Best Vegan Brands, Best Vegan Products

Everything You Need to Know About Vegan Hair Dye in 2023

Veganism is not only about what you eat but also what you put on your body. Being a vegan also means bringing a lifestyle change, like adopting vegan leather, vegan cheese, and others. The list also includes beauty and hair care products. 

However, many vegans were left with very few choices, if at all, regarding lifestyle products. But now, there are many options for those who seek vegan shampoo, conditioner, and other styling products, including hair dyes. 

According to Statista, most Americans color their hair 4-5 times a year, mainly permanent color. The same statistic states that approximately 1.06 million Americans used hair coloring products in 2020

Did you know your average hair dye is packed with animal-derived ingredients from lanolin to glycerin and even carmine? 

Finding a vegan hair dye may be challenging but not difficult if you know what to look for. Another tricky part when choosing a vegan hair dye is checking for animal testing. 

This article takes you through everything you need to know about vegan hair dyes, including the top 10 vegan dyes available in the market. 

Are All Hair Dyes Vegan?

Unfortunately No! Not all hair dyes are vegan-friendly. Many hair dyes have animal ingredients, and most are still being tested on animals. This includes some of the biggest names in the industry. 

Here are some animal-derived ingredients found in hair dyes and their alternative vegan sources:


Keratin is a common animal-derived ingredient often found in hair care products. It strengthens the hair and protects against structural damage. Generally, keratin is taken from animal hair and horns. Alternatively, it could also be derived from almond oil or soy protein. 


Lanolin is a waxy material derived from sheep wool. It is often used in hair care to combat dryness, making the hair moisturized. Vegan alternatives to lanolin include plant oils (coconut and olive oil) or butter (shea and coconut). 

Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is a great emulsifying agent that coats, conditions, and protects the hair without weighing it down. It can also be found in a host of other skincare products, such as deodorants, soaps, and household cleaning products. Generally, stearic acid is made from the fat of cows, sheep, and pigs. However, it can also have plant origins, such as cocoa butter and shea butter. 


Casein is often used in food processing, but its also increasingly used in beauty products, especially hair conditioners. Being a protein, Casein can help stop hair loss and promote hair growth. While it is commonly derived from cow’s milk, there’s also a vegetable alternative in plant milk. 


Carmine is a common red pigment in many products, including hair dye. 70,000 beetles are killed to make just one pound of red dye. Instead, vegan poducts use plant-based dyes in place of carmine.


Glycerin, a byproduct of soap manufacture, is similar to lanolin and is often made from animal fat. Alternatively, it can also have plant origins, such as seaweed and vegetable oil soap derivatives. 

Is there such a thing as Vegan Hair Dyes?

Yes! Vegan hair dyes exist. They do not use animal products or their derivatives. Furthermore, vegan hair dyes do not test their products on animals. 

What is Vegan Hair Dye?

Simply put, a vegan hair dye does not contain animal products or animal-based derivatives. Instead, a vegan hair dye uses only natural compounds derived from plants. Some may also include synthetic non-animal-based compounds for similar results, but not as often. 

Additionally, vegan hair dyes are also cruelty-free, meaning they are not tested on animals. However, the tag cruelty-free and vegan doesn’t go hand in hand. 

Cruelty-free refers to products not tested on animals, while vegan refers to using plant-based ingredients. In saying that, even though a product is tagged as vegan, chances are that it can be tested on animals, especially if they are released in China.

To ensure that your hair dye is cruelty-free, check for the “leaping bunny” logo. This logo is the only way of recognizing the brands that do not test on animals, right down to the suppliers. 

So, a truly vegan product should contain plant-based ingredients and be cruelty-free to ensure that no animals are exploited in the process of manufacture. 

Do Salons Use Vegan Hair Dye?

salon hair dye

No! Not all salons use vegan hair dyes or use cruelty-free brands. However, some salons use vegan hair dyes.

Many salons, such as Paul Mitchell and Kevin Murphy, use vegan hair care brands that do not test on animals. 

