Is Ammonia Free Hair Dye Best?

Clean haircare, including chemical free hair dye, is not a passing trend but here to stay. And many companies have tried to clean up their act by offering ammonia free hair dye. But does no ammonia hair color it work as well as traditional dyes? And which are the best ammonia free hair dye products on the market?

How Does Ammonia Free Hair Dye Work?

The process of permanently coloring hair using no ammonia hair color is different from traditional hair dying. Manufacturers use ammonia on hair dye to change the hair pH level. Human hair has naturally an acidic pH, and alkaline chemicals will open the hair cuticle. Ammonia is a cheap, alkaline chemical that was easy to use in hair dyes for this purpose.

However, ammonia damages hair and it’s a very agressive chemical that also stinks. Ammonia free hair dye is less damaging to hair as it uses other methods to allow the dye to enter the hair shaft. No ammonia hair color uses a combination of monoethanolamine (MEA) and oils to adjust the pH of the dye and open the hair cuticle.

Sale $0.01Bestseller No. 1
ONC NATURALCOLORS 4MC Glamorous Brown Healthier Permanent Hair Color Dye 4 fl. oz. (120 mL) with Certified Organic Ingredients, Ammonia-free, Resorcinol-free, Paraben-free, Low pH, Salon Quality, Easy
  • IMPORTANT: Use NATURALCOLORS N Series to improve results when using on more than 40% gray hair. For better...
  • Heat application during coloring is necessary for results. After applying the color mix to your hair, use...
  • Free of ammonia, resorcinol, parabens, silicone and nonoxynol. Gentle protein based formula; Professionally...
Sale $2.50Bestseller No. 2
Garnier Olia Ammonia Free Hair Color [4.0] Dark Brown 1 ea
  • With natural flower oils
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Permanent Color
Sale $5.67Bestseller No. 3
Naturtint Permanent Hair Colorant, Dark Chestnut Brown 3N
  • Founded by Mr. Lee frank on august 1, 1995 for the purpose of producing the very first 100% plant-based human...
Bestseller No. 4
Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Soft Black, 3 Count
  • Long-lasting, high-definition color
  • Revlon 3D Color Gel Technology delivers natural-looking, rich, multi-tonal color from root to tip
  • Enriched with UV Defense to help keep color vibrant and dimensional
Sale $5.98Bestseller No. 5
Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color (Pack of 3), 5C Brass Free Medium Brown Color, Ammonia Free, Lasts for 28 Shampoos
  • Pack of 3 Clairol Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair color kits in Brass Free Medium Brown. Ammonia free...
  • Natural Instincts hair color will infuse your hair with natural looking, radiant color that conditions. This...
  • Our Natural Instincts hair color lasts for 28 shampoos, fading naturally without harsh root-lines to keep your...

Can You Have Non Toxic Hair Dye?

Non toxic hair dye is a growing market. From hair dye without ppd to non ammonia hair color consumers are looking for effective hair colorants that don’t harm their bodies. And the industry is delivering, but with some caveats.

By definition, traditional permanent hair dye can’t be totally non-toxic. You still need some sort of alkaline base to open the hair cuticle. This process harms the hair, even when coloring it darkewr than your natural color. If you are looking for non toxic hair dye, deposit only color is your best bet and safe to use as often as you want.

Another great alternative non toxic hair dye are henna based vegetable dyes, but the shades may be limited. It is also less convenient to use, and once you henna your hair there is no way to remove it apart from bleach. But if you love red or warm brunette hair, and want to cover greys, henna is a great alternative.

Sale $4.82Bestseller No. 1
Light Mountain Natural Hair Color & Conditioner, Red, 4 oz (113 g) (Pack of 3)
  • A complete all natural hair color and conditioning program.
  • Recommended by safe shoppers bible. Non-carcinogenic
  • Conditions and adds body to hair while it colors.
Bestseller No. 2
Bestseller No. 3
Hannah Natural 100% Pure Henna Powder, 100 Gram
  • 100% chemical free all natural herbal henna
  • The only ingredient is 100% pure henna leaves
  • Pure Henna is an excellent hair conditioner
Sale $4.00Bestseller No. 4
100% Pure & Natural Henna Powder For Hair Dye/Color 100 Grams - The Henna Guys
  • 100% Natural, Raw, Vegan, Pesticides Free
  • Chemicals & Metallic Salts Free Hair Coloring & Conditioning
  • High Lawson Content for Guaranteed results.
Sale $6.04Bestseller No. 5
The Henna Guys 100% Pure and Natural Henna Powder for Hair Dye/Color, 200g
  • 100% Natural and 100% vegan, pesticides, chemicals and metallic salts free
  • Chemical free hair coloring and conditioning
  • Suitable for best red hair color

