When browsing hair dye aisles in drugstores, you almost exclusively see brands related to animal testing and products containing animal byproducts.
Luckily, things look better online. We have put together a guide with the vegan hair dye you can shop online – from natural henna colors to affordable vegan box dyes and salon dyes.
Vegan hair dye is not just better for the animals but usually free of toxic chemicals. Now you can change your hair color in a natural and safe way.
Best Vegan Hair Dyes 2023
We’ve researched the market and compiled a list of the best vegan box dyes. Have fun finding your new favorite hair color.
- Best overall: Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel
- Best natural: Tints of Nature Permanent Hair Dye
- Best permanent: Naturtint Permanent Hair Color
- Best semi-permanent: Arctic Fox Hair Color
- Best salon-quality: IGK Permanent Color Kit
- Best for blonde hair: Hally Color Cloud Hair Dye
- Best for dark hair: Herbaceuticals Naturcolor Hair Dye
- Best for red hair: Manic Panic Pillarbox Red Hair Dye
- Best for unnatural colors: Good Dye Young Hair Dye
- Best for sensitive skin: Onc Naturalcolors Hair Dye
- Best henna: The Henna Guys Orange Red Henna Dye
- Best bleach: Manic Panic Flash Lightning Bleach Kit
- Best toner: Celeb Luxury Viral Colorditioner
Best Vegan Hair Dye Overall
Our favorite vegan hair dye comes from Herbatint. It leaves the most natural and even result and it’s amazing for covering up gray hair. Plus, it’s made with safe organic ingredients. The permanent dye is also dermatologically tested and suitable for sensitive skin.
This vegan hair dye is free of ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, and added fragrance. Plus, the gel formula is super easy to apply at home. For its natural result and easy-to-use formula, it’s also the best vegan hair dye for men.
- What we like: most even and natural result
- What we don’t like: hair can feel dry after
Key ingredients: witch hazel, birch, aloe, rhubarb extract | Color range: 36 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, organic, ammonia-free, resorcinol-free, paraben-free, alcohol-free, dermatologically tested, clinically tested, made in Italy
Best Natural Vegan Hair Dye
Tints of Nature has the best natural vegan hair dye. 95% of the ingredients of this permanent hair dye are natural and 75% are of organic origin. Their dye includes a minimum amount of PPD and it’s free of ammonia, parabens, and resorcinol.
- What we like: high organic content, long-wearing
- What we don’t like: not the best coverage for gray
Key ingredients: aloe, chamomile, orange peel, grapefruit extract | Color range: 23 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, organic, ammonia-free, paraben-free, resorcinol-free, propylene glycol-free
Best Permanent Vegan Hair Dye
For a long-lasting result, we recommend the Naturtint Permanent Hair Color. This permanent vegan hair dye gives you intense color that stays intense for up to five weeks. It’s our favorite affordable vegan hair dye – the price-quality ratio is just on-point.
Full of nourishing plant extracts and oils, it’s the best vegan hair dye for natural hair. It keeps curly, coily, and textured hair nourished and covers it evenly. Using oleic acid from olives and shea butter, it helps to tame frizz and repair split ends.
- What we like: doesn’t fade, leaves hair nourished
- What we don’t like: difficult to wash off
Key ingredients: aloe, oleic acid, meadowfoam seed oil, shea butter, quinoa, baobab proteins | Color range: 30 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, organic, ammonia-free, gluten-free, artificial fragrance-free, heavy metal-free, paraben-free, silicone-free, SLS-free
Best Semi-Permanent Vegan Hair Dye
Arctic Fox offers the best semi-permanent vegan hair dye. It comes in a range of fun colors to explore. We love that it has a pleasant smell and it leaves the hair shiny and bright. Free of icky chemicals such as ammonia or PPD, it’s also the best vegan hair dye for kids.
- What we like: nice fruity smell, fun colors
- What we don’t like: fades after a few washes
Key ingredients: soy proteins | Color range: 24 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, ethyl alcohol-free, PPD-free, made in the USA
Best Salon-Quality Vegan Hair Dye
IGK Permanent Color Kit is the best salon-quality vegan hair dye. This vegan box dye has all you need for proper preparation, dye, and hair treatment. The color is shiny, even, and long-lasting with great gray coverage. It really matches the result of a professional colorist.