Another major cruelty-free brand with salons all over the country is Aveda. However, Estee Lauder, the parent company of Aveda, still tests on animals wherever required by law in china. On the other hand, Aveda itself is not available in China. 

Is Vegan Hair Dye Safe for Your Hair?

Undoubtedly Yes! Vegan hair dyes are far better than conventional hair colors. This is because they tend to have natural extracts or milder chemicals. 

The American Cancer Society suggests vegetable hair dyes as an alternative to chemical-laden box hair dyes. Most of these chemicals are derived from animals if not tested on animals. 

Vegan hair dyes can still damage your hair or cause allergic reactions. 

Is Vegan Hair Dye PPD Free?

No! not always. Vegan hair dyes can contain PPD unless otherwise mentioned. However, if your vegan hair dye has plant-based hair color, chances are that it doesn’t have PPD. 

are dyes PPD free

PPD, or Paraphenylenediamine, is a chemical commonly used in permanent hair dye. This is because it gives a natural look without the color fading, even when shampooed. 

Many major hair dye brands contain PPD since it works well in covering grays. Apart from permanent hair colors, even semi-permanent hair colors that last 8-12 weeks contain PPD. 

Only temporary hair dyes that last for one shampooing are free from PPD. And plant-based vegan alternatives like henna powder and Cassia Obovata are also free from PPD. 

What is the Safest Vegan Hair Color Brand?

Herbatint is one of the safest hair dyes for natural, vegan hair coloring brands. Its permanent hair coloring gel is free from ammonia, PPD, alcohol, fragrance, and other chemicals. Made from organic herbal extracts from 8 plants, it nourishes your hair, making it soft and shiny. 

How Often Should I Dye My Hair Without Damaging it?

Technically speaking, you can color your hair as often as you like, but it’s more about how often you should dye it to prevent damage and breakage. 

How often your color your hair depends on the following:

  • How healthy your hair is to start with
  • The hair dye 

Considering the abovementioned factors, the recommended time frame is 6 to 8 weeks for permanent and demi-permanent hair colors. But for temporary and semi-permanent hair colors, you may have to apply them more often. 

  • Temporary 

Temporary hair colors wash away after your first shampoo and last the least time. However, they are also not harsh on your hair. So you can apply them as often as you want

  • Semi-permanent 

Semi-permanent colors, again, do not penetrate or lift the hair. And for that reason, they can darken your hair but not lighten it. Besides, they are also not damaging and last for 3-6 washes. So you can reapply them every week if needed. 

  • Demi-permanent 

Demi-permanent hair dyes contain a low-level peroxide allowing them to penetrate the hair. Again it can deposit the color but not lift the color. However, you can color your hair every 6-8 weeks but not more than that. 

  • Permanent 

Permanent hair dyes last the longest; They are always used in tandem with a developer that helps deposit the color deep within. They are also the only ones that can cover gray hair. Generally speaking, it is safe to dye your hair every 6-8 weeks

Best Vegan Hair Dye Brands That Are Cruelty-Free

The increased awareness of animal cruelty has boosted the demand for vegan, cruelty-free products. As a result, more and more people are conscious of how animals are harmed in the name of beauty. As a result, many are making the switch from drugstore box dyes to vegan hair dyes. 

Vegan hair dyes often contain herbal extracts, vegetable-based hair dyes, and good ingredients for your hair. They can even make your hair look lush and shiny. 

Here are some vegan hair color brands that will satisfy your hair coloring needs and deliver impressive results. 

Arctic Fox Vegan Semi-permanent Hair Color Dye

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The California-based brand Arctic Fox is one of the best vegan and cruelty-free haircare brands. Created by Vlogger Kristen Leanne, Arctic Fox Vegan Hair Dye is famous for its highly pigmented shades of hair dyes. 

If bold and vibrant is your thing, look no further than Arctic Fox Vegan Hair Dye

The main draw of its hair dyes is the absence of harsh chemicals like PPD, Peroxide, Ammonia, and Ethyl alcohol. Furthermore, they are long-lasting and enriched with non-GMO protein conditioners, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your hair. 

