The best natural hair dyes at home


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It seems that every day we are finding more and more ways to buy cleaner, longer lasting and less chemical-intensive beauty products. From sunscreens to perfumes and shampoos, it feels like everything is upgraded to sparkling green. But what happens when a product as essential as hair color is created with natural ingredients? We need dye to cover our roots and get us to our summer goals – the margin for error is pretty slim. But never fear, natural hair dyes can be just as effective – and less irritating – than traditional box colors.

What is a natural hair dye?

The term “natural” in reference to hair color is far from being a boilerplate. It can actually mean a lot of different things, such as that the formulation replaces harsher chemicals (like ammonia) with less irritating ones, that it’s environmentally friendly, or that it contains plant-based ingredients.

Does natural hair dye contain chemicals?

Anyway, you will never find a 100% natural hair dye that does not contain any chemicals, because for the hair color to work, a chemical reaction must take place on your strands (it should be noted that it is an exception here – pure henna – although that’s another story, as it can create its own problems).

What Hair Chemicals Should I Avoid?

Broadly speaking, there are two well-known chemical irritants you’ll want to avoid if you’re looking for a more natural (and gentler) hair color option: ammonia and paraphenylenediamine, or PPD, which is known to cause severe allergic reactions.

What natural hair color should I use?

It might seem a bit overwhelming and confusing, so we’ve done the homework for you. There are plenty of hair dye formulations, if you know where to look, that are higher on the natural side of the spectrum and therefore better for your scalp, the planet, and less likely to cause irritation or an allergic reaction. Below, find seven of the best natural hair dyes for salon-level results in the comfort of your own home.

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Simply Color Permanent Hair Color

Formulated without ammonia, silicones and alcohol (and housed inside a recyclable cardboard box), Schwarzkopf’s new home hair color offering is the best yet. Just as exciting as what’s been omitted is the formulation of this hair color: oat milk, soy protein and argan oil to nourish and strengthen strands for final color all at once. natural and healthy looking. Find it in twelve different shades (all costing less than $10).

Madison Reed is pretty much synonymous with quality at-home hair dye, thanks to its revolutionary formulations, product ease of use, and state-of-the-art color matching. The company prides itself on having developed the original 6-free permanent hair dye, without six key ingredients: ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates and gluten. This chic, easy-to-use kit comes with everything you need to achieve salon-quality color at home, without irritation (or accidentally dying of the skin on your neck). Bonus: All Madison Reed products are cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified.

Although this specific kit is for root touch-ups, you can rely on the entire DPHUE product line for clean hair color at home. Keep gray hair at bay with this cream-based color, formulated without sulfates (SLS and SLES) and parabens, and low in ammonia. It also ticks the boxes for vegan, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging, and gluten-free.

There is no ammonia, PPD, resorcinol or peroxide in this herbal hair color gel, which also does not require mixing before use. Leave on for 40 minutes, then rinse and enjoy your enhanced color for up to seven shampoos.


Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color

If you’re looking for a more permanent and affordable hair color, consider Clairol’s Natural Instincts collection. Made with 80% naturally derived ingredients and ammonia free, you’re sure to be able to find a natural color match among the 37 different shade choices.


Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color

If you’re looking for an at-home hair color that goes beyond your basic range of blonde to brunette hues, way beyond that, Manic Panic is the name to go. These bold shades range from ultraviolet to fluorescent pink to neon green and just about everything in between, and are super easy to apply (no mixing or peroxide required). They’re also free of all the usual chemical suspects, including PPD, parabens, ammonia, resorcinol, and gluten.

It might not be a brand name you recognize, but this natural-based permanent hair color has nearly 1,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. None of the aforementioned chemical additives (and even some) are formulated in this permanent hair color, which promises no unpleasant odors or scalp irritation. Instead, you’ll find strand-strengthening herbal ingredients such as oleic acid (derived from olives) and meadowfoam seed oil.

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