Dying your hair can be a fun and creative way to express yourself. You can change up your look almost any time you want, you have an endless number of colors you can try, and coloring your hair at home is getting easier and better all the time.
However, have you ever thought about all of the chemicals and toxic ingredients hair dye contains? Dying hair is so common many people don’t even think about the risks associated with dying hair.
Yes, many people know and consider that dying hair can cause dry hair and other types of hair damage. But far fewer people consider what hair dye actually is, what it can do to your body, and all of the harsh and toxic chemicals that make up the dye.
Today, we are going to take a look at why conventional hair dyes are so dangerous to use on a regular basis, the worst ingredients found in dyes, and how to choose a high-quality natural and organic hair dye.
The 10 Best Natural and Organic Hair Dyes:
Below we have compiled a list of the 10 best natural and organic hair dyes on the market that will make your hair look absolutely amazing while keeping your hair and your body safe at the same time!
This is a permanent hair color that is made without PPD and PDT making it safer and much gentler on your scalp. You will also not find any ammonia, silicone, or harsh drying alcohols in this formula as well. What they do include are wholesome ingredients such as botanical oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil. These ingredients help hydrate and moisturize your hair. The brand is also dermatologist-tested, packaged in a sustainable carton, and comes in so many different colors, the options are endless.
This hair dye contains no ammonia, resorcinol, or parabens – some of the worst ingredients you will find in all of those conventional hair dyes on the market. It is available in 31 different colors, made with super high-quality Italian pigments, and derived from a wide variety of pure botanical extracts. This hair dye is meant to enhance your hair color, whether your color is natural or already dead. Their gentle formula is great for people who have sensitive skin. This product is also cruelty-free.
Herbatint is a popular natural hair dye that is commonly found in health food stores and natural markets since it is clean, comes in so many different colors, and works so well on most hair types. The color is formulated with 8 different herbal extracts. These herbs help promote healthy and strong hair even after it is dyed. It is also gluten-free and made with non-GMO ingredients.
With no PPD or ammonia, this hair dye can color your hair in just 10 minutes making it one of the easiest and fasted ways to die your hair in a safer way. The rich and Brillant color will last a full three weeks and the addition of natural herbal extracts to the formula will keep your hair looking shiny, healthy, and strong.
A healthier and more natural permanent hair dye, it is ammonia-free and completely vegan. It comes in so many different shades so anyone can find a color to suit their needs! They include other ingredients like argan oil, aloe vera, orange extracts, chamomile, coconut oil, and vitamins to keep your hair looking healthy, strong, and shiny. This hair dye is also ever tested on animals.
6. Madison Reed
Madison Reed hair color has gained lots of traction lately and with good reason. They are the first brand to eliminate the top 6 worst ingredients in hair dyes and gives you the most professional coloring experience in the comfort of your own home. Their colors are rich, deep, and will leave your hair looking better than it ever has before.
Henna hair dye is something new and fun and the perfect way to dye your hair without the fear of toxins and chemicals. It is made with a cocoa butter base, ground coffee for color, and red henna to enhance color and the shone of your hair. With a natural ingredient list of ingredients, you know and recognize, henna hair dyes are a fun option to try out.
If you would like to try out a new hair color but just cannot commit to something more permanent, this temporary color gel is going to be your ticket. It is formulated with natural ingredients, will not irritate your scalp, and is made of 92% natural origin ingredients. Oat flakes and flower extracts nourish and condition your hair at the same time as well. You will get healthy-looking hair with gorgeous rich colors.
We generally like to include a super affordable and easy to find a product on our reviews that everyone can get their hands on, and this Natural Instincts option is a good option. It is made with 80% organic ingredients which is much better than your average option. You will also find no added ammonia or parabens.
This is a 100% pure botanical-based hair color, but it is also a deep conditioner at the same time. Pretty cool, right? Although this is a little bit different than your traditional permanent hair dye, it is 100% organic and has no chemical additives, no parabens, no PPD, no ammonia, no peroxide, and no metallic salts.
Natural and Organic Hair Dyes Buyer’s Guide
If you don’t know much about hair dye in general and the dangers associated with it, you have come to the right place. There is a lot of information to sift through on the internet and it can feel overwhelming, but here you can find all of the information you need to know to help you become a more informed consumer.
