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When it comes to natural ingredients, hair dyes are the ugly duckling of the cosmetic world. For most of them, they contain harsh chemicals that can be aggressive to your scalp and your hair. While this is commonly accepted, did you know that 100% natural and vegan hair dye products exist? Many cruelty-free and safe hair dyes are available, and we guide you through some of the best ones.

We may earn commissions from links on this page, but we are independent and only feature hair products we truly believe in. Why trust us?

The Hair Dye Problem

To permanently color the hair, hair dyes need chemicals in hair dyes remove natural color and add a new color to the hair shaft. The most (un)famous ones are hydrogen peroxide and ammonia.

  • Hydrogen peroxide bleaches out the natural hair color and releases oxygen to let chemical reactions take place.
  • Ammonia is used to break down the cuticle around the hair shaft, letting the other chemicals to penetrate the hair (when the hair coloring happens).
  • Other chemicals in hair dye products are para-phenylenediamine (PPD), parabens, ethanolamine, lead acetate, resorcinol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), 1,4-diaminobenzene – they have direct and indirect roles in the color process

Many of these chemicals are harsh and aggressive. Not only can they harm your hair, but also be absorbed in small amounts by the skin or inhaled from fumes in the air too, leading to skin / scalp irritations, allergies, and respiratory problems. Some of them are even suspected carcinogens.

Finally, in order to achieve those gorgeous color, too many hair dye brands are still testing on animals or contains animal products. Another excellent reason to switch to natural, cruelty-free and vegan hair dye products!

100% Natural Hair Dyes for Beautiful Looking Hair

We spent hours browsing the web in search for the perfect natural, cruelty-free and vegan hair dye that actually works. They are the safest way for your body, your hair, and for the planet ❤️.

100% Pure & Natural Henna Powder for Hair Dye

The Henna Guys
  • 100% raw and natural henna hair dye
  • High Lawson Content for great results
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • Does not work on dark-brown and black hair
  • 7 oz / 200 g
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User Review
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“This stuff is perfect. It's easy to mix up, great consistency, and easy to apply (actually much easier than Lush and some other brands I have used because it has a smoother consistency).”

K.Verified Purchase

100% Organic Henna Powder for Hair

Just Jaivik
  • 100% henna powder
  • Organic USDA and OneCert certified
  • Rich in Lawson Content giving the best color to hair
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 0.5 lb / 227 g
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User Review
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“I have brown and gray hair. I let this product sit overnight for no less than 14 hours before applying it to my hair. I kept it on my hair for 2.5 hours. I am delighted that every strand of hair that hair gray on it is covered to a beautiful shade of auburn.”

catherine murrayVerified Purchase

100% Natural Indigo Powder for Hair

  • 100% natural Indigo powder to use in complement of Henna powder
  • Deep moisturizing effect for shiny and healthier hair
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 7 oz / 200 g
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User Review
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“For all of the ladies who said this stuff doesn't work, you must have applied it wrong. Its really not rocket science! I did not follow the instructions given by doing henna first. I simply added a tbsp. and a half of Nupur Mehendi to about 6 oz. of Indigo powder and I got amazing results.”

TaffersVerified Purchase on Amazon

Herbal Hair Colour - Light Brown

  • All-natural hair color based on Ayurvedic formulations
  • With Indigo, henna, amla, bhringaraj and neem
  • Certified natural by BDIH
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 0.25 lb / 100 g
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Useful User Review
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“My favorite hair color. Not only it gives a natural color to my hair but also it's like a treatement for it. The hair is soft, hydrated and shiny after using it.”

CMVerified Purchase on Amazon

100% Natural Henna Hair Color and Conditioner - 2 Packs

  • Made from 100% plant material
  • Conditions, adds body and shine to all hair types
  • Available in 13 shades
  • 2 x 4 oz / 2 x 113 g
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Useful User Review
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“Works great, love the color my hair is now with the henna (i use coffee so it's darker/tones down the red). I also use apple cider vinegar like it says in the instructions since I have gray. It looks awesome because it makes my gray hair look like highlights. Even my husband was like, wow, it looks like you paid someone to give you highlights!"”

VAMomToBeVerified Purchase

Not 100% Natural (But Worth Considering)

Yes, we know that this article is about 100% natural and vegan hair dye products. But while building this buying guide, we discovered great products that may not be as natural as the ones listed above, but still safer and less aggressive than most hair dyes on the market. And of course all are vegan and cruelty-free.

Permanent Hair Color Gel

  • Available in 36 color shades
  • With 8 organic herbal extracts to protect hair and scalp
  • Without ammonia, alcohol or parabens
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, certified by PETA
  • 4.6 fl oz / 135 mL
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User Review
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“I’ve been at home coloring my hair for a long time. This is by far my favorite for durability, color steadfastness, the softness it leaves your hair in and non toxic qualities. Friend recommended it to me as a healthier alternative when pregnant & not wanting to use heavier chemical based products. Stuck with it ever since. Highly recommend!”

chris whiteVerified Purchase

Permanent Hair Dye

  • Available in 70+ color shades
  • Ammonia-free
  • Vegan, cruelty-free
  • 4.6 fl oz / 135 mL
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User Review
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“Not being able to use the store brands with so many chemicals, finding Naturtint was magnificent...I have used Naturtint in a number colors for a number of years. I love how I can layer the colors without having to strip and start over...The color covers and lasts...”

Amazon CustomerVerified Purchase

Semi-Permanent Teal Hair Dye

Splat Naturals
  • Available in 6 color shades
  • 95% natural formula
  • No parabens, PPD, resorcinol, sulfates, ammonia or fragrance
  • Includes Vitamin B5 to restore shine while strengthening the hair follicle
  • Vegan, cruelty free
  • 6 fl oz / 177 mL
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User Review
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“I loved the color. The magenta one worked so well on my hair. The color doesn’t fade that much, It took time to fade which is good for me. Super easy to use it. I'd buy it again.”

Tawsif MahmoodVerified Purchase

About Natural, Vegan Hair Dyes & Colors

Because they don’t contain these potent but aggressive chemicals, 100% natural hair dyes may be perceived as not effective or short-lasting. While the actual results are more subtle than the chemical ones, natural hair dyes have been used all around the worlds for ages.

Henna (Lawsonia Inermis) is the most common natural ingredient used to color hair. Others are derived from natural plants and minerals. They can cover all grey hairs, enhance your natural color or even give shiny colors, while having great conditioning properties. You can also add a tablespoon of coconut oil, or yogurt and an egg yolk to the mix which will help condition dry hair and scalp. But beware of compound Henna Dyes and read their labels carefully. They may use para-phenylenediamine (PPD), and trick you into believing the product is 100% natural.

Natural Henna Hair Dye @Home: A Guide for Beginners

Whether you want to magnify your black hair with red highlights or simply use it as a conditioner, preparing and applying henna hair dye is not complicated. But there are still a few things to know. Because a video is worth a thousand images (and words), follow this easy tutorial from Caty Culp!

If you feel like adventurous, and want to try regular (read: more artificial) vegan hair dyes, make sure to read our article on the best vegan hair dyes for amazing colors!

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Amie A.

Creative hairdresser, vegan consumer and writer