The Best Organic & Natural Hair Dyes For 2021

best natural hair dyes

Looking for the best organic & natural hair dyes? Our definitive guide is sure to help!

By Sophia Hussain

Women have always coveted long, luxurious locks, as it’s the ultimate signature of feminine youth and beauty. We use hair coloring and toners to better match our personal style, or to mask emerging grey hair. But as much as we may love them, there’s no denying that all permanent hair colours contain a cocktail of chemicals – the trick is choosing the best natural hair dyes.

So, what should you look for on the label?

The most common – and dangerous – of these chemicals is probably PPDs (p-Phenylenediamine). This has been linked to bladder cancer, lung, kidney and nervous system disorders and severe allergic reactions. It’s almost impossible to formulate a hair color without PPDs, but the most important factor is the concentration of the chemical.

In mainstream supermarket brands, it can be as high as 5-6%, whereas natural hair dyes use less than 1%. And yes, that difference does mean a lot: it’s the difference between, say, smoking a pack of cigarettes and being beside someone having a smoke.

Another dangerous chemical group is Persulfates. These include sodium, potassium and ammonium sulphates are present in hair dyes and bleaches, and are used in concentrations of up to 60%. However, concentrations of only 17.5% have been shown to irritate skin. Persulphates are also toxic when the fumes are inhaled, they cause asthma and lung damage. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has concluded that they are safe for occasional use, provided that the skin is rinsed well after.

More chemicals to avoid

Resorcinol

This receives a nasty 8 out of 10 for danger at the Cosmetics Safety Database. It is classified by the European Union as harmful, irritant to eyes and skin and dangerous for the environment. It may also disrupt hormonal function, and lead to  hypothyroidism.

Ammonia

Ammonia is irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory system, and can cause asthma and breathing difficulties. However, it is much less toxic than PPD, and only receives a rating of 3 out of 10 for toxicity at the Cosmetics Safety Database.  Still, many companies are phasing out this harsh ingredient, which compromises the integrity of the hair shaft, too.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used in hair bleaches. It is corrosive, and has been banned from cosmetic use in Japan and restricted in Canada. Animal studies have shown it has toxic effects on the nervous system, respiratory and digestive systems at low doses.

Lead acetate

This is present in some hair colouring products used for gradual darkening, and is another potentially toxic chemical. Lead has well-known damaging effects on the brain and nervous system.

4-ABP

This ingredient has been linked to development of cancer.

Worried your brand may contain some of these? A good tip for those living in the Americas would be to buy European or Japanese brands: the EU and Japan have banned many toxic ingredients that are still permitted elsewhere. Click here to see more information about that.

Beware non natural hair colors

Knowing that consumers have become savvy to the dangers of chemicals in hair dye, manufacturers have gone all-out in their attempts to greenwash their products. Don’t be fooled! Just because the name of a product may sound ‘green and clean’ doesn’t mean it is.

Some of the worst offenders? L’Oreal Natural Match (the ‘natural’ refers to your original hair colour, but could easily be misinterpreted); Garnier HerbaShine (yes, it contains bamboo and has no ammonia, but it also contains high levels hydrogen peroxide and chemical fragrance), and Clairol Natural Instincts (again, ammonia free, but packed with other harmful chemicals, including parabens and hydrogen peroxide).

It should be noted that permanent dark colours will always have some PPDs. In America, the legal maximum is 2%; brands that really try hard to be natural (such as those below) could contain as little as .06%.

Pregnant? It’s your choice

It’s up to you to decide whether or not to use permanent dyes, but keep this in mind: pregnant women are strongly advised not to colour their hair, and the Environmental Working Group found that 69% of hair dye products they tested for their Skin Deep database may pose cancer risks. A 1994 National Cancer Institute report states dark dyes used over long periods of time seem to increase the risk of cancers such as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Despite all the potential dangers, in America, the FDA doesn’t regulate hair dye ingredients (synthetic or natural) at all.

You should be aware that all permanent colors will always use some chemicals; that’s true even in the best natural hair dyes. Choosing the one that is the least damaging and most natural really is a case of using the best information you have to do so.

But never fear – we’ve done the research for you, and selected some of the best natural hair dyes – and even organic hair dyes – around.

15 of the Best Organic & Natural Hair Dyes

Best Natural Hair Dyes

1. Madison Reed

Smaller colour molecules called micro-pigments create a gentler colouring process that doesn’t require Madison Reed to use ammonia to aggressively open the hair cuticle to deposit their dyes the way other brands do. In fact, all Madison Reed’s dyes are not only ammonia free, but contain no parabens, resorcinol, phthalates, PPD or gluten. The result is no harsh smells, burning or itching that nasty chemicals normally bring.

This brand may not provide 100% organic hair dyes, but they do infuse their products with argan oil and natural keratin (not vegan: heads up!) to keep the products gentle. Of course, Madison Reed offers a range of colours, from Amalfi Blonde to Perugia Black, all of which promise 100% grey coverage.

Natural rating: 7/10 Colour hold: 10/10 Vegan? No

madison reed natural hair color

2. Saach Organics

PETA certified Saach Organics Natural Hair Colors are semi-permanent hair dyes derived from natural plants and minerals, making it a perfect blend of rare hair treatment herbs without any active chemicals.

Made by a small company with a speciality in natural beauty, Saach Organics is easy to contact if you have any questions. These natural hair colors are the first semi-permanent hair dyes which cover grey hair effectively in one simple step. Made with herbs grown and harvested according to Ayurvedic Indian traditions, the powdered dye gently coats your hair for vibrant, stable color that lasts.

The organic dyes balance and nourish each hair shaft and help prevent breakage and over-drying, leaving hair thick, lustrous and naturally healthy. They are even suitable for hypersensitive skins, and provide 100% gray coverage, without the use of PPD, Ammonia or Peroxides. This is a rarity, in that it is one of the few purely organic hair dyes, and it’s also one of the best natural black hair dye brands, too.

