first time dying your hair yourself there are somethings you need to consider before you go all dye happy:
1. It is a really good idea to have a trusted friend with you. It’s even better to have someone who has dyed their hair before and has an idea about what they are doing.
2. There are millions of colors and coloring options that you can chose from… so do so wisely. Chose what is best for you. Ombré, peak-a-boo highlights, all over color, under-layer color, all over highlights, random strips of colors, designs, a peak-a-boo strand or two, and chunky highlights are just a few options you have to choose from. Realistically speaking it is your hair, do what you feel will make you happy!
3. Picking out the right color is essential—especially if you have a particular look in mind. This is where I have messed up a few times.
When picking a new color, you need to consider the color of hair you currently have. If you have black hair and you want to dye your hair red—there is a good chance if you try dying it without previously bleaching it, it will not turn out like the unrealistically gorgeous locks blowing in the wind on the box. Research what you are trying to achieve and how people realistically got there.
Another flub many people make is trying to go blonde from a darker hair color. If you have any warm tones in your current hair color at all, it does not matter how much bleach you use—your hair will most likely turn orange. Going blonde is the most difficult due to the natural pigment in darker hair colors.
**If you are using any type of bleach at all, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE research on ways to do it so you don’t fry all of your hair off. Bleach is VERY harsh on hair and there are other safe and effective ways to go blonder without such harm to your hair.**
4. Make sure when you and a friend are mixing the colors and what not that you read the directions carefully. I can not tell you how many times I have watched my friends squeeze the aftercare shampoo tube into the chemicals supposed to be dying my hair. Big mistake.
5. Take your time. Dying your hair is not a race and if you are trying to achieve a specific look it is important to make sure you take the necessary steps to get there. Including but not limited to separating your hair into what feels like a million sections.
6. If you are deciding to go a more outlandish color—make sure you consider your employment status. Many employers will frown upon their employees having bright blue hair. This is why being in college is a great time to play around with hair colors before you have to take a more serious color as your own.
7. Make sure to do the test strip first. This is where my impatience hindered the success of my hair dying. I was always so excited to dye my hair I never really considered the reason they tell you to do a test piece of hair is to make sure the color you want is achieved.
This is especially necessary if you are attempting to move more than one or two shades away from your current hair color.
8. Make sure you really read and follow the timing instructions on the box. That is there to help you, not to hurt you or waste your time. If you know you have super thin or super thick hair, research what amount of time would be healthiest for your hair.
Keep a vigilant eye on the clock or set a timer on your phone so you don’t over do it.
9. Wash out all the color! I cannot tell you how many times I have been so eager to get out of the shower to see the color that I did not end up rinsing out all the color and my pillows, sheets, and clothes got super stained.
Hair dye is meant to dye, not to wash out, so keep that in mind when you are dying your hair. It gets messy and it does not come out of anything easily if at all.
10. Make sure to deep condition your hair weekly. This is important because it will revive any pieces of hair that may have been damaged when you were dying it. It also is just healthy for your hair in general.
So whether you are dying your hair a cool shade of purple or are just sprucing up your brown locks with some blonde for the summer — just remember these tips and tricks to get the healthiest look!
And just for fun, here are some looks I’ve had throughout the years; I really have had every color of the rainbow :
10 Best Organic Hair Colors To Try In 2019 Pooja Karkala Hyderabd040-395603080 January 7, 2020
Want to try out different colors on your hair, but the fear of chemicals is restricting you from experimenting with your looks? Are you searching for natural, non-toxic, and environment-friendly hair coloring products? Then, you should probably go for organic hair colors. It will surely be the best decision of your life. Let’s know more about organic hair colors and the best ones available on the market.
|Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel||Check Price|
|Naturtint Permanent Hair Color||Check Price|
|Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Color||Check Price|
|Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner||Check Price|
|Logona Natural Herbal Botanical Hair Color||Check Price|
|Surya Brasil Henna Hair Cream||Check Price|
|Naturigin Permanent Hair Color||Check Price|
|Madison Reed Root Touch Up||Check Price|
|Radico Colour Me Organic Hair Color||Check Price|
|O&M Mineral CCT Permanent Hair Color||Check Price|
What Do You Mean By Organic Hair Color?
Organic hair color refers to the hair color that is produced using natural botanicals and has less or negligible chemical content. The botanical ingredients are also cultivated using natural methods, without pesticides or fertilizers.
Does 100% Organic Hair Color Exist?
If any brand claims that their hair color is 100% organic, do not believe them – because they are lying. No hair color is 100% organic because it does require a certain amount of synthetic chemicals to be effective. These chemicals help in activating the pH levels of your hair to such an extent that the tresses absorb the color properly and benefit from best results.
People may argue that some henna hair dyes are 100% natural, but they may not be effective enough to cover gray hair. Also, the metallic salts present in them could damage your hair, causing it to become dry and brittle over time.
Do Organic Hair Colors Work?
We are aware that organic hair colors contain a certain amount of synthetic chemicals to make them produce effective results. Therefore, we must take note of the level of organic ingredients, natural and naturally derived ingredients, pigments, and pH adjusters present in the hair color to make the right choice. However, make sure that the organic hair color doesn’t contain ammonia, which is a harmful chemical compound used in hair dyes and not produced naturally.
What about ammonia-free hair colors?
Professional Ammonia-Free Hair Colors
Besides organic hair colors, there are also ammonia-free hair color brands that users shouldn’t assume to be healthier. In fact, they may cause more damage to your hair than the ones that contain ammonia if the users aren’t aware of the other ingredients present in the ammonia-free hair color brands.
The four major ingredients that are usually found in ammonia-free hair colors include Monoethanolamine (MEA), Ethanolamine, Cocamide MEA, and Aminomethyl Propanol (AMP). These ingredients increase the pH levels of your hair and help in opening up your hair cuticles so that they absorb the color effectively. But if the pH levels are increased too much, the hair color may fade quickly due to opened cuticles, which may also damage your tresses.
Organic hair colors are considered a good alternative to chemical-based hair colors. They not only give best and long-lasting results in coloring your tresses but are also healthy to use. Following are the benefits of using organic hair color for your tresses.
Benefits Of Organic Hair Color
- They are free of harmful chemicals that may damage your hair and scalp.
- They absorb the color effectively and produce long-lasting results.
- The natural and naturally derived ingredients present in the organic hair colors make your hair healthy and glossy.
Now that you are aware of organic hair colors and the benefits of using them, continue reading to know about the best organic hair color brands available on the market.
