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    Healthy Hair Heroes: Top 12 Non-Toxic and Natural Hair Dye Brands

    The shift to non-toxic beauty is a rapidly growing trend that I bet you've even noticed in your own life. From the shampoo to the skincare products you use, your awareness is growing about the ingredients that comprise these things.

    Maybe you've started your journey into clean living with switches to non-toxic makeup and non-toxic perfume, learning all about the harms of parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances but when it comes to natural hair dye, you might wonder, is there even such a thing as non-toxic hair dye?

    Well, the answer is both yes and no.

    So, let's set the stage for expectations.

    The short answer is, yes, non-toxic hair dye does exist. (Yay!) Completely toxin-free clean hair dye includes options like henna and vegetable-based natural hair dyes that are semi-permanent.

    It's important to know that while they're kinder to your health and the environment, their results might not be as uniform or long-lasting as those of their chemical-laden counterparts.

    They tend to require more frequent application and may not be as effective at covering grey hair, typically fading after 6 to 12 washes.

    Remember, while natural dyes offer a healthier approach to hair coloring, they can't lighten hair or guarantee a completely reaction-free experience.

    We'll get into all the details in this article so that you can weigh the benefits and limitations and make the best choice for yourself. Let's get started!


    Image @ George Bohunicky on Unsplash

    Which Hair Dye is Least Toxic?

    When scouting for the best natural hair dye, there are several factors to consider. From ditching the harmful ingredients to knowing how to choose the best nourishing ones, here’s what to look for:

    Look for Plant-Based Ingredients

    The best natural dyes are often rich in botanical extracts like argan oil and nettle extract providing fatty acids and minerals to leave your hair soft and strong. These not only color your hair but can also offer nourishing benefits, like conditioning and scalp care.

    Understand Ingredient Labels

    Navigating labels is key. Look for terms like ‘organic’, ‘natural colorants’, and ‘plant-derived’. Be cautious of misleading terms and always check for certifications like USDA Organic and EcoCert that back up any organic or natural claims.

    Avoid Hidden Synthetics

    Some products marketed as ‘natural’ might still contain harmful chemicals. Research ingredients and stay informed about commonly used synthetics to avoid. This article will help you navigate those tricky labels!

    Consider Performance and Results

    Consider how well these natural dyes perform. Do they cover grey hair effectively? How vibrant are the colors? Understanding their limitations helps set realistic expectations.

    Criteria For Non-Toxic Hair Dye

    In our top picks list, only natural hair dyes that meet the following criteria are included:

    1. Free from Harsh Chemicals: Excludes ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, peroxide, and sulfates, focusing on formulations that minimize potential scalp irritation and hair damage.

    2. Organic and Natural Ingredients: Prioritizes products using plant-based dyes like henna, indigo, and cassia, which are gentler on the hair and scalp.

    3. Efficacy and Performance: Ensures the dye provides satisfactory coverage, particularly for grey hair, and maintains color vibrancy for a reasonable duration.

    4. Safe for All Hair Types: Suitable for various hair types, including sensitive scalps, without causing undue dryness or damage.

    5. Eco-Friendly Practices: Commits to sustainable sourcing of ingredients and environmentally responsible packaging.

    6. Transparent Labeling: Lists all ingredients, enabling consumers to make informed decisions based on their personal health and environmental concerns.

    7. Certification Standards: Meets criteria for recognized certifications like USDA Organic, EcoCert, or similar, confirming adherence to organic and natural standards.

    8. Hypoallergenic Formulations: Offers options for those with sensitive skin, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.

    9. User-Friendly Application: Provides ease of application, ensuring the process is as straightforward as possible for at-home users.

    10. Ethical Practices: Prefers brands that demonstrate ethical business practices, including cruelty-free testing and fair trade policies.

    By adhering to these criteria, our selection of natural hair dyes aims to offer the best combination of safety, effectiveness, and environmental responsibility.

    Non-Toxic and Natural Hair Dye Brands

    What Is the Best Natural Hair Dye?

    Exploring the realm of natural hair dye, we've curated a list of brands that stand out for their commitment to healthier, more sustainable hair coloring options. These brands have been selected based on their adherence to non-toxic formulations, effectiveness, and customer satisfaction.

