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You won’t go wrong with the best organic hair dyes.
Compared to traditional box dyes, they do not contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia, PPD (paraphenylenediamine), or resorcinol.
On the contrary, organic hair dyes are packed with naturally derived ingredients that provide a wide range of hair benefits.
So not only are you getting a beautiful and long-lasting color, you’re also giving your hair and scalp the care it needs.
A word of warning, though. Organic hair dyes aren’t entirely without chemicals; some will have more than others. That’s why we’ve narrowed down the list and have featured the best organic hair dyes in the market.
Whether you’re looking for an organic hair dye for gray hair or want to experiment with different colors without damaging your hair, here are the best brands to check out.
- No ammonia, parabens, silicones, phthalates
- Features hemp seed oil to soothe and nourish
- High-impact shades with 100% gray coverage
- No ammonia, PPD, resorcinol
- Enriched with keratin, argan oil, ginseng root
- Vibrant colors with 100% gray coverage
- No ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, SLS
- Up to 92% organic ingredients
- Good color payoff with 100% gray coverage
What Is Organic Hair Dye?
What exactly makes a hair dye product organic? Are all organic hair dyes 100% free of chemicals?
Here are four things you need to know about organic hair dyes so you know what to expect:
1. Organic hair dyes contain botanicals grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.
When a brand says their products are organic, this means the products contain natural ingredients that were grown without synthetic pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, GMOs, or any synthetic process.
This basically means the process in which the farmers grew these botanical ingredients mimics natural ecosystems, uses renewable resources, and does not pollute the environment.
2. Organic hair dyes contain less to no harmful chemicals.
There’s a host of harmful synthetic chemicals found in the traditional box dye. Organic hair dyes contain either none of these or in significantly lesser amounts.
The harmful chemicals you should look out for are ammonia, PPD (paraphenylenediamine), resorcinol, hydrogen peroxide, persulfates, lead acetate, parabens, 4-ABP, and arylamines.
There are actually more of these harmful chemicals, but those are the most commonly used in hair dyes.
However, the keyword here is “less” or “lesser amounts,” meaning other organic hair dyes might still contain a teeny-tiny amount of the chemicals mentioned above.
The very purpose of those chemicals is to make the hair dye work. They open up your hair’s cuticles to deposit color so that the hair dye stays for a while instead of getting washed out when you shower.
But cheer up! Many ammonia-free, alcohol-free, or PPD-free hair dyes do exist. They use gentler chemical alternatives, natural alternatives, or other chemical alternatives but with added neutralizers.
3. The only 100% organic hair dyes are henna, cassia, and indigo.
Yes, you read that right. Those are the only hair dyes that are 100% assured to be organic. Most of the “organic” hair dyes you see in stores have tiny amounts of chemicals in them.
Among the three, henna is the only organic and natural dye that can successfully fill in the gaps of your hair cuticles and bind with your hair’s keratin to deposit color permanently.
However, henna can only dye your hair darker, so no lighter shades for you. Also, henna only naturally comes in red-orange. If you find henna in blonde, black, or brown, then that henna already has chemicals or metallic salts to alter the henna’s natural color.
If you used a henna hair dye that isn’t red-orange, attempting to bleach it to remove the color would only burn or dissolve your hair due to the metallic salts mentioned.
This means even purely organic hair dye isn’t perfect, although the pros do outweigh the cons.
4. No permanent dye is 100% organic, except henna.
Now that you understand a bit about the science of permanent dyes, you now know that hair dyes that don’t contain the chemicals mentioned above cannot penetrate the hair’s cuticles enough to stay on your hair.
This means most organic hair dyes either contain a little percentage of the chemicals or use synthetic alternatives for those chemicals in normal amounts just to stay in your hair for at least a few weeks or so.
Is Organic Hair Dye Better for Your Hair?
Organic hair dyes are better than traditional box dyes.
They do not contain harmful chemicals such as ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, and hydrogen peroxide — all of which can damage the integrity of your hair.
