Are you on the lookout for the safest way to change your hair color or restore its original gloss? Organic hair dyes could be your answer.
Organic hair colors are made up of natural and are free of harmful chemicals, such as Paraphenylenediamine (PPD) which may harm your hair or scalp. Good organic dyes are long-lasting and nourishes the hair with nutrients, such as proteins and other natural ingredients, to give your locks a healthy and vibrant look.
There are plenty of products on the market today, each claiming to be the best. To help you out, we have reviewed the best available natural hair dyes, outlining the steps to enjoying the maximum benefits of organic color.
- Factors to Consider When Choosing Organic Hair Dye
- Top 8 Best Organic Hair Dye 2020
- Buyers guide
- How to Get the Most out of Organic Dyes
Factors to Consider When Choosing Organic Hair Dye
It’s not enough to simply choose any hair dye labeled as organic and hope for the best. If you want a product that is not only safe for yourself and the environment but also helps you look your best, keep the following in mind.
If a hair dye isn’t offered in the color you’re looking for, it won’t work for you no matter how otherwise excellent it is. For this reason, we’re going to discuss the color options available for each product. Some are offered in multiple colors, while others specialize in a single shade.
Though organic hair dyes tend to be much safer than their traditional counterparts, that doesn’t mean you can totally ignore safety considerations. These products contain a wide variety of ingredients, some of which can harm your hair if misused. On the other hand, many of these organic hair dyes also contain helpful ingredients that bolster the health of your hair.
A good hair dye, organic or otherwise, needs to do a few things. It should be relatively easy to apply, and once applied it should produce a vibrant color that stands the test of time. Some of these organic hair dyes are semi-permanent and will look washed out if not totally reapplied every few months, while permanent dyes will only need less frequent touchups. In addition to application and longevity, we’ll also consider how the product leaves your hair looking and feeling.
If you are looking for the perfect organic dye, look no further. We have reviewed a list of the best organic hair dyes currently available on the market.
Top 8 Best Organic Hair Dye 2020
Best Overall Organic Hair Dye
Colors: 26 natural colors from ash blonde to ebony black
Size: 5.5 oz
It is a chemical-free formulation that has been on the market for over 25 years. You can expect excellent hair treatment from the popular product and a reliable manufacturer. The dye comes from seed oils and plants, which are carefully selected and formulated.
There are over 28 mixable shades available, so Naturdint Permanent dye gives you a wide variety of dyes to find your perfect combination. It lacks harsh compounds, such as ammonia, artificial fragrance, parabens, heavy metals, silicon, gluten, PPD, and animal products. It does contain hydrogen peroxide, which most won’t react poorly to, but some may.
Naturtint Permanent hair color contains oleic acid deduced from olives. The acid helps in the fortification and strength of the hair, serving an anti-oxidation action to protecting your follicles.
The meadow seed oil reduces frizz, repairs split ends, and conditions the hair making it shiny. You’ll feel like a million dollars as you step out into the limelight.
- Free from harmful parabens and chemicals, such as ammonia and sulfate
- All botanical-permanent dye
- A variety of colors
- Hydrogen peroxide may react poorly with some hair
Best Premium PIck
Colors: 6 shades of brown, from almond brown to intense espresso
Size: 7.5 oz
Schwarzkopf Simply Color is exclusively botanical. It does not contain harmful compounds, such as synthetic chemicals, peroxide, metals, alcohol, ammonia, or silicone. Instead, it uses oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil to nourish and protect your hair and scalp.
The dye is not only safe on your hair and scalp but also nourishing from root to tip. It is a creamy dye, which provides consistent hair color results with every application. It doesn’t go very far, though, so despite the size of the container you may need to purchase two of the product to complete an application on hair that goes much beyond shoulder length.
- Easy to apply
- Free from harmful chemicals, like ammonia
- Nourishes and conditions the hair
- Consistent hair color results
- A lot of product is required
Best Nourishing Organic Hair Dye
Colors: 23 natural colors from light golden blonde to dark chestnut
Size: 4.5 oz
Herbatint Permanent Hair color gel covers gray hair effectively while protecting and nourishing the hair. It features a carefully balanced formulation that is safe, nourishing, biodegradable, and attractive.
It’s easy to apply, and shouldn’t cause much of a mess. The process only takes a few minutes, aside from the 40 minute waiting period for the product to set.