    Here are our top picks of non-toxic hair dye brands:

    Hally | Shop here*

    IROIRO | Shop here*

    ARCTIC FOX | Shop here*

    MANIC PANIC | Shop here*

    Moroccanoil | Shop here*

    Lime Crime | Shop here*

    Khadi | Shop here*

    Surya Brasil | Shop here*

    Tints of Nature | Shop here*

    Herbatint | Shop here*

    ONC | Shop here*

    Naturigin | Shop here*

    Whether you're looking for vibrant colors, gentle formulations, or eco-friendly options, this list of natural hair dyes offers a diverse range of choices to suit various preferences and hair types.

    Hally Color Cloud*

    Pricing: $12.99

    Best For Individuals looking for a user-friendly, less messy hair dyeing experience.

    Why We Like It: Hally Color Cloud stands out as the first ammonia-free foam natural hair dye, offering a simplified, enjoyable at-home dyeing process. We love that its foam formulation is designed for easy application and reduced mess, making the coloring experience more convenient. Hally's products emphasize gentle ingredients and include conditioners and natural extracts to nourish the hair while providing color.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Hally Color Cloud's ingredient list reflects a blend of hair-care and coloring agents. Noteworthy are the natural extracts of chamomile, aloe vera, lavender, and ginseng root, providing soothing and nourishing benefits to the hair and scalp. Key components include a series of gentle surfactants like decyl and lauryl glucoside for cleaning without harshness.
    It’s important to note that while the majority of shades are PPD-free, some darker shades, like DARK MODE (BLACK), can contain PPD. This ingredient may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, which is crucial information to consider. We recommend carefully reviewing the specific ingredients for each shade, especially if you have known allergies or sensitivities.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers have expressed satisfaction with Hally Color Cloud, highlighting its ease of application and pleasing results. They commend the natural-looking color results, particularly appreciating how it effectively blends grey hairs and enhances their natural hair color. The vegan and less chemical-heavy nature of the dye is a significant plus for many users. While some noted the need for careful following of instructions for optimal results, the overall sentiment is positive, with recommendations for its use due to the quality of color payoff and the product's gentle nature on hair.

    Shop Hally here*


    Image @ Hally

    IROIRO Premium Natural Semi-Permanent Hair Color*

    Pricing: $12.75

    Best For Individuals seeking to experiment with bold, vivid hair colors and are mindful of using vegan and cruelty-free products.

    Why We Like It: Iroiro stands out for its vibrant range of semi-permanent colors that make it easy to make a bold statement! The brand’s commitment to natural, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients ensures a gentler approach to hair coloring. We love the pleasant scent of yuzu-cranberry during the dyeing process which enhances the overall experience.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Iroiro hair dye's formula is a blend of nourishing ingredients, chosen for their natural benefits. The product contains pure coconut oil for deep conditioning and maintaining hair health. The inclusion of 1,3-Propanediol, a plant-derived moisturizer, offers a natural alternative to synthetic ingredients. The formula is enhanced with ECOCERT-certified moisturizers like Glyceryl Stearate and Cetearyl Alcohol, improving hair feel and hydration. Additionally, it contains soy protein which supports the hair's body and texture.

    Customer Opinion:

    Reviewers express satisfaction with Iroiro natural hair dye, highlighting its ease of application, especially for those new to hair coloring. They appreciate the dye's lasting quality, especially when maintaining it with specific hair care routines like cool water washes. The pleasant fragrance and minimal color bleeding are also noted. The product's value for money and strong, lasting color are key points of customer satisfaction.

    Shop IROIRO here*


    Image @ IROIRO

    ARCTIC FOX's Vegan Semi-Permanent Dyes*

    Pricing: $13.99

    Best For Arctic Fox is an ideal choice for those seeking vibrant, long-lasting, and affordable hair color.

    Why We Like It: We love their vibrant, long-lasting colors and commitment to ethical beauty. The brand's diverse color range allows for creative expression while ensuring hair health with nourishing ingredients. We love that the dyes fade gracefully over time and we are especially fans of the delightful grape scent!

    Ingredient Analysis:

    The formula includes nourishing ingredients like Hydrolyzed Soy Protein and Glycerine, ensuring hair remains conditioned and healthy. The inclusion of Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride aids in detangling and smoothing hair. However, it contains Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone, which some may find sensitizing.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers appreciate the subtlety of these dyes on darker hair tones and their compatibility with their skin tone. The lasting color and pleasant scent make it a popular choice. The product is also praised for how its pink shades fade gracefully, without looking washed out or stained. Users note the dye makes their hair feel and look great, with some highlighting the color longevity even without frequent touch-ups.

