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Natural and Eco-Friendly Hair Dyes

What Makes a "Natural" Hair Dye Natural?

Recently, a reader wrote in asking about organic and natural hair dyes. What differentiates the natural varieties from the "regular" ones, anyway? First off, natural hair coloring is made without ammonia, which can be toxic and irritating. Also, p-Phenylenediamine (PPD), a chemical coloring agent that can cause allergic reactions, is present in many standard formulations. Some permanent dyes may contain dangerous petrochemicals like coal tar to assist with the deposit of color. Doesn't sound so lovely, does it?

But that's the nature of the beast. To lift and deposit tones into the hair for long-lasting results, chemicals are often involved. While some of these dyes may not be completely non-toxic, they are considered safer and more natural. Check out my widget below for some suggestions on going more natural. And if you've gone the natural dye route yourself, let us know which brands you like best and what types of results you've had, too.

LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
If you call the company, Herbavita will tell you that their product is not henna, it's "vegetal" color. They get offended when you call it henna. Henna is not the same. Their product also contains aloe vera, which is a humectant (draws moisture) and is not drying. It does not contain ammonia or parabens & it gradually fades after about 6 weeks.
schmeegan schmeegan 8 years
i am about 25% grey and finding a natural, at home coloring product has been a bit challenging. i use a product called Naturcolor, it covers the grey and does not dry out my hair. it does not last as long as the alternative, chemical ridden products, but i'm okay with that. you can get this product at whole foods - they actually have a HUGE selection of natural hair color products. read them carefully, i think they all seem to follow the "rule", if there is an "N" in the color name then it will cover grey. For example, I use 4N (this covers grey). Good luck everyone!
brick164 brick164 8 years
i think i'm going to try henna
Advah Advah 8 years
Bananapancakes - from my experience henna is NOT permanent. It doesn't really dye your hair a different colour, it just adds shine and natural-looking highlights. For instance, with henna my chestnut hair get an auburn tint in the sun, but it doesn't go further than auburn-y chestnut. It also gradually goes away when you wash your hair a few times; with a good henna, it can take several months until the highlights are completely gone. But experiences might be different depending on the type of henna you use, and a professional will probably know more about than me. :)
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I used henna and had great resuts with the color and sheen. i have dry hair already and it did not dry out my hair.
ahles ahles 8 years
Henna from here as well. So long as it's pure henna, you can generally dye over or under it just fine. It's the "natural hair dyes" that add salts and things to henna that can cause hair to turn green if you try to use a chemical dye over or under it.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I remember using henna back in the day.
Jess8902 Jess8902 8 years
My colorist only uses Paul Mitchell products, she says the ones she uses contains beeswax or something instead of peroxide, I dunno.. she's genius anyway, my hair is tons healthier since I started seeing her last year.
bananapancake84 bananapancake84 8 years
one more thing- my colorist told me henna can be really really drying to the hair. Is this true or is he just trying to keep me hooked on salon color?
bananapancake84 bananapancake84 8 years
Bella- I'm confused about henna. I've heard that it's way more permanent that regular color and that it can't be colored over. Is this true? Plus, with henna can we be certain about the color we're going to get? Help please! Thanks!
Hkleinz Hkleinz 8 years
I found pure henna from because I was concerned about added metals or chemicals in the store brand henna. I could not be happier. My hair is healthy and the color looks 100% natural.
LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
I just used the Herbavita Herbatint in the 6N Dark Blond night before last & I absolutely love the results! I know several other women who have used this same brand. It's available through health food stores.
Advah Advah 8 years
I only use a very specific brand of hennah (can't remember the name, but there's a painting of a woman with a doe on the box). Tricky to find, but it's perfect. I've tried the lush one, and it was gone after 1 shampoo.
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