It stands out from other hair color gels because it is composed of eight organic herbal extracts that are carefully selected to enrich the hair and protect the scalp. These also improve the intensity of your hair color, giving you a beautiful and long-lasting look. You should get about two months out of a single application of this product.
- Aloe vera for protecting and nourishing the hair during the coloring
- Limnanthes Alba (meadowfoam) for moisturizing and adding foam to the wash
- Betula Alba (white birch) for the toning and soothing properties
- Cinchona calisaya for protecting and strengthening the scalp
- Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) for flavonoids and essential oils, which further protects the scalp
- Echinacea Angustifolia for a natural moisturizing agent and purifier
- Juglans regia (walnuts) for intensifying the color and further purification
- Rheum palmatum (rhubarb) for conditioning the skin and enhancing the color
- Conditions the hair making it thicker, shinier, and healthier
- Cruelty-free dye
- Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
- 100% gray hair coverage
- Not available in bold colors or black
Best Budget Organic Hair Dye
Colors: 32 colors, from extra light blonde to black
Size: 3.5 oz
Revlon combines an exclusion of harmful ingredients like ammonia, parabens, sulfates, silicones, phthalates, gluten, and minerals with an inclusion of nourishing hemp seed oil to create a line of hair dyes that is as gentle as it is effective. On top of that, certain shades add in bonus ingredients that further boost your’s hair health—from chamomile in blonde dyes to black tea in darker ones.
Despite not using any harsh ingredients, Revlon Total Color works quite well. You should expect complete coverage to last about six weeks, and the clean nourshing formula will keep your hair from being fried and your scalp from being harmed. Unfortunately, the colors here aren’t as vibrant as you’ll see with more expensive organic hair dyes, but for the price the natural coloration can’t be beat.
- Long-lasting coverage
- Huge variety of colors
- Natural ingredients and nutrients, which condition the hair making it healthier
- Colors are natural, but they lack vibrancy
Best Bold Organic Hair Dye
Colors: 23 colors including shades of deep purple, bright yellow, green, red and pink
Sizes: 4 oz and 8 oz
Compatibility with other shades
Purple Rain is compatible with other shades from Arctic Fox. You can use the instruction guidelines in the manual to make safe custom hair colors by mixing different dyes in the right proportions. For instance, you might mix it with Poseidon to achieve a deep indigo, or with Wrath for burgundy.
Safety and health benefits
Purple Rain is made without any animal by-products. The manufacturer also avoids the use of synthetic chemicals, such as ammonia, ethyl alcohol, paraphenylenediamine (PPD), and peroxide.
Your hair will be free of harmful chemicals that could break it or leave it with brittle ends. The active natural ingredients and nutrients condition and nourish your hair, making it shiny, thick, and healthy without the usual damage of the dyeing process.
To sweeten the deal, it comes with a floral scent, and it’s ideal for home dyeing.
The dye lasts between four to eight weeks (or four to ten shampoo washes), giving you a chance to explore the beauty behind different hair colors. Others might prefer a longer-lasting shampoo, though.
- Attention-grabbing, vibrant color
- Improves hair health
- No toxic chemicals
- Doesn’t last very long
Best Permanent Organic Hair Dye
Colors: 29 colors, from platinum blonde to black
ONC Naturalcolors hair dyes are made of argan oil, coconut oil, aloe vera, chamomile, and other extracts that combine to give you a deep color that doesn’t cause irritation. They don’t include ammonia, parabens, silicone, or any other harmful ingredients or allergens.
Unlike most organic hair dyes, this product made by ONC is permanent. You’ll need to apply it carefully, but once you do you should be left with healthy, beautiful hair that won’t need even a touchup for over three months. On top of that, they offer one of the best varieties of colors around, so just about anyone should be able to find their perfect match.
- Full, beautiful coverage in many colors
- Free from harmful ingredients
- Environmentally friendly
- Incredibly gentle
Best Organic Henna Hair Dye
Color: Henna dyes darken hair and give it a slight reddish tint
Size: 300 grams
It comes as a smooth triple-sifted powder that you add water to to form a paste. When applied to the hair alone, the Pure & Natural Henna Powder results to a dark reddish color on a light-colored hair. Combining it with indigo powder and other herbs in the right proportions provides different shades, though, ranging from light brown to jet black.
Henna works as a fantastic alternative to the traditional box dyes and is also the safest option if you are allergic to other dyes—though some might be allergic to henna itself, so be sure to spot test before you apply it fully.
