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The 7 Best Non-Toxic Hair Dye Brands [2023]

Looking for non toxic hair dye to change up your look? Here are 7 of the top brands using high quality, safer ingredients.

Many of us who want to dye our hair do so for all different reasons. Maybe it’s covering up grey hair, changing to your preferred color, or just mixing it up with bright and fun colors!

There are many different ways to go about changing your hair, depending on how dramatic a change you want.

You could go just a shade or two lighter/darker, try a new natural looking color, or maybe go out of your comfort zone and try a fun color like purple or blue. 

Trying something new shouldn’t have to worry us when it comes to our health, but the sad fact is that many hair dyes are filled with toxic ingredients.

The good news is, there are some brands that have made the effort to not only become non-toxic, but also vegan, sustainable, and cruelty-free.

In this post I’m sharing seven of the best hair dye brands that you can trust with your hair. First let’s find out what makes a hair dye non-toxic.

What Makes Hair Dye Toxic?

When you dye your hair it’s going through a chemical reaction. Many of those chemicals individually can cause problems. This is the biggest problem with conventional hair dye.

When they combine it makes it that much worse for your health and the environment.

The different chemicals that you want to watch out for on the ingredient lists are:

  • Ammonia: Ammonia can cause skin issues as well as respiratory issues if inhaled.
  • Coal Tar/Petroleum-Derived Dyes: Did you know petroleum and coal tar can cause allergic reactions and are often contaminated with heavy metals.
  • Ethanolamine: Ethanolamine is often used as an ammonia alternative to help color permeate the hair but it can cause hair damage, eye irritation, burn skin, and cause birth defects.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin, lung, and eye irritation.
  • P-Phenylenediamine (PPD): Is a harsh chemical that causes dermatitis.
  • Para-toluenediamine (PTD): PTD is reacted with benzene and often contaminated with the carcinogen.
  • Parabens: Parabens are harmful and interfere with our hormones, impact fertility, and increase the risk of cancer.
  • Quaternium-15: This is a formaldehyde-releaser that has been linked to cancer.
  • Resorcinol: This is a known skin irritant and is toxic when absorbed through the skin.

Some of the health risks associated with these toxic chemicals are blood toxicity, birth defects, severe allergic reactions, skin irritation, respiratory irritants, carcinogens, and more. 

Things To Consider

All of those harsh chemicals and scary side effects may have you wanting to back out of the dying process.

There is some good news, you have safer options. The best option is to do research and choose a non-toxic hair dye, keep reading for my recommendations. 

Another point to consider is to choose a semi-permanant color over a permanent hair color or demi-permanant.

When choosing a color go with a lighter option, if you can, over a darker color, and always do a strand test before you fully color.

A strand test will not only give you an idea of the color you’re getting, it will also determine whether or not your scalp can handle the dye. That way you can avoid an allergic reaction.

7 Non-Toxic Hair Dye Brands To Try For A New Look

Hairprint

Hairprint is all about restoring your hair to its natural color. This company is based out of Sausalito, California. What makes them unique to the others on the list is their use of “green chemistry.”

They were co-founded by Dr. John Warner through using nature and biology. The result being a hair dye free of harmful chemicals and full of natural ingredients. 

This company doesn’t just believe in doing good in their products, they also seek to make a difference in the environment and the world. By creating hair products without harsh ingredients they are helping aquatic life by not having to endure even more pollution than they already do from other pollutants.

Hairprint also takes 20% of their profits to help provide education to young girls. This fulfills the second half of their motto, “if you want to make a girl beautiful, provide her with an education.”

Why You Should Choose Hairprint: If you have light brown to black hair that is starting to turn into gray hair, Hairprint is a great option. You’ll get excellent gray coverage without exposing your hair to toxic chemicals.

Goldwell Elumen

The Goldwell company started with a vision from the founder, HANS ERICH DOTTER, in 1920. Then in 1948 their first product was launched. Throughout the years they expanded across the world to become the company they are today.  

The Elumen line of color is a great option whether you are wanting a more natural look, or you want to play with a fun color, or maybe a few fun colors!

What makes these hair dye products unique is the use of Elumen, which is gentler than oxidative color. This provides several benefits to your hair.

  • Up to 37% more shine compared to intensive demi-permanent hair colors
  • Up to 76% more color intensity compared to oxidative permanent hair colors
  • Up to 20% longer durability compared to oxidative permanent color

Why You Should Choose Goldwell Elumen: If you commonly have allergic reactions to oxidative colors, or just want a high-shine, vibrant color, you’ll like this line from Goldwell. Check out their Salon Finder to find a salon that carries their products near you.

Khadi Natural Hair Color

Khadi is a company all about the balance between mind, body, and soul. This is at the heart of every product that they create. The base of khadi products are Indian medical plants.

They boil the natural herbs and plants over an open fire in copper kettles, this is where the magic starts. 

The Khadi hair color is a 100% plant-based dye. They use Ayurvedic herbs, roots, and leaves that have a high color intensity.

