Vegan Hair Dyes

It's never been easier to rock vibrant, beautiful, cruelty-free hair! Vegan hair dyes cover every shade, from bold to classic, whether you want to DIY or indulge in a luxury salon experience. Here's everything you need to know about coloring your new hairdo!
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Vegan hair dye in a plastic bowl next to hair dye tools and brushes.
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As the demand for cruelty-free and vegan beauty products is surging, the beauty industry continues to evolve and create ethical alternatives for every product, including hair dye. If you’re considering a switch to vegan hair dye or are a seasoned plant-based beauty enthusiast, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the world of vegan hair dyes, providing insight into what makes them vegan, a roundup of popular vegan hair dyes, and a list of salon options.

Embracing a vegan lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing style and self-expression. The world of vegan hair dyes has expanded exponentially in recent years. Just like vegan shampoo, vegan nail polish and cruelty-free makeup have become staples in the beauty industry, vegan hair dyes are emerging as the next frontier in salon and spa services to offer a broad spectrum of vibrant colors, without compromising on quality or ethics.

Whether you choose to DIY at home with various boxed brands or opt for a luxurious salon experience, making the switch to vegan hair dye allows you to effortlessly contribute to a more compassionate and sustainable beauty industry.

Is Hair Dye Vegan?

Understanding whether a hair dye is vegan involves scrutinizing its ingredients, which can be easier said than done. Labels are far from transparent, so you may need to do further research online to find the full listing of components.

Vegan hair dyes not only avoid animal-derived components but are also cruelty-free, meaning they are not tested on animals. While many traditional hair dyes contain animal-based ingredients, innovative vegan alternatives, on the other hand, use plant-based and synthetic ingredients to achieve stunning results that are just as bold and bright, if not more so.

Non-Vegan Ingredients in Hair Dyes

Even when ingredients are listed in bold print, it can sometimes be hard to decipher what you’re actually holding in your hands. To make an informed choice, it’s crucial to be aware of non-vegan ingredients commonly found in conventional hair dyes. Some of these ingredients include:

  • Carmine (Cochineal): A red pigment derived from crushed insects, carmine is often used in red and pink hair dyes.
  • Guanine: Obtained from fish scales, guanine is a common ingredient in shimmery and sparkly hair dyes.
  • Keratin: Derived from animal hooves, horns, and feathers, keratin is used to add strength and shine to hair.
  • Collagen: Sourced from animal connective tissues, collagen is used in some hair dyes for its conditioning properties.
  • Oleic Acid: Derived from animal fats, oleic acid is used as an emollient (moisturizer) in hair dye formulations.

Vegan Hair Dye Brands

Whether your aesthetic is natural or technicolor, there’s a hue for you! These brands offer a kaleidoscope of possibilities for individuals who embrace the beauty of cruelty-free self-expression.

Arctic Fox – Vegan Semi-Permanent Hair Color

Known for its vibrant shades and long-lasting formula, Arctic Fox offers a wide range of colors without any animal-derived ingredients. The brand is also cruelty-free and donates a portion of its profits to animal charities. Some of the most popular shades include Virgin Pink, Purple Rain, and Aquamarine.

A bottle of Artic Fox brand vegan hair dye.
Photo credit: Artic Fox

Manic Panic – High Voltage Classic Cream Formula

A pioneer in vegan hair dye, Manic Panic’s High Voltage line is cruelty-free and free from harmful chemicals like ammonia. The brand offers an array of bold and unique colors for those seeking an edgier look. Some of their signature shades include Electric Lizard, Vampire Red, and Atomic Turquoise.

Two bottles of Manic Panic brand vegan hair dye.
Photo credit: Manic Panic

Lime Crime – Unicorn Hair

Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair dye is vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without ammonia or bleach. The semi-permanent dyes provide vivid and fade-resistant colors, making it a favorite among those who love to experiment with their hair. A few of their calling cards are Bubblegum Rose, Jello, and Blue Smoke.

A container of Lime Crime brand vegan hair dye.
Photo credit: Lime Crime

Herbatint – Permanent Herbal Hair Color Gel

Herbatint offers a natural alternative to traditional hair dyes with its herbal-based formula. It covers grey hair effectively and is free from ammonia, parabens, and other harmful chemicals. The brand also prioritizes sustainability in its packaging. Classic colors include Chestnut, Dark Blonde, and Black.

A package of Herbatint brand vegan hair dye.
Photo credit: Herbatint

Surya Brasil – Henna Cream

Surya Brasil’s Henna Cream is a vegan and 100% nontoxic option for those looking to explore the benefits of henna-based coloring at home. This easy-to-use cream provides conditioning and vibrant color without the use of harmful chemicals. Being henna based, the tints range from Dark Brown to Red Cream Marsala.

A box of Surya Brasil brand vegan hair dye.
Photo credit: Surya Brasil

Salon Hair Dyes That Are Vegan

For more professional results and less mess in your own bathroom, seek out salons that proudly offer vegan cruelty-free hair dye. Always support local, small businesses when possible; ask what they carry before making your choice. A few national salons you can trust in the United States are as follows:

  • Aveda – Aveda’s Full Spectrum line includes vibrant, long-lasting colors that are not only vegan but also boast a 96% naturally-derived formula. The brand is committed to environmental responsibility and cruelty-free practices. Bestselling colors include Clove, Marigold, Cacao.
  • Paul Mitchell – Paul Mitchell’s vegan-friendly hair color line, The Color XG, delivers vibrant and customizable results. It’s also cruelty-free and contains nourishing ingredients to promote healthy hair. Customer favorites are Chocolate Brown, Sunset Copper, Platinum Blonde.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can vegan hair dyes cover gray hair effectively?

Yes, many vegan hair dyes, especially those formulated with herbal ingredients, offer excellent coverage for gray hair. Brands like Herbatint are known for their ability to provide natural-looking color while effectively covering grays.

Are vegan hair dyes as long-lasting as traditional ones?

Vegan hair dyes can be just as long-lasting as traditional dyes. However, the durability of the color may vary depending on factors such as hair type, maintenance, and the specific brand or formula used.

Are there any risks or side effects associated with vegan hair dyes?

Vegan hair dyes generally have fewer harsh chemicals than traditional dyes, reducing the risk of irritation. However, individuals with allergies or sensitivities should always check the ingredient list and perform a patch test before full application.

Can I find vegan hair dyes at my local salon, or are they only available online?

Many salons now offer vegan and cruelty-free hair dye options. Brands like Aveda and Paul Mitchell, known for their professional salon products, provide vegan-friendly alternatives that stylists can use for various coloring services.

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