Pure & Natural Henna Powder covers gray hair completely. It also conditions the hair, improving growth and health with every application. With Pure & Natural Henna hair dye, you can say goodbye to the frequent irritations, bruises, and burns associated with chemical-based hair dyes.
- 100% botanical
- Offers a variety of shades to suit different hair colors
- The best alternative for people who are allergic to chemicals
- Some herbal extracts may cause an allergic reaction.
Best Organic Hair Dye with Keratin
Colors: Five colors, from light brown to black, including shades of red
Size: Enough for one application
The dye uses hydrating conditioners and coconut oil to reduce the frizz and smoothen the hair’s coarseness for a healthier look.You can easily apply the cream using the non-drip ammonia-free formula. The base of this dye is fully natural, and excludes harmful chemicals. Once applied, it blends away grays throughout the hair without causing undesirable effects.
The keratin content adequately protects the hair from damage during the coloring process. As a semi-permanent hair color, it does not consistently penetrate the hair shaft but covers the hair with a lively color for a glossy look.
- Texture improved by non-drip ammonia-free formula
- No harmful chemicals, such as peroxides or metals
- Hydrates your hair and scalp
- The coloring results may not be consistent, depending on the natural hair type and color
Coloring your hair is an exciting part of grooming and expressing a unique identity.
The products you can use for coloring come in two broad groups—chemical-based colors and organic hair dyes. Due to the beauty and health benefits attached to the organic hair colors, many people today are moving away from the use of chemical dyes that have dominated the market traditionally.
Why the change? We explore the industry trends below.
Chemical hair colors vs. Organic hair colors
The use of non-organic hair colors implies the use of products composed of peroxide, ammonia, PPD, sulfate, and other chemical compounds. These products are effective but well-known as detrimental to your hair and scalp.
Organic hair dyes are alternative products to color your hair, which are produced with the least application of synthetic chemicals and more organic botanicals. It typically contains 98% natural ingredients and 2% synthetic pigments or stabilizers.
Benefits of natural hair dyes
Below are the reasons you should always go for organic hair dyes when you think of changing your hair color.
It lacks harsh chemicals and additives
Organic hair dyes are extracted from safe, natural ingredients with only up to 2% synthetic compounds present in the dye. Such natural components are helpful in coloring properties, but also helpful for the health of the hair. Unlike the non-organic hair dyes, which contain harmful compounds, such as ammonia and peroxide, organic hair dyes are beneficial to the hair in the long run.
Maintains hair health
Frequent usage of chemical hair dyes causes breakage and hair loss. The case is different when it comes to organic hair dyes, though. Say goodbye to the awful salon or home hair therapies that leave your hair with venerable ends.
Nourishes the Hair
Organic hair dyes have numerous natural ingredients and essential nutrients, which are beneficial to your hair. Your hair will be nourished and conditioned after every coloring, becoming stronger, shinier, thicker, and healthier.
Safe to use
One of the outstanding benefits of organic hair dyes is its universal application. It is odorless and has minimal side effects. People with sensitive skin can enjoy using it, too, as well as pregnant mothers.
Since organic hair dyes use natural ingredients, it poses minimal threats to the environment. It also doesn’t cause pollution, and it is biodegradable.
Organic hair dyes are equally effective as any other regular hair color, with the proven ability to color your hair from root to tip.
Types of hair dyes
There are many colors available today. Understanding the available products on the market will enable you to select your best choice with certainty, which could help you gain confidence and have fun with your looks.
The common types of hair dyes include temporary, semi-permanent, demi-permanent, permanent, highlights, root color, bleach, and henna.
Temporary hair color
Temporary hair dye, also known as a washout, covers the hair shaft on the outside temporarily—a single shampoo wash will remove the entire effect and revert the hair to its natural shade. These products, like the Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color Kit give you another chance to try a different hair dye if you love having fun with it. Continued application of a temporary color on a damaged hair could cause it to look stained over time, though.
Semi-permanent hair dye
Semi-permanent hair dye extends the temporary look a little further.
It takes four to ten shampoo washes for the dye to wash out, but there are other benefits to consider. It is ammonia-free and an ideal option for gray hair coverage, for example. It is also conducive to home treatment when you can’t access the salon right away.
Your hair may retain the semi-permanent color longer if it is porous.