10 Best Organic Hair Color Products
1. Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel contains proteins and eight organic herbal extracts, such as Aloe Vera, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam), Betula Alba (White Birch), Cinchona Calisaya, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Echinacea Angustifolia, Juglans Regia (Walnut), and Rheum Palmatum (Rhubarb). These extracts moisturize, nourish, strengthen, and protect your hair and scalp. This hair color makes your tresses soft, shiny, and beautiful.
- No carcinogens or toxins
- Contains herbal extracts
- Dyes and nourishes your hair thoroughly
- Covers all grays
- No hair damage
- Some ingredients may cause skin irritation.
2. Naturtint Permanent Hair Color
This product is made using natural, plant-based ingredients and botanical extracts that nourish and protect your hair besides making it vibrant and giving long-lasting color. Naturtint Hair Color is specifically formulated for people who want to color their hair in a healthy way. This product is available in 29 mixable shades, giving you a variety of colors to choose from.
- Free of ammonia, resorcinol, and parabens
- Plant-based permanent colorant
- Covers gray hair in one application
- Long-lasting results
- Gives intense hair color and glossy tresses
- Hydrogen peroxide and phenylenediamines may cause an allergic reaction.
3. Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Color
The unique, patented formula of this hair color gives professional salon-like results besides nourishing your hair thoroughly and covering all grays. It changes the balance of the chemicals and allows the color to penetrate better into your hair.
- Free of ammonia and harsh chemicals
- Dermatologically tested
- Easy application
- Long-lasting results
- 100% gray hair coverage
- Not easily available
4. Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner
This product is made using 100% pure botanical extracts. It performs both the functions of coloring and conditioning your hair. It nourishes, volumizes, and strengthens your locks as it is free of ammonia and other harsh chemicals. The three coloring agents used to offer a variety of shades in this product are henna, senna, and indigo. This product covers your grays and causes zero damage to your tresses.
- Made of 100% pure botanical extracts
- Conditions and volumizes your hair
5. Logona Natural Herbal Botanical Hair Color
Usually recommended to be used on dark to light brown hair, Logona’s natural herbal botanical hair color is made using henna and natural plant extracts, such as beetroot and walnut shells. Since this product is manufactured with 100% pure herbal and botanical extracts, it may not be effective enough to cover gray hair. However, it nourishes, volumizes, and strengthens your locks, making them healthy and vibrant.
- 100% pure herbal and botanical extracts
- Nourishes and volumizes hair
- Adds shine
- No full coverage for gray hair
6. Surya Brasil Henna Hair Cream
Surya Brasil Henna Hair Cream is made using the extracts of plants and fruits from Brazil and India. It is appropriate for coloring your hair and conditioning it deeply. This semi-permanent hair color doesn’t contain harmful chemicals, such as PPD, EDTA, ammonia, resorcinol, hydrogen peroxide, parabens, etc. It is suitable for all hair types and can be applied on chemically-treated hair as well.
- Conditions dry and damaged hair
- Improves the health of your hair and scalp
- Not long-lasting
7. Naturigin Permanent Hair Color
This is considered to be the most gentle and organic hair color. This product is manufactured using certified organic ingredients, such as soya, sunflower seed oil, Prunus armeniaca kernel oil, jojoba oil, shea butter extract, aloe vera extract, etc. It not only colors, nourishes, and strengthens your tresses but also improves the health of your scalp. Naturigin brand offers 19 permanent hair color options in addition to providing a hair wash and conditioner.
- Contains certified organic ingredients
- Free of ammonia and harsh chemicals
- Safe and easy to use
- Not as effective as other brands
8. Madison Reed Root Touch Up
Madison Reed Root Touch Up is a brush-on powder that is made from natural ingredients such as argan oil, ginseng root extract, honey, mongongo oil, baobab oil, maracuja oil, and keratin. It also contains micro-milled pigments that add depth and provide remarkable coverage. The powder is brushed onto the hairs that need a touch-up.
- Instantly covers grays and hair roots
- Rain-, sweat-, and pillow-proof
- Suits all hair types and shades
- Contains ingredients that restore the hair’s health and promote growth
- Not long-lasting
9. Radico Colour Me Organic Hair Color
Radico Colour Me Organic Hair Color claims to be a 100% natural way to color your hair. It is available in 23 natural shades. It nourishes the locks thoroughly, balancing the moisture and restoring the hair’s natural luster. However, the results of using this product may vary from person to person and the percentage of gray hair.
- Free of synthetic chemicals
- Restores hair’s natural shine and luster
- Color stays up to 30 days
- Certified Ecocert product
- Tends to oxidize.
10. O&M Mineral CCT Permanent Hair Color
This hair color product is made using micro-color pigments and natural Australian botanicals in combination with a unique clay mineral complex that gives great and healthy results. This permanent hair color is known for its clean color technology, and it leaves your hair clean, healthy, and vibrant enough to grab everyone’s attention.
- Free of ammonia, PPD, and resorcinol
- Clean color technology
- A bit expensive when compared to other similar products.
With these incredible organic hair color products, you can now flaunt healthy, lustrous, and damage-free hair. Try any of them and let us know about your experiences in the comments section below.
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Latest posts by Pooja Karkala (see all)
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- 10 Best Henna Hair Dyes To Buy In 2020 – December 31, 2019
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Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.
Brands will slap the words “natural” and “organic” on just about anything these days, and big strides have been made in the beauty space toward creating cleaner, non-toxic products. But there’s one area that’s still ripe for green innovation: hair dye. Does organic and natural hair dye even exist? We asked Rob Peetoom, advanced stylist Michael Bowman, and New York City master colorist at IGK salon Stephanie Brown to separate fact from fiction.
Sorry: 100% Organic Hair Dye Doesn’t Exist
It’s sad but true: fully organic professional hair color does not exist. “You can have naturally-derived ingredients, but for it to work you still need a chemical process to happen,” says Bowman.
Brown says the only one hundred percent natural hair color is vegetable dye and certain brands of henna. “Hair dye must contain chemicals in order to work properly,” she adds. Just be aware that neither vegetable dye nor henna provide adequate gray coverage and can take hours longer to process. She also warns that henna can dry out hair over time.
If you’re looking for long-lasting results and vibrant color, you’re going to need a few non-organic chemical compounds. “Some direct dyes are more naturally-based but they will only last five to seven shampoos and only enhance your natural color. These natural dyes will only deposit, not lift hair color and are used for a glossing or toning affect,” Bowman adds.
Hair Dye is Safe, Though
Both Bowman and Brown agree that hair dye is still completely safe even if it’s not 100% natural or certified organic (because, let’s not forget, water is also a chemical). According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, color additives must be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are used in cosmetic products, including hair dye. Brown says that all hair coloring products on the market currently are approved by the FDA and/or include a warning about potential allergic reactions. Bowman recommends researching a company to see what regulations they use when creating hair dye if you want to be sure what you’re using is eco-friendly and safe to use.