Natural rating: 10/10 Colour hold: 8/10 Vegan? Yes

best organic hair colorBest Natural Hair Dyes

3. Herbatint

This popular line of Italian-made natural hair dyes is specially formulated from herb extracts, including rosemary, cinchona and walnut husk, to gently bring a natural, vibrant color to your hair. Although the brand is 100% free of parabens, alcohol, ammonia, resorcinol and perfumes, it does contain hydrogen peroxide in most shades.

I have personally used this product for years, and though I have super-sensitive skin, I’ve had no issues. The coverage of gray is thorough, and the brand is 100% vegan friendly, and halal, as well.

Natural rating: 7/10 Colour hold: 10/10 Vegan? Yes

best natural hair dyes4. The Henna Guys

Have you got sensitive skin? Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? Of all the natural hair dyes here, this could well be the safest choice for you! It’s a certified organic, 100% natural hair color that has no PPD, peroxide or ammonia whatsoever.

The formula of their natural hair dyes uses premium certified organic herbs to create a herbal hair color that even helps to resolve issues like dandruff, dryness, and premature graying. Mainly based on plants like henna and indigo, like Saach Organics, this is one of the best all-organic hair dyes out there. Especially for natural black hair dye.

Natural rating: 10/10 Colour hold: 8/10 Vegan? Yes

 

best natural hair dyes

5. Natulique Organic Colors

This certified organic, pro-salon range of permanent hair color includes a selection that can either enhance your natural hair hue, or deliver more avant garde pastel hued locks. Promising 1oo% gray coverage, a blend of certified organic ingredients – including natural sunflower seed extract and jojoba, apricot and grapeseed oils – activates the color to fortify the hair for a healthy color boost.

This 95% natural brand also contains a cocktail of essential organic juicy grapefruit and lemon oils to help make your hair smell great, and contains a PPD-free range, too.

Natural rating: 8/10 Colour hold: 10/10 Vegan? Yes

Image: eleganthaircuts.com

6. ONC Natural Colors

ONC Natural Colors are much healthier than almost any of the other natural hair dyes out there. They have a low pH. They use heat from a blow dryer to open cuticles rather than a high pH chemical that can damage your health and that of your hair. It smells a bit of bananas, washes off your skin easily (but not your hair, obviously), and doesn’t leave a hard demarcation line after regrowth.

Because this is basically hair care and hair dye in one bottle, it nourishes your locks and scalp whilst changing the color of your hair. Of course, it’s permanent and lasts as long as any nasty chemical brand.

Natural rating: 8/10 Colour hold: 9/10 Vegan? Yes

best natural hair colors

7. Naturtint Natural Hair Colors

Fancy rouge ends or an ombre gradient? In three easy steps, choose to either dye selected strands, sections, or simply coat the entire head in your selected hue with Naturtint Natural Hair Colors.

Of course, there are the basic staple options for brunettes and blondes, too. This low-chemical brand contains no parabens, resorcinol, DEA, SLS, mineral oils or ammonia. 

Their creamy, plant based formula is safe for anyone of any age. Naturtint easily and permanently covers gray hairs, no matter how many you may have!

Natural rating: 9/10 Colour hold: 8/10 Vegan? Yes

Best Natural Hair Dyes

8. Tints of Nature

Tints of Nature is an effective range of hair colouring and treatment products, including permanent and semi-permanent colours. Each box comes with a prepping shampoo that alters your hair’s pH slightly, which results in less damage and more dye penetration.

The various tones can be custom-mixed, and these formulas are natural and gentle, using Certified Organic ingredients whenever possible. Tints of Nature’s vegan-friendly, natural hair dyes contain no resorcinol, nonoxynol, parabens, or ammonia. The average percentage of PPD (which depends on the shade) is also quite low, at only 2%.

Natural rating: 7/10 Colour hold: 9/10 Vegan? Yes

best organic hair dyes

9. Naturigin Permanent Hair Colour

This innovative Danish brand won the best Natural Beauty Product 2014-2015 in the US market. No surprise, since its natural hair dyes are 100% free from PTD, SLS, ammonia, resorcinol, and parabens.

It contains a naturally derived formula, with a special blend of certified organic lemon and mandarin essential oils, along with 10 additional pure and gentle organic extracts. These natural oils  protect the hair during the coloring process. Each shade of this brand’s natural hair dyes will reveal shiny, nourished locks!

Natural rating: 9/10 Colour hold: 9/10 Vegan? Cruelty free only

 

best natural hair color

 

10. Oway Hair Color

Organic Way (Oway) is the beauty industry’s first holistic hair color brand. All 95 ammonia-free permanent hair color shades are made with biodynamic botanicals. These are handpicked and grown on their family farms in Italy. The brand is defined by its use of organic plants, Fairtrade ingredients and pure essential oils. The base of their natural hair color is nourishing plant butters, which leave your hair rich, shiny and healthier than before.

The brand is also certified cruelty-free by PETA and is vegan-friendly. Of course, it does contain some chemicals as well as organic ingredients, otherwise it wouldn’t color your hair permanently. The concentration of those chemicals varies, depending on the shade, so please ensure you read labels carefully.

Natural rating: 8/10 Colour hold: 10/10 Vegan? Yes

oway hair color

11. It’s Pure

The name kind of says it all! This is the first ever herbal hair dye to be Certified Organic by Soil Association, and with good reason: it contains only 3 ingredients, and all are 100% organic and natural. No matter what colour you choose, it will always gives your hair plenty of shine and volume, without doing any damage. This product covers grey, too!

Natural rating: 10/10 Colour hold: 9/10 Vegan? Yes

best organic hair dye

12. Surya Brasil

Surya Brasil is a henna based dye that also features loads of botanical extracts from the Amazon, such as Brazil nut, Malva and Babacu seed oils. There’s even organic chocolate extract!