As a result, many organic hair dyes might be less vibrant and not as long-lasting as traditional box dyes. But you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re protecting your hair from damage and irritation.
Here are the benefits of using organic hair dyes:
Safe and Gentler Formulations
Most organic hair dyes are safer and gentler on your hair and scalp. They do not contain harsh chemicals, so there’s less potential damage and irritation.
Packed With Organic Ingredients
Organic hair dyes are packed with beneficial ingredients such as aloe vera, argan oil, and coconut oil that nourish and protect your hair.
These will make your hair feel smooth, shiny, and healthy.
Long-Term Hair Health
Apart from side effects such as breakage and allergic reactions, harsh chemicals may also cause long-term damage.
You can lessen exposure by sticking to organic hair dyes.
Organic Hair Color Side Effects
Some organic hair dyes still contain low amounts of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide (to lift color) or PPD (to deposit pigment). And everyone reacts differently to hair dye pigments.
As such, there is still a possibility to develop some side effects, especially if you have sensitive skin or allergies.
This includes itchy or inflamed skin; a burning sensation on your scalp; swollen eyes, lips, or hands; and dizziness.
That’s why doing a skin patch test at least 24 to 48 hours before dyeing your hair is essential. You will see how your skin reacts to a particular brand of organic hair dye.
7 Best Organic Hair Dyes for Healthy and Vibrant Hair
A premium hair color kit that won’t make your hair dry, dull, or damaged. Instead, you’ll get vibrant and long-lasting color.
Key benefits: 100% gray coverage; natural but vibrant colors; permanent color; ammonia-free and dermatologically tested
- No harsh chemicals including ammonia, PPD, and resorcinol
- Infused with keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root to keep hair soft and shiny
- Wide range of colors to suit different hair types and textures
If you’re on the hunt for the best organic hair dye, you won’t be disappointed with the Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit.
The Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit isn’t formulated with your usual chemical culprits such as ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, phthalates, parabens, titanium dioxide, and SLS.
You also benefit from nutrient-rich ingredients like keratin, argan oil, and ginseng root — leaving your hair healthy and smooth. It’s also gluten-free, cruelty-free, and dermatologically tested.
However, to deliver intense color, the hair dye uses an ammonia alternative called ethanolamine. This alternative may potentially cause irritation or allergic reactions, but the risk is lower for rinse-off formulations compared to sprays and powders.
There is also hydrogen peroxide, which may potentially damage hair follicles and cause breakage when left for too long.
With any type of hair dye, it’s always best to perform a patch test to avoid adverse reactions. Don’t leave the hair dye for longer than the prescribed period to minimize your scalp’s absorption of chemicals.
If your hair agrees with the Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit, what you’ll get in return is high-quality color with vibrancy, depth, and dimension. There is 100% coverage, making it an ideal organic hair dye for gray hair.
An organic color hair dye that gives a radiant color payoff from root to tip.
Key benefits: Packed with natural ingredients; permanent color; ammonia-free and vegan formula
- Contains olive oleic acid and meadowfoam seed oil to strengthen your hair and give it a beautiful shine
- Long-lasting color with 100% gray coverage
- 32 hair color shades that you can easily mix and match
The Naturtint Permanent Hair Color is a gentler alternative to traditional box dyes.
What makes the Naturtint Permanent Hair Color one of the best organic hair dyes? It’s packed with up to 92% organic hair dye ingredients. This includes olive oleic acid and meadowfoam seed oil, making the gel formula gentler on your scalp than traditional box dyes.
The hair dye does not have ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, SLS, heavy metals, and artificial fragrance.
This means you won’t have to sacrifice the integrity of your hair to achieve a radiant color and shine. The added quinoa mask with organic shea butter and baobab proteins can also keep your hair healthy and moisturized.
There are 32 shades to choose from. The non-drip formula is easy to mix and match if you want a more customized color to create your desired shade.
However, Naturtint does contain ethanolamine, hydrogen peroxide, and PPD.
The hair dye also uses a resorcinol alternative called 2-methylresorcinol, which may cause skin or eye irritation, so we recommend doing a skin patch test to check if you might be allergic or sensitive to the formula.