The Cleaner Hair Dye Options
The first step in seeking out an environmentally-conscious hair coloring routine is to know which ingredients to avoid. Brown says the two most common hair dye ingredients to try to avoid are ammonia and p-phenylenediamine (PPDA or pPD). She explains that the latter is found in most dark (brown, black) hair dyes, and has been known to cause severe—though rare—allergic reactions. The only way to know you’re allergic to PPDA is to actually have a reaction, which is why a skin patch test 24 hours before slathering a dye all over your scalp is usually a great idea, especially if you’ve been prone to contact dermatitis or other skin conditions in the past.
In addition to asking your salon about the ingredients in their hair dye, you’ll also want to look for color brands that are cruelty-free. Brown lists Overtone, Smart Beauty, and IGK as some of her favorite brands that do not test on animals. She also likes Aveda and Lush and says both brands are committed to sustainable packaging. Bowman likes to use Davines hair color at the Rob Peetoom salon.
So while fully organic hair dye may not exist, it doesn’t mean you can’t find suitable options if you want to change up your hair color. You just have to do your homework on it first.
Many American women, as well as a small but increasing number of men, use hair dyes. You may have heard rumors about a link between using hair dye and getting cancer. Many studies have looked at hair dyes as a possible risk factor for various types of cancer. Here we will discuss what the research shows so that you can make choices that are comfortable for you.
Types of hair dyes
Hair dyes vary greatly in their chemical make-up. People are exposed to the chemicals in hair dyes through skin contact. There are 3 main types of hair dyes:
- Temporary dyes: These dyes cover the surface of the hair but don’t penetrate into the hair shaft. They generally last for 1 to 2 washings.
- Semi-permanent dyes: These dyes do penetrate into the hair shaft. They typically last for 5 to 10 washings.
- Permanent (oxidative) hair dyes: These dyes cause lasting chemical changes in the hair shaft. They are the most popular types of hair dyes, because the color changes last until the hair is replaced by new growth. These dyes are sometimes referred to as coal-tar dyes because of some of the ingredients in them. They contain colorless substances such as aromatic amines and phenols. In the presence of hydrogen peroxide, these substances go through chemical reactions to become dyes. Darker hair dyes tend to use more of these coloring agents.
Concern about cancer risk is largely limited to the semi-permanent and permanent dyes. Because darker dyes have more of some chemicals that may cause cancer, these products are of greatest potential concern.
How are people exposed to hair dyes?
The most common way to be exposed is to dye your hair or have it dyed. Some chemicals in hair dyes can be absorbed in small amounts through the skin or inhaled from fumes in the air.
People who work around hair dyes regularly as part of their jobs, such as hairdressers, stylists, and barbers, are likely to be exposed more than people who just dye their hair on occasion. Many of the concerns about hair dyes possibly causing cancer have focused on people who work with them.
Do hair dyes cause cancer?
Researchers have been studying a possible link between hair dye use and cancer for many years. Studies have looked most closely at the risks of blood cancers (leukemias and lymphomas) and bladder cancer. While some studies have suggested possible links, others have not.
What do studies show?
Researchers use 2 main types of studies to try to figure out if a substance causes cancer. (A substance that causes cancer or helps cancer grow is called a carcinogen.)
In studies done in the lab, animals are exposed to a substance (often in very large doses) to see if it causes tumors or other health problems. Researchers may also expose normal cells in a lab dish to the substance to see if it causes the types of changes that are seen in cancer cells. In lab studies, researchers can control many of the other factors that might affect the results. Still, it’s not always clear if the results in lab dishes or animals would be the same in humans, for a number of reasons.
Another type of study looks at cancer rates in different groups of people. Such a study might compare the cancer rate in a group exposed to a substance to the rate in a group not exposed to it, or compare it to what the expected cancer rate would be in the general population. But sometimes it can be hard to know what the results of these studies mean, because many other factors that might affect the results are hard to account for.
In most cases neither type of study provides enough evidence on its own, so researchers usually look at both human and lab-based studies when trying to figure out if something might cause cancer.
Studying something like hair dyes can be even more complex because not all hair dyes are the same – they can contain any of thousands of different chemicals. On top of this, the ingredients in hair dyes have changed over the years. Early hair dyes contained chemicals, including some aromatic amines, which were found in the late 1970s to cause cancer in lab animals, so hair dye manufacturers changed some of the chemicals in their products. Studying exposure to hair dyes from decades ago may not be the same as studying current exposures. In fact, many studies classify personal hair dye use based on whether it took place before or after 1980.
Studies done in the lab
Some of the ingredients used in hair dyes (including certain aromatic amines) have been shown to cause cancer in lab animals, usually when the animals were fed large amounts of the dyes over a long period of time. Although studies have shown that some of the dye applied to an animal’s skin is absorbed into the bloodstream, most have not found a link between skin application and cancer risk.
It’s not clear how these results might relate to people’s use of hair dyes.
Studies in people
Most of the studies looking at whether hair dye products increase the risk of cancer have focused on certain cancers such as bladder cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, leukemia, and breast cancer. These studies have looked at 2 groups of people:
- People who use hair dyes regularly
- People who are exposed to them at work
Bladder cancer: Most studies of people exposed to hair dyes at work, such as hairdressers and barbers, have found a small but fairly consistent increased risk of bladder cancer. However, studies looking at people who have their hair dyed have not found a consistent increase in bladder cancer risk.
Leukemias and lymphomas: Studies looking at a possible link between personal hair dye use and the risk of blood-related cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma have had mixed results. For example, some studies have found an increased risk of certain types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (but not others) in women who use hair dyes, especially if they began use before 1980 and/or use darker colors. The same types of results have been found in some studies of leukemia risk. However, other studies have not found an increased risk. If there is an effect of hair dye use on blood-related cancers, it is likely to be small.
Breast cancer: Results of studies looking at a possible link between personal hair dye use and breast cancer have been mixed. Many studies have not found an increase in risk, although some more recent studies have.
Other cancers: For other types of cancer, too few studies have been done to be able to draw any firm conclusions.
Many people use hair dyes, so it is important that more studies are done to get a better idea if these dyes affect cancer risk.
What expert agencies say
Several national and international agencies study substances in the environment to determine if they can cause cancer. The American Cancer Society looks to these organizations to evaluate the risks based on evidence from laboratory, animal, and human research studies.
Some of these expert agencies have classified hair dyes or their ingredients as to whether they can cause cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO). Its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. IARC has concluded that workplace exposure as a hairdresser or barber is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” based on the data regarding bladder cancer. (The evidence for other types of cancer is considered mixed or inadequate.) But IARC considers personal hair dye use to be “not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans,” based on a lack of evidence from studies in people.