    Shop ARCTIC FOX here*


    Image @ Arctic Fox

    MANIC PANIC SuperNatural Hair Dyes*

    Pricing: $15.99

    Best For: Those looking for a vegan, cruelty-free, nontoxic, natural hair dye that lasts longer.

    Why We Like It: Manic Panic hair dye outranks the other brands when it comes to longevity which wins big points with us. We also love how easy it is to apply!

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Manic Panic's formula prominently features natural extracts like Humulus Lupulus (Hops) and Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile Flower), known for their conditioning properties. These ingredients not only contribute to the dye's effectiveness but also provide nurturing benefits to the hair. The presence of Acetic Acid helps maintain the right pH balance. While the formula includes Methylparaben, a preservative, it may raise concerns for some due to its synthetic nature. Overall, the product aims to balance vibrant color delivery with hair conditioning agents.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers appreciate Manic Panic's vibrant colors and ease of use, particularly highlighting its effectiveness with pre-lightened or naturally light hair. Users also emphasize the importance of specific hair care routines, like using cold water and sulfate-free shampoos, to maintain the color. Overall, they recommend Manic Panic for its rich color.

    Shop MANIC PANIC here*

    clean-hair-dyes-by-MANIC PANIC

    Image @ MANIC PANIC

    Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask*

    Pricing: $7.60

    Best For: Ideal for individuals with processed hair or looking to experiment with color without a long-term commitment.

    Why We Like It: We appreciate that his dye works particularly well on already-dyed hair. It's the perfect solution for maintaining color vibrancy between professional coloring sessions.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    The Moroccanoil Color Depositing Mask includes several beneficial ingredients. Argan Oil, which hydrates and nourishes, is a key component. Apricot Kernel Oil is another highlight, adding softness and shine to the hair. Additionally, the formula contains Hydrolyzed Soy Protein to strengthen and protect hair, along with natural extracts like hops and chamomile, offering conditioning benefits.

    Customer Opinion:

    Users find the product effective in enhancing and extending hair color, though some note it can be drying for certain hair types. It's appreciated for its ability to blend roots and cover grey hair, making it a recommended choice for temporary color enhancement.

    Shop Moroccanoil here*


    Image @ MOROCCAN OIL

    Lime Crime Unicorn Semi-Permanent Hair*

    Pricing: $16.47

    Best For: Those with lighter hair shades will dye the easiest, dark hair will require bleaching first.

    Why We Like It: Not only is their formula nourishing and vegan, but they come in an impressive 35+ trendy shades. We love all of the choices!

    Ingredient Analysis:

    The formula features ingredients like Glycerin and Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Seed Extract, ensuring hair remains moisturized and healthy. The inclusion of Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride helps smooth and condition the hair.

    Customer Opinion:

    Users in the UK and elsewhere highly recommend this dye for its longevity, especially in vibrant shades like pink. Many appreciate how it leaves hair shiny and healthy-looking. The dye is frequently praised for its pleasant smell and ability to maintain bold colors over time.

    Shop Lime Crime here*


    Image @ Lime Crime

    Khadi Natural Hair Color*

    Pricing: $21.99

    Best For: Those seeking a natural, 100% nontoxic, herbal-based hair coloring solution.

    Why We Like It: Khadi's emphasis on Ayurvedic herbs and natural ingredients like henna, indigo, or amla stands out. This is the cleanest, simplest ingredient list we've found and possibly the best natural hair dye on the market for that reason. We also appreciate their commitment to natural beauty solutions that align with sustainable and cruelty-free options.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Khadi Natural Hair Color features an exceptionally clean and simple ingredient list, consisting of just a few components. In their SUNRISE formula, there are only two: Senna (Cassia italica leaf powder) and Henna (Lawsonia inermis leaf powder). Senna acts as a hair protectant, promoting volume and shine, while Henna nourishes the hair, adds color, and stimulates growth. This straightforward formula reflects the brand's commitment to natural, effective hair care.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers express high satisfaction with Khadi. They appreciate the brand's customer service and find that this natural hair dye offers a great match for their hair needs. Users with white hair note the SUNRISE shade provides sun-kissed highlights, while those with dark blonde hair mention a warmer, more luminous look. Customers with dark brown hair and greys find that SUNRISE delivers the perfect highlights, blending seamlessly with their natural hair color, making their hair soft, and eliminating the need for additional hair products.