Thankfully, according to Europe’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Products, 2-methylresorcinol is safe to use in concentrations of 1.8% or lower.
On the more positive side, the Naturtint Permanent Hair Color is packed with up to 92% organic hair dye ingredients. It is also the first hair styling product to earn a USDA BioPreferred Product badge.
Experiment with fun and bold colors without damaging your hair.
Key benefits: Semi-permanent color that lasts; zero harmful chemicals; cruelty-free and vegan; hydrating formula
- Gentle and deeply conditioning formula that restores the vitality of your hair
- Does not contain harsh chemicals including ammonia, PPD, and peroxide
- Over 20 pigmented shades with minimal bleeding and staining
If you’re looking for more than just gray coverage, the Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color can take you as far as you want to go.
Many people are scared to experiment with their hair color due to the potential damage. But with Arctic Fox’s organic hair dye, you can achieve the color of your dreams without compromising your hair!
This is one of the best organic hair dyes for standing out in a crowd. There are a lot of fun shades to choose from, like Periwinkle, Aquamarine, Virgin Pink, and Violet Dream.
You can even mix and match to create a unique color. For a more toned-down look, you can use their diluter.
When it comes to organic hair dye ingredients, the Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Color is as tame as it gets.
The hydrating formula does not contain ammonia, PPD, peroxide, phthalates, parabens, sulfates, silicones, and GMOs. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free.
Arctic Fox is also vegan and cruelty-free, as certified by the Leaping Bunny Program. Part of the brand’s mission is to provide consumers with a hair color formula that’s non-GMO with the use of only plant-based proteins.
In addition, the organic dye was formulated to have minimal bleeding and staining compared to conventional dyes. So with proper hair care maintenance, your hair color can last up to 6 to 8 weeks.
The Revlon Total Color Permanent Hair Color can make your hair soft, shiny, and vibrant after a dye job.
Key benefits: Packed with botanical ingredients; clean and vegan formula; permanent color; no ammonia
- Hemp seed oil that soothes and moisturizes your hair
- 100% gray coverage with mess-free, non-drip formula
- 16 high-impact shades that last for up to 6 weeks
One of the best organic hair dyes to try when you want vibrant and long-lasting color.
If you want to give your hair some TLC, check out the Revlon Total Color Permanent Hair Color. With organic hair dye ingredients such as hemp seed oil, your hair will feel soothed and nourished.
Revlon also offers a conditioning gloss featuring a blend of botanical ingredients, including camellia oil, sesame oil, and black tea extract.
In terms of color, you have a wide range of vibrant colors to choose from.
There are natural shades for those who want gray hair coverage and high-impact colors for those experimenting with hair trends.
This dermatologically tested formula does not have ammonia, phthalates, parabens, silicones, mineral oil, and gluten.
However, it does contain ethanolamine, sulfates, alcohol, fragrance, hydrogen peroxide, and PTD (a less harmful variant of PPD).
Get beautiful natural shades with a formula that’s kind to your hair.
Key benefits: Permanent color; infused with organic, plant-based extracts; 100% gray coverage; no ammonia and resorcinol; cruelty-free and vegan
- Contains 95% naturally derived ingredients (72% certified organic) to protect and nourish your hair
- Easy to apply with results that last up to 6 weeks
- 23 intermixable hair colors, so there’s a perfect shade for everyone
Treat your hair to a gentle, organic hair dye like Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Color.
The Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Color features stunning shades of red, brown, black, and blonde. With an intermixable formula, you can easily achieve the perfect color for 100% gray coverage.
The hair dye is long-lasting and fades very naturally. So when it’s time for a retouch, you won’t have to deal with harsh lines.
As one of the best organic hair dyes, it has a gentle formula that’s vegan and cruelty-free, so your hair feels nourished and protected with over 95% plant-based, nutrient-rich ingredients.
In addition, you can expect minimal damage. The hair dye does not contain ammonia, resorcinol, propylene glycol, and parabens.