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is formed from parts of several different US government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The NTP has not classified exposure to hair dyes as to its potential to cause cancer. However, it has classified some chemicals that are or were used in hair dyes as “reasonably anticipated to be human carcinogens.”
(For more information on the classification systems used by these agencies, see Known and Probable Human Carcinogens.)
Are hair dyes regulated?
In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of cosmetics, including hair dyes, but there are limits on what the FDA can do. The FDA does not approve each ingredient used in hair dyes before it goes on the market, and in general the responsibility for the safety of products and ingredients falls to the manufacturers.
The FDA can take action if any cosmetics are found to be harmful or in violation of the law (such as being mislabeled). This includes any new ingredients to be used in hair dyes. However, many of the older ingredients in hair dyes (some of which are still in use) were excluded when the FDA was initially given the power to regulate these products back in the 1930s.
If cosmetics (including hair dyes) or their ingredients are found to be unsafe, the FDA can request that the company recall the product, although it can’t require a recall. The FDA can, however, take further steps if needed, such as getting a federal court order to stop sales, requesting that US marshals seize the product, or initiating criminal action.
Should I limit my exposure to hair dye?
It’s not clear how much personal hair dye use might raise cancer risk, if at all. Most studies done so far have not found a strong link, but more studies are needed to help clarify this issue.
Other than recommendations that apply to everyone (not smoking, eating a healthy diet, being physically active, getting routine screening exams, etc.), there is no specific medical advice for current or former hair dye users. Smoking is a known risk factor for bladder cancer and some types of leukemia (as well as many other cancers and other diseases), and quitting smoking can improve your health, regardless of whether or not you use hair dyes.
Some people might want to avoid or limit exposure to hair dyes for other reasons. For example, some of the ingredients in hair dyes can cause serious allergic reactions in some people. Hair dyes can also actually cause hair loss in some people. Some doctors advise women to avoid having their hair dyed during pregnancy (or at least until after the first trimester). Not enough is known about hair dye use during pregnancy to know for sure if this is a problem, but doctors often recommend this just to be safe.
For people who want to dye their hair but are concerned about safety, the FDA has provided some suggestions:
- Follow the directions in the package. Pay attention to all “Caution” and “Warning” statements.
- Be sure to do a patch test for allergic reactions before putting the dye in your hair. Do a patch test before every use. (Some people become more allergic to certain ingredients the more they are exposed. You may not have an allergic reaction the first time you use a product but you may the second or even third time, so it is important to keep checking.)
- Wear gloves when applying hair dye.
- Don’t leave the dye on your head any longer than the directions say you should.
- Rinse your scalp thoroughly with water after use.
- Never mix different hair dye products. This can hurt your hair and scalp.
- Never use hair dye to dye your eyebrows or eyelashes. This can hurt your eyes. You might even go blind. The FDA does not allow using hair dyes on eyelashes and eyebrows.
Some newer hair dye products are vegetable based. These products may have some drawbacks, such as not being able to change hair color drastically or having the color fade sooner than is seen with permanent dyes (unless they contain some of the same ingredients as the permanent dyes). But they may be another option for some people concerned about hair dye safety.
As we become more conscious of what we put in—and on—our bodies, it’s only…well, natural that we’d turn a critical (side) eye toward our hair color. Is there a way to get to the blondes, reds, and browns that nature denied us without chemicals?
After consulting three experts, we learned that the answer may not be what you hoped. It turns out that in order to create dramatic, long-lasting change in hair color, you actually do have to use chemicals, like peroxide. Like our skin, hair is colored with melanin—and just like skin, that color is hard to change.
Lightening hair is a challenge, which is why bleach and other lighteners are required to do the work. Lemon juice is a natural, albeit unpredictable, option to lighten fine, blond hair (more on that below). But for the rest of us, brunettes and darker, it simply won’t do anything.
But if you’re looking for more subtle changes that are temporary, you do have a few options. We consulted three hair coloring experts to get the facts on natural hair dyes that will help you switch things up—if only for a little while.
What does “natural” mean in hair dye?
“It can mean a lot of things,” says Paul Labrecque, founder of his eponymous salon and spa in New York, Philadelphia and Palm Springs. “It can just mean that someone added some essential oil . There are so many coloring products available to consumers who say they are natural but are in fact full of chemicals. Some of them are highly limited in what they can actually do to the hair, because they’re using less of what truly works.”
In summary, Labrecque says, just know that when the product says “natural,” it could mean a few things. The product is mostly plant-based, it has some added some “natural” ingredients, or it has swapped in less irritating chemicals.
How does hair dye work, again?
Hair dye has a few key components. “If you want to lighten hair, cover gray, change its tonality to something more auburn, golden or coppery, you need a permanent hair color that contains an alkali source and a dye system, which can be mixed with hydrogen peroxide to develop the color,” says David Stanko, master colorist and vice president of education for Madison Reed, the at-home hair color.
In other words: In order to both remove your original shade and allow color to penetrate, chemicals are indeed necessary.
And what about henna?
Henna is natural, but contrary to popular belief, it can ruin your hair. Every colorist interviewed agrees on this point.
“Once henna is in the hair, it’s always there. It does fade and grow out, of course. But the most troubling and problematic aspect of hair colored with henna is that it is extremely difficult to do anything else with it,” said Jehnna Mahoney, hairstylist and colorist. Regular hair dyes (whether at-home or professional) can cause major chemical reactions with henna. “I’m talking going up in smoke, worst case scenario.”
Stanko warns that henna acts like a varnish, suffocating the hair strand. The alkali in hair coloring products cannot penetrate through the henna, so you end up with adverse reactions like shades that are too dark or unexpected colors. It also cannot effectively cover gray, lighten hair, or create tonal changes. “It may allow you to achieve brown if you want to stay brown—and don’t care about tone or dimension,” Stanko says.
Ready to try au natural? First, figure out your color goals.
So henna won’t cut it, and none of these will be permanent options, but of you do want to experiment in the natural dye world, your #ColorGoals determine where to go next:
If you want to cover grays…
Hairprint True Color Restorer, $39, isn’t a dye—the at-home treatment uses proteins to restore the real pigments inside each strand. It contains plant extracts, baking soda, and a small percentage of hydrogen peroxide( about 1 percent) which is much less than traditional hair dye. One caveat: The treatment only works on natural light brown to dark hair—not blondes or reds.
If you’re already blonde…
Lemon juice can make blonde hair blonder. According to Bodt, colorist at Red Door by Elizabeth Arden, natural lightning methods only work on fine, already-light hair. Blondes, we’re looking at you.