    Shop Khadi here*


    Image @ Khadi

    Surya Brasil Henné Color*

    Pricing: $21.11

    Best For: All hair types, even chemically dyed and highlighted hair, looking for a henna hair dye without mixing.

    Why We Like It: We appreciate this product for its blend of natural ingredients and its commitment to holistic wellness and environmental care with Vegan and Leaping Bunny certifications. The cream offers vibrant color and natural beauty, combining Ayurvedic principles with the richness of the Amazon Forest.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    The product includes a variety of natural extracts such as Aloe Vera and Arnica, known for their nurturing properties. It strikes a balance between delivering color and caring for the hair, although it does contain some synthetic colorants.

    Customer Opinion:

    Users appreciate the product's natural components and ease of use compared to traditional henna mixes. Many are satisfied with the color results, especially for covering greys. Some customers note it may not be as long-lasting as pure henna or chemical dyes, but value it for its gentler approach and effectiveness.

    Shop Surya Brasil here*


    Image @ Surya Brasil

    If non-toxic hair dyes don't meet your needs, some alternatives are considered to be less harmful than most conventional hair colors. Here are our top four:

    The Best Less Toxic Hair dyes

    Tints of Nature Hair Dye*

    Pricing: $15.14

    Best For Those looking for a healthier and safer choice for a permanent hair dye as compared to most conventional hair dyes.

    Why We Like It: Tints of Nature stands out as a permanent hair dye with one of the lowest possible levels of PPD, while also being free from ammonia, parabens, and resorcinol. We love that the ingredients are 75% organic and 95% naturally derived. Our creative outlet appreciates the 23 inter-mixable shades for unique color customization!

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Tints of Nature's hair dye include a mix of both natural and synthetic ingredients. Natural extracts like Aloe Vera and Orange Peel Extract nurture and condition the hair. It contains synthetic colorants like Basic Blue 3 CI 51004, Basic Brown 16 CI 12250, and Basic Red 14 CI 48016, aimed at providing effective color coverage. While these synthetic elements are crucial for achieving the desired hair color, the product is formulated to minimize potential scalp irritation.

    Customer Opinion:

    Users commend Tints of Nature for its effectiveness, particularly in covering grey hair and providing a natural color look. They appreciate its non-irritating formula, suitable for those with sensitive scalps. However, some note the need for more frequent application due to its gentler nature compared to more conventional permanent dyes.

    Shop Tints of Nature here*


    Image @ Tints of Nature

    Herbatint’s Ayurvedic Dyes Free of Artificial Colorants*

    Pricing: $15.99

    Best For Those looking for a natural and permanent hair dye that can cover grey hair.

    Why We Like It: We like this hair dye because it's free from ammonia, parabens, and alcohol fragrance, and being clinically and dermatologically tested for sensitive skin gives us extra peace of mind. We're also drawn to its organic herbal extracts that color and nourish. The quick 40-minute results are a bonus! Some of the other ingredients need to be considered as potential health risks.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    This hair dye balances natural ingredients like Aloe Vera and Witch Hazel for their soothing benefits with botanical extracts such as Birch and Echinacea for nourishment. It contains synthetic colorants, including p-Phenylenediamine and 4-chlororesorcinol, "essential" for color results, however, these ingredients have been identified as an immune and respiratory toxicant. There is a significant concern regarding endocrine disruption associated with its use.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers appreciate the hair dye for its gentle formula, effective grey coverage, and softening effect on the hair. Many find it easy to use and are pleased with the beautiful, natural-looking color results. Users also note the lack of mess and staining compared to other hair dyes, making the coloring process cleaner and more convenient. Some mention the necessity of following instructions closely for best results and the beneficial impact on hair texture and health.

    Shop Herbatint here*


    Image @

    ONC Natural Colors*

    Pricing: $29.50

    Best For: Those with grey, curly hair looking for a semi-natural approach to permanent color.

    Why We Like It: We love that ONC uses certified organic ingredients in its formula. While the brand aims to provide a healthier, more natural alternative to traditional hair dyes by excluding ammonia, resorcinol, and parabens, it's important to note that "natural" doesn't mean chemical-free and their use of synthetic ingredients that are worth considering.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    ONC Natural Colors boasts natural ingredients like hydrolyzed organic wheat protein for conditioning and strengthening, organic aloe vera for moisture, and organic comfrey leaf to support hair growth. Their formula does contain potentially harmful chemicals, such as ethanolamine, which is used as a pH adjuster and should be considered when choosing your hair dye.