Arctic Fox Vegan And Cruelty-free Semi-permanent Hair Color Dye also bleed much lesser than its counterparts. However, the color does fade, and you will need to refresh after six weeks. 

As a brand, Arctic Fox is 100% cruelty-free and donates 15% of its profits to charities that help prevent animal cruelty.  

Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-permanent No Ammonia Vegan Hair Dye

Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Dye
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Clairol Natural Instincts is one of the best drugstore brands offering vegan hair dye options. Available in 38 different shades, there’s plenty to choose from blonde, brown, black, and red tones.

Most importantly, the ammonia-free formula comprises 80% naturally-derived ingredients such as coconut and aloe vera. These enhance the natural color of the hair and help boost shine. 

Moreover, Clairol vegan hair dye comes with a “Brilliant Shine Conditioner” to help minimize damage and add much-needed moisture. 

Unlike the other brands on this list, Clairol as a brand is not Vegan or against Animal Cruelty. While the Clairol Natural Instincts lineup is vegan, the other products from the brand are not vegan or cruelty-free. And hence the lineup is more of an attempt at vegan-washing by the brand. 

Lime Crime Unicorn Vegan Hair Dye

Be it a bright wash of color or a just tint of color, Lime Crime has it for you. 

lime crime hair dye
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Founded in 2008, Lime Crime is a vegan and cruelty-free brand famous for bright and highly pigmented shades, both in makeup and hair colors. 

The main draw of Lime Crime is its wide range of colors in all shades of the rainbow. Their products are also gentle on the hair and do not cause breakage. 

On the downside, their colors do not use a toner or developer and hence do not last as long as other semi-permanent hair colors. 

Lime Crime Unicorn Vegan Hair Dye comes in three variants: Unicorn Hair Full Coverage, Unicorn Hair Tints, and Unicorn Hair Temporary Hair Color. As their name indicates, they offer anywhere from a full wash of color to mild tints and, finally, only a temporary shade. 

Tints of Nature Hair Dye

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Tints of Nature is an organic, vegan box hair dye brand. It contains over 95% natural and 75% organic ingredients and is free from harsh chemicals such as ammonia and propylene glycol. 

Tints of Nature Hair Dye is infused with plant-derived extracts and vitamins C and E. On the downside, it contains PPD, albeit in its lowest form. 

Founded in 1995, Tints of Nature is available in 24 stunning shades from black, brown, red, and blonde. In addition, all its hair dyes are available in semi-permanent (henna) and permanent formula. 

The brand also has hair lightener kits that lift and brighten hair (just medium brown to blonde) 4 to 7 shades. Tints of Nature also works on gray and white hair, covering up to 80% of the grays. 

Lush – Henna Dyes

Lush is a skin and hair care brand committed to creating ethically-sourced, cruelty-free, and vegetarian products. They are also well known for their Fair Trade Agreement and environmental practices. 

Henna Dyes from Lush is made from 100% natural ingredients with no synthetic chemicals. They also have various shades, from browns to chestnuts and vibrant reds. However, at $28, they are one of the most expensive on this list. 

Henna dyes work by staining your hair’s outer layer (cuticle) without lifting. On the downside, you cannot go for a lighter hair color like blonde. The only colors available are black, brown, and even red, to an extent.

The best part is that the Lush-Henna Dyes is a blend of henna, essential oils, and cocoa butter. The result is soft, shiny, and conditioned hair. 

Good Dye Young Beautifully Obnoxious Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Founded by the American Singer, Songwriter Hayley Williams and makeup artist and stylist Brian O’Connor, Good Dye Young wields the freedom of expression at its crux. 

gooddyeyoung hair color
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Good Dye Young is famous for its stunning array of bright and bold colors, from conventional browns and reds to vibrant blues, pinks, and even oranges. 

Good Dye Young is available in two variants: 

  • Semi-permanent(lasts 6-8 weeks)
  • Temporary (lasts 4-6 washes)

Don’t bleach your hair! Try their Poster Paste! It is an easy-to-apply hair color with bright pigments to show over the darkest. Poster Paste is ideal for those wishing to test hair colors or dye just for fun. 