Henna is actually a great conditioner for your hair. It not only adds shine and volume, but also shields your locks from damage. Henna can help maintain the natural acid-alkaline balance on your scalp and cleanses dirt, too. In addition, it promotes hair growth, reduces hair loss, dandruff and other scalp problems. In short, it makes this one of the best organic hair dyes ever!

Note: This natural hair color will cover gray. But if you have more than 70% gray hair and are trying to achieve a black or dark brown hue, you should purchase two packages of product.

Natural rating: 10/10 Colour hold: 8/10 Vegan? Yes

 

surya brasil henna cream

13. Original & Mineral

This is one of the best natural hair dyes, according to the many top models and celebrities who are fans. This Australian salon brand was one of the first to produce professional grade ammonia, resorcinol and PPD free permanent hair colour making it gentle on hair, scalp and hands.

Their latest offering is called CØR.color nudes, and I can honestly say this may be the first ever ‘woke’ hair dye! The brand says it was created to “embrace the concept of diversity, inclusion and originality.”

CØR.uses ‘clean colour technology’ to give hair technicians the ability to create vibrant pastel or blonde hues any client can rock, no matter what their natural hair colour may be. The light and cool shades embrace any base pigment to create unique looks that celebrate diverse hair and skin tones.

Natural rating: 7/10 Colour hold: 9/10 Vegan? Yes

Original & Mineral hair color

14. Naturcolor

Got stubborn grey hair you’re trying to cover up? Try Naturcolor! This natural hair color brand has a lot going for it:

  • It contains no ammonia, resorcinol or parabens
  • It’s available in 31 colors. Each color can be used alone or blended to create personalized hair colors
  • Safe to use over color treated or permed hair.

It’s also packed with natural botanical oils, including jasmine, rosemary, and lavender. They make a rich range of brown hues, and a wonderful natural black hair dye. What’s not to love?

Natural rating: 8/10 Colour hold: 8/10 Vegan? Yes

 

 

15. Hairprint

Rather surprisingly, hairprint works to restore gray hair to its true colour – but it’s not a dye! It’s a patented breakthrough that replenishes the natural pigment (eumelanin) found in brown and black hair that has turned gray. It’s also a great protein treatment that adds body, strength, texture, and shine, while reducing frizz, and discoloration. Hypoallergenic and odour-free, this unique formula only works on dark hair colors. But it always results in a highly natural look for both men and women.

Hairprint recommends using their Chelating Shampoo to eliminate minerals, chlorine, calcification, silicone, and other residues on your hair in order to achieve the best results. If you regularly use styling products, they suggest doing a seven day Hair Detox to ensure the colourant really takes well.

Natural rating: 9/10 Colour hold: 9/10 if used correctly Vegan? Unsure

 

hairprint hair color

Note: It’s  always important to conduct a hair colour safety test prior to using any natural hair dye. Follow these helpful guidelines for further information.

Sophia Hussain
Share this page: 
Reddit

177 thoughts on “The Best Organic & Natural Hair Dyes For 2021”

  1. I have tried Hairprint- it is super messy – everything in your bathroom will be covered in dye; it takes hours to apply; and it does not cover gray. I am still looking for a natural semi-permanent that covers gray.

  2. Has anyone tried coloring their hair with coffee, sage, chamomile etc? I think a forward looking salon could do well by offering these rinses – considering trying myself!

  3. I wonder why Ecocolors hair color is not on you list, it works to cover gray and has an ingredient list. Been ordering that since 2002!!!!

  4. I have been using a product called Robert Craig. Just a little tiny bottle of powder that mixed with water. I don’t know what kind of sorcery was in their recipe but I loved it! Used it for 20 years and did a marvelous job of covering my grays. Recently because of a death, the small company closed. I am at a loss now. I tried Madison Reed and was very disappointed. It did not cover the gray, was expensive, and didn’t like the color. I wish someone would buy Robert Craig Salon Color line and bring it back to life. They literally saved my hair! Owners wife ran it for a year, after her husband passed, but just could not keep up with it and closed the business. She tried to sell the business but no takers. Such a wonderful product lost.

  5. Hair print is natural 100%. Applications is bit cumbersome and time consuming. But no toxins at all. Only works on dark hair. And can be a struggle if you have long thick hair.
    Hope you can add it to your review

  6. Oops! Sorry, Chere!

    I thought you wrote this article since you were answering all the questions here. 🙂

    By the way, Ms. Hussain, the products are numbered wrong:

    You have two 5s but no 12. 6 is 7, 8 is 9 and so on.

    Cheers.

  7. Hello, Chere:

    Thank you for this article.

    I use Revlon Color Silk and am thinking of switching to something else.

    I know that the list is not in a certain order,
    but I’m confused by the Natural 8/10 Ratings.

    Why are some 8/10? Based on what?
    And which chemicals are still present or not?

    1. Thanks for your comment! Sophia made the ratings scale. She says: “for every 2 chemical ingredients that are given a ‘yellow’ rating on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) site, I deducted a point.” As for the colour hold rating, that’s just subjective, based on the experience of the Eluxe staffers. Of the 8 women on staff, we have all tried these hair dyes out at different times over the years, and that rating is our own personal feedback. Thanks for the great question! But please note that the rating is just a guideline….ratings are based on one colour sample so may not be the same for other shades, but it was imossible to rate them all! Hope that helps?

