Whether you’re vegan, committed to using products that are completely cruelty-free, or simply looking for a less harsh way to dye your hair at home, vegan hair dye is what you need. The best vegan hair dyes are still effective when it comes to results, but “What makes professional color lines vegan is that they never use animal-derived ingredients,” explains Vinzar, co-founder and master colorist of The clean beauty lab, a vegan salon and hair care line. “These brands never test their products on animals, and they promise never to sell their products to countries that insist on animal testing,” he says, adding that vegan hair dye brands should be recognized by animal rights organizations like PETA. According to colorist and Mezkla Salon founder Lizbeth Vargas also tends to say that vegan hair dyes are gentler on the hair. “Most hair dye contains some form of protein in the color, but vegan hair dye substitutes keratin for plant-based protein,” she explains. “The plant protein has little to no impact on the overall visual outcome of the color, but the vegan formulas are less harsh than non-vegan dyes, so there’s less damage,” she says, adding, “if the hair is damaged, it will.” porous and doesn’t hold the color as long.”
Vinzar is a New York City-based hair colorist with over a decade of professional experience. He co-founded The Clean Beauty Lab, a vegan salon in NYC that developed a vegan hair care line. Vinzar serves as the salon’s Master Colorist and specializes in blonde color.
Lizbeth Vargas is the founder of Salon Mezkla in Los Angeles. As Colorist Director, she specializes in bright rainbow colors. Vargas is an Arctic Fox Ambassador.
How can you tell if a hair color is vegan?
As Vinzar points out, you’ll usually find vegan hair dye stating their vegan status on their packaging and possibly featuring a symbol or logo from an organization like Leaping Bunny or PETA. “Also, you could check the ingredients and make sure you see herbal ingredients like hydrolyzed soy protein or herbal colorings like chamomile, indigo or saffron,” explains Vargas.
How to use vegan hair dye at home
As well as non-vegan colorings, you’ll find vegan options in a range of colors and formula types (look for permanent dyes if you want something long-lasting, and semi-permanent dyes for colors that fade after a few weeks). Before you begin, Vargas recommends doing a patch test and checking all the ingredients in the dye to make sure it doesn’t contain anything you’re allergic to. To protect against stains, be sure to have petroleum jelly for your hairline and gloves for your hands, as well as a cape or an old towel or t-shirt.
“Always apply the color to clean or day-old washed hair,” Vargas recommends. “The build-up of oils from dirty hair can prevent color from penetrating the hair shaft,” she warns. Once you’re ready to start coloring, Vargas recommends that you part your hair into four sections for an easier and more even application of your color. And don’t deviate from the directions when it comes to how long to leave the color on. “Color that’s left on for too long can irritate your scalp or damage your hair,” says Vargas. “For longer-lasting color, if possible, do not wash your newly colored hair for a day or two and make sure you use a gentle, Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.”
Shop the best vegan hair dye
In a hurry? Here are the best vegan hair dyes:
1. The Best Overall Vegan Hair Dye: Naturtint permanent hair color
2. The Best Vegan Hair Dye for Bold Colors: Arctic fox semi-permanent hair color
3. The Best Vegan Hair Dye Kit: Better natural hair color
4. The Best Vegan Hair Dye for Touching Up the Roots: dpHUE Root Touch Up Kit
5. The Best Vegan Hair Dye Drops: Shrine Drop It Multi-Use Non-Permanent Hair Color
VinzarMaster Colorist and co-founder of The Clean Beauty Lab
Lizbeth VargasColorist Director and Founder of Mezkla