Besides being a cruelty-and-vegan-free hair dye brand, Good Dye Young is also free from ammonia, formaldehyde, peroxide, and PPD. 

Above all, Good Dye Young is also not damaging to the hair, even those who change colors frequently. 

Naturtint Vegan Hair Dye

Naturtint Hair Dye
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Naturtint is one of the first hair dye vegan brands that offered permanent hair color free from ammonia. Furthermore, it is also free from parabens, petroleum, and artificial fragrance, making it gentle for the hair. 

Naturtint was also the first brand featuring plant-based ingredients instead of the infamous animal-derived ones. Their entire product range is vegan and cruelty-free. 

Naturtint is available in 32 gorgeous shades and all colors of the spectrum. Not only that, but you can also mix colors to create a statement shade. 

Unlike the other vegan box hair dye brands on this list, Naturtint gives a natural look. It is also the brand to go for if you want a safe and gentle formula to cover your greys. 

Bleach London Hair Color

Bleach london hair dye
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Bleach London is a UK-based hair color brand that offers a robust collection of semi-permanent vegan hair dyes in all colors, from pastels to vivid shades like oranges. The cruelty-free vegan brand also has bleach kits and toners for all hair types. 

The highlight of the brand is its environment-friendly stand. Bleach London recycles all of its cardboard in an effort toward zero waste. It also eliminated single-use brushes and bowls from its packaging to minimize excess plastic. 

Does Vegetable Dye Cover Grey Hair?

Yes! The natural pigments in vegetable hair dyes can color your hair, especially henna. Generally, Henna leaves an auburn or reddish-orange tint on the strands. 

However, if you have a stubborn gray that resists color, you may want to go for a medium-dark color gradient —for example, burgundy, mahogany, deep reds, or dark browns. 

What’s the Best Vegan Hair Dye for Grey Hair?

Gray hair is generally more resistant to color than younger hair, primarily due to its texture. This is because gray hair lacks natural oils, making it difficult for the hair dyes to deposit proper color. Additionally, the lack of natural oils makes the surface rougher, rejecting the hair color, especially around the roots. This is commonly the case with semi-permanent hair dyes. 

On the other hand, permanent hair dyes allow for full coverage, often in a single application, since they penetrate the cuticle rather than depositing the hair color. 

Here are some vegan hair dyes with gray coverage:

Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel

Are you looking for a natural vegan auburn hair dye that covers all your grays? Look no further than Herbatint.

Herbatint is one of the few vegan hair dye brands offering a more natural look, not a vibrant, bold appearance. 

The Italian brand is certified B Corp, meaning it is held to a higher standard in terms of ethical, social, and environmental practice. 

Being a vegan, cruelty-free brand, Herbatint uses as few chemicals as possible, replacing them with organic botanicals. Furthermore, its mild formula is gentle enough for use by those with allergies. 

Herbatint comes in both permanent and semi-permanent variants with 23 natural shades. Their color selection ranges from platinum blonde to black, with blonde, red, and brown shades in between. Above all, the shades can be mixed and matched to achieve your natural color. 

dpHUE Root Touch-Up

If covering gray roots between your salon appointments is your problem, then dpHUE has you covered. Their Root Touch-up kit and temporary root touch-up color spray are ideal options for a quick, targeted approach. 

dpHUE’s Root Touch-up kit is a permanent hair dye that can cover as much as 1” of new growth. The kit includes a complete setup, including gloves, mixing bowls, processing caps, shampoo, conditioner, activator, and a brush for applying the color. 

dpHUE is also famous for its 100% permanent grey coverage kit in addition to its permanent and semi-permanent hair dye versions. 

Coloring gray colors can be intense and damaging to the hair. To help lessen damage and nourish the hair, dpHUE’s hair coloring kits are enriched with shea butter, argan oil, and hydrogenated castor oil. 

What’s the Best Vegan Hair Dye for African American Hair?

