What’s the Best Permanent Hair Color for Sensitive Scalp?

Ever notice the number of brands of permanent hair color? Most offer lasting color, while others provide not-so-enduring results. As always, to color or not to color is a personal decision. It’s easy to do. However, it’s something that shouldn’t be done without thinking about it first.

Some individuals suffer from allergic reactions to hair dyes due to the chemicals. The chemicals are supposed to improve the product’s overall texture so the results last longer. It can extend the life of the hair dye as well as enhance its effectiveness.

Since some people have an allergy to certain chemicals or ingredients in dye, so developers created products that are hypoallergenic. Look for a label displaying organic authenticity or a product made with all-natural ingredients.

That will usually be a clue to finding a permanent hair color for sensitive scalp. The benefits of a natural hair dye mean that it’s gentle on sensitive skin. There is one regret. No one can guarantee its product to be 100% allergy free. There is always a possibility that hair dye’s ingredients can have an adverse reaction if your scalp is sensitive.

How many people perform hair tests before applying hair dye – even if they have a sensitive scalp? Not a lot of people do it, and many regret it soon after putting hair dye on their scalp.

  • Pro Tip: It’s so easy to do, and it costs nothing extra. Take a tiny amount of hair color and apply it to a section of the body like the legs or wrists. Check for irritation like red areas, itchiness, breakouts, and puffiness.

If nothing out of the ordinary happens, proceed with permanent hair color. Keep in mind that the scalp is slightly different from the skin on the arms and legs. The scalp may still react differently.

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What Is the Safest Hair Dye for Sensitive Skin?

Hypoallergenic hair dye is likely the best and safest hair dye for sensitive skin (keep reading for some product examples).  When it comes to almost any hair care product or cosmetic, there is a chance of someone will have an allergic reaction. Depending on the ingredients, it could be severe or mild.

Both men and women are at risk. What to look for in a hypoallergenic hair dye? Could there be a particular ingredient irritating the heck out of sensitive skin? Yes, it’s very possible.

Ingredients That Often Cause Allergic Reactions

Here’s a list of ingredients to look for in case anyone is wondering what can cause the outbreak:

  • Ammonia [found in household items like cleaning supplies, pesticides, and dyes]
  • DMDM hydantoin [used in bath products, shampoos, and cosmetics]
  • EDTA [used to detox, added to preserve sodas, could be harmful]
  • Hydrogen Peroxide [low risk of allergic reaction]
  • Parabens [absorbed through the digestive system and skin]
  • Propylene Glycol [typically safe to use, but not in large doses]
  • Sulfates [used in cleaning products]

Ingredients like Resorcinol and Paraphenylenediamine [PPD] are country banned because of its intense level of reaction. It can be as minute as a minor skin irritation but as significant as cancer. Recognize one of the ingredients?

Hair dye and one of those ingredients can cause the following:

  • Burning
  • Itchy scalp, dry skin
  • Red, inflamed areas
  • Dermatitis
  • Abnormal scalp changes

When hair dye gets onto other areas of the body, it can cause burning or itching. When you have a sensitivity to an ingredient, they should always perform a test. Sometimes the reactions are scary as they can provoke breathing trouble, dizziness, and nausea.

Which Hair Dyes Don’t Contain PPD?

Previously, PPD was prevalent in most hair color treatments or hair dyes and finding one void this ingredient was difficult. If someone was allergic to it, they had to use alternative means to dye their hair. Getting a color that was realistic and to cover the gray was almost impossible.

When choosing a hair dye, one may consider a semi-permanent or permanent hair color. The permanent hair colors have ammonia in them along with peroxide. This allows the hair dye to cover gray hair efficiently.

Either of those kinds of hair color treatments could contain PPD. The lightening effects of the hair color will turn the dark hues to a color in tune with the grayish-looking hair. This is awesome for the men and women who want a little gray to stay so that the “new” look is still natural-looking.

However, most men don’t want any gray. The demi-permanent hair color covers most of the gray as well, but not all of it. The semi-permanent color; just leave it on the shelf if wanting to cover gray. It won’t do it – it will not give the strands a lift. What to use in this case?