  8. When these products are labeled as vegan, I am presuming they aren’t therefore tested on animals? Can anyone clarify this? Thanks

  9. If you want a healthy hair, do not use any hair dye.
    Even Henna Powder irritates sensitive scalp and dries hair and will be like a bunch of dry hay.
    I have long used henna believing that I do a good hair.But… Nothing did well my hair.And the hair dye listed above, I think they’re chemical crap. Nothing is organic. Not at all.
    I think the hair is the ornament of the head and better to be gray than to fall and be bald.. and white hair is beautiful

    1. Ok… Be as you say.. But does this hair dye cover the white wires? I Mention I’m a 31-year-old man and I have hair color kind of black or a discreet black.. Not that charcoal negro. Do you think I could use the hair dye to cover the white wires

  10. OWAY Hair Color is a Typical Petroleum Hair Dye..products, I realized two things. First, it is up to us consumers to figure out which products are safe – nobody is going to do it for us. Second, in order to understand if marketing claims are truthful, we consumers have to understand how products are made. We consumers have to know as much as manufacturers do.
    I have learned that to work, permanent hair colors (or dyes) such as OWAY Hair Color have to have chemicals that open up hair cuticles and push mineral pigments and petroleum dyes into the hair.
    The chemicals that open up cuticles are either Ammonia or Ethanolamine. The permanent hair dyes include p-phenyldiamine (PPD), toluene-2, 5-diamine sulfate (PPDS), resorcinol, m-aminophenol, p-aminophenol and others. Studies show that all these hair dyes may cause allergic reactions. with typical coal tar hair dyes that may cause allergic reactions and possibly other long-term health problems. And yes, out of 40, 6 ingredients are either organic or biodynamic. They are oils, extracts, or proteins derived from perilla, cotton, date, hibiscus, jojoba, and wheat, meant to help heal the hair after it goes through a high pH process that damages the hair. Most hair dyes have some hair conditioning ingredients.

    1. Several brands above are actually ammonia free, and Saachs Organics contains ONLY herbs. For example, dark brown has only these ingredients: Ingredients: Lawsonia Inermis (Henna), Indigofera Tintoria (Indigo), Emblica Officinalis (Amla), Acacia Concinna (Shikakai).

  11. I’ve been searching for organic and toxin-free hair color and the Oway line looks the best to me. They don’t list the ingredients on their website which is odd. Has anyone here used Oway?

  12. I am very confused about “safe hair color.” I’ve been using Henna color for years – and recently have seen studies that say Henna contains heavy metals and PPD. What’s a safe -no heavy metals and ppd-hair color that is not based on henna? Thanks!

  13. What about Aveda brand hair colors? Are they safe? I know you cannot buy on line only used by professionals. And the cost of coloring in our area, is $80-135 depending on stylist. That is a little pricy and really adds up. But what’s out there that is better in a salon. Or better yet something equal to AVEDA but I can buy on-line and do my own coverage of grey’s.

      1. I’ve been going to an Aveda salon for years but have gradually developed an allergy to their color. Though they claim to be 97% plant-based, I guarantee you there are plenty of chemicals being used in this line. They once colored my hair too dark and it took nearly 5 months for it to fade at all! I’m now planning to go back to coloring at home again with a natural product which I did before Aveda. Just not sure what yet.

  14. Actually resorcinol is not that bad, not sure why it’s listed?
    I think ecocolors is probably your best bet it’s ppd free and gluten free and whatnot.

  15. Hi guys,

    Great thread. What about this? Since none of these dyes stay on for more than a month, can we just use a regular color product and do highlights? When you do highlights, the color does not touches the skin. My mom used to bleach her hair like that because she has allergy.

  16. Really you omitted the only color that doctor actually recommend, that’s ecocolors hair color. Actual docotrs looked at the ingredients and deemed it safe for people with sensitivities or in remission.

    http://www.ecocolors.net

  17. Madison Reed may not have ammonia & PPD’s in it but by taking those out they replaced them with essentially chemicals that are WORSE. People that have allergic reactions to PPD’s will have reactions to these. Really bummed to see an article meant to help out give such bad information but saying that it’s “natural”. OY.

    See the information on this blog post I found: https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/madison-reed-hair-dye-review/

  18. Thank you for sharing have you heard of Deity Color Shampoo Its a shampoo so all you need to do is switch from using your regular shampoo to Deity and it does the job of coloring your hair. What do you think? https://goo.gl/AChJWk

  19. I really like all the organic options you provide us with because I have been looking for different products to put on my hair.

  20. It’s true nothing is completely organic, except maybe henna. But I am very reactive to many shampoos, etc and I have been using SanoTint light. It has no resorcinol or PPDS, which, when I was researching hair colours, is very rare. I see some of the products, such as Nature Tint and Tints of Nature are recommended, but I believe they contain resorcinol, unless this has changed. When I go to a salon, have had good result with Davines and Kevin Murphy.

  21. I’ve been reading all of your remarks honestly nothing is safe out there, its pure toxics, all these products are making money from you guys, its pretty sad how they try getting the consumers in believing its safe and non toxic.
    No miracle dye out there, just throwing your money. Best of luck if you do !!!

  22. Hi, thanks for your research and information. I am surprised that the Light Mountain products were not mentioned. I believe that they are all 100% plants. Not just “plant-based”, but actual ground up plants, and have zero chemicals of any sort. They are henna and indigo products. (Despite what the poster above said about indigo, I haven’t been able to find anything about indigo being harmful). They offer a regular line of hair color, only for people with no or little gray hair, and also a “Color the Gray” line of colors, which is a 2-step process, so a bit more work, but works very well on grays. EWG lists the Light Mountain products a “1”/”Low Hazard”.

  23. Original & Mineral gave me a terrible allergic reaction.My scalp is burning,itchy and leaking. Also my lymph glands are swollen on my neck. Be aware!

  24. “Green”, “natur” or “organic” in the name of brand or products is not guarantee for safe; safe and not harmful colors do not have such terms in the name, but they have Ecocert certificate.
    With Ecocert, Kosher and Halal certificated package you can be 100% sure that the colour is completely safe.
    Ecocer hair colours come in powder, but such is no one product listed above.

  25. Used Naturagin for the first (and last) and got a nasty dose of dandruff which I never suffer from. After a bit of digging I found it has PPD so not 100% chemical free. Even in low doses this can still cause an allergic reaction to some. On speaking to a few others I found I am not alone with a reaction to this product.