This company develops their natural dyes according to European cosmetics standards. Since they are much more thorough and careful about what goes into our bodies, you can feel safe with this company.

You can choose from 17 natural shades when you want to freshen up your color, or maybe even change it completely. 

Why You Should Choose Khadi Natural Hair Color: This is a great brand if you are wanting a natural, permanent color. Just make sure that you are not wanting a lighter shade because it won’t turn out the way it should. 

Iroiro Colors

Photo by Kelly Clark

While the last brand only offered natural shades, Iroiro is for those of us wanting to express ourselves through our hair. The company was born out of a need for pink semi-permanent  hair color for a teenage girl.

All of the options were filled with dangerous chemicals. So Iroiro was born to solve this need. 

Iroiro semi-permanant dyes are known for their fun colors, from the pink that started it all to colors like neon orange, blue, black, etc., and their eco-friendly pouches.

By using these eco-pouches the company has been able to reduce their carbon footprint by 70%. They are also vegan and cruelty-free.

In addition to amazing color results, Irorio also provides nourishment through the addition of coconut oil in their formula. 

Why You Should Choose Iroiro Colors: If you are ready to go a little bold with your color, but want to lessen the damage that dying your hair causes, this brand is for you.

Aveda

Aveda is on a mission to plant beauty in the world. They have done this since their beginnings in 1978, which has lead them to be:

  • 100% wind & solar powered manufacturing
  • the first beauty company using 100% post consumer recycled PET
  • Leaping Bunny Certified

Their products are free of parabens, mineral oil, petroleum, paraffin, oxybenzone, benzene, talc, synthetic fragrance, and more.

This is all great, but because Aveda’s hair dye uses 96% plant derived ingredients it means that they are not organic.

You’ll have to determine if that is a dealbreaker for you or not. I believe it is still a much better choice than other toxic hair dyes. If you are choosing which dye to go with from Aveda I would recommend the demi-permanant hair dye. This is the only one that doesn’t contain ammonia.

Why You Should Choose Aveda: If you are going to a salon to dye your hair, Aveda is a popular salon brand. You can see if there is a salon that carries their products by using the salon finder on their website.

Good Dye Young

Photo by Kelly Clark

You may recognize one of the co-founders of Good Dye Young. It’s the lead singer of Paramore Hayley Williams! She created the company with Brian O’Connor, her hair stylist and makeup artist.

Good Dye Young places a high value on self-expression and inclusion, all while providing a great product that represents all of that and more. 

There are many fun hair dye products that this company offers. They are vegan and cruelty-free, and made without many of the toxic hair dye chemicals that I mentioned earlier.

Good Dye Young has a wide variety of semi-permanent colors to choose from, and you can even mix them to create your own unique shade.

Why You Should Choose Good Dye Young: This brand takes fun and creativity to a new level with the variety of colors and hair dye options. If you value creativity and self-expression with your hair, you’ll love Good Dye Young.

Arctic Fox

Arctic Fox is another brand all about self-expression and inclusion. They are passionate about being a catalyst for standing out, inclusivity, equality, and love.

Another thing they believe in is helping animals. Not only are all of their products vegan and cruelty-free, they also donate 15% of their profits to prevent animal cruelty and promote animal welfare. 

The Arctic Fox semi-permanent dye is made of all-natural ingredients and zero harsh chemicals. It’s great for all hair types, and can even be safe for the younger crowd.

Another benefit of their dye is that when it fades, it fades within the same color tones. This company promotes the idea of DIYing your hair color, which is why they made their hair dye so easy to apply. 

Why You Should Choose Arctic Fox: Arctic Fox is a great hair color brand for experimenting with fun colors in a safe way. It’s great for anyone wanting to dye their hair at home instead of at the salon.

But Wait, There’s More…

There is one more non-toxic hair dye I want to talk about. It’s not necessarily a brand, but it’s worth adding here. I’m talking about henna. Yes, the same henna that is used to create temporary tattoos can be used as a natural color. 

There are a few things to consider before adding any type of henna dyes to your shopping list.

First, you want to make sure that you are using high quality henna if you are wanting it to be non-toxic. Henna is largely regarded as one of the best natural hair dyes available and works best if you have dark brown hair.

Another thing to keep in mind is that henna works best for dark hair – think brown and black hues. So if you have any other colors in your hair, this isn’t a route you’ll want to take.

In Summary: Non-Toxic Hair Dye

It feels good to know that we still have options when it comes to finding a great quality, safe hair dye. Just remember to check your labels before you purchase hair dye, or any beauty product for that matter.


Learn More About Caring For Your Hair:

About the Author

Nicole Booz

Nicole Booz is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of GenTwenty, GenThirty, and The Capsule Collab. She has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is the author of The Kidult Handbook (Simon & Schuster May 2018). She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two sons. When she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, eating brunch, or planning her next great adventure.

Website: genthirty.com


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