- What we like: beautiful long-lasting colors
- What we don’t like: strong scent
Key ingredients: vegan squalane, orchid, bamboo extract | Color range: 33 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, ammonia-free
If you are looking for a vegan salon hair dye, we recommend Aveda. The company is 100% vegan and cruelty-free with an excellent Full Spectrum Hair Color for professional results. You can find their salons here.
Best Vegan Hair Dye For Blonde Hair
For blonde hair, our favorite vegan hair dye is Hally’s Color Cloud Hair Dye in Atomic Blonde. It’s the most beautiful cold shade of blonde on the market. It looks natural without any yellowness. Plus, it has a unique foaming hair dye formula that’s fun and easy to use.
This hair dye is also natural and safe to use for kids and during pregnancy. It’s enriched with botanicals like chamomile, lavender, ginseng, and aloe to nourish the hair while dying. The dye is free of all harsh chemicals, including ammonia, PPD, resorcinol.
- What we like: best blonde result, easy to use
- What we don’t like: only one blonde shade
Key ingredients: chamomile, gingeng, aloe vera, lavender | Color range: 7 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, PPD-free, resorcinol-free, sulfate-free, paraben-free, gluten-free
Best Vegan Hair Dye For Dark Hair
Herbaceuticals Naturcolor is one of the most reliable vegan hair dyes for dark hair. They have a good selection of brown and black shades that look very natural. The permanent hair dye takes a maximum of an hour to apply. The result is even and the color does not fade.
While dark hair dye has notoriously the most amount of chemicals, this one does not. The cruelty-free vegan hair dye is free of ammonia, resorcinol, or parabens. We also experienced no burning with this, so sensitive skin types will love it.
- What we like: natural formula, gorgeous dark shades
- What we don’t like: some shades often out of stock
Key ingredients: gotu kola keaf, nettle, sage, hops extracts | Color range: 32 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, resorcinol-free, paraben-free, made in Italy
Best Vegan Hair Dye For Red Hair
If red hair is your trademark, Manic Panic is the brand you should know about. The New York vegan hair color brand has an amazing collection of red vegan hair dyes. We especially love their signature Pillarbox Red for a vibrant true red. It’s as red as it gets.
Their vegan hair color works well on pretreated as well as on virgin hair. Although the dye is semi-permanent, it stays on for up to 6 weeks and only then fades slowly. The natural vegan formula is free of ammonia, parabens, and resorcinol.
- What we like: best true red color, long-lasting
- What we don’t like: can leave pink stains
Key ingredients: aloe | Color range: 43 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, resorcinol-free
Best Vegan Hair Dye For Unnatural Colors
Vegan hair dye brand Good Dye Young has the best selection unnatural hair colors. Their semi-permanent vegan dye is the perfect way to experiment with bold and vibrant colors such as purple, blue, red, silver, yellow, green, and many more.
The bright pigmented colors contain bergamot, sunflower extract, and plant-derived nutrients to nourish and protect your hair. The vegan hair dye is made in the USA and it comes in a premixed cream formula that is easy to use at home, just like a hair mask.
- What we like: very vibrant colors, love the pastels
- What we don’t like: washes out quite fast
Key ingredients: bergamot, sunflower extract | Color range: 14 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, paraben-free, PPD-free, formaldehyde-free, resorcinol-free, phthalate-free, UV protection, made in the USA
Best Vegan Hair Dye For Sensitive Skin
This certified organic vegan hair dye has been specially developed for sensitive scalp. It’s free of ammonia, parabens, sulfates, gluten, resorcinol, or other potentially irritating ingredients. The hypoallergenic dye is great for covering gray hair.
We love that his vegan dye also includes a lot of nourishing and soothing ingredients such chamomile, aloe, and argan oil. It helps moisturize the hair and scalp while giving them a wash of color. We don’t love their blonde shade range but the browns are excellent.