  26. HI I just saw this post about Natulique hair colour
    but it is on 2nd number of your list. I was looking for a natural hair color – now that has confused me
    what would you like to say about that?
    who is correct?

        1. None as far as I know….you can see the ingredients list here, according to the package for the dark brown colour:
          Ingredients in Saach Organics Natural Hair Colour – Dark Brown. Indigo Leaf Powder, Indigo Extract , Natural Henna, Emblica Officinalis, Accacia Concinna , Eclipta Alba, Rubia Cordifolia, Alkaline Tinctoria.

  27. Does O&M use hydrogen peroxide to activate the color? If so, which of the products above do not? Is an enzyme better than hydrogen peroxide?

  28. anyone heard of well koleston perfect innosense as a less allergenic hair dye?
    are the patch tests reliable to determine whether a produce will be safe?

  29. We have a salon in West Australia and wanted to find the cleanest most organic colour available on the market Worldwide. With the help of my sister-in-law, who is a biochemist, we spent 6 months researching. We opted for Natulique from Denmark as it was the cleanest with less harmful chemicals and had the most certified organic ingredients. However, knowing it was clean was not enough as water is also clean but will not colour your hair!! Natulique performs as well as anything my wife has used in 25 years of hairdressing and her clients love it as our salon is so busy because of it. Natulique all the way!!

  30. I just looked at the naturigin website. It states, in giant boxes, 100% PPD FREE! But then right on the left side there’s a box that says it contains ppd and phenylenediamine! This is false advertising at its stupidest! I looked at a couple other websites and I really don’t think there is a single “natural” or even organic dye on the planet that doesn’t use this chemical. If they say they don’t they’re lying through their teeth.

  31. Your article gives all the essential information about hair colors, but don’t you think you have missed out a major natural hair color. I have started using a chemical-free hair color since long and believe me I have had an exceptional experience. It’s the Indus Valley Gel Hair Color. You know what’s the best part of it, it’s gel in texture and natural in nature with orange extracts infused. Exceptionally useful to hide my grays.

  32. Hi everyone.. great article and most importantly everyones comments which matter as those give out the exact results.

    Unfortunately last week I realised I’m allergic to hair dyes … had an extreme reaction and had to rush to the emergency…seems like I had an anaphylaxis attack and am lucky to be alive reaching the hospitsl on time. Decided to stop using colours anymore.

    Have also been researching since then. My doctor even refused to do a patch test as even that can be fatal and asked me not to use hair dyes anymore unless iam absolutely sure it’s 100 percent natural like hena leaves which I myself have crushed and prepared.

    PPD allergy is usually the main cause according to her but reading the above comments seems PTD is something to be careful about as well.

    Can someone tell me if there is a product which absolutely 100 percent natural and does not contain any of the harmful chemicals?

    Or any other alternative if someone else unfortunately has the same reaction or problem and found the solution?

  33. Your Post is indeed informative however from my personal opinion I have felt that #IndusValleyGelHairColour is one of the safest and natural hair colors. With their multiple range of benefits and absolutely no side-effects, I have been using this chemical-free hair colour since 4 years. I am exceptionally satisfied with this natural hair colour. This organic hair dye is undoubtedly one of the perfect suitors to my hair. Would love if you can broaden the list by including this hair color too.

  34. What does anyone know about the Goldwell Hair Color? Is it safe for coloring grey hair? How much PPD and ammonia are in the Goldwell Hair Color?

    Thanks.

  35. Hi! this a great article. I was just looking into natural hair color to switch from the ammonia free one I am currently using. Where can I buy O&M and Natulique.Organic? I am currently in Washington, DC but moving to Miami, FL.

  36. Hi! I was wondering if these products are effective for dark, unbleached hair. Don’t organic, chemical-free dyes tend to be less effective? I mean, can it give me a noticeable shade and will it last long? Thanks for all the info in this post!

    1. Hi Scarlett
      That depends what you mean by ‘effective’? Saach Organics, for example, lasts 6-8 weeks, which is pretty much as long as anyone has to wait before re-dying their hair, right? So I guess I would say YES, they are effective. But note: the natural dyes will only enhance or change your colour slightly – if you have brown hair and want to go to light auburn, you will have to use harsh chemicals (which will kill your hair! and which are not good for your health). Up to you! 🙂

  37. Very sorry, had a spelling error in my comment! It should be… Also, a customer-friendly company, in that you can actually talk to a real consultant!

  38. Love Madison Reed. Excellent coverage with no odor. Not expensive at all! I get it online on autoship! Also, a customer-friendly company that you can actuallu talk to a real consultant! Love it!

  39. Hi, I work in the hair industry and I can categorically tell you that there is no such thing as organic colour. All the ‘organic’ named colours may use some organic ingredients,or certified organic ingredients. I’ve seen claims of 95% natural also. Natural what exactly?! Aqua/water is normally the first ingredient in most of these products so I expect we can say that’s natural. Also, notice how these colours are marketed. Nome of them actually state that they are a 100% organic product. (Because they’re not!!) It’s always a similar phrase like “organic based” and “certified organic ingredients”. If a product states it’s ammonia free it will definitely contain MEA, which is a substitute for ammonia. PPD free products most likely will have PTD or another diamine. I’m afraid that in my opinion “organic color” is just a marketing strategy for companies to make more profits. If you’re colouring your hair, trust your hairdresser. They are professionals 🙂

    1. Thanks Ken for your input and information. I was wondering why the article didn’t talk about MEA and that if a permanent color line is not using ammonia that means they have replaced with something else that from what I understand is much harsher and more unpredictable then ammonia.

  40. I need this article as I am searching for something organic myself – does anyone know of any brands that do a deep shades of warm red that will cover a dull greying auburn?
    Thanks 🙂

  41. Does anyone have experience of using Daniel Field’s Advanced Formula Water Colour range? They claim to be an organic natural colour range and is free of PPD. I have black hair and have a lot of grey roots to cover. Is the water based colour better than Naturigin? Original and Mineral don’t offer black colour. Many thanks for your help in advance.

