The 8 Best Natural Hair Dyes Of 2023 — Drugstore, High-End & In-Between
For those who lean into clean and natural beauty products, hair dye tends to be a bit tricky.
Traditional, old-school options were not only very harsh on hair (the dyeing process is notoriously damaging, and according to research, possibly toxic1) but contained less-than-ideal ingredients at high concentrations.
However, hair dyes have come a long way in recent years, with less-damaging ingredients, smarter formulations (meaning, the questionable ingredients are formulated at much lower levels or taken out altogether), and better color payoffs.
"The hardest part of hair color is the balance between limiting the chemicals that have been found to be problematic and still making sure it's effective," says colorist Christine Thompson, co-founder of the hair salon Spoke&Weal about hair dyes.
In fact, there are actually several at-home hair dyes that are made with a blend of natural, cleaner ingredients, as we've found here.
However, it's not possible for hair dyes to be totally natural (unless you're using henna), so while these are more natural options—they're not 100%, which is fine by us as these are certainly better for you.
Schwarzkopf Simply Color
A new option from hair care experts Schwarrzkopf, this ammonia, silicone, and alcohol-free option covers grays and then nourishes hair with a blend of oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil. Your hair will simply be vibrant, and feel lusciously healthy.
Simply Color, Schwarzkopf ($9.97)
Matrix Biolage Plant Based Hair Color
Made with an 83% plant-based color, these dye options are ideal for those who want to find nourishing botanicals in their formulas. The formulas are super simple, too: 10 ingredients or less in each shade. Plus, it comes in 20 diverse colors that range from a rich black to a vibrant strawberry blonde.
Plant Based Hair Color, Matrix Biolage ($24)
Madison Reed At Home Color Kit
Get everything you need all in one box: The kit is designed by professionals, so you know that they include all that you need for a successful at-home job. Simply take their thoughtful quiz for your perfect-match formula that's free of ammonia, PPD, resorcinol, parabens, phthalates, gluten, SLS, titanium dioxide.
At Home Color Kit, Madison Reed (Price varies)
Revlon Total Color Permanent Hair Color
If you want cleaner formulations, you can still find great options at the drugstore. Case in point: This option from beauty giant Revlon. Free of ammonia, mineral oils, and several other less-than-ideal ingredients, this also layers in nourishing teas and botanical extracts to strengthen the health of your hair. Final bonus? It smells great.
Total Color Permanent Hair Color, Revlon ($7.99)
Clairol Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color
Another drugstore find that comes in a huge assortment of natural hues. It's also made with 80% natural ingredients like coconut oil and aloe vera. The result is soft, hydrated beautifully toned hair.
Natural Instincts Demi-Permanent Hair Color, Clairol ($6.92)
Overtone Coloring Conditioner
Now, if you are one to favor bold, look-at-me hues (think pastels or rainbow brights), you may think clean options are not for you. Well, Overtone near-magic-like formulas deposit pigments while conditioning. Think of this as a hard-core hair mask that leaves your strands oh-so-fun-colored post rinse.
Coloring Conditioner, Overtone ($25)
Christophe Robin Temporary Color Gel
For a quick, non-permanent cover-up, there's no one we like more than this elegant Christophe Robin option. It covers grays at the root and will blend and blur harsh lines. We also love it for its oat extract to help soften hair, too.
Temporary Color Gel, Christophe Robin ($35)
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.