Black and brown shades are the worst offenders. Many people find themselves requiring hair dye without ppd after becoming allergic to black and brunette box dye. Hairprint’s color restorer offers a non toxic hair color alternative that restores brown and black tones on hair.

Ammonia Free Hair Dye Alternatives

Another alternative for ammonia free hair color are natural hair dye brands. For semi-permanent color, vegan hair dye brands such as Manic Panic are also good alternatives. Both types of dyes use vegetal-based pigments that are deposited on top of the hair cuticle.

Vegan Hair Dye Brands

There are several vegan hair dye brands that offers cruelty free hair dye with vegetal origin pigments. Most of them are semi-permanent, deposit only colors but there are also some permanent ones.

Semi-Permanet Vegan Hair Dye Brands

Manic Panic

Manic Panic offers long lasting colors popular among the rainbow hair crew. Their are vegan, cruelty free and ammonia free hair color is safe to use during pregnancy. However, it works better on bleached and lightened hair and you won’t find “natural” colors like browns and blacks in their range.

Sale $4.29Bestseller No. 1
Manic Panic Purple Haze
  • Ready To Use, No Mixing Required
  • Fades Gradually With Each Shampoo
  • Gives Highlights To Darker Hair
Bestseller No. 2
Manic Panic Moon Semi-Permanent Color Cream, Blue
  • Fades gradually with each shampoo
  • Ready to use, no mixing required
  • Gives highlights to darker hair
Bestseller No. 3
Bestseller No. 4
Manic Panic Classic Creme Hair Color Electric Amethyst
  • Manic Panic Hair Color - is a ready-to-use, semi-permanent, cream hair color that delivers, the most vibrant,...
Sale $2.25Bestseller No. 5
Manic Panic Classic Formula Semi Permanent Hair Color Cream Mermaid
  • Cool ocean teal
  • Vibrant color results are best on pre-lightened or bleached hair, comes ready to use
  • Vegan formula colors and conditions hair

Artic Fox

This vegan hair dye brand offers cruelty free, conditioning hair colors is also extremely popular. They are deposit only colors from vegetal dyes, and so they show better on bleached hair.

Bestseller No. 1
ARCTIC FOX 100% VEGAN SEMI PERMANENT HAIR COLOR DYE (4oz, Purple Rain)
  • Made only from vegan ingredients with no animal by-products.
  • No harmful chemicals in Arctic Fox hair dye that damage the hair like chemical based hair colors.
  • Arctic Fox hair dyes are gentle for frequent use and actually conditions your hair as it restores vibrancy.
Bestseller No. 2
Arctic Fox Semi Permanent Hair Color Dye 4 Ounce (Poseidon)
  • Made only from vegan ingredients with no animal by-products.
  • No harmful chemicals in Arctic Fox hair dye that damage the hair like chemical based hair colors.
  • Arctic Fox hair dyes are gentle for frequent use and actually conditions your hair as it restores vibrancy.
Bestseller No. 3
ARCTIC FOX 100% VEGAN PURPLE RAIN SEMI PERMANENT HAIR DYE COLOR 8 OZ
  • Made only from vegan ingredients with no animal by-products.
  • No harmful chemicals in Arctic Fox hair dye that damage the hair like chemical based hair colors.
  • Arctic Fox hair dyes are gentle for frequent use and actually conditions your hair as it restores vibrancy.
Bestseller No. 4
ARCTIC FOX 100% VEGAN VIRGIN PINK SEMI PERMANENT HAIR DYE COLOR 8 OZ
  • Made only from vegan ingredients with no animal by-products.
  • No harmful chemicals in Arctic Fox hair dye that damage the hair like chemical based hair colors.
  • Arctic Fox hair dyes are gentle for frequent use and actually conditions your hair as it restores vibrancy.
Bestseller No. 5
Arctic Fox Semi Permanent Hair Dye - 4 Ounce Wrath #3
  • Made only from vegan ingredients with no animal by-products.
  • No harmful chemicals in Arctic Fox hair dye that damage the hair like chemical based hair colors.
  • Arctic Fox hair dyes are gentle for frequent use and actually conditions your hair as it restores vibrancy.