Commercial Hair Dyes have a long reputation for being bad for the hair, and all for the right reasons. Natural-textured hair cannot be handled the same way as any other hair. Instead, they should be nurtured with natural products packed with ingredients that nourish and strengthen the hair. 

And you can find all that and more in Vegan Box Hair Dyes. Here are some of our top picks for African American Hair. 

Surya Brasil Henna Cream and Henna Powder

surya basil vegan hair dye
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Suraya Brasil is one of the industry leaders when it comes to hair colors for African American hair. 

The brazil based hair care brand is an eco-conscious, vegan, cruelty-free brand specializing in henna powder and henna cream dyes. They actively seek to reduce their impact on the environment and use fairly sourced ingredients. They also ensure that their ethical practices are followed everywhere in their supply chain. 

Surya Brasil hair dyes are entirely natural and free from all chemicals, including ammonia, PPD, parabens, or peroxide. They also have an impressive shade collection in reds, browns, brunettes, burgundies, and even blondes. 

Surya Brasil is a plant-based formula enriched with essential oils such as rose and ylang ylang. The combination leaves your hair soft, shiny, and bouncy, making it appear thick and fuller. 

The best part about Surya Brasil is its henna cream. It is a ready-to-apply henna cream that requires no mixing and goes on without a mess. 

Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Manic Panic is the most famous among the lot, backed with over 40 years of experience. The brand has always been vegan, gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, and ammonia-free. 

manic panic vegan hair dye
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Whether you are looking for a vegan pink hair dye or a vibrant green, Manic Panic is the place to be. 

Manic Panic is famous for its intense hair colors, especially blues, greens, and red. They are second to none in color selection, with a whopping 51 shades, including natural, bright, bold, and pastel. 

The vegan brand offers two variants: Semi-Permanent and Temporary. Both variants have a wide selection of colors from all corners of the spectrum.

P.S: Do not miss their new range of colors that glows under a black light!

Furthermore, the hair colors required no mixing upon application. It can be applied as such and lasts 4-6 weeks. While lighter hair, such as blonde, takes on the colors best, the darker ones will require a pre-bleach firsthand. 

Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner

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Light Mountain natural hair color is a henna-based formula that conditions your hair while coloring. Its all-natural and organic formula is free of ammonia, peroxide, parabens, and metallic salts. 

Comprising just three ingredients, namely henna, indigo, and senna leaf powder, Light Mountain Natural Hair Color is free from chemicals that strip your hair of natural oils. 

On the downside, the product requires additional ingredients like tea and lemon before application. However, they are everyday kitchen items and should be readily available. Anyway, the pain is worth the vibrant color payoff. 

Light Mountain Natural Hair Coloring & Conditioning Treatment comes in 16 all-natural shades. However, it has a strong odor which takes some time to get used to. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is There a Vegan Hair Dye Remover?

Yes! Vegan Hair Dye removers do exist. They help lift and remove colors off your hair.
However, they can strip the natural oils and potentially damage the hair. 

Here are some vegan hair dye removers on the market:

Malibu C Color Correction
Pulp Riot Semi Permanent Cruelty-Free & Vegan Hair Dye Remover
Good Dye Young Semi-Permanent Hair Color Fader

Is Red Dye Vegan? 

Generally speaking, red dye is not vegan. Red dye is nothing but Red 4 or carmine derived from crushing beetles. 
However, vegan hair dye brands substitute carmine with plant-based substitutes. 


The term “Vegan” refers to products that don’t contain animal-derived ingredients, from carmine to beeswax and even honey. 

logo on vegan products

In saying that, Veganism doesn’t just include natural, sustainable, or plant-based. It also means that no animals were ever hurt in the process, i.e., cruelty-free. With increasing awareness, more and more people are seeking cruelty-free vegan brands. 

There are many vegan hair dye brands in the market, so you can find one that suits your needs. Be it a natural shade or a vibrant one; there’s one for you. 

Keep in mind that Vegan doesn’t necessarily mean cruelty-free. So be on the lookout for your vegan product’s “leaping bunny” logo. A product with the logo doesn’t hurt animals anywhere in the process, including the suppliers. 

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