But you might want to hold off on running out to buy a dozen lemons and a spray bottle. Although lemon juice isn’t a “harsh chemical” or “toxic,” it is acidic and can leave you with dry hair. If you still want to try out this method, know that it’s heat activated. So apply it on a sunny day when you’ll be outside for at least 30 minutes. Mix it with a hair moisturizing natural ingredient like olive oil to prevent frying your strands. And later, when you wash your hair, make sure you use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. For those with brunette, dark brown or black hair lemon juice is a no go. Darker hair and coarser hair simply won’t lighten with this approach. And even if it does, you likely wouldn’t happy with the results. Dark hair lights to red, orange then yellow, so you’d want to lighten it with a method that’s more predictable.
If you’re not into DIY, try this spray…
Klorane Sun Lightening Spray with Chamomile and Honey, $18, works on light-brown to blond hair. The chamomile in this spray contains a naturally occurring chemical that attaches to the strand and lightens it gradually.
If you want to change tones…
If you’re not looking for drastic and instead hoping to go from strawberry-blonde to golden copper—or medium- brown to mahogany—these are called shifts in hue. That kind of change can be done with a gloss, or a color that’s not permanent, but typically lasts for several washes. Davines Finest Pigments, $28.49, (a treatment meant to be applied by a professional, in-salon) are a least 95 percent natural. The glosses are made from natural pigments, and most colors don’t contain ammonia.
If you want to lighten or permanently color hair…
Madison Reed Permanent Hair Color, $25, adheres to strict European Union regulations and doesn’t contain ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates or gluten.
“I’ve used and loved the results with Madison Reed,” says Rachel Bodt, colorist at Red Door by Elizabeth Arden. “The ammonia and peroxide are very low in these products, so it won’t compromise the hair. I would never recommend doing a big color change at home, but to touch up grays or blend roots, it’s perfect.”
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The 10 Best Vegan Hair Dyes That Actually Work
Once upon a time, if you wanted to change the color of your hair, you were at the mercy of a drugstore box dye brand or a hairdresser using whatever dye they had on hand. But the best vegan hair dyes available today are cruelty-free, formulated without animal-derived ingredients, and offer a wide variety of high-quality shades, from natural to daring. And, as more of us make the switch to vegan or become more conscious of the ways animals are sometimes harmed for the benefit of beauty, the demand for vegan hair dyes that actually work has only increased.
Cruelty-free vegan hair dyes are often vegetable-based dyes, like henna, that come in temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent formulas. Some of these dyes contain good-for-your hair ingredients like essential oils and cocoa butter that can actually make your hair look even more lush and shiny (as opposed to brittle and dry), and many are free of ammonia and yucky, dehydrating chemicals. If you search long enough, you’ll even find a few vegan dye brands that boast eco-friendly and recyclable packaging. You’ll be able to gift the planet with beautiful and thoughtful hair color.
Whether you’re looking to dye your hair a cruelty-free chestnut brown or a bright unicorn-inspired shade, these 10 vegan hair dyes will satisfy your color desires — and deliver impressive results that make being vegan look good.
1. A Permanent Dye That Covers Grays: Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
Lots of semi-permanent vegan hair dyes are great for delivering a hint of pretty color, but aren’t as effective in coloring gray hair. This permanent vegan hair dye provides vibrant color without ammonia, parabens, and alcohol and gets rid of grays in a flash. It’s a gel dye that comes in 23 natural shades that range from platinum blonde to black with a number of brown, red, and blonde shades in between. According to Amazon reviewers, the color lasts a long time and is very gentle.
Reviewers say: “This truly is a great product if you’re looking for some NATURAL looking gray coverage. Color lasts until your new hair grows out and DOES NOT RUN OR RUB OFF. Absolutely amazing product.”
2. A Strengthening Henna Cream: Surya Brasil Henna Cream
A lot of reviewers say they have made the switch to henna hair creams after experiencing allergic reactions from dye. This plant-based formula stands out because it is rich with essential oils like ylang ylang and rose, which leave hair soft and shiny, covers gray, and makes hair appear and feel thicker.
While a lot of other hennas come in powder form and require that you do a little bit of mixing to achieve great color, this is a cream that’s ready to go. You may need to free up some time while applying it, though: more than a few reviewers report getting excellent and rich results after leaving the color in their hair to penetrate for 60 minutes to up to three hours. You can find an array of mostly deep and golden brown, black, and red shades.
3. A PETA-Approved Cream Color: Good Dye Young Beautifully Obnoxious Semi-Permanent Hair Color
This semi-permanent vegan hair dye won the 2017 Libby Award for best vegan hair dye, and it’s not difficult to see why it came out on top. Good Dye Young was co-founded by Paramore singer Hayley Williams with the goal of empowerment and self expression — and its highly-pigmented and vibrant shades are free of formaldehyde, PPD, and parabens. They’re also mixable, so you can snag a tube of black to create darker tones or add a touch of Fader and add it to you color to produce a pastel shade, allowing you to customize your look. Sunflower extracts and soothing bergamot essential oils add nourishment and conditioning to your hair. Be aware though that the color will stain — and though it can temporarily color grays, it isn’t intended for this purpose.
Reviewers say: “I’ve never written a review on Amazon EVER. this is my first. I’m a professional stylist and this color is just as good if not better than anything I can purchase professionally.”
4. A Conditioning Botanical Powder: Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner
This 100% botanical hair color conditions your hair while you color. Aside from the hair dye, the kit also includes a hat and gloves, so you don’t wind up coloring your neck and hands, too. And, this adorably-packaged henna-based hair color is recommended by The Safe Shopper’s Bible: A Consumer’s Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food.
Reviewers say: “The color is amazing, natural looking, and tends to last about 3 months. I have been using this brand for 3 years and my hair has never looked healthier. It’s manageable, shiny, and my curls soft, bouncy and no frizz in sight.”
5. A Unisex Henna Powder: The Henna Guys Henna Hair & Beard Dye
Boost your hair’s volume and create an intense shine that lasts for weeks with this natural henna powder, which comes in 10 shades (all of which are in the warm red and brown family, because henna has its limitations when it comes to hues). This powder is free of parabens, peroxide, and ammonia, and it’s cruelty-free, too, giving you a bold, gorgeous color without any chemicals. The addition of natural herbs like amla and neem powder provide conditioning effects that help strengthen each strand.
One thing to be aware of when using henna for the first time: You may not always get the exact shade on the box. Factors including your hair’s natural color and undertones and any dye you’ve previously applied can affect the final results.
