Vegetable hair dye safety

Vegetable hair dye, also known as vegetable-based rinses, provide a safe and subtle way to kick up your natural colour. Your hair is not damaged because vegetable-based dye does not contain the ammonia of permanent hair colour. The absence of chemicals makes vegetable hair dyes safe for expectant mothers and those who experience difficulty colouring their hair. Vegetable hair dye is also safe for our planet, providing a green beauty alternative.


Vegetable hair dyes are derived from plants. The roots, flowers or stems of certain plants are ground up and made into hair dye. The dye is applied to your hair and enhances your natural colour and adds temporary shine. Vegetable dyes do not contain ammonia, so they do not strip your hair shaft and cause breakage. Vegetable dyes coat the hair. Because they are not permanent, vegetable dyes only maintain their lustre until your next shampoo.

Vegetable Hair Dye Candidates

Obstetrician opinions are divided on the safety of expectant and breastfeeding mothers colouring their hair. Vegetable-based dyes are considered safer because they have less chemicals for the body to absorb. Made up of non-irritating plant extracts, vegetable hair dyes are optimal for use by those with skin sensitivities. Vegetable hair dyes are also vegan-friendly; there are companies that do not perform animal testing and do not use animal fat as a base.

Green Living

Safe not only for humans, vegetable hair dyes are safe for the planet, consisting of ingredients from your own backyard. By creating vegetable-based dyes you minimise waste by using all of the parts of a plant, and by utilising native plants, toxins being introduced into the environment by shipping and processing are reduced. When you rinse vegetable dye down the drain, the lack of harmful ingredients in the dye mixture means you are not adding to the pollution problem.

Applying the Dye

Apply petroleum jelly to your ears and hairline to avoid staining your skin. Use non-metallic utensils to mix your dye. Beauticians advise that blonds leave dye on for a minimum of 30 minutes. Brunettes and redheads should apply dye for one to two hours. After applying the dye, keep the mixture warm by wrapping your hair in plastic and covering it with a towel to achieve optimal colour results. Use caution when rinsing to avoid staining.

How Long the Dye Lasts

Vegetable hair dye does not contain ammonia, so colour is not absorbed by your hair shaft. The dye provides a temporary shiny shell for your hair. The gentle make-up of the dye means your colour will not last long. Vegetable dyes last anywhere from one to six shampoos. The dyes don’t require you to “lock in” your look. Hairstylists recommend using gentle hair care products to maintain your enhanced shine for as long as possible.


Vegetable-based dyes are gentle and safe. For drastic change, the dyes are not efficient. You enhance your natural colour by only one or two shades. Multiple applications are needed for a noticeable difference in your colour. Application of some vegetable hair dyes, such as henna, are messy and stain fabrics. Vegetable-based dye has a longer processing time for your hair and when you wash your hair, you begin to wash the product out.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Splitting her time between El Paso, Texas and Philadelphia, Penn., Jade Blue began writing in 2009. Blue has written for various websites, specializing in travel-related topics. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Philadelphia University.