Was Your Hair Dye Tested on Animals?

PictureYoung, old, male, or female, if you don’t use hair dye now, chances are you may at same point in your life. Some people never dye their hair. Others, well let’s just say they don’t even remember their natural hair color; but for many, females in particular, hair dying can tend to be pretty common. What most people don’t even realize, is that these hair dyes can be tested on animals if you are not careful. Of course there are ones that do not test on animals though, and that’s why it is important to be informed of this information and know what you are promoting when you purchase a hair dye form one company that does test on animals verses a company that does not. If you have not really, be sure to check out the post here to see just what exactly this cruelty of animal testing is and why it is so unnecessary.

When going to a drug and beauty store, it isn’t easy deciding what dye to buy, let alone what color dye. When making the decision on what color dye to buy you probably come across some of these questions: How expensive is it? What color do I want? How long do I want this to last? Will it damage my hair? This is typical for most people and that is normal. But for most people, when they think of hair dye, these are the only questions they ask themselves and they are truly not only doing themselves, but animals, a disfavor in this regard.

Regardless of the shade you choose, there is always one in a cruelty-free version. Also, those who want healthy hair will benefit from this as well. You may not have known, but hair dyes can in fact be very dangers due to the ingredients within them. It is said that The most problematic hair dye ingredient is a family of chemicals called Arylamines. Arylamines are a known risk factor for bladder cancer…” Now it may not seem convincing but if you really think about it, the amount of chemicals in a substance to make it change color, and be long lasting, seems massive. Here is a few to see exactly what I mean:


Resorcinol receives a rating of 8 (out of 10) for hazard at the Cosmetics Safety Database. It is classified by the European Union as harmful, irritant to eyes and skin and dangerous for the environment. It has been shown to disrupt hormonal function in rats, causing hypothyroidism (thyroid hormone deficiency), but the levels necessary were far higher than those in hair dyes (Welsch, 2008). However, autism may be caused by babies experiencing hypothyroidism while still in the womb (Roman, 2007), and there have been cases of pregnant women losing their babies after taking resorcinol by mouth (Duran et al, 2004). Resorcinol is also a skin sensitiser (Basketter et al, 2007), although it is much less potent than PPD.”


Ammonia is irritant to the skin, eyes and respiratory system, and can cause asthma and breathing difficulties. However, it is much less toxic than PPD, and only receives a rating of 3 out of 10 for toxicity at the Cosmetics Safety Database.


Sodium, potassium and ammonium sulfates are present in hair dyes and bleaches, and are used in concentrations of up to 60%. However, concentrations of only 17.5% have been shown to irritate skin, and persulfates are also toxic when the fumes are inhaled, causing asthma and lung damage (Pang and Fiume, 2001). However, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has concluded that they are safe for occasional use, provided that the skin is rinsed well after.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is used in hair bleaches. It is corrosive, and has been banned from cosmetic use in Japan and restricted in Canada. Animal studies have shown it has toxic effects on the nervous system, respiratory and digestive systems at low doses (1974). Other studies on animals have also shown that hydrogen peroxide can damage DNA, possibly leading to cancer.

Lead Acetate

This is present in some hair coloring products used for gradual darkening, and is another potentially toxic chemical. Lead has well-known damaging effects on the brain and nervous system.


This has been linked to development of cancer.

To stay away from these dangerous ingredients and eliminate cruelty, the change is so small but yet effective. Simply become aware of the hair dye you currently use, if any, and find out if it tests on animals or not. If it does, well, it’s too late to do anything about the damage that has already been done so there is no need to completely beat yourself up over it, but no that there is time and it is not too late to make changes for your an animal’s future. So why not make the change? You will not only be helping your health and your hair, but the animals themselves, who were not tested on in the process. You will find that many cruelty-free hair dyes also do not contain any synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives, or any other toxins.

Now, this is not 100% certain but you can easily read all about this on the label and take caution from there. Though, more than likely, these products are ammonia and paraben free and with cruelty-free dyes, you can find many that are 100% plant based, disregarding concerns for damaged hair, health risks, and animal testing. You can also look into henna for a more natural look.To prove just how easy shopping for cruelty-free hair dye can be, I’ve provided numerous brands below to help you find the one that suits your needs; you will be surprised to find that cruelty-free dyes that you already knew, and others you didn’t even know existed: 

These are just some of many drug store and online companies! Don’t forget to look for the cruelty-free logo of a bunny, but not all cruelty-free products have this so it is best to read labels and do research to be sure. Lastly, if you can’t find a brand you like in your local drugstore or pharmacy, you could always order online. There, the opportunities are almost endless.  If you are unaware if your stylist or salon uses cruelty-free hair dye or not, like always, it’s all about communication and your questions can easily be answered when done politely. Better yet, know what color and brand you want? You can always take it to the salon and have them apply it professionally for you!

Clearly, hair dye doesn’t need to be tested on animals to make a good, stand-out, or beautiful impact on your hair. In fact, you are doing yourself and the animals a great favor when choosing cruelty-free. Also, be sure to check out these animal derived ingredients that could lurk in hair care products or dyes to know what to look out for!  *Download the free Leaping Bunny App here!

Check out the video below if you want to get a feel for henna, for a 100% natural hair color.