Reviewers say: “I love love love this product. I found it easy to apply and the color turned out lovely I also didn’t experience any color run. I would highly recommend this product to anyone wanting to use a natural, non-toxic hair dye.”
6. A Shine-Boosting Formula For All Hair Types: Naturigin Permanent Hair Color
This dairy-free, vegan hair color is free of ammonia and parabens and comes in 19 natural shades. Reviewers say it does a great job of covering grays without “stinky chemicals,” but that you may need to follow up with an additional conditioning treatment, because the formula can be drying on some hair types.
One factor that makes this hair color stand out is that it has added certified-natural oils and extracts like jojoba oil, grapefruit peel oil, and lemon peel extract. These oils condition hair and revive its shine so that, in addition to changing or freshening up your color, you hair will look, feel, and be healthier than before.
Reviewers say: “I’m very happy with this color. I was getting concerned about the safety of the drug store brands I was using. This organic brand filled my need, l’ve used it twice and been pleased. It lasted about 2 months before I reapplied.”
7. A Super-Pigmented Semi-Permanent Dye: Lime Crime Unicorn Hair
Want unicorn hair but always assumed the trade-off for achieving crazy, bold color was breakage and dry hair? Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair color line is gentle, won’t damage your hair, and requires no toner or developer. It washes out after several shampoos — so no commitment is required if you decide you want to make the switch from Jello (an intense green) to Dirty Mermaid (seafoam). The color requires no DIY-ing on your part: open the jar and apply.
It’s important to note that Lime Crime provides two formulas: tint, which is lighter and will really only show up if you already have blonde or other light hair, and full coverage, a more pigmented range of shades that can work with most except the darkest hair colors.
Reviewers say: “I get compliments on the color from this dye all the time! I did not bleach my hair and it pigmented with this color wonderfully! It smells wonderful and leaves my hair feeling soft and healthy! I highly recommend!”
8. A Colorful Cult Favorite: Manic Panic Classic Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
The OG of semi-permanent crazy hair color cream remains Manic Panic, a 100% vegan brand that fades with each shampoo. If you have light hair, you could get lucky and wind up with a vibrant color that sticks around for eight weeks, but those with darker hair will have to either bleach their hair first or be content with a few pretty highlights that will likely fade faster.
When it comes to hair shade options, few have Manic Panic beat. This brand gives you an incredible 51 shade options — from watercolor pastels to intense “High Voltage” hues like purple and Cleo Rose — and the world of color is truly your oyster when you choose this brand.
Reviewers say: “I’ve been dying my hair since 1992 and this is my fave color and brand. You can’t go wrong with Manic Panic’s formula. It’s so gentle on your scalp and bleach damaged hair comes out soft, silky and healthy feeling after even a single treatment.”
9. A Vibrant, Keratin-Infused Dye: Jerome Russell Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Conditioning Hair Color
This cruelty-free, PPD-free, and vegan hair dye comes in 21 super vibrant shades like lagoon blue and apple green and is scoring major points among reviewers because they last a much longer time than some of their competitors (expect color to last for about 25 washes). These semi-permanent shades are rich, highly pigmented and, unlike many other dyes, are actually hydrating and will help make strands softer. The dye can be super messy though, so be careful to cover the area where you apply it with towels or old shirts and to be patient and apply it slowly.
Reviewers say: “What’s not to love? It smells like kool-aid, is true to the color on the jar, and lasts pretty much forever! It does fade after about a dozen washes but it fades gracefully.”
10. A Gentle Dye That Won’t Damage Hair: Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color
If there’s a way to actually condition hair while coloring it a vibrant shade like Virgin Pink or Sunset Orange, that would be a great thing, right? That’s pretty much the magic behind Arctic Fox vegan semi permanent dyes, which are long lasting, contain added non-gmo protein conditioners, and have zero ammonia and peroxide. These dyes are designed so that they smear and bleed less, something your poor white towels will appreciate, and with every purchase, 15% of profits are donated to help prevent animal abuse.
The color fades with each shampoo and you can expect to need a refresh after about six weeks. Choose from among 13 shades, most of which are super bright and punchy.
Reviewers say: “This color is great! I was looking for something safe to use on my daughter’s hair and I wanted something that wasn’t going to be too harsh and also something that wasn’t tested on animals (which is a big deal to us). This brand is totally vegan, and does not contain peroxide, ammonia, Ethyl Alcohol, or PPD. As a result, there’s no harsh smell.”
Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.
Best Organic Hair Dye Brand That Really Works
Are you one of those hair chameleons who changes hair color frequently? Most of us seem to use almost every excuse to dye our hair inspired by our moods, changing seasons or transitions in life such as an emotional breakup or changing careers. I mean who can blame us, right? Whether it’s a dip dye, ombre, balayage or full-head cover, hair coloring is hands down the most fun thing to do. But how about the hair damage that goes with frequent hair dying? No one definitely signed up for that.
Dying your hair from time to time can take a toll on even the strongest hair type. It can lead to hair dry and damage that is brought about by the cocktail of chemicals present in mainstream supermarket brands. It’s toxic to your hair but also to your health. Besides a possible allergic reaction, recent studies revealed that some compounds in conventional hair dyes –ammonia and PPDs to name a few — have damaging effects to some of the organs in our body and in some instances are carcinogenic. This is why more hair color fans are leaning towards a more healthier and safer option, namely the best organic hair dye brand.
What makes a hair dye organic?
An organic hair dye makes use of botanical ingredients organically grown in accordance to the company’s standard. It skips the use of ammonia, the common ingredient used in hair dye to open up hair cuticles and deposit color but is also responsible for hair weakening and breakage. To naturally color hair, most organic hair dyes take advantage of the use of plants and fruit extracts as well as other naturally derived ingredients that is less damaging to hair.
And since its free of the chemical that opens up the cuticle, most hair dye products might require the user to use heat along the process for best results. The bonus part, manufacturers of organic-based hair dyes can also add other essential oils and other healing ingredients which conditions hair while coloring.
So if it’s ammonia-free, does it pay off in terms color and longevity?
Organic hair dyes don’t necessarily mean chemical-free. A reason why organic hair dyes still do well as conventional hair dyes is because they still contain chemicals but in a lesser percentage. So why not go all-natural while you’re at it, you might ask? Well, hair dyes still need chemical reactions to preserve the longevity of your hair color, unless of course, you want a hair color that will only last you a handful of washes.
Let’s be realistic here, however. Because organic dyes only have minimal chemical content, don’t expect the hair color to last you the same as standard permanent hair colors that are chemically concentrated. Nevertheless, organic hair dyes are still effective and a go-to if you want safer approach to color your hair.
read also: Partial vs full highligts article
Top 5 Best Organic Hair Dye Brand
Just because the packaging box says ‘organic’ it doesn’t really mean it speaks for its name. The main reason why organic hair dyes are made is to give your hair a break from toxic chemical-based hair dyes. However, some organic hair dyes can be still laden with chemicals (might as well go conventional if that’s the case). So you really need to be watchful.