  42. I feel that you forgot a vegan/natural hair dye that I use. It is called Manic Panic and it is a semi-permanent hair dye. They do unnatural hair colours that turn out amazing.

  43. Hi,

    I saw an episode of Dr. Oz (normally don’t watch him, but saw them talking about carcinogens in hair dyes and products… and had to watch!).

    One really bad one is formaldehyde, often disguised with the name, fomin. Cocamide MEA, and an unbelievable host of other toxins most of us never heard of, are in many beauty products, not limited to those for hair 🙁

    The show did provide a website that has the list of these toxins; it also lists the possibly affects of each.

    I don’t remember the website, but you can search for it on the Dr. Oz site or probably Google it.

    It’s worth doing thorough research if health is important.

    Thank you for your blog!

    – Fifty Shades of Grey Roots

  44. the product contains PPD I did a patch test. the company advertised and told me verbally over the phone no PPD in our product. I broke out bad on my patch test. Good thing I tested It first, false advertising to me.

  45. Someone posted on Madison Reed under the black color, that they had a reaction to it that lasted for weeks and they believe there is some PPD in the product because they always react to PPD in the same manner.

    1. If it doesn’t have PPD then it most likely has PTD or PTDS. Which are similar to PPD. And many people can be allergic to all three. Some lucky people are only allergic to PPD, and NOT allergic to PTD or PTDS – and therefore can use these “natural” or “organic” hair dyes containing PTD/PTDS. But if you are one of the people who are allergic to all these variations you will have a reaction to any permanent hair color – many people who are allergic to one will be allergic to all. The hair color companies can get away with saying they are “PPD free” because technically PTD and PTDS are difference chemicals. Hairprint is the only option on the market that doesn’t have these chemicals, but it doesn’t work for everyone. I’m a hairstylist and have been searching myself for a safer color brand, after I had a reaction to some hair color a year ago. There just aren’t enough options. And some people with PPD allergy are also sensitive to Henna, so that is not an option for many. If there is a genius chemist out there that can figure this out, they’d be making a billion dollar product.

  46. Hello there.
    Thank you for your hard work.
    I just wanted to add something important that not everyone know, but we middle easterns know about.
    Be very very careful when using anything that contains henna, pure henna shouldn’t have indego.
    Indego is very toxic it killed a bride on her wedding day.
    Please be careful. I have used henna with indego and started itching. So different people react differently.
    Not trying to scare you but since we’re all looking for natural hair color we should be helping each other find the right product.
    All natural pure red henna is really good but noooo indego.

    1. yes, I can send you, but my product is natural organic as henna and indigo cassia and amla shikakai all are natural for hair and skin. I can send you please give me some Idea what product you need as we also make natural powder of leaves dye ,100 5 puire.

  47. Hi. can you send me a list or a link of salons using Original & Mineral and Natulique Organic Colours in north of London & Paris? Appreciate your reply. Thanks

  48. Which hair colour (if any) contains neither PPD nor PTD? After severe allergic reactions to previous dying attempts and I recently patch tested O&M colour: P Brown 4/0 and was so disappointed to have reacted with itch and red skin at test site. I didn’t realise O&M use PTD which I must be reacting to. Any help appreciated, am so upset about having to live with grey hair especially as my hair is black.

    1. I recently found a new company out of California called Hairtint that is completely chemical free. It’s actually not even dye but somehow reverses hair to its original color. I haven’t tried it yet but it’s my next step if I start reacting to O&M. I thought it sounded too good to be true but after some research I’m actually really excited about it!

        1. i just tried hairprint yesterday after ordering online and paying all the shipping and duties to come to Canada. I had been reacting to my salon dying which I need done every 4 weeks to cover all my grey. Was hopeful that this product might do the trick. The results were very disappointing – none of the grey covered and was an extremely messy and lengthy process. I would not recommend this product. Still seeking a solution.

        2. Colleen Coadic

          Cannot recommend Hairprint. Year long Hairprint try, including VERY faithfully trying their pre-treatment process, (including two of their shampoos, 3 weeks post coloring to strip hair of all shampoo/conditioner products that could be coating/preventing their product from working, as per feedback from other customers and Hairprint’s help desk) and ultimately, 6 packages of Restorer (what they call their coloring process). Whole experiment: costly, time consuming, ultimately frustrating/a waste. Coloring process takes 3 hours, plus the 3 weeks of stopping products that left my hair a rat’s nest (no conditioners or oils can be used that would re-coat the hair) to achieve probably 70% coverage, for what would be about 70% gray hairs, which are both otherwise chemically treated, and minimally processed. Each time, the color washed out when washed. VERY much wanted it it work. It did not. My boyfriend, loyal to my desire for it to work, finally stepped in to point out, despite my doing everything they suggested, Hairprint did not work.

          1. Hairprint sucks….excuse my French. You’ll get overly polite people sounding extra nice..full of convoluted explanations and hot air if you contact them. In the end….you’ll go through three hours of “prep” and applications, etc…..and a few days later you’ll realize it was nothing more than liquid magic marker that comes out in three washes…max. Total waste.

      1. I also had a reaction to the O&M which was super disappointing. I also just used the Hairprint and unfortunately for ME, this did’t work. It didn’t cover a lot of my grays, and it was super hard to use because it makes your hair feel like straw while processing…found that super difficult to manage. Overall very very disappointed. SO frustrating to not be able to find a safe hair color solution!!!! Ughhhh

  49. You didn’t mention OCS out of the UK. Last year when I was researching organic hair color that was the only one I could find with any information & praise. II went to someone in the U.S.(in OH) who claims that’s what she used & now I’m loosing a lot of my hair. I’m soooo upset!

    FYi ….when researching henna last week, I learned that you can’t go between traditional coloring and henna until either one is all grown out. There’s a conflict in the processing of one over the other.