Permanent Vegan Hair Dye Brands

EcoColors Hair Color

Permanent ammonia free hair dye range with 13 natural shades that are very gentle on the scalp. Works better if you don’t have a lot of grey hairs.

Bestseller No. 1
EcoColors Haircolor Medium Ash Brown - 5C (2 oz color 2 oz developer)
  • Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free
  • Ecocolors Medium Ash Brown is formulated for gray coverage. Application will result in a medium brown shade.
  • This color is formulated to counteract unwanted red tones and color grays a medium brown tone.
Bestseller No. 2
EcoColors Haircolor Dark Brown - 5N /(2 oz color 2 oz developer)
  • PPD Free, Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free
  • Ecocolors Dark Brown is formulated for gray coverage . Application will result in the medium brown shade on...
  • Use Dark Ash Brown if you do not want to see underlying red tones and a darker shade of brown.
Bestseller No. 3
EcoColors Hair Color Light Ash Blonde - 9C (2 oz color 2 oz developer)
  • PPD Free, Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free
  • Ecocolors Light Ash Blonde is formulated for gray coverage and is PPD free. Application will result in the...
  • This may not be enough pigment to color some gray hair.You might want to mix this with a little Ecocolors...
Bestseller No. 4
EcoColors Haircolor Dark Ash Brown - 4C/(2 oz color 2 oz developer)
  • PPD Free, Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free
  • Ecocolors Dark Ash Brown is formulated for gray coverage. Application will result in a dark brown shade.
  • This color is formulated to counteract unwanted red tones.
Bestseller No. 5
EcoColors Haircolor Medium Brown - 6N (2 oz color 2 oz developer)
  • PPD Free, Gluten Free, Paraben Free, Propylene Glycol Free
  • Ecocolors Medium Brown is formulated for gray coverage Application will result in a medium to light brown...
  • If you want to counter red tones, try Ecocolors Medium Ash Brown instead.

Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolor

This vegan hair dye brand offers ammonia free hair dye that performs as well as traditional box dye, iof not better. It works on grey hair, dark hair and previously colored hair and the range of colors is pretty extensive. It can however be a bit drying as it includes alcohol and sulfates as part of the formula.

Sale $9.83Bestseller No. 1
Herbatint Herbal Haircolor Permanent Gel 5N Light Chestnut 4.56 oz
  • Herbatint
  • Herbatint Permanent Haircolor Gel 5N Light Chestnut 1 Box
  • Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Cruelty Free
Sale $0.14Bestseller No. 2
Herbatint Permanent Herbal Hair Color Gel, 1N Black, 4.56 Ounce
  • Specially formulated from herb extracts, herbatint uses rosemary, cinchona and walnut husk to gently deposit...
  • Achieves a natural, vibrant result for your hair
  • Permanently colors hair without damage
Bestseller No. 3
Herbatint Permanent Hair Color Light Chestnut 5N - 135 ml - Pack of 4
  • Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolour Gel 5N Light Chestnut - 135 ml - Pack of 4
Bestseller No. 4
Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolour Gel 3N Dark Chestnut - 135 mL
  • Herbatint is the finest, most natural permanent hair colouring gel free of harsh chemicals and Ammonia
  • Herbatint
Sale $0.22Bestseller No. 5
Herbatint Permanent Herbal Haircolor Gel, 7M Mahogany Blonde, 4 Ounce
  • Specially formulated from herb extracts, herbatint uses rosemary, cinchona and walnut husk to gently deposit...
  • Achieves a natural, vibrant result for your hair
  • Permanently colors hair without damage

Ammonia Free Bleach

If you want to lighten your hair, ammonia free bleach is actually an effective way to color your hair without sacrificing its health. There are several products in the market that offer lightening sans the ammonia.