On the other hand, as clean and as green the name of the brand name may sound like, it may not be as effective as it should be. A true organic hair dye should have the right ratio of the natural and chemical ingredients to give you the best results in the least hair-damaging way possible. And that’s what these following list of best organic hair dye brand is all about.
1. ONC Natural Colors
‘Hair Color and Hair Care in a Bottle’ is what ONC Natural Colors — the leading brand of organic beauty products — is all about. True to their philosophy, ONC Natural Colors makes use of certified organic ingredients that deliver result without having to use ammonia and other harsh ingredients. All their 29 shades of color are very healing and are made to restore proteins and amino acids.
If you are into warm colors try ONC Natural Colors 6G Hazelnut Brown Healthier Permanent Hair Color. Its potent in plant extracts such as organic aloe vera, organic argan oil and a variety of vitamins in a low pH formula for a healthier hair growth. And we can’t help but mention, it leaves your hair smelling like a banana!
- Certified organic ingredients
- Potent in healing plant extracts
- Added with vitamin C and E
- Won’t disrupt hair’s pH balance
- Made without ammonia, resorcinol, paraben, silicone, and nonoxynol
- No stain or chemical-smelling side effects
- Doesn’t cover gray hair completely
- A bit more complicated to use
- Added with vitamin C and E
2. Light Mountain Natural Hair Color
Light Mountain Natural Hair Color product is a company brand that leaves the use of chemical of any kind. Now we might have previously mentioned that chemical-free hair dyes might not work as well as regular dyes. However, this one beg to differ. Besides the organic botanical ingredients, Light Mountain Natural Hair Color harbors the use of henna extracted from a flowering plant as a healthier and effective alternative to synthetic dye. Much like a varnish, the henna coats your hair instead of chemically altering it, making it less damaging to hair.
If you like a hair dye that conditions simultaneously, you certainly don’t wanna miss Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner. It comes in a vibrant luminous color of red that will surely make any head turn.
- 100 percent organic ingredients free of chemicals
- 2-in-1 hair dye and conditioner
- Makes use of henna and botanical extracts
- Leaves hair a luster red finish
- Less damaging
- Perfect on gray coverage
- Pre-packaged with gloves, hat, and detailed instruction
- Not for someone who has an allergic reaction to henna
3. Tints of Nature
The use of 75 percent certified organic ingredients and 95 percent naturally derived ingredients by Tints of Nature only proves that they are true by their brand name. It also has the least concentration of chemicals yet still delivers a long-lasting result thanks to the incorporation of very mild, pharmaceutical grade peroxide.
5N Natural Light Brown is a product of theirs that colors hair with a glossy light brown. The PPD pigment might alarm you but it’s in the lowest concentration possible, just enough to give a salon-standard result that works without affecting hair’s natural growth. 5N Natural Light Brown gives a perfect coverage even if you have a gray to very dark hair as a base.
- 75 percent organic and 95 percent natural
- Low chemical concentration
- Works perfectly on dark shades
- Long-lasting results
- Gives hair a vibrant pigments
- Contain the controversial PPD ingredient
Not everybody has the luxury to go to a salon to change color whenever they want to. But Naturigin, a company that uses the least PPD in their dyes than any other brand in the market (at least according to a government research) wants to prove that you can still have a professionally done hair color with natural and organic ingredients in the comfort of your own home. No more expensive salon trips!
Naturigin offers 19 gorgeous colors to choose from. Among the favorites is the Naturigin Permanent Organic Hair Color, Brown. It uses the blend of organic citrus extracts and oil to add shine and sport a vibrant hair result. The color will lasts you a decent length of time.
- ECOCERT certified organic ingredients
- Formulated without ammonia and other hair-damaging chemicals
- With 12 natural oils to leave hair vibrant and shiny
- Professional quality for a salon-standard result
- Suits all hair type
- Easy 30-minute coloring
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Does not come with a final step conditioner
- Still contains PPD
Torn between organic plant-based dyes and one that gives you best result? Who says you can’t have both of best worlds? The new generation of plant-based hair coloring is here. Logona’s advanced 3-step dyeing system lets you intensify your hair’s natural color without the guilt of ruining your hair. You can choose from their collection of 17 herbal hair colors that are offered as powder or cream.
Logona Herbal Hair Color Cream uses henna organically cultivated from a Sekem Farm in Egypt that is enriched with avocado oil and plant proteins to bath your hair with the nutrient it needs during dyeing. It’s added to a blend of pure essential oils that gives off therapeutic fragrance you’ll feel like you are in a relaxing spa! The cream has already been mixed and ready-to-use and is perfect for at home DIYs.
- BDIH & Nature Certified
- Safe for users aged below 16
- Adds vibrant color and shine whilst nurturing hair
- Easy and ready to use
- Free of ammonia and PPD
- Comes with a generous amount of cream on a tube
- Results don’t stay on longer, at least according to some
Why we highly recommend ONC Natural Colors?
Our top 5 for the best organic hair dye brand delivers best and long lasting solutions without having to compromise your hair’s health. What set ONC Natural Colors among its counterparts, however, is its well-rounded vitamin-replenishing ingredients combined with certified organic ingredients so you can color your hair without having to worry about possible hair damage. It’s truly your hair dye and hair care all in one!
Dying half your hair leaves the wearer with a unique look that can be dramatic or subtle. Pick a high contrasting color to pump up the drama. Dying your hair at home is a fairly simple process. Dying half your hair is actually easier than dying all your hair because there is less color to apply. Learning this simple technique gives you the tools to create your own unique hairstyle without salon prices.
Decide how you want to dye your hair: top and bottom, or side and side. Use a comb to create a part on the dividing line. Use a mirror to check and see if the part is straight. If you have problems determining if the line is straight, ask a friend for help.
Clip up the half of your hair that you’re not going to dye. Pile the hair on top of your head. Make sure its not hanging down in the way of the other half.
Mix the hair dye and developer according to the instructions on the box. Shake it well and remove the cap. Put on latex gloves. Most hair dye comes with gloves.
Separate the hair you are dying into small sections. Work from top to bottom. Apply the dye to the root first and then up to the tip. Make sure each section of hair is saturated with dye. Continue until the entire half is covered in hair dye.
Let the dye sit on your hair as long as the box instructs. When it is finished, get in the shower and turn on the water. Try to hold your head so the dye does not run onto the half of your hair that you don’t want to color. Rinse your hair until you stop seeing dye in the running water.