    Thank you so much for publishing this list. I have unsuccessfully tried so hard to vet this all out and here’s your article! I am so grateful!! Thank you. Now the challenge is finding a salon in the U S outside of the East Coast, West Coast and FL who may carry these products!

    1. Hello Melanie
      Concering OCS (Organic Color Systems) be aware that they also use PPD and a number of other allergenic dyes. Finding their ingredients list at the homepage is impossible or difficult (it seems that the lists have removed).
      I’ve found a lsit (http://simplyorganicbeauty.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/OCS_Ingredients_FULL_r1-2014.pdf) that may be a little outdated, but it states a content of PPD (look for p-phenylenediamine) in some shades and lots of harmful ingredients in all of them. The products contain trace amounts of organic herbs, but at in reality traditional oxidative hair dyes.

  50. I have a clarification question about Naturigin Permanent Hair Colour. When I googled this product and clicked on vitaminshoppe’s website where it is sold, I read on the product’s “Supplemental Facts” tab for other ingredients and noted below:

    The COLOUR CREAM contains p-Phenylenediamine, 4-chlororesorcinol. However, the ACTIVATOR seems to be free of PTD, SLS, ammonia, resorcinol, and parabens.

    http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/naturgin-100-organic-based-permanent-color-5-light-choc-3-9-fl-oz-cream/ngn0006#.VcaHrXzbLmR

    —————-
    NATURIGIN

    100% Organic Based Permanent Color 5.0 Supplement Facts

    Other Ingredients:

    COLOUR CREAM/FRGKRM/VRIVOIDE: aqua/water, sodium coco-sulfate, ethanolamine, myristyl alcohol, cocamidemipa, cocamide mea, cetearyl alcohol, cocamidopropyl betaine, oleth-20, p-phenylenediamine, propylene glycol, sodiumsulfite, tetrasodium edta, parfum/fragrance, p-aminophenol, 4-chlororesorcinol, 4-amino-2-hydroxytoluene, triticumvulgare bran extract, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, 2-methylresorcinol, m-aminophenol, ascorbic acid,ethoxydiglycol, vitis, vinifera seed oil, hc yellow no. 2, butyrospermum parkii (shea tree) butter extract, hc red no.3, toluene-2,5-diamine sulfate, 2-amino-4-hydroxyethylaminoanisole sulfate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract,hydrolyzed soy protein, prunus persica kernel oil, prunus armeniaca kernel oil, citrus medica limonum(lemon) peel extract*, citrus grandis (grape fruit) peel oil, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil*ACTIVATOR/AKTIVATOR/AKTIVAATTORI: aqua/water, hydrogen peroxide, cetearyl alcohol, paraffinumliquidum (mineral oil), peg-20 hydrogenated lanolin, lanolin alcohol, ceteareth-20,glycerin, phosphoric acid, tetrasodium edta, disodium pyrophosphate, tetrasodiumpyrophosphate, etidronic acid, sodium stannate, oxyquinoline sulfate

    Will someone please verify what the actual ingredients are?

    1. Thanks for this. All the info we had was that which came from the company itself, so perhaps try emailing them directly? also ingredients may vary depending on the colour, from what I understand

      1. Tetrasodium EDTA needs to be avoided if you need to avoid endocrine disruptors.
        It opens pores and allows absorption of even the smallest amount of hormone disruptors.

    2. Naturtint-
      Also, when I read Developer ingredients for Naturtint, it mentions hydrogen peroxide. I thought article mentions hydrogen peroxide is worse than Ammonia? So, is it better to buy ammonia based if these products se hydrogen peroxide to substitute Ammonia?

      Permanent Hair Color – 5N, Light Chestnut Brown
      Product Ingredients:
      Color Developer 2.1 fl.oz./60ml: Aqua Purificata (Purified Water), Hydrogen Peroxide, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Laureth-3, Cetareth-20, Oxyquinoline Sulfate

      http://www.amazon.com/Permanent-Hair-Color-Light-Chestnut/dp/B001E0VWNO /ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439848648&sr=8-1&keywords=naturtint+hair+color

      1. Hi Irina
        Indeed, Naturtint (which is NOT listed as one of our picks!) does include hydrogen peroxide, though it says ‘in minimal amounts’. So best to try one of the 9 brands we list here, above. 😉

        1. Hi Chere, of the 9 brands you list, I just purchased Tints of Nature, and on the box it shows hydrogen peroxide as one of the ingredients of the colourfix. On the Tints of Nature website they do qualify this with ” ..uses pharmaceutical grade peroxide (highest quality and mildest)”

  51. You mentioned that it’s impossible to eliminate all PPD’s and each permanent color line would have a small amount, but O&M IS 100% free from PPD’s. Not even .06%. PPD’s have been eliminated entirely with O&M CCT. This is because they use very low levels of something called PTDS which is a much less harmful alternative. Research has shown that 50% of clients allergic to PPD’s are not allergic to PTDS.

    1. Hi Christan,

      I notice you have mentioned PTDS as a less harmful alternative. But I also noticed Johan Galster (above) mentioned something called PTD as being harmful. Could these two possibly be the same thing? Any idea of the full name of either of these?

  52. thank you for the information on chemical free hair dyes. recent blood tests have shown dangerously high levels of chemicals and as i have my hair coloured every few weeks i need to find a very good salon in london that can use products with less chemicals. i didn’t get good results with aveda. your advise would be much appreciated

    kind regards

    hannah

    1. Hi Hannah
      If you are colouring your hair every few weeks, I would suggest doing it yourself with a product like Herbatint, available at health food shops around London. You can mix a bit of product in the bottles, just enough to do the roots only, which will save your hair from dryness and reduce your chemical load. Hope that helps?

    1. Hi Collette, I’m UK based too and really want to try O&M. Sent them an email and waiting for a reply. Did you hear back from them? Did they ship to UK? Thanks!

