What Is Organic Hair Dye And Is It Better Than Normal Dye?

Whether you're vegan or just environmentally-conscious, organic products might pique your interest. These products usually use more natural, simple ingredients than their regular counterparts.  In order to be categorized as "organic," these products, including all agricultural components of cosmetic ones, must undergo a meticulous five-step certification process, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). These steps are vital in making sure the handlers, operations, and manufacturer of the product meet all organic standards set out by the USDA and its National Organic Program (NOP) (via USDA). Once an inspection is conducted by a certifying agent and the standards are met, the product is now certified as organic. 

One industry that has been hopping on the organic train has been hair coloring products. Organic hair dye products, like the popular Italian line Herbatint, have been popping up everywhere in stores (via Eluxe Magazine). According to Byrdie, these hair coloring products normally use fewer chemicals and are made with organic botanicals. Because these products normally don't contain ammonia, organic hair dye is great for people who have sensitive skin. But are these products really better for you than normal hair dye? And are they really just as effective at giving you the vibrant hair color you want?

Organic hair dye contains fewer harsh chemicals

Many popular hair dyes use the chemical ammonia. This ingredient is commonly used because it allows the dye to go deep into the hair cuticle and add that permanent, rich hue (via Shaggin Salon). But the downside of ammonia is that it causes several side effects. Stephanie Brown, hair colorist at Nunzio Saviano Salon in NYC, tells Byrdie that ammonia is the ingredient which deposits color deep inside the hair, but it could potentially put your hair at risk for damage. In fact, some people have developed skin irritation and respiratory problems after being exposed to ammonia — signs to stop using that product (via Mane Addicts).

To avoid hair dyes with ammonia, many people have turned to organic hair dye instead. It contains organic botanicals, which are pesticide-free ingredients that come from plants (per WebMD). Organic hair dye also contains no ammonia and uses less harsh chemicals such as MEA, which is derived from coconut oil. However, as Mane Addicts explains, these products do still contain some synthetic pH adjusters in order to effectively color your hair. A 100% organic permanent hair dye without any chemicals doesn't exist on the market.

Organic dye can work as well as normal dye

Another cool thing about organic hair dye is that it could work just as effectively as normal dye. Sayaka Lee, founder of the organic salon Blow Me Away, told Mane Addicts that some organic products use "Molecular Blend Technology (MBT)." According to Simply Organic Beauty, one of those products is Original & Mineral's COR.Color, which uses  MBT as a powerful coloring system allowing the hair dye to wipe away every gray hair strand and provide scalp care. With proper maintenance at home, your color could last just as long as using a normal hair dye. Because organic dyes use a similar process to non-organic dyes, the color is just as permanent and beautiful (via Mane Addicts). 

However, because they contain some chemicals, no permanent hair dye is completely damage-free, as Mane Addicts explains. But organic hair dye can cause less damage than normal hair dye, due to its minimal amount of harsh ingredients. Before switching up your hair dye, be sure to seek advice from a professional hair coloring expert. Everybody's hair type is different and getting a recommendation will help in deciding what hair dye is best for you.