5 Hair Color Kits That Are As Close To “Clean” As It Gets

In terms of DIY beauty treatments, at-home hair color is probably the most daunting. Whereas dusting your split ends is relatively low-risk, changing your hair color in any way — be it dyeing grays or attempting blonde highlights using only lemon juice and the sun — is the work of a chemical reaction, which can sound scary.

Rather, think of your choice of at-home hair dye kind of like your favorite bottle of nail polish: In both cases (your highlights and manicure), the process requires synthetic ingredients to create a stable color compound, but that doesn't mean either are going to be toxic or harmful to your health.

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On the contrary, today, many hair-care brands have eliminated some potentially harmful additives from their color formulas by switching out ammonia and parabens for naturally-occurring alkaline agents, which are gentle on the cuticle of the hair and still maintain the efficacy of the color. If you're searching for a box dye with a pared-down ingredients label and top-rated reviews, you'll find five of the best-in-class options for your quarantine color, ahead.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Naturtint Permanent Hair Color 


If you do your grocery shopping at Thrive Market, you know that the retailer has strict purity standards. In addition to organic tomato sauce and a vast array of nut butters, Thrive also stocks this semi-permanent hair dye that's hypoallergenic, made with plant-based pigments, and, according to rave reviewers, comes without "that nasty chemical smell."
Naturtint Permanent Hair Color - Mahogany Chestnut 4M$17.95 $11.49 Buy

Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit


Not only does Madison Reed carry a color for everyone — with more than 50 shades and personalized color matching online — but the dye is permanent and free of ammonia, parabens, resorcinol, PPD, phthalates, and gluten.
Madison Reed Madison Reed Radiant Hair Color Kit$26.50 Buy

Overtone Coloring Conditioner


One of the indie options, Overtone is all about a modern consumer hair-dye experience. The system provides pigmented color sans damage with dyes that condition the hair using natural oils, formulated though a fully vegan supply chain.
Overtone Overtone Chocolate Brown Coloring Conditioner$29.00 Buy
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Avon CHI Essentials Hair Color


If you're looking for DIY root coverage, this boxed kit by Avon is a safe bet. Reviewers say it smells great, applies evenly, doesn't dry out the hair follicle, and completely covers grays.
Avon Avon CHI Essentials Hair Color$32.00 Buy

Garnier Olia Oil Permanent Hair Color


The newest innovation in boxed color by Garnier is the brand's Olia line, an ammonia-free hair dye derived from plant-based oils. Find your shade (or one shade lighter, as the pros recommend) and consider it an easy $7 add to your next Target order.
Garnier Garnier Olia Oil Permanent Hair Color$7.99 Buy
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