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I love dying my hair, as you can probably tell with my bright yet dark red hair. Naturally I have a very dirty blonde hair color that I'm not a fan of. And when I switched to being cruelty-free only, finding a good cruelty free option isn't something you can find in most box dyes. But there are cruelty-free and vegan options out there! Whether you want to do it yourself like I do, or go into the salon.

Box Dye Vs. Going to the Salon

Getting your hair done at the salon can be cruelty-free, but you’ll have to do a bit of research. I personally don't go into a salon to get my hair dye as I don't dye my hair a natural color and most salons I've been to don't have the exciting colors that I'm after. They do an accent color like pink, but I don't want light baby pink. I want dark red and not a natural red. Many salons use professional hair care brands that don’t test on animals. The most popular ones are Kevin Murphy and Paul Mitchell. As for professional hair dye, Pravana is the best cruelty-free dye. Ask your salon owner what brands they use, and pick a place that opts for cruelty-free brands. There are also Aveda salons in many major cities. Aveda itself is a cruelty-free brand, but you should be aware that Estee Lauder, its parent company, still tests on animals where required by law in China. Aveda itself is however not sold in China.

Hair Dye and Animal-Testing

Let’s face it: box hair dye is terrible for us. We know it’s filled with some of the most harsh chemicals the cosmetics industry has to offer, and we’re aware of how easily those chemicals penetrate through the skin. Ammonia, lead acetate, arylamines, 4 APB, resocinol, and phenylenediamine are just some of the most alarming chemicals found in hair dyes.

Most box hair dyes you can find are being tested on animals, specifically because they’re filled with potentially toxic ingredients. Basically, we have more than enough reasons to stop using mainstream box hair dye brands, but so many of us still resort to it because of the huge selection of shades they offer, because it’s cheap, and because it’s, quite frankly, super fun and awesome to experiment with hair color!

And this is why I do a lot of research before picking any hair dye since I go down this route. Currently I use oVertone and Arctic Fox to achieve my hair color. Both of these are conditioner options, have no ammonia or the harsh chemicals that I mentioned earlier. Plus they are both 100% vegan and don't make my hair die. If anything my hair feels really healthy after using these as they also act as a nice deep conditioner while I'm touching up my color.

List of Cruelty-Free Brands

  • Arctic Fox - 100% Vegan
  • Aveda
  • EcoColors
  • Herbatint
  • Lime Crime
  • Lush - They have an alternative options of dying your hair with henna or caca.
  • Manic Panic
  • oVertone - 100% Vegan
  • Smart Beauty