All you need to know about vegan hair dyes

The beauty industry has been improving its ethical and sustainable practices lately. This should’ve happened ages ago, but hey, better late than never. One hot product right now is vegan hair dye. It’s free from animal-derived ingredients and isn’t tested on animals, which fits with the whole cruelty-free and eco-friendly vibe.

The rise of vegan hair dye is due to several factors. First, people are more aware of the ethical side of animal testing and using animal products in cosmetics. Folks want products that match their values of compassion and sustainability. That includes their hair dye and vegan hair care, of course. Second, vegan hair dyes often have fewer harmful chemicals and more natural ingredients, which is better for hair and for those wanting to avoid irritants and toxins.

Cruelty-free and eco-friendly beauty products and hair dye are not just about personal choices. They help make the world more sustainable and kinder by reducing the environmental impact of production and minimizing harm to animals.

Want to know more about these almost magical hair dyes? Keep reading our review, and check out our top vegan hair dye picks below!

What you will learn

What is vegan hair dye?

Vegan hair dye is a kind of hair coloring product that is made without any animal-derived ingredients and is not tested on animals. Unlike traditional hair dyes, which may contain components like keratin (often derived from animal hooves and horns. Yup, that’s right!), glycerin (which can be animal-based), and certain proteins or colorants sourced from animals, vegan hair dyes use only plant-based or synthetic alternatives that are cruelty-free and more ethical.

While many vegan hair dyes commonly use natural ingredients like henna, beetroot, and indigo, they may also include synthetic compounds that are proven to be safe and effective.

Unlike traditional hair dyes, which often contain harsh chemicals such as ammonia, PPD (p phenylenediamine), resorcinol, and other potentially harmful ingredients, vegan hair dyes typically use gentler and more natural ingredients.

Benefits of vegan hair dye

Vegan hair color definitely has some advantages, making it a great option for those who prioritize health, ethics, and environmental sustainability. Here are some key benefits:

Because vegan hair dyes usually opt out for more natural and gentler ingredients, they are less likely to cause irritations, allergic reactions, and damage to hair and scalp. Speaking of damage – vegan hair dyes often contain conditioning ingredients, such as coconut oil or shea butter, which means you’re actually nourishing your hair while dying it. And if you’re worried that you won’t get the same colour payoff as with traditional hair dye, that is certainly not true. Vegan hair dyes offer tons of long-lasting, truly vibrant colours for any aesthetic!

It’s also worth mentioning that vegan hair colors are usually much more sustainable with biodegradable ingredients inside and recycled and recyclable packaging, thus reducing potential chemical pollution. Lastly, they are an ethical choice, being vegan and cruelty-free. What’s not to like, right?

Common ingredients in vegan hair dye

Vegan hair dyes make use of a range of natural, synthetic, and organic ingredients that do not contain any animal products or by-products. These ingredients are carefully selected for their capacity to deliver rich colour in hair dye while still being kind to the hair and scalp. Below are some of the typical ingredients found in vegan hair dyes:


  • Henna is the most popular plant-based dye that imparts rich red to auburn hues. Henna also conditions the hair, adding shine and strength. Fun fact: Henna has been used as a hair dye since Ancient Egypt!

  • Indigo is often used in combination with henna and provides blue-black tones, allowing for a range of darker shades. Indigo is also a very old colorant with use dating back 6,000 years.

  • Besides being a nutritional powerhouse, beetroot provides a deep red hair color and is often used in DIY vegan hair dye recipes.

  • Then, we have chamomile, which is known for its lightening properties and is used to achieve blonde and light brown hair color shades. You can also sip chamomile tea while dying your hair for a truly relaxing experience.

  • Lastly – Walnut Hulls. Used to create brown tones in a hair dye, walnut hulls provide a natural and long-lasting hair color.

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Other ingredients

Besides all these goodie colourants, vegan hair dyes are often formulated with conditioning ingredients, such as coconut oil, aloe vera, shea butter, and argan oil, to smooth and give shine to hair. Some hair dyes might also include plant extracts, such as rosemary for scalp health, lavender for its pleasant aroma and calming properties, tea tree oil for its antibacterial properties, and nettle to strengthen hair and reduce fallout and dandruff.

Most vegan hair dye brands ensure that all ingredients, including pH adjusters, binding agents, stabilizers, and preservatives, are natural. So, no harmful chemicals, indeed!

How to choose the right vegan hair dye

As with any hair dye, choosing the right vegan one for you requires some consideration. However, before choosing the actual dye, you should first determine your hair type and condition since fine, thick, curly, straight, or wavy hair types may react differently to dyes. Also, if your hair is damaged, look for hair dyes with shea butter or aloe vera inside to condition them.

Once this part is settled, it’s time for the fun part of choosing the hair color shade. That said, consider your existing hair colour and how your chosen dye might interact with it. Also, don’t hope to go from raven black to platinum blonde at home in one sitting with just hair dye! Best leave such dramatic changes for professionals.

Once you know what hair color you’d like to go for, look for vegan hair dye brands with a good reputation. Remember to read the reviews from people who have actually bought and used the dyes!

Now, decide on the hair dye type. If you’re looking for a long-lasting colour, choose permanent dyes. If you don’t want to commit, then semi permanent dyes might be your best bet. Such dyes last up to several washes. And lastly, if you’re all in for an experiment, temporary hair color dyes are your new best friend. Just a few shampoos and the color is gone! Naturally, the last option is also the friendliest for your hair.

Lastly, one crucial detail. No matter which hair dye type you’ve chosen, always perform a patch test to ensure that no irritations or allergic reactions occur.

And that’s it! You’re good to go!

Potential challenges of using vegan hair dye

While vegan hair dye and vegan hair care offers numerous benefits, some potential challenges might occur. Understanding these challenges and how to fix them can help ensure a pleasant hair-dying experience.

Limited colour options

While some vegan hair dye brands offer a limited palette, others have a broad spectrum of colors to choose from. However, if you still can’t find the perfect hair color you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to mix the shades for a custom tone.

Colour fading

Some vegan hair dyes, especially those with exclusively plant-based ingredients, may fade faster compared to traditional hair dyes. However, this can be easily fixed by using color-safe shampoos and conditioners and limiting sun exposure for colour vibrancy.

Application process

Henna and indigo dyes might prove messier to apply and might take a while to give you that perfect shade. Some recommend keeping henna dye in your hair for three to six hours even on natural hair colors! That said, if you planned on staying in that day anyway, it’s not such a huge caveat.

Grey hair coverage

Plant-based hair colors might not be able to conquer the quest of covering white hairs. However, you can easily find vegan hair dye brands that offer dyes specifically formulated for grey hair coverage – that should solve your problem.

Potential allergic reactions

Chemical ingredients aren’t the only ones that might cause irritation or allergic reactions; you can also be allergic to plant-based ingredients. That’s why it is always smart to perform a patch test 48 hours before your application.

Of course, traditional hair dyes might have fewer potential challenges, but now that you know all the possible issues and how to solve them if they should occur, we hope nothing is stopping you from trying out these vegan hair dye brands.


Vegan hair care uses cruelty-free ingredients and eco-friendly formulations to achieve vibrant hair color without compromising one’s values. People are getting into them because they want to support ethical and sustainable beauty practices through supporting vegan hair dye brands

So, by choosing vegan hair dyes and cruelty-free brands, you’re not only getting a cool new look for your locks but also contributing to a more humane and eco-friendly beauty industry.

Get vegan hair dyes cheaper!

It’s real when you’re with Monetha. 😉 We find the best deals for the nicest products + give you cashback when you buy through Monetha.

Learn how it works

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