    Customer Opinion:

    Users are pleased with ONC Natural Colors, especially its ease of use and effectiveness on various hair types, including curly hair. Many appreciate its gentle formulation, noting minimal allergic reactions and compatibility with sensitive conditions like allergies and asthma. Customers also commend its ability to cover grey hair well and leave hair feeling good. While some have encountered missing items like brushes in their orders, the overall sentiment is positive, highlighting the product's quality and environmental consideration through bulk buying options.

    Shop ONC Natural Colors here*


    Image @ ONC

    Naturigin Permanent Hair Colour*

    Pricing: $14.31

    Best For Those looking for a semi-natural permanent color with ultra-nourishing properties.

    Why We Like It: This hair dye contains organic ingredients and includes some of the most nourishing natural ingredients in any hair dye. We appreciate how luxurious this makes our hair feel after using it and how effective it is. But again, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of these products and the inclusion of potentially harmful synthetic ingredients causes us some pause.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    This hair dye combines natural ingredients like Argan Oil, Aloe Vera, Jojoba Oil, and Shea Butter for moisture, scalp care, and UV protection. However, it includes synthetic elements such as p-phenylenediamine and Resorcinol, known for potential immune, respiratory, and endocrine risks. It's a blend of nature's benefits and chemical efficacy.

    Customer Opinion:

    Customers value the cruelty-free nature and consistent coloring of this hair dye, especially for root touch-ups and adding volume. They appreciate its gentle scent, minimal skin staining, and effective gray hair coverage. Some drawbacks include the short-lasting color and typical messiness of the application. It's natural ingredients and gentle effect on the scalp are key positives.

    Shop Naturigin here*


    Image @ Naturigin

    What Makes Hair Dye Non-Toxic?

    Non-toxic hair dye steers clear of ingredients known for potential health concerns, and favors naturally derived alternatives. Let’s explore what typically sets these dyes apart.

    Toxic Ingredients & Their Alternatives

    • PPD (Paraphenylenediamine) (Purpose: Permanent color developer)

      Alternative: Plant-based dyes like henna, indigo, or cassia offer color without harsh chemicals, though they may not provide permanent results.

    • Resorcinol (Purpose: Color and developer enhancer)

      Alternative: Natural color enhancers like amla provide a gentle color boost and toner without the potential risk to your nervous and endocrine systems.

    • Peroxide (Purpose: Color developer and lightener)

      Alternative: Milder oxidants like vitamin C or gentle processes that develop color without needing peroxide, preserving hair's natural texture and health.

    • Silicones (Purpose: Adds shine and smoothness) -

      Alternative: Natural oils like argan, jojoba, or hemi-squalane, provide a smooth, shiny finish without weighing hair down or causing build-up.

    There are several other toxic ingredients to keep your eye out for that are not necessarily replaced by a safer alternative but left out completely. See our comprehensive list further down in the article!

    Natural Colorants - The Heart of Non-Toxic Hair Dyes

    The key to natural hair dyes is their use of natural colorants derived from plants, minerals, and other natural sources. These alternatives provide color while minimizing the use of harsh chemicals. Let’s look at some of the popular natural colorants:

    • Henna: Derived from the Lawsonia inermis plant, henna is famed for its vibrant red and deep copper tones. It’s not just a colorant but also acts as a conditioner, enhancing hair's natural shine.

    • Indigo: Often combined with henna, indigo offers shades ranging from blue-black to purples, expanding the color palette of natural dyes.

    • Cassia: Sometimes referred to as “neutral henna,” cassia doesn’t impart much color on darker shades but for lighter hair tones, it brightens and adds color to the blond hues.

    • Amla: Often paired with henna to reduce redness, amla subtly enhances natural hair color, bringing cooler tones to brown hair and a champagne shade to white hair.

    By using these natural colorants and other non-toxic alternatives, natural hair dye avoids many chemicals found in traditional dyes. This approach not only benefits those with sensitive skin and concerned with better choices for overall health but also appeals to eco-conscious consumers looking for sustainable beauty options.