  53. Hi,

    Great article! So many companies out there falsify so much information to salon professionals and in turn people think they are using less chemicals when they are not. I was a long time Aveda professional over 10 years, which still has PPD and ammonia in the color. I have made it my goal to always seek out the most natural products and healthy alternatives for my clients. Its definitely up to us as hairdressers to educate our clients on what chemicals we are using on them. Whilst living in Australia I found Original Mineral. No PPD. No Ammonia. No Resorcinol. and it preforms beautifully! I myself and extremely allergic to hair color (PPD and ammonia) I can use every single piece of the O&M color line and retail products. I am so happy to of found this company and their products and I love to tell every hairdresser I meet about the brand.

    1. Naturigin: Please be aware: this hair dye contains PPD, which is even more allergenic and sensitizing that PTD. PPD is evaluated “extermely sensitising” by the Scientific Commettee of EU (2007, MEMORANDUM ON Hair dye substances and their skin sensitising properties).

        1. Some permanent hair dyes, like Naturigin, are based on the colour PPD (p-phenylenediamine) or PTD (toluene-2,5-diamine) or derivates hereof.
          The EU SCCP has produced several reports on PPD and PTD, all of them stating that these dyes are strongly og extremely sensitizing, i.e. they have very strong potentials of inducing a lifelong hair dye allergy in the consumer or in the hair dresser. The findings on allergy and sentizing are summarized in in a EU memorandum: http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/docs/sccp_s_05.pdf
          Other problematic effects of single hair dying chemicals are described in specific scientific reports by the SCCP.
          Always be aware that when a hair dye claims to have 100 % gray cover and will be permanent you can be sure it contains PPD, PTD, or derivates herof.
          You may find some help in the Positive list of professional hair cosmetic products, (our homepage is in Danish, but the list is written in Danish and English). Groen Salon (Green Salon) is an NGO without any commercial interests and doesn’t sell anything.

          1. Johan, I feel that you are very knowledgeable on this topic of hair dyes, can you just name at least the best three hair dyes so we can have a guide to what brand to buy.

          2. That is so interesting. I have been colouring my hair with a permanent blonde dye to cover greys for over 20 years and would like to change to something safe – are you able to provide any names of products that are safe – I live in Australia. Thanks!

        2. Hi Chere every Permanent professional hair color today does contain PPD or PPT. only some demi and semi permanent color don’t. The darker the color the greater the amount of the above chemicals.

  54. Can you provide links for NYC salons that use these products? Also ca. You provide links to the ingredients in each of the different products?

  55. So glad you’ve covered organic hair dyes!
    I’m always dying my hair and am so conscious of the amount of dangerous toxins in them!
    Great article, Eluxe!

    1. Be careful everyone hair dye that has hydrogen peroxide can be damaging to your hair and nervous system banned in Canada and other places as well thought should know this

      1. I agree with you there Robert and being a European decided to look and the O+M Scandanavian range which is being sold as being ‘pure and natural’ and hydrogen peroxide was one of the 1st ingredients I saw.As a matter of interest how do women in Canada lighten/highlight their hair if peroxide isn’t allowed anymore?I have Lupus and have no choice other than to go the natural route as I’ve had my hair coming out with illness and want to make the best of myself still and blend in a few grays.

        1. Sophie I also have lupus and trying to find some way to color my hair (also a hair stylist). Not being able to do all the fun and crazy things to my hair is killing me and I look like a ridiculous stylist in the salon bc I have brown new growth and red mid length and ends.

          1. Did you find a All Natural & Organic stylist. I am a Licensed Cosmetologist and Alternative Medicine Professional and Educator, I specialize in Chemical free hair color and products. I have been an herbalist/formulator for over 25 years to begin with – as well as a medical professional and educator. Where are you located? I have a clinic and contract out to Green Salons and Organic Health Spas. Most of my clients have Auto Immune Illness/C.I./C.S. I am located in the San Francisco Bay Area. Contact me if you need assistance as I have a lot of experience. May I ask where you are located..

      2. I became allergic to hair dye and I was told by my dermatologist to try Goldwell, no PPD. Has anyone ever tried this? Thank you.

      3. Hydrogen Peroxide is most definitely not banned in Canada… In fact it’s not even banned in the EU which have much stricter cosmetic regulations

      1. Elizabeth Palumbo

        Can you give me your contact number as I am looking for Chemical free hair color products. I also do a lot of research on toxic free products and want the best products for me and to educate others. It’s so important as I have been reading some ingredients in hair colors can lead to bladder cancer. It shocks me what s allowed in so many products. SHOCKED!!

      2. Wow do you have a website VEE Claerk. I have Lupus now for 30 years. I have colored my hair over the years, but not in the last 7 or so. I an 60 and have no grey, but anted to add color. Can you chat or email. pbonnie80@hotmail.com. I am working on a website – TheLupusLounge

        1. Just let your hair go grey. First cut it short, around ear length, and then keep it clean and fluffed up. I let my hair go grey and not a day goes by when I don’t receive one or more compliments from stangers, and lots of admiring glances. Now collor length, straight, silver and shiny. Just do it. No chemicals, no ammonia, no nothing but plenty of gorgeous.

    2. HI, Lora
      I did appreciate the information.
      I have severe reaction to hair coloring.
      The doctor advise me to stay away from all the chemical PPD, ammonia, peroxides,etc…
      However, I am desperately looking for a black hair coloring in order to cover the gray.
      Your article did not mention any hair “type”, can you advise if any of the mention brands are better for Black ethnic hair?
      Please advise.
      Thanks

      1. Hi Vera
        I would highly recommend Saach Organics black dye. It ONLY uses plant based ingredients, and I think there are only a total of 4, none of them are toxic. I am very sensitive to chemicals myself and use their medium brown. Never had a problem. It takes longer to ‘take’ on the hair (up to two hours for stubborn white hairs) but it’s worth it!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top