- What we like: gentle and natural, covers gray
- What we don’t like: blonde shades are not the best
Key ingredients: argan oil, orange extracts, chamomile, coconut, aloe | Color range: 31 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, gluten-free, resorcinol-free, formaldehyde-free, non-GMO, low pH, safe for asthmatics
Best Vegan Henna Hair Dye
This natural henna dye gives the most beautiful bright orange color to the hair. Henna dyes are always quite messy and time consuming to use but the result is worth it. Plus, you’ll get a dye that is chemical-free, gluten-free, plant-based and sustainably sourced.
- What we like: 100% plant-based hair dye, long-lasting result
- What we don’t like: messy to use, doesn’t work on dark hair
Key ingredients: pure henna powder | Color range: 12 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, natural, organic, raw, paraben-free, gluten-free, chemical-free
Best Vegan Hair Bleach
Another product we love from Manic Panic is their vegan bleach kit. It really works to get your hair up to 5 tones lighter without burning the hair. This kit is also very affordable. While it’s easy to use it’s still a potent bleach, so you make sure you apply it evenly.
- What we like: bleaches without frying the hair
- What we don’t like: strong bleach scent
Key ingredients: potassium presulfate, ammonium persulfate | Color range: 3 (different volume kits) | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free
Best Vegan Hair Toner
Celeb Luxury Viral Colorditioner is the best vegan hair toner. It’s the perfect product to keep colored hair fresh and vibrant in a low-maintenance way. It only takes 20 minutes at home. Also, this vegan color conditioner moisturizes the hair and repairs bonds.
Viral Colorditioner is made from sustainably resourced plant-based ingredients which make your hair super soft. It is also hair-friendly and free of ammonia, parabens, PPD, and peroxide. We especially love the Silver, Purple, Blue, and Graphite shades.
- What we like: non-drying, keeps hair dye vibrant for months
- What we don’t like: Gem Lites range is not as good as original
Key ingredients: palm, coconut, plant sugars, | Color range: 12 (original range) + 9 | Features: vegan, cruelty-free, ammonia-free, paraben-free, PPD-free, peroxide-free, mineral oil-free, gluten-free, sulfate-free
Best Vegan Hair Dye Brands
These are the best brands for vegan hair dye. These companies make only vegan and cruelty-free hair dye which makes shopping so much more fun.
Lime Crime is an American cosmetics brand famous for its bright and bold hair dyes. The brand is 100% PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free.
Advocating self-expression, Lime Crime offers semi-permanent colors with very strong pigments. You can find colors of the whole rainbow from their collection.
Good Dye Young (GDY) is a vegan brand co-founded by Hayley Williams – the world-famous singer and songwriter from the band Paramore.
GDY supports expressive creativity and supports people to be themselves. They offer a very wide range of semi-permanent vegan colors and vegan bleach.
The brand does not use ammonia or peroxides in its products.
Italian hair color brand Herbatint dates back to the 1970s and is one of the first pure and natural permanent hair dyes. Herbatint is vegan and cruelty-free.
Instead of harsh chemicals such as ammonia and PPD, the brand uses only delicate natural, and organic components.
Arctic Fox offers vibrant and modern premixed semi-permanent hair colors and bleach – all vegan and cruelty-free.
The hair dye is produced in California in an innovative way. The vegan dyes are stain-free, long-lasting, conditioning, and free of drying alcohols or PPDs.
As a kind and caring venture, Arctic Fox donates 15% of its profits to animal cruelty prevention.
New York brand Manic Panic has been rocking the hair dye world since 1977. From their selection, you will find vegan and cruelty-free hair colors for every occasion.
Even their semi-permanent hair dye is super vibrant and lasts long. Plus, the dyes are free of PPD, parabens, gluten, ammonia, phthalates, and resorcinol.
Tints of Nature is an organic vegan hair color brand from the UK. The natural brand does not use ammonia, resorcinol, or parabens in its dyes.
They have some great vegan hair dyes: permanent dyes, semi-permanent dyes based on henna, bleach kits, and gentle vegan hair care products.
What Makes Hair Dye Vegan?
Vegan hair dye is a dye that has not been tested on animals. It also does not contain ingredients that have been tested on animals or are of animal origin.