However, it does contain 0.42% PPD and 6% hydrogen peroxide.
The formula also has ingredients such as ethanolamine, coal tar, alcohol, and fragrance, which could trigger allergic reactions or irritations.
So even though these are chemical alternatives with minimal levels, it’s still best to do a patch test to avoid any adverse reactions.
With an innovative heat-activated process, you won’t need chemicals to achieve beautifully colored hair.
Key benefits: Permanent dye; heat-activated color; 100% gray coverage; ammonia-free formula; low pH; vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free
- Packed with certified organic ingredients that keep your hair and scalp healthy
- Uses heat instead of chemicals to open cuticles and deposit pigment
- Over 30 shades with ash brown, mahogany brown, neutral brown, red, and black tones
With the least amount of chemicals, the ONC Natural Colors Permanent Hair Color is one of the best organic hair dyes on the market.
The ONC Natural Colors has put certified organic hair dye ingredients at the forefront for ultimate scalp and hair comfort.
It’s packed with natural ingredients such as aloe vera, argan oil, coconut oil, and wheat protein — to name a few. All of these make your hair feel soft, moisturized, and shiny.
Another standout feature is its heat-activated hair dye. The low pH formula only needs heat to open up the cuticles and deposit pigment.
Thus, you really have no need for potent chemicals like ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, and sulfates that can damage your hair.
There are still some chemicals, though. The ONC organic hair dye contains a low amount of PPD (0.06%) to ensure that color sticks to your hair.
It also uses alternatives such as plant-based ethanolamine, methylresorcinol, and chlororesorcinol, which are less toxic.
In addition, the formula contains chamomile-based hydrogen peroxide for a subtle lift of your hair color.
These gentle alternatives ensure that the color looks as natural as possible without harsh lines. Studies also found that chamomile has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that protect hair against potential damage from hydrogen peroxide.
So if you want a natural organic hair coloring process, check out the ONC Natural Colors Permanent Hair Color!
A great product to refine your natural hair color and add intense shine.
Key benefits: Demi-permanent color; natural gray coverage; no ammonia and parabens; up to 80% natural ingredients; vegan
- Lasts up to 2 months
- Natural hydrating ingredients such as aloe vera and coconut oil to keep hair healthy and radiant
- 35 shades to cover gray hairs and boost your natural hair color
Clairol Natural Instincts Permanent Hair Dye has a gentler formula on your hair and scalp.
Let your hair shine with one of the best organic hair dyes. The Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair helps boost your current hair color and naturally covers gray hairs.
As a demi-permanent dye, it only deposits color on the surface of your hair, so Clairol was able to skip harsh chemicals such as ammonia and parabens in its formulation.
However, it still does contain hydrogen peroxide, PPD, resorcinol, ethanolamine, and 2-methylresorcinol to deposit color vividly.
Despite the chemical content, Clairol’s Natural Instincts hair dye has been reformulated to be gentler on your scalp, with up to 80% naturally derived ingredients.
This includes coconut oil, which studies have found can help protect against PPD. You also have aloe vera, which can counter irritation thanks to its wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
The kit also contains an oil-based developer, which is gentler on your hair and scalp. All these work together to keep your hair smooth, shiny, and radiant.
This product is ideal for those who want to experiment with different colors but have yet to commit. The no-drip crème formula is easy to apply, so you can achieve beautiful results in just 20 minutes.
Choosing the Best Organic Hair Dye for You
With our organic hair dye reviews, we’ve introduced you to the best products available today.
As you can see, even the best organic hair dyes contain low levels of chemicals.
But going for organic hair dyes is still a safer and gentler option than using traditional box dyes as you’re able to minimize exposure to harsh chemicals.
With organic hair dyes, you’re bombarded with organic ingredients that keep your hair and scalp healthy.
You can find natural shades to cover gray hair or choose fun colors that make you stand out.
Just make sure to do a skin patch test first and follow up the dye job with a proper hair care routine.
Now, all that’s left to do is add to your cart and buy organic hair dyes that will keep your hair vibrant and healthy!