Let’s just say it: it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to locate a chemical-free hair dye. Also, it’s vital to remember that claims that a hair dye is “natural” or “organic” should be treated with scepticism because terminology like this aren’t governed by any sort of government agency. However, if you want to avoid harsh chemicals but still want to change your hair colour, you should read the labels carefully to learn which ones to avoid. This is true whether you’re pregnant, going vegan, or just wanting to make better purchasing decisions.
Paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, is the most dangerous chemical and can cause anything from a mild skin response to even, gulp, anaphylactic shock, therefore it should be avoided at all costs.1 Fortunately, the latter is extremely unusual. “Every time you colour your hair, your immune system registers a foreign particle on the scalp,” says Rob Forgione, co-founder of My. Haircare.
“Most of the time it’s fine, but occasionally someone will have a reaction if they’ve used a PPD colour on their hair.” He adds that it is possible that this will occur for the first time in 40 years. Avoiding ingredients like ammonia, which can be detrimental to your hair, and resorcinol, which may interfere with thyroid function, is a smart idea.2
The good news is that we have compiled a list of PPD-, ammonia-, and resorcinol-free hair colours that are derived from plants and henna. We researched ingredient lists and consulted a hairdresser to find chemical-free hair colours made from natural ingredients. We evaluated them based on their category, colour palette, and ability to produce the desired look. You can relax knowing that there are substitutes for harmful chemical colours on the market.
Best Natural Hair Colour
This colour comes in 20 different tones, all of which are 82% to 100% plant-based and contain, wait for it, only 10 components or less. The current rainbow colours and natural browns and blondes are made possible by using a refined form of henna. The product is designed for professionals, but do-it-yourselfers will enjoy that it merely needs to be blended with water and does not require a separate developer.
Revlon Total Color Permanent Hair Color
This is a fantastic option for individuals who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on packaged dye. The cream’s formula isn’t only cheap; it’s also free of ammonia, parabens, sulphates, silicones, and phthalates. (Just so you know, it does have resorcinol.) The cream mixture won’t run, the permanent colour will last up to six weeks, and it will cover those bothersome greys completely. Including a conditioning gloss made from natural ingredients is a plus.
This inexpensive beauty staple is formulated with a whopping eighty percent naturally derived components, such as coconut and aloe vera, making it extremely mild and devoid of ammonia. Expect it to last up to 28 washes, making it ideal for blending in little areas of grey or improving your natural hue and gloss, but not for a radical transformation of your hair’s colour. Nonetheless, over 35 different hues are available, including numerous variations on blonde, brown, black, and red.
Rainbow Research Henna Hair Color
Only henna-based dyes may claim to be completely natural. There is only henna in this mix, and it comes in nine different shades. It takes some practise to apply (you mix the powder with boiling water to make an oatmeal-like consistency, then paint it onto your hair), and the colour only lasts for about a month before it fades. Positive reviewers continue to gush over the all-natural ingredients and process.
This wash-out product is perfect for those who are afraid of commitment or who only want a short-term hair colour change. There are 17 different tones available, from very bright to very subtle. Each one lasts for four to ten washes. The composition is so natural that it has been certified cruelty-free by the Vegan Society, the Leaping Bunny, and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).