Regular hair dyes use ammonia to modify the hair structure and penetrate the hair shaft, or literally bleach your hair with peroxide to turn it blonde. Many of these products are cocktails of corrosive and irritating chemicals that sacrifice hair and scalp health in favor of long-lasting color. Therefore, all organic hair color is semi-permanent. By using organic hair color obtained from 100% natural ingredients you will never have to choose between your hair’s appearance and its health, and the final result always looks a lot less artificial, if not entirely natural.
Best Organic Hair Color Products
Organic Color Systems Organic Dyes
- Suitable for both salon and individual use; contains natural ingredients that won’t damage your hair or scalp
- Colors grey hairs effectively
- Contrary to popular myths, the new color isn’t faded or different from non-organic dyes; it will last and shine for weeks
Aubrey Organics Color Me Natural™ Dark Brown
Around $13 for 4oz
- Permanent hair color that’s 100% natural and doesn’t damage your hair in any way
- Nourishes the hair shaft to keep it from breaking
- Improves the look and feel of your hair, color and shine last for weeks
Caca Rouge Henna Hair Dye
Around $25 for 11.4oz
- Ideal for aspiring redheads; natural looking color, 0% damage t your hair, no harmful chemicals
- Leaves hair soft and shiny
Certified Organic Body Art Henna & Indigo Powder For Hair Colouring
Around £13 for 100g
- Smoother texture, more suitable for coloring hair
- Gives you the liberty to combine henna and indigo as you please to obtain the desired color
- Nourishes the hair shaft for a healthy scalp and strong, shiny hair
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Tints of Nature Organic 5D Light Golden Brown Permanent Hair Color
Around $16 for 4.4oz
- Contains certified organic ingredients
- Natural look and excellent coverage of grey hairs
- Ideal if you want your hair to look several shades darker than it already is
Pallette by Nature Permanent Hair Color – Various Shades
Around $25 for 4oz
- Absolutely nothing artificial, harmful or animal tested
- For shiny, well-nourished, undamaged hair
- Natural looking colors
- Can be applied several times without damaging hair
Why choose organic hair color products instead of normal ones?
It is often said that beauty comes at a price, and regular hair dyeing products are no exception. Ammonia, one of the most toxic ingredients in hair dye, is what actually enables the coloring process by raising the pH of the hair shaft high enough to open its cuticle. This allows the artificial pigment to penetrate hairs and change their color. The process is quite invasive and may damage your hair in the long term – therefore, special hair care products are recommended to protect and maintain dyed hair so it doesn’t become thin and brittle.
Reasons to choose organic hair color products
If you’ve noticed signs of chemical damage or simply want to switch to something non-toxic, you may consider organic hair dyes. They are obtained from natural sources (mostly plants) and have been known to mankind for decades. Did you know our grandmothers and great-grandmothers dyed their hair with raw walnuts?
While the new color may wash out in a few weeks due to the non-invasive nature of the dyeing process, organic products will NOT damage your hair, and may even strengthen and make it shine. If you have brown or dark hair, using natural dyes like henna will only intensify your natural color; therefore, the final result, although a bit unpredictable, is different for everyone as it only enhances and showcases what nature has already given you.
How toxic is ‘toxic’? Harmful chemicals in regular hair dye
Chemical dyes contain very small amounts of ammonia; however, prolonged use will have a negative impact on your hair and skin as this is a poisonous chemical. If ammonia enters the bloodstream it can severely damage your health, and inhaling or touching very large amounts of the compound can be life threatening.
Peroxides are very reactive chemicals with a bleaching effect, commonly found in detergents, cleaning products and… blonde hair color. It can ruin your hair and scalp if left on for more than 45 minutes, and for that reason a dark-haired person may find it difficult to obtain the ideal blonde from the first attempt.
What organic products should you use and why?
Organic hair color products protect you hair, scalp, overall health and also the environment. Products like Henna (Hennalucent to dye your hair blonde), Surya Brasil and Naturtint are three of the best rated organic hair colors you might be interested in trying. They protect and nourish your hair, unlike the chemicals in regular products that do more damage than good.
Last, but not least, think green: the chemical dye that goes down the drain will end up polluting the water and soil nearby. At the end of the day, protecting yourself and protecting the environment are the same thing!
Types of organic hair color explained
Henna is obtained from the crushed leaves of a plant known as “lawsonia inermis”, the only species of its genus. It is the oldest hair dye known to mankind (over 6,000 years) and was used in Ancient Egypt, as well as in different parts of Africa and Asia. The color obtained by applying Henna depends on your natural hair color, and usually washes out after three or four months. Mix the dried powder with lemon juice or vinegar and allow to stand before applying on hair.
This type of organic dye is obtained from the plant with the eponymous name, and is most effective in dyeing grey hair black, with a mild violet tint, as very dark colors cannot be obtained with Henna. A similar product is used to dye blue jeans.
Vegetable hair dye is obtained from plants, herbs, bark, minerals, stems and roots. It is the perfect choice for you if you are allergic to any of the chemicals in regular dye or aren’t comfortable using ammonia and peroxide-based products. You can even have a go at making your own vegetable dye from ingredients like walnuts, onion skin, beets, carrots and tomatoes!
Mulberries, blueberries, blackberries also make strong natural dyes – you may have noticed their juice quickly stains your fingers too!
Choosing the right type of product for your hair
Vegetable hair dyes may not cover grey hairs effectively, whereas dry/damaged and previously lightened hair are known to absorb natural pigments instantly. If your hair is chemically damaged (e.g. permed), expect the final color to be a bit darker than expected after using organic dye. Organic hair color normally covers 80% of grey hair, so you may need to try again to cover the remaining 20%.
While you may need to apply the product several times to get the desired look, organic dye never harms your hair and is safe to use as often as you like. Your hair will shine and look natural, which eliminates the need for additional hair color maintenance products. As these dyes contain no harmful chemicals, it is safe to experiment with colors in any way you like – e.g. apply henna and indigo one after the other!