    Why You Should Switch to Non-Toxic Hair Dyes

    Switching to non-toxic hair dyes is a health-conscious choice, reducing exposure to harmful chemicals commonly found in traditional hair dyes.

    Non-toxic options are gentler on the scalp, potentially lowering the risk of irritation, allergic reactions, and long-term health issues like cancer or hormonal imbalances.

    Additionally, they often contain nourishing ingredients that can improve hair health.

    What Toxic Chemicals Are Hiding in Most Hair Dyes?

    Ever wondered what sneaky chemicals lurk in most hair dyes, potentially causing more harm than good? While aiming to achieve the perfect shade, you might unknowingly expose yourself to substances that could irritate your skin, trigger allergic reactions, or even pose long-term health risks.

    Let's unveil some of the culprits commonly found in hair dye:

    1. P-Phenylenediamine (PPD): A notorious allergen causing itchy scalps and swelling, PPD is a frequent offender in hair dye reactions, with serious cases potentially leading to anaphylaxis.

    2. Hydrogen Peroxide: This chemical can rob your hair of its natural shine and strength, leaving it dry and brittle.

    3. Ammonia: Known for its pungent smell, ammonia penetrates the hair cuticle but at the cost of irritating and potentially harming the environment.

    4. Ethanolamine: A substitute for ammonia, this chemical not only damages hair but is linked to significant health risks, including potential impacts on unborn children.

    5. DMDM Hydantoin: A preservative releasing formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, it's used to keep hair dye products mold-free but raises health concerns.

    6. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS): Acting as a detergent, SLS strips hair of its color and natural oils, leading to weakened strands and scalp irritation.

    7. Resorcinol: This allergen disrupts the endocrine system and can irritate your scalp, found not only in hair dyes but also in certain skin treatments.

    8. Lead Acetate: Found in darker hair dyes, this compound is a throwback to riskier times, linked to anemia and neurological issues.

    9. Methylchloroisothiazolinone: A preservative that might start as a mere irritant but can escalate to cause lasting allergies.

    In your quest for vibrant hair, it's important to be aware of these chemicals and consider safer alternatives.


    Health Issues Associated with Hair Dye

    These risks range from the immediate reactions some folks experience right after dyeing their hair to potential long-term health issues that might take years to show up.

    The concerns mainly stem from the chemicals in hair dyes, your sensitivity to these substances, and how often you're coloring your hair. Let's break it down:

    Immediate Risks:

    • Allergic Reactions: Ingredients in hair dyes can lead to serious allergic reactions, causing symptoms like itching and redness and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.

    • Skin and Scalp Conditions: Chemicals such as paraphenylenediamine may irritate the skin or cause conditions like dermatitis, particularly among salon workers who handle these products regularly.

    • Respiratory Issues: Frequent exposure to hair dye chemicals in a salon setting can lead to respiratory problems and, over time, may contribute to developing asthma.

    Long-Term Risks:

    • Cancer: A major study from the National Institutes of Health revealed some concerning findings about permanent hair dyes and breast cancer risk:

      • Using permanent hair dyes, especially darker shades, was linked to higher breast cancer risk overall.

      • For Black women who used permanent dyes frequently, the risk of breast cancer increased by 45%.

      The problematic ingredients include:

      • Ammonia to open the hair cuticle

      • Potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors like PPD and lead

      A 2021 meta-analysis, which reviewed data from 14 studies involving 210,319 participants, discovered that the use of permanent hair dye is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

    • Neurological Concerns: The presence of lead in some hair dyes raises alarms about possible neurotoxic effects.

    • Reproductive Health: There are concerns that formaldehyde, a known carcinogen found in some dyes, may be linked to miscarriages.

    • Leukemia: Some hair dyes contain benzene, a chemical associated with an increased risk of leukemia.

    So, Is Organic Hair Dye Any Better Than Conventional Hair Dye?

    Organic hair dyes offer a less toxic alternative to conventional hair dyes, often using natural ingredients to reduce the risk of skin irritation and allergies. However, even organic permanent hair dye can contain harmful chemicals.

    The choice between permanent (either organic or conventional) and semi-permanent (natural) hair dye will need to consider both health implications and personal hair care needs.


    Bonus Tips for Maintaining Your Haircolor

    1. Avoid Hot Water: Hot water can fade hair color quickly. Use lukewarm or cool water instead.

    2. Limit Washes: Washing dyed hair can be tough on it. Try using gentle non-toxic shampoos for cleansing. Many specialized color-protecting shampoos may include harmful chemicals.