They may take a bit longer to lighten hair to white, but they are less damaging than ammonia bleach and smell less. Some of them, such as the Ion Color Brilliance Ammonia Free dye range, are used in hair salons so ask before you get your next set of highlights.

Bestseller No. 1
Color Oops Conditioning Bleach w/ Coconut Oil
  • Gentle Enough To Use On Processed Hair
  • Coconut Oil Helps Condition Hair
  • Aloe Vera Infuses Moisture & Shine
Bestseller No. 2
L'Oreal Ammonia Free Platinum Bleach - Pink
  • L'OREAL BLOND STUDIO PLATINIUM AMMONIA FREE lightening paste
Bestseller No. 3
MAGIC Ammonia-Free POWDER Lightener - Super Strength Formula (500 g / 17 oz)
  • MAGIC Ammonia Free Powder Lightener features a super strength formula that offers up to 10 levels of lift...
  • In addition to being vegan, we never test on animals and ensure that the formula completely breaks down after...
Bestseller No. 4
Garnier Olia Hair Color, 9 1/2.1 Lightest Ash Blonde, Ammonia Free Hair Dye (Packaging May Vary)
  • Ammonia Free hair color, with a gentle and pleasant fragrance
  • Blonde Hair Dye that delivers brilliant, radiant long-lasting color
  • Hair dye that leaves hair visibly healthier Hair is hydrated, silky and 3x shinier (than uncolored, unwashed...
Bestseller No. 5
Color X-Change Semi-Permanent Hair Color, RENEGADE RED
  • PPD, ammonia, peroxide and paraben free
  • Contains no fragrance, peroxide, ethyl alcohol or sulfates
  • Vegan, gluten free, cruelty free; Made in the USA

The Cons Of Ammonia Free Hair Dye

Ammonia free hair dye has come a long way but it’s still slightly less effective than traditional ones. This is why most hairdressers will still use ammonia on hair dye to produce more long lasting results or cover stubborn greys.

Ammonia free hair color has larger molecules that have a more difficult time penetrating the hair cuticle. They are usually oil based, and in some cases that means they are more difficult to rinse off and can cause scalp buildup. A good clarifying shampoo can fix that easily though.

Sale $0.78Bestseller No. 1
Kenra Clarifying Shampoo, 10.1-Ounce
  • Restores hair's natural radiance by removing dulling deposits and build-up
  • Brightens highlighted, bleached, or gray hair
  • Maintains the look and feel of healthy hair for individuals using hard water and well water
Sale $0.01Bestseller No. 2
Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo, Gentle Non-Irritating Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Hair Build-Up & Residue, 6 fl. oz
  • 6-fluid ounce bottle of Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo to help remove up to 90% of heavy, dulling residue...
  • This non-irritating clarifying shampoo gently cleanses your hair and helps boost volume by instantly rinsing...
  • Use our anti-residue shampoo only once a week to see your favorite daily shampoo work even better, and help...
Sale $11.01Bestseller No. 3
BIOLAGE Cleanreset Normalizing Shampoo To Remove Buildup, 33.8 Fl. Oz.
  • Cleanses hair without stripping hair of natural oils
  • Removes buildup and impurities from all hair types
  • Paraben-free formula is also suitable for color-treated hair
Bestseller No. 4
Nothing But Clarifying Shampoo 12 fl oz
  • Gently Deep Cleans Hair & Scalp
  • Dissolves buildup
  • Sulfate-free
Bestseller No. 5
Paul Mitchell Shampoo Three,10.14 Fl Oz, Pack of 1
  • Helps remove chlorine and impurities. Paraben Free,Vegan
  • Increase inner strength and prevent immediate re-deposit
  • Excellent before deep conditioning

However, given that consumer interest in no ammonia hair color is at an all time high, brands are investing heavily in research. Ammonia free hair dye is becoming more and more effective and kinder to the hair than traditional dye.

1 Comment

  • Natural haircare has become incredibly big recently. I never knew you could get ammonia free bleach apart from putting lemon juice in my hair. Which is a very bad idea! Will be buying some soon. Thank you!

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