Remove the clips from your hair, and apply a deep conditioner to your entire head of hair. Let it sit for two to three minutes. Rinse out the conditioner. Get out of the shower, towel dry your hair and blow dry if you desire.
I love dyeing my hair, and being a cheapskate I always do it myself.
I’ve dyed it so many colours in the past 15 years I’m not really sure what my natural shade is anymore.
This colour was one of my favourites and a total fluke. I can’t even remember what dyes I used.(Supplied: Carol Rääbus)
I’ve had major successes and cringeworthy disasters — bright green that was meant to be blue and deep blue that was supposed to be black.
I’ve learnt some tricks to prevent staining and get a result I like, but I’ve never really looked into the risks.
With my latest dodgy dye job tied back (in an attempt to hide it from the professionals), I went and asked for some hairdresser dos and don’ts on dyeing hair.
I also spoke with a dermatologist about the risks we take by pouring chemicals on our scalp.
DO: have realistic expectations
Hairdresser Chelsea De Main says you can damage curly hair with hair dye if you’re not sure what you’re doing.(ABC Life: Carol Rääbus)
My favourite hair colours have been mistakes — total flukes from mixing and matching different colours over my sad, damaged follicles.
A lot of this random colour creation has come from me not considering what colour my hair was underneath.
Chelsea De Main has been in the hairdressing industry for 17 years and owns and runs a salon in Hobart.
She says it’s common for people to come to her when they’ve got the wrong result at home.
“A lot of people think they can go from blonde to brown in an instant,” she says.
A salon will often put on a “fill in” colour, which acts like a primer, and then they’ll put on the final colour the client desires.
Brock Gardner is a Hobart-based hairdresser and salon owner. He says a common problem with home dyers is they put the same colour over their roots and on the ends of their hair that’s already dyed.
“Whether you’ve got virgin hair or pre-existing colour on hair, it very much determines what you’re going to get, which people don’t understand,” he says.
A salon dye will usually put different dyes on the roots to pre-dyed ends to get a consistent overall colour.
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DO: protect your face! And your bathroom
Brock Gardner has been hairdressing for more than two decades.(ABC Life: Carol Rääbus)
Doing your own hair is messy. Some of the foamy dyes I’ve tried can get pretty runny.
It’s important to prep your bathroom and yourself beforehand.
Ms De Main says she used to dye her hair at home as teenager, to the detriment of her mother’s bathroom.
“I used to go blue-black and my mum’s ceramic basin was just ruined,” she says. “No bleach could get it out.”
Put down an old towel or newspaper to catch drips, and only wear clothes you don’t care about.
Smear a thick cream around your face, ears and neck (I use horrible, cheap moisturiser — petroleum jelly is a good option).
Wear gloves! It can help protect your skin from unnecessary risk — which we’ll get into later.
Once you’ve got the dye on your hair, clean up any smudges on your face, ears and neck and clean up any dropped dye from benches.
Smearing toothpaste (the white stuff, not the gel stuff) on stains from hair dye helps remove them. (I’ve always got my bond back with this cleaning trick.)
DON’T: leave dye on for longer than recommended
It’s tempting to leave dye on your head for longer than the box says to try to achieve a more vibrant result.
This is risky because that means the chemicals are on your skin for longer, increasing the risk of reaction.
Ms De Main says she keeps antihistamines in her salon to give to clients if they start to react.
While it’s rare, it is possible to have an anaphylactic reaction to hair dye, which if not treated straight away could kill you.
Mr Gardner recommends calling the hotline number on the instructions of the home dye to talk through your plans and says semi-permanents are safer.
“If you’re going to be doing stuff at home … they’re much easier to deal with if you do make a mistake.”
DO: be careful playing with chemicals
Dyeing hair with foils keeps the chemicals off your skin, which is a good option for people who are more sensitive.(ABC Open: Amanda Berry)
Rosemary Nixon is an associate professor and dermatologist with the Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc in Melbourne. She says it’s rare for people to have an anaphylactic reaction to hair dye.
“I have seen a lot of allergic reactions to hair dye that have been so severe they come quite quickly, but they’re typically a delayed reaction, not that anaphylactic reaction,” she says.
Chemicals commonly found in permanent hair dyes, such as ammonia and hydrogen peroxide, can cause burns to your scalp if left on too long or mixed too strong.
But the main chemical that causes allergies is paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is found in darker colours.
Dr Nixon says most clients who come to her don’t have a reaction on their scalp, because the scalp is pretty thick and tough, which can make it tricky to work out what is going on.
Dr Nixon says a “classic presentation” for dermatologists is an older man with contact dermatitis on his face and neck cause by hair dye which he can be reluctant to admit using.
Men using dyes to cover greying beards and moustaches often use dyes more regularly and over more of their skin, which can lead to a problem sooner than someone dyeing their hair every now and then.
Dr Nixon says if you start to have reactions to hair dye, natural henna dyes can be a safer alternative, but check the ingredients to make sure there’s not any PPD hidden in the mix.
DON’T: turn your hair to jelly
Men dyeing their beards can quickly develop reactions to the dye because it’s on the more delicate skin of the face.(Wikimedia: Rhodondendrites)
Most people know bleach is a strong chemical you don’t want on your skin for long.
But with aisles of blonde dye packets on the shelves at your supermarket, it’s very tempting to try a new platinum style.
The risk of going lighter is overdoing it and literally destroying your hair.
” can turn into jelly, which is really not good,” Ms De Main says.
“It just disintegrates the strands.
“You need to be able to check the elasticity of the hair while it’s being processed.”
Ms De Main says when you’re having your hair lightened in a salon they should check the hair regularly to see if it stretches — not stretching is good.
“If it stretches a lot and doesn’t return to its normal shape, then you’ve gone too far and that’s when the hair breaks and turns to jelly.”
Bleached hair will also need some colour correction with a toner and it might take a few goes to get it where you want it, so it is usually safer to just pay someone else to do it.
DO: be prepared for it all to go horribly wrong
I actually tried to dye my hair all the one colour, believe it or not. And yes, my partner and I are massive dags.(Supplied: Carol Rääbus)
Ms De Main says she never judges a client who comes to her for help to fix a bad DIY dye.
“Everybody at one stage or another … has tried it at home,” she says.
“It’s the safety side of things that’s the main thing to look at.”
Her advice, and mine, is if you want to try something and you’re OK with the idea of it not working out — go for it.
Fully follow the directions on the box and have fun. Maybe make sure someone’s at home in case you have a reaction.
But if your hair is your pride and joy and the very thought of shaving your head makes you cry, you’re best off leaving it all to the professionals.