The benefits attached to this type of dye include:
- Revamping dull hair by adding gloss and shine
- Ideal for growing out a permanent color
- Suitable for providing temporary root touch-ups
Permanent hair color
Permanent hair dyes like ONC NaturalColors works well for individuals who want to stick to a given hair color for a while. Its preparation process involves a complex use of chemicals, which enable it to penetrate deeper into the hair. The permanent hair color has various applications, such as providing quality gray hair coverage, lightening your hair, darkening it, or toning it. It can take weeks before you notice any signs of discoloration on your hair, but you will need to reapply the permanent dye to cater to new hair growth.
Henna dyes like 100% Pure & Natural Henna Hair are most suitable for people with itchy, flaky skin or dandruff. It is hypoallergenic and ideal for people who are allergic to other types of hair dye.
It gives a reddish complexion to the hair making it vibrant and shinier.
How to Get the Most out of Organic Dyes
The products on this list are fairly straightforward to use with the included instructions, but do the following to get the maximum benefit from your organic hair dye.
Be mindful of how you wash and maintain your hair
Some hair cleaning agents, such as shampoo and conditioners, affect the effectiveness of organic dye on your hair. For instance, the use of silicon shampoo may reduce or prevent the absorption of an organic dye onto your hair. The thick shampoo covers the hair strands, inhibiting the absorption of color.
Instead, stick to biodegradable and natural washing products to reap more hair color benefits. Those products have compounds that are gentle enough to take care of your hair fiber.
Seek professional advice
Due to the wide variety of organic dyes available in the market, you may need the help of a professional stylist to choose your best option for an organic dye. The expert will not only advise on the safest options but also asses your hair color, advising you on the results that you are likely to achieve from the alternative organic dyes.The state of your hair also determines how well the dye will penetrate the hair. For instance, hair that is damaged will grip the color faster than thick, healthy hair, but it may not last as long.
Chemicals to avoid when choosing an organic hair dye
It’s difficult to find purely natural hair dyes. There are chemicals present in most products.
If these harmful chemicals are used in slightly higher levels than recommended, it can lead to serious side effects. Most of the products on this list are totally free of these ingredients, but we’ve mentioned the few exceptions where they aren’t. So, it’s best to look out for the following before deciding on a final product selection:
Excessive PPD usage in hair treatment may lead to lung cancer, bladder cancer, nervous system, kidney disorders, and severe allergic reactions.
Check the concentration levels for the PPD in every color dye before purchasing a product or applying it to the hair. In natural hair dyes, it should be 1% or less.
Resorcinol is classified by the European Union as an irritant, harmful to eyes and skin. It is also a threat to the environment, and it may alter the hormonal functioning (leading to hypothyroidism, for example).
Ammonia irritates the eyes, the skin, and the respiratory system. It also aggravates asthma and other breathing problems but is less toxic than PPD.
Potassium, sodium, and ammonium sulfates are some of the building components present in hair bleaches and dyes. The persulfates should be applied at a maximum concentration of 60% as it is highly toxic. Inhalation might lead to lung damage or asthma, so regular and long-term use is highly discouraged.
Hydrogen peroxide is a building block for hair bleaches—it is also corrosive and restricted in some countries. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances, it intoxicates the respiratory system, and the nervous and digestive systems at low dosages. It is also suspected to damage DNA and increases the risk of cancer.
Lead acetate is used for gradual darkening and is present in a few hair dyes. The toxic chemical has been linked to damaging the nervous system and the brain.
Also known as 4-aminobiphenyl4-ABP, this chemical is present in some hair dyes on the market today. The substance is a known carcinogen and has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. You should always be keen on what you apply to your hair to avoid exposing yourself to a health hazard.
Many European countries and Japan have banned the use of such harmful chemicals in cosmetics. Dyes containing toxic chemicals are still being sold in many parts across the world, though, so be vigilant in your buying decisions.
Safety precautions when using organic hair dyes
Few synthetic compounds are employed in the preparation of organic hair dyes, but it should not be assumed to be safe because the label says “organic.” The following safety precautions are paramount when coloring your hair:
- Don’t leave the dye on your hair for too long
- Protect your hands with gloves when applying the dye
- Strictly follow instructions on the package and ingredients
- Never combine different hair color products, unless directed by the manufacturer
- Do a patch test for any allergic reactions before coloring your hair
- Never dye your eyebrows (it may cause blindness or make the eyes vulnerable to infection)
If you want to color your hair, you will be spoiled for choice in today’s varied market. Not every product will work well or be suitable for your personal needs, so stay informed and be sure to check the list of ingredients before you purchase anything. Some products might even pose a risk to your health and wellbeing, so don’t make any rushed decisions when buying a hair dye.