7 Of The Best Ammonia Free Hair Colour & Dyes

Hair colouring can be both vibrant & ammonia free

7 Of The Best Ammonia Free Hair Colour & Dyes

If you’re looking to avoid ammonia in your hair dye, don’t let it stop you from achieving your desired hair colour & look. There are plenty of quality ammonia-free hair dyes out there that can give you salon-level results without the harsh chemicals.

From permanent & semi-permanent dyes to vibrant fashion shades, we’ve rounded up some of our favourites so you can find the perfect solutions for your style and colour needs.

Keep reading to learn more about ammonia in hair dyes and how you can help keep your hair vibrant and healthy.

What is ammonia and why is it in hair colour?

Ammonia is the alkaline chemical in hair dyes that is used to lighten your hair’s natural pigment where it works through raising the pH level of the hair to deposit colour onto the cortex. It is the chemical that gives off a pungent smell that sometimes stings your scalp while getting your hair dyed. Though effective in lightening and depositing colour onto your hair, it comes with side effects, harmful ones too, such as skin and scalp irritation, cuticle damage that makes your hair dry and frizzy.

What are the benefits of ammonia free hair dye?

With the harmful side effects in mind, resorting to using an ammonia-free hair dye is a great choice to colour your hair without damaging and putting harmful ingredients onto your hair. Here are three benefits of using an ammonia-free hair dye:

  1. Gentler and Easier on the Hair
    Due to the absence of ammonia, ammonia-free hair dyes can be less irritating, have milder odour, and gentler on the scalp and hair. Ammonia free hair dye lessens the damage on hair cuticles which can makeyour hair dry and brittle over time.
  2. Healthier and Shinier Hair
    Ammonia-free hair dyes typically consist of more natural ingredients and oils, which can help nourish your hair, giving it a healthier and shinier look, while still giving you the desired colour you want.
  3. Wide Range of Colours
    Though the shades would depend on the hair dye brand you choose, ammonia-free hair dyes come in a wide range of colours these days. From natural to vibrant, bright shades, you can take your pick without risking the health of your hair.

What to Look for When Buying Ammonia-Free Hair Dye

Before you buy your ammonia-free hair dye, there are some things to consider that will help you narrow down your pick.


Firstly, to determine if a hair dye product contains ammonia, you can check the ingredients list on the product packaging or on the manufacturer’s website. Look for the term “ammonia” or “ammonium hydroxide” in the ingredients list. If either of these ingredients is listed, then the hair dye contains ammonia.

Once you have found a product that’s ammonia-free, some dyes might still contain harmful chemicals, such as PPD, resorcinol, peroxide, or parabens. Consider buying hair dyes that do not have those harsh chemicals and instead consist of nourishing and strengthening ingredients within it, such as argan oil, keratin, shea butter, avocado or sunflower oil.

Shade Range

Range of shades will differ between brands. Some would provide a modest range of natural-looking shades, from blonde, brown, to red; and some would provide a vast range of vibrant shades. Make sure that you choose the shade that suits your skin tone and hair type, or even browse some before-after results to see the colour outcome you desire!

Application Process

Before you buy hair dye, it’s important to carefully read the application process, as some might have a more complex process that require professional assistance. So it would be best to take your pick depending on if you’re intending to DIY your hair or getting a professional colourist to help you with the application.

Best Ammonia-free Hair Dyes in Australia

From the best DIY’s at home to professional ammonia-free hair dyes, here are our best picks of ammonia-free hair dyes in Australia!

Best DIY-at-home Ammonia Free Box Hair Dye

Olia Range


With a 60% oil blend formula with natural flower oils, Garnier’s Olia range is a no-ammonia hair dye that helps cover 100% of grey hair while keeping your hair hydrated, silky, and shiny for up to 4 weeks. Easy to search for in supermarkets and chemist stores across Australia, Garnier Olia is a great pick for dying your hair at home!

Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour

L’Oreal Paris

Bringing a glossy natural looking result, L’oreal Paris’ Casting Creme Gloss is another pick for a no-ammonia hair dye suitable for dying your hair at home. With a creme formula, the hair dye covers the appearance of grey hairs and keeps the hair nourished and shiny up to 28 shampoos which makes it one of the best DIY ammonia free box dyes.

Best Professional Salon Ammonia Free Hair Dye

Prismatic Permanent Color


Produced with Chromatics’ revolutionary Oil Delivery System and Protein Extract Technology, this permanent ammonia-free hair dye from Redken delivers a multi-dimensional, vibrant look to your hair while also fortifying your hair strands. With a wide shade range, you can find your desired colour with ease.


L’oreal Professionnel

Gentle on the hair and scalp, L’oreal Professionnel’s’ INOA is an oil-based ammonia-free hair dye with an extensive shade range—amounting to 116 available shades. Composed with 60% oil, it will give intense hydration to your hair while also depositing your desired colour to your hair.

ColorInsider Hair Colour

Matrix Professionals

This demi-permanent ammonia-free hair dye from Matrix provides 100% grey hair coverage and up to 3 levels of lift. Its advanced formula delivers a polished and high definition colour result, but using this hair dye may require assistance from a professional.

Best Ammonia Free Hair Dye For Vibrant Colour

Manic Panic Amplified Dye

Manic Panic

With a wide range of vibrant colours, Manic Panic Amplified Dye range offers a semi-permanent ammonia-free hair dye that can provide you with the brightest, intense hair colours you desire. The Amplified version has a longer-lasting formula that will keep your hair coloured for longer.

Unicorn Hair

Lime Crime

Lime Crime’s Unicorn Hair makes it easy for you to colour your hair at home. Also offering a wide range of vibrant colours, this semi-permanent hair dye also leaves your hair soft and conditioned making it one of the best vibrant colour ammonia free hair dyes. Moreover, it leaves a scent of sugary citrus vanilla on your hair!

Frequently Asked Questions about Ammonia Free Hair Dyes

Are ammonia-free hair dyes better for your hair or scalp?

Ammonia is generally considered to be better for your hair and scalp. It raises the pH level of your hair which contributes to your hair becoming dry and brittle. Using ammonia-free hair dye will remove one of the harsh chemicals that can damage your hair while still giving you your desired hair colour. Moreover, due to the natural oils and ingredients that are mostly used in ammonia-free hair dyes, they can help to nourish your hair, keeping it healthy and shiny!

Is ammonia-free hair dye damaging to hair?

No, it doesn’t damage your hair. Due to its absence of ammonia, it will be less irritating and damaging. However, you also have to be wary of other chemicals that might be included in the hair dye, such as PPD, parabens, peroxide, that can damage your hair. Thus, always on the lookout for the ingredients list of your hair dye before you take your pick!

Is ammonia-free hair dye safe during pregnancy?

Ammonia-free hair dye is safer to use during pregnancy than hair dyes with ammonia, but be aware of harmful chemicals such as PPD, parabens, resorcinol, or peroxide. However, it is best to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider to discuss potential risks before you dye your hair.

How long does ammonia-free hair colour last?

The long-lasting element will depend on the brand of your hair dye and how well you maintain your hair colour. Some ammonia-free hair dyes are permanent, demi-, or semi-permanent, so it would depend on which kind of dye you choose. Other than that, washing your hair too frequently, exposure to sunlight, frequent use of heat tools, chlorine, and saltwater can fade the colour on your hair faster.

To recap, ammonia is a common component of many hair colour and lightening products. However, it can cause some scalp irritation as well as strip hair of its natural oils. Therefore, trying an ammonia-free alternative might be beneficial for you if you have sensitive scalp or if you simply want to keep your hair healthier while still achieving your desired hair colour.
Ammonia-free dyes contain milder ingredients that work just as effectively but have minimal risk of causing irritation.

Finally, when shopping for the perfect ammonia-free dye, remember to look out for key ingredients such as oleic acid or olive oil which are nourishing to the scalp and provide long lasting colour results!

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