Why conventional hair dye is so dangerous
First and foremost, hair dye is simply a combination of chemicals that are applied directly to your scalp every single time you dye your hair, whether that be at home or at the salon. Your scalp has sensitive skin and skin that is also very porous. That means that all of the chemicals and nasty ingredients found in a particular hair dye can leach right through your skin and enter the bloodstream. Remember, your skin is the largest organ in your body and anything and everything can absorb right through your skin, enter the body, and make its way into your bloodstream where it can build up.
Another thing you need to worry about, and most people are not aware of, is you can get lead poisoning through your scalp from hair dye. Lead and mercury poisoning after getting your hair colored may not be the most common issue, but it does happen and it is something that everyone needs to be aware of so they can look out for the signs and symptoms after getting hair dyed.
The poisoning happens because most conventional hair dyes contain lead and mercury to some degree. As we discussed above, the dye is applied to your scalp and seeps through the skin, which can lead to lead poisoning and this comes with some serious side effects like:
- Skin irritation
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
- Slurred speech
- Throat pain
- Eye irritation
- Eye burning
- Reduced blood pressure
You also have to consider the fumes that hair dye gives off. As you are getting your hair dyed in a salon or doing it at home, the dyes give off harsh chemical fumes. You are breathing those fumes in through your mouth and nose and they are entering your body.
These fumes from the chemicals can make you feel sick, give you a headache, and make you feel lightheaded and dizzy. Breathing in the fumes is of particular concerns for salon workers as they are breathing in the fumes from the dyes all day long. Many health issues have been reported from stylists working in salons for long periods of time.
The worst ingredients in conventional hair dye
This is perhaps the most common toxic ingredient in all conventional hair dyes. Ammonia has an intense and powerful smell that is unpleasant and most people cannot stand its scent. You find it in dyes because it opens up the hair cuticle to let the dye seep in the hair and color it. It leads to damaged and dry hair, throat irritation over time, and various respiratory issues.
This ingredient removes the natural pigment from your hair and is especially common when you are going from a dark hair color to a lighter hair color. It is a known human carcinogen, can lead to cardiac issues, and respiratory issues, and failure as well. It is something you will want to avoid in hair dye at all costs.
If there is one chemical you should be seriously worried about absorbing through your scalp and into your body, it is PTD. Research has found extreme amountamounts leech into the skin through the scalp and enter your body. You do not want to have PTD building up in your body and bodily systems every single time you get your hair dyed, which can be quite often for many people.
This chemical impacts your scalp and your body as a whole. It is classified as a hazardous chemical that is a known endocrine disruptor. It can cause issues with your thyroid as well as affect your central nervous system. It can also cause you to experience abdominal pain and skin irritation.
A chemical that is used as a preservative in many hair dyes, this ingredient is a common allergen. It releases formaldehyde that often causes irritation of the skin, particularly in people that have sensitive skin and other skin issues.
How to find the best natural and organic hair dye
Thankfully, there are a ton of more natural and organic hair dye options on the market these days. It is important to keep in mind that natural and organic hair dye is not going to be 100% perfect. You need to personally weigh the benefits and the risks with organic and natural hair dye as well. Natural dye is still not going to be for everyone.
A natural hair dye is never going to be fully organic. There are still going to be some unfavorable ingredients. However, you can find cleaner har dye and this is how:
- Look for a dye that contains no ammonia
- Look for dyes with a high percentage of natural ingredient – 90% or above
- Find options that don’t contain the top ingredient offenders like parabens, ammonia, PDD, resorcinol.
- Look for options that are vegan and cruelty-free
- Try to limit how much you dye your hair on a regular basis, even when using more natural hair dye options
In the end, dying hair is not going to be for everyone and it is a personal decision. There is no such thing as a 100% natural and organic permanent hair color, so you are going to have to make tradeoffs if you want or need to color your hair with permanent color.
Even though you cannot get a dye that is going to be fully organic and natural, what you can do is buy the cleanest and best hair dye brands possible that contain more natural ingredients and avoid some of the most dangerous ingredients found in conventional hair dyes.
Trying to go for an option that has no ammonia, PPD, PTD, etc. Will help you be one step closer to ensuring your hair, scalp, and body as a whole is exposed to far fewer chemicals than normal.
This article was last updated on December 1, 2022 .