Vegan Hair Care

What Makes Hair Dye Vegan?

2 Mins read

Hair dyes have been around for centuries and they were all pretty much created equal, right?

Well, the better question would be: What makes hair dye vegan or not?

What makes hair dye vegan?

Vegan hair dyes are made of vegetable-based ingredients, so you can use them without worrying about animal cruelty.

There are many different types of hair dye available today.

Some brands contain eggs, milk, and other animal products, which makes them unsuitable for vegans.

But all hope is not lost for the environmentally friendly among us; there are plenty of vegan hair dyes out there.

There are 2 main ingredients that many hair dye manufacturers use: hydrogen peroxide, a colorless liquid that turns into water and oxygen when it’s exposed to the air; and ammonia, a chemical compound that contains nitrogen and hydrogen.

Vegan dyes tend not to use ingredients like these because they’re derived from animals.

Instead, they’re made from synthetic materials like PPD (para-phenylenediamine) or PTD (para-toluene diamine).

SEE ALSO:  Does Vegan Hair Dye Have Chemicals?

These have been known to cause severe allergic reactions in some people.

It’s also worth noting that some non-vegan hair products contain honey or beeswax, both of which are animal byproducts.

It can be difficult to know whether a product contains these unless you look at the ingredients list or contact the manufacturer directly.

Ingredients that make a hair dye vegan

Trying to dye your hair with plant-based ingredients doesn’t mean that you’re giving up on looking good, however, because there are plenty of vegan hair dyes on the market today.

But what are the ingredients that make a dye vegan?

Castor oil

This oil from a bean-like seed has been used in India since around 3000 B.C.

The seeds were also an important source of oil for the Egyptians who used it as a laxative and food preservative.

Castor oil is often included in shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products.

Tea tree oil

Derived from the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), this essential oil is known for its antiseptic properties that make it useful in mild shampoos and conditioners.

SEE ALSO:  Can You Be Allergic to Vegan Hair Dye

The tea tree also contains antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and control acne.

Vegetable color

There are many different types of vegetable colorants and they are extracted from different origins such as beets, carrots, turmeric, or spinach.

Vegetable colorants are used because they are gentle on your hair and do not cause any allergic reaction since they contain no ammonia or preservatives.


Caramel comes from sugar and comes in two forms: liquid and powder.

This ingredient helps create shades with more depth and dimension.

Many dyes use caramel as an additive to achieve the various shades.

Synthetic Indigo

Indigo naturally comes from a plant called “woad” or indigo spindia tree.

Nowadays most indigo used in commercial products comes from petrochemicals or coal tar derivatives.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine

This ingredient is derived from coconut oil and used in shampoos, conditioners, soap, and body wash as a foaming agent and cleansing agent.

SEE ALSO:  What Exactly is a Vegan Hair Dye?

It is also used as a thickening agent and an emulsifying agent in some hair conditioner products.

It helps to bind water and oil together so it can cleanse your hair thoroughly.

Cocoa Extract

Cocoa extract is used to enhance the fragrance of hair dye products.

It is deodorizing, antioxidant, and has astringent properties which means that it can help to tone down your hair follicles by constricting pore openings in your skin without causing dryness or chapping.

This ingredient smells like chocolate. The cocoa extract can be found in many hair color dyes because of its rich color pigment which helps to prevent grey hairs from showing up after dying them with a certain color.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re looking to become a vegan yourself or to purchase cruelty-free products for your household, knowing whether or not hair dye is vegan can be important.

Thankfully, most boxed and salon hair dyes are completely animal-friendly.

It’s just a matter of identifying the right products.