What is Organic Hair Dye & How To Pick The Best Products?

Organic Hair Dye
January 23, 2022

Rachael Grant

Organic hair dye is also known as non-toxic hair dye, natural hair dye, or chemical-free hair colour. Although they can be found used as synonyms, that is not precisely true. Several manufacturing techniques for hair dyes exist that can be placed under “organic”. For example, organic hair dye can be sourced from organically sourced natural ingredients or made by eliminating certain toxic chemicals from the formula that are proven to cause allergies or skin sensitivities. It is good to know what hair colour is called organic and how to choose the one that will benefit your scalp and improve your hair health.

What is Organic Hair Dye?

Organic hair dye is hair colour made from organic botanical components (usually meaning free from pesticides) and without being subject to certain damaging chemical processes. 

What you need to know, though, is that some chemistry is a must when producing hair dye. Without causing a chemical reaction, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy luscious highlights or create vivacious hairstyles. Oxidation is a chemical process required for almost any hair colour to work. Antioxidants are chemicals massively applied to hair products to prevent such damage. However, the point of making organic

Organic Hair Dye vs. Non-toxic Hair Dye vs. Natural Hair Dye

If you are confused by labels and formulas of hair colouring brands on the packaging, we don’t blame you: we are not all chemists. It is difficult to choose a hair colour that will be the most gentle to your scalp. Let us try to make it easy for you by clarifying differences:

  • Natural hair dye. Only the henna plant and indigo dyes are completely natural. But henna doesn’t come without its downsides — you can only achieve dark brown, brown, or reddish hues, and you cannot go lighter once it is applied. It takes time for the hair to grow to change it safely. Grey hair coverage is poor. 
  • Non-toxic hair dye. Same as before, henna is the least toxic. You can also try using self-made hair dyes, but you won’t achieve salon-quality results, only a temporary refreshment. 100% non-toxic dye is impossible to produce unless you use toners. 
  • Ammonia-free hair dye. Ammonia-free colours are considered less toxic, although not completely harmless. They won’t damage the cuticle as much because they have oil-based colouring formula that protects hair proteins. As a result, the hair remains softer and shinier after colouring. If you have a sensitive scalp, ammonia-free colours can help you get a bright hair colour. 
  • Semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes. Semi and demi-permanent hair colours have fewer chemicals, a smaller amount of the same chemicals used in permanent colours, or specific formulas free from certain “notorious” ingredients. The main purpose of making semi- and demi- colours is to shorten the lifespan they remain fresh and vibrant on your hair, not necessarily to come under the label of natural or organic hair dyes. Keep that in mind when you choose what colour is best for you.

Using chemicals is not the same as “unsafe”. If your hair dye is made with innovative research techniques and by combining as many natural organic ingredients, you can enjoy beautiful colours without obsessively worrying about harm. For example, there are prevalent myths about hair product chemicals, including parabens, PPDs, and silicones. These indeed to be dispelled. You may look for an organic hair dye as much as you like and never achieve the results you like. The best approach is to check your scalp condition and see if you can minimise chemicals, and provide your coloured hair with the care it deserves.  

Is Hair Toner Natural and Organic?

Same as with organic hair dye, hair toner can have organic, natural, and synthetic lab-made components. Its composition is most similar to semi-permanent hair colour, which means it cannot drastically alter hair colour but it can enhance, fix or neutralise hair colour. It has low ammonia content and gradually washes away. Among the many organic and non-organic hair colour brands, hair toner is the safest to use at home: you cannot make such a huge mistake that a visit to the hairdresser cannot fix.

Best Natural, Direct, and Non-toxic Hair Dyes to Protect Your Scalp

Regardless of what is your reason to limit harmful chemicals in hair dyes, here is a list that can make it happen: 

1. Safe bright colours

Staino Intense Direct Dye Cobalt

A direct dye you can apply without mixing to your hair, free from parabens, sulphates, gluten, cruelty-free and ammonia-free.

2. Semi-permanent, yet so bold and shiny.

Punky Colour Semi-Permanent Cotton Candy

Vegan, free of PPDs, paraben, and ammonia, the vegan keratin complex in this semi-permanent colour will last up to 35 washes.  

3. Organic, anti-fading after-wash care

Natural Look Colourance Shine Enhancing Conditioner

This henna-enriched conditioner with organic components will be a nice addition to your stack of home products that keep your colour alive without too many harsh chemicals. 

4. Coloured mask

Goldwell Color Revive Dark Warm Blonde Colour Conditioner

Leave it on your hair between 2 to 5 minutes to play with intensity – no mixing necessary – it is a direct dye.

5. Grey and blonde instant hair coverage

Brilliant Silver White Hair Toner

Make it easy for you to keep blonde hair fresh by adding a few drops of this instant toner to your regular hair wash in just 10 seconds.

6. Colour conditioning

Jerome Russell Pro Colour Renew CHESTNUT 

Fans of natural hair dye without ammonia, peroxide or PPD will love this combo of botanicals, including English Poppy Seed Oil and camomile. Expect non-permanent results.

7. No water grey coverage

Keratherapy Gray Root Concealer – Blonde

Use this anti-grey spray to cover your roots after you wash your hair to limit the chemicals applied to your hair at least partially.

8. Developer-free vivid colours

Pravana Chromasilk Vivids Crystals Aquamarine  

Pravana is well known for its range of dynamic, long-lasting direct dyes with a clean formula that is as good as it gets — no parabens, no ethanolamine compounds, and EPA and CARB compliant.

There you go — you can protect and colour your hair safely and effectively even if you don’t use exclusively organic hair dyes. What is your favourite hair colour brand? Let us know!

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