    3. Limit Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure can fade hair color. Consider wearing hats to protect your hair color.

    4. Avoid Chlorine: Chlorine in swimming pools can strip color. Wear a swimming cap to avoid contact with the chlorinated water.

    5. Reduce Heat Styling: Frequent use of blow dryers, curling irons, or straighteners can fade hair color. Embracing natural hair textures is your best bet.

    6. Trim Regularly: Trimming ends help prevent color fading and maintain the health of your hair.

    Incorporating these practices can significantly extend the life of your hair color, keeping it vibrant and healthy-looking.

    DIY Hair Dye Options

    DIY hair dye options embrace the beauty of natural ingredients, offering a palette of shades that can be easily created at home.

    • Beetroot and Hibiscus: These natural ingredients are used for red and pink hues. They're less permanent but are loved for their vibrancy.

    • Turmeric: Known for its vibrant yellow color, this root can be used in hair dyes for lighter shades.

    • Walnut Shells: These are excellent for achieving brown tones and are often used in hair dye formulations for their coloring and conditioning properties.

    • Coffee and Black Tea: Commonly used for darker shades, they can add depth to dark hair.

    • Chamomile and Calendula: These herbs are great for lighter, blonde shades and are known for their gentle effect on hair.

    These natural ingredients often provide temporary color that can fade more quickly, usually only lasting until the hair is washed.

    Their appeal lies in their gentleness rather than in their staying power. For those seeking a more subtle, temporary change, or who enjoy frequent color changes, these natural dyes can be an excellent choice.



    Which hair dye is least toxic?

    The least toxic hair dyes are those free from ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, and other harsh chemicals. Brands focusing on plant-based ingredients and natural colorants are typically the safest options for non-toxic hair dye.

    However, it's important to read ingredient labels carefully. Look for terms like "ammonia-free," "PPD-free," "resorcinol-free," "plant-based," and "natural colorants" to identify truly non-toxic formulas. Certifications like USDA Organic, EcoCert, and Leaping Bunny can also indicate non-toxic and natural products.

    How can I dye my hair without harmful chemicals?

    Opt for hair dyes made with natural colorants like henna, indigo, cassia, beetroot, coffee, and other plant-derived ingredients. These natural hair dye options allow you to color your hair without harsh chemicals like ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, and peroxide commonly found in conventional dyes.

    Some brands to look for include Khadi*, Surya Brasil*, Manic Panic*, Arctic Fox*. Read ingredient labels carefully for terms like "plant-based colorants," "botanical extracts," and certifications like USDA Organic.

    You can also make your natural hair dye at home using ingredients like henna powder, indigo powder, brewed coffee, beet juice, and other kitchen ingredients like turmeric and amla powder.

    While natural dyes are gentler, keep in mind they may not provide the same vibrant, long-lasting results as chemical dyes, especially for covering grays. However, they are a much safer alternative for those looking to avoid potentially harmful substances in hair color.

    Are there any harmless hair dyes?

    There are no hair dyes that are 100% harmless, as even natural and organic hair dyes carry some potential for allergic reactions or sensitivities in certain individuals. However, natural and organic hair dyes made solely from plant-based ingredients like henna, cassia, indigo, beetroot, and botanical oils/extracts are considered the gentlest and closest to being harmless.

    *The links are so-called 'affiliate links.' This means that we receive a small commission if you purchase something through them, which in turn helps us to further develop the blog and create even more useful and valuable content for you!


    Thanks for the article. After reading your article. I looked closer at the Hally Hair Color and found that the DARK MODE (BLACK) actually DOES contain PPD. They don’t say this in the general advertising, asserting that their colors are PPD Free which seems quite misleading. You may want to amend this article with that new information. The only reason I looked deeper is a reviewer with a PPD allergy mentioned having a reaction to the PPD in the product. It is quite buried in the ingredients listing and she missed it because she trusted the advertising.

    T. Briggs June 14, 2024

    I read your article and thank you for studying all the chemical and natural brands. I totally agree with you and your warning against harmful and dramatically damaging dyes. They should be forbidden!…THANKS and never give up such a beautiful action !
    Mh from France.

    Moussac Mhelene June 05, 2024

    I need without chemicals hair colour

    Rajinder kaur May 17, 2024

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