Typical non-vegan ingredients in hair dyes are carmine, keratine, stearic acid, lanolin, and animal-based glycerine.
- Carmine – bright red pigment made from crushed red lice, widely used in red hair dyes
- Keratin – a hair-strengthening protein made from animal hair, horns, and nails
- Stearic Acid – fatty acid made from the pig’s belly, used as a conditioner in dyes
- Lanolin – a moisturizing ingredient in hair dyes, derived from sheep’s sebaceous glands
- Glycerin – emollient in hair dyes, derived from animal fats (can also be vegan)
Instead of carmine, vegan brands use plant-derived red pigments. For keratin, vegan hair dyes use soy protein known for its hair-strengthening and conditioning effects.
For moisturizing, vegan hair dyes have replaced lanolin and animal glycerin with premium plant oils such as coconut, shea, and jojoba.
What To Look For In Vegan Hair Dye?
Most store-bought hair dyes contain a large number of harmful chemicals such as ammonia, peroxide, PPD, parabens, and resorcinol.
Many of these chemicals can irritate the eyes and skin and cause poisoning. Some are even potentially carcinogenic, especially those in permanent hair dyes.
When shopping for vegan hair dye, prefer products labeled eco-friendly, natural, plant-derived, non-damaging, conditioning, or organic.
Natural vegan hair dyes today will deliver you the same result as old drugstore dyes. They are just healthier for you as well as our environment and ecosystems.
One of the safest ways to dye your hair is with henna. Our ancestors used this natural plant-based dye already thousands of years ago. And it’s still going strong.
How We Review Vegan Hair Dyes
We review vegan hair dyes by following these criteria:
- Ingredients: the fewer chemicals the vegan hair dye has, the higher we rate it
- Result: we expect the best possible color result from vegan hair dyes
- Coverage: covering grey hairs and roots is also key to a good-quality dye
- Longevity: we assess how long the hair dye stays vibrant without fading
- Application: lastly, we review how easy applying the vegan box hair dye is
All of our hair dye reviews are independent and not incentivized by the brand or retailer. Our ratings are entirely based on our own experience and that of other reviewers and beauty experts online.
FAQ About Vegan Hair Dye
Most hair dyes in drugstores are not vegan since they are animal tested or contain animal byproducts. Hair dye can be vegan though and you can luckily find many vegan hair dye brands online.
Yes, vegans can dye their hair. Vegans simply use cruelty-free hair dye that does not include any animal byproducts.
Typical non-vegan ingredients in hair dyes are carmine, keratine, stearic acid, lanolin, and animal-based glycerine. Hair dyes are also often tested on animals.
With great probability, vegan hair dye is better for your hair. Most vegan hair dye brands aim to be ethical, natural, health-oriented, and toxin-free.
These hair dye brands are 100% vegan: Lime Crime, Good Dye Young, Tints of Nature, Herbatint, and Arctic Fox.
The largest selection of vegan hair dyes can be found online. You can find vegan hair dyes in well-stocked drugstores and more modern hair salons.
No. Revlon hair dyes are not vegan since Revlon tests on animals. Revlon Total Color Clean + Vegan collection uses vegan-friendly ingredients but we cannot still consider the dye vegan because of the company’s animal testing policies.
No. Schwarzkopf tests on animals, so none of their hair dyes are vegan.
No. L’Oreal tests on animals, so none of their hair dyes can be considered vegan. The same goes for other popular drugstore brands such as Redken, Wella, and Clairol. None of these companies is cruelty-free.
No. Paul Mitchell’s hair dyes contain beeswax.
Vegan hair dye allows us to express our individuality in a kind and compassionate way.
Vegan hair dye is also likely to be better for your hair since vegan brands use more natural and environmentally-friendly ingredients.
We have many vegan hair dye brands we love. Our current favorites are Lime Crime, Good Dye Young, Tints of Nature, Manic Panic, Herbatint, and Arctic Fox.
As we love all things related to hair, we’ll keep looking out for more vegan hair dyes, and add our favorite ones to this list. Thanks for choosing vegan haircare.
See also: Best Vegan Hair Products