Logona Herbal Hair Color Brown Umber

Logona’s products don’t claim to cover all the gray especially since they don’t use artificial ingredients or colorants. Instead, Logona Herbal Hair Color coverage is meant to highlight the hair’s original color.

This, of course, gives the hair a more natural or unbleached look. Get Logona in a cream or powder form. The formula is handpicked to provide a vegan-friendly hair dye.  Feel confident using jojoba oil (essential oils), rhubarb root (powder) and henna.

Just For Men Original Formula Men’s Hair Color, Dark Brown

Because men demand full coverage, they look for a product to cover the gray plus a more natural look. They also want something simple and quick that last for a while. Just for Men Original Formula lasts as long as two months or more. 

What Is a Safe Hair Dye for Allergy Sufferers?

Is there such a thing as a safe hair dye? Of course, there is, but a lot of it depends on the choice of ingredients in the hair dye. Only a small percentage of people who dye their hair experience side effects.

safest hair dye for sensitive skin

For those who are unfortunate to have the allergies, they can be irritating to severe. Notice any signs of itching, burning or swelling? This is a reaction to the chemicals. With that said, the symptoms can happen even days/weeks after using the permanent hair color.

See hives or blisters, and this is a strong indication of an adverse reaction to the hair color chemicals. Black dyes are considered to be the worst hair color when it comes to allergies. Look for rashes along the hairline and swelling, especially around the face.

Style Edit Root Concealer Factory Fresh Brown Medium Light

Want instant coverage for gray hair and sensitive scalp? The Style Edit Root Concealer couldn’t be a better choice. It dries in only a few minutes. 

For a temporary solution, Root Concealer extends the life expectancy of the hair color.  Ever hear of self-adjusting hair color? Style Edit claims to have it. But they don’t have any parabens, petrolatum, peroxide or mineral oil in the formula.

Henna Maiden DELICIOUS DARK BROWN Hair Color

Henna Maiden hair color is safe to use because it’s all natural and all-organic. Reapply as often as need be without worry. The color should last up to 8 weeks before it starts showing signs of fading.  It’s super-simple to use; just add water and apply. 

Gloves and instructions are in the kit. With proper application, hair is more manageable and shiny.

Why Do We Get Gray Hair?

Melanocytes are pigment-producing cells. It’s why the hair is red, blonde or brown. As people get older, the agent melanin stops producing. It explains why some people have a salt-and-pepper head of hair while others have an entire head filled with gray strands.

Some of the gray hair could be because of genetics. Almost everyone will have at least a few gray strands, but people’s hair doesn’t just turn gray. The hair doesn’t have any pigment (melanin).

what hair dyes do not contain PPD?

Are There Any Home Remedies?

Coloring the hair at home is probably the best idea considering the cost of a salon visit. If done correctly, the color change can be successful. Try using a couple of boxes for the permanent hair color change.

Get one which totally matches the original hair color, and the other should be a shade or two darker. Put the darker color on the roots and then down a couple more inches.  Take the lighter side and add to the ends of the hair.

Since the gray is the hardest to cover on sensitive skin, use the darkest color to cover the roots. If the hair is primarily silver, maybe it’s time to have a style pro look at it. Sometimes, it’s necessary to prime the hair before color treating it. This will help to soften the process of dying the hair.

Cover the gray at the root of the hair. A good one to use is the foam color. Remember to use the dark brown on the roots and a cherry/burgundy on the ends and hair shaft. Many women love the foam dye because it is simple to apply as well. Foam dye is exceptional for women who have long, thick hair. Using two colors should add dimensions to the hair.


Graying hair is not always a genetic thing. It will likely happen as you get older because melanin stops working. The melanin production process will, at the very least, be slower. So, what’s the alternative to permanent hair color for sensitive scalp?

The semi-permanent hair color, which was once a choice, is no longer an option. Could you find happiness in getting lowlights or highlights? Try it and please avoid getting the dye on the face and scalp as much as possible. It will stain clothes and skin.

Rinse dye all the way out, comb/dry and style as usual.

Last update on 2024-05-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.