Dr. Bronner’s Soaps & Highlighted Hair

Dr. Bronner’s Soaps & Highlighted Hair

I think of myself as a blonde. In my mind, my hair looks like this:

Lisa Bronner at 6 years old

Here’s a picture from about 10 years ago:

Lisa Bronner and daughter

I’m the one who is not the baby. The one who is not blonde.

Faced with this reality, I needed to change either how I thought of my hair or my hair itself, so I took the easier route. I became a highlighter. Otherwise I would have had to change my driver’s license.

Time out! Let’s step back a bit to what I wrote about my personal conversion from shampoo to soap. It ended with the somewhat devastating disclaimer that soap, due to its alkalinity, is unsuitable for color-treated hair. The higher-than-7 pH of the soap – 8.9 to be exact – causes the hair follicles where color is stored, to open up, allowing the color to escape. There has been keen disappointment in the comments over this disclaimer, and I absolutely hate disappointing people. Now I’m here to offer some hope. Hope in the form of highlights. But how can I get away with highlighting and still wash my hair with Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps?

Think of highlighting as a controlled color-stripping process wherein color is strategically removed to look like naturally occurring highlights. Color is taken out, not added in. There is no stored dye to worry about. Aha! A new day has dawned!

Warning: If you never, ever venture into the world of hair color, you may want to look away from this paragraph. The world of color is no simple sphere, so let me spin your head some more. When hair is professionally highlighted, stylists sometimes add lowlighting back in. This is more subtle streaking of color that creates depth. So, if your hair is lowlighted as well as highlighted, then you’re back in the “color added” category and the soap is not for you.

Breaking this down:

  • Highlights only = Dr. B’s soaps OK
  • Highlights and Lowlights = soaps not OK
  • Color-treated hair = soaps not OK

All of this to say, Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps and Organic Sugar Soaps are safe on highlighted hair. Allow me to say that again: Dr. Bronner’s soaps are safe on highlighted hair! Release the confetti.

If you have never dabbled in the realm of hair color, I probably lost you at the first “blonde.” By the time we hit “lowlighting,” you had crossed the state line. However, if you are a highlighter, or are looking for a way to change your “look” but still want to use an organic, Fair Trade soap for shampooing, Dr. Bronner’s has your answer. As always, follow up a Dr. Bronner’s Castile or Sugar Soap hair wash with the Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Organic Hair Rinse. It balances out the pH which is always necessary to keep our tresses happy. And the Dr. Bronner’s leave-in Organic Hair Crème adds extra moisturizing.

And I am happy to be a blonde again.

Further reading:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Ela says:

I would love to start using the Citrus Organic Hair rinse. So I will wash my highlighted ha with any Castille Soap ( I have all the fragrances) and then dilute 1 cap in a pint of water and rise my hair with this. Do I rinse my hair again with water? Sorry if this is a daft question?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ela- Yes, rinse hair with clean water after using the Organic Citrus Hair Rinse.

Evelyn says:

Firstly, I love your products and ethos!

I colour my hair and would like to switch to a product like Dr. Bonner’s. Will you ever produce a product specifically for dyed hair?


Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Evelyn- Thank you for your kind words! I’m glad you’re in sync with what we do. I wish I could give you a yes, but it is not likely. We are committed to using organic ingredients in our body care products, and the acidic pH needed for color-treated hair is only possible with synthetic ingredients.

Magdalena says:

Good afternoon,
I will be grateful for your reply.
I have been bleaching hair for years now and in addition to it, my hair is also thin and damaged. Will Dr Bronner’s liquid soap and the hair rinse be suitable for me? Can I still use the bleach when I will be using those products?
Thank you in advance for your answer.
Kind regards,

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Magdalena- Hair treatments such as bleaching are very harsh on our hair, as it sounds like you know. I think you may need something a whole lot more nourishing to condition your hair. Washing your hair with the soap will be fine, but you may want to consider a coconut oil hair masque. My colleague recently wrote a how-to on this over on the Dr. Bronner’s blog:

Sarah says:

I was wondering if you could help me out? 🙂
I get my roots dyed to lift it just two levels blonder, not much difference. My question is…would that be considered “highlighting” or in fact “color-treated” I used the soap just once without putting much research into this end of things. Thanks in advance if this reaches you.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sarah- If no color is being added to your hair, those are highlights, in which case our soap is safe to use.

Sandi says:

Make sure if you are just having it lifted a level or 2 that your stylist isn’t using color to do that. Color, especially that know as high lift is both peroxide and color chemical combined. That’s what makes it permanent, it lifts and deposits color into the shade you desire, whether it be red, gold, ash or more neutral. If you are only having it lifted a couple of shades lighter, it is doubtful that just straight bleach without any color or toner is being used. You might think the stylist “just lifted it a couple of shades to just a lighter version of your natural” but ohhh baby, there is so much more that goes into it then that. It is a formula, a science and a good colorist can make the magic of color happen.

Full Highlights says:

We have heard some great things about your products and this is from the heart 🙂 A lot of people are going the natual / organic route now days and trying to go chemical free. We are a professional salon in the Chicago area and we make a LOT of people blonde on a regular basis. We have a few clients that we have referred them to your products because of their sensitivity to the conventional salon products.

Denise Lee says:

I colored my hair for years and grew so tired of the chore and chemicals. Three years ago I decided to go gray. I didn’t want the root line and stripping with chemicals is harsh. I remembered you had said Dr Bronner isn’t to be used on colored hair so that’s what I did. Every day I washed my hair with Dr Bronner and it gradually took the color out while it was growing. It took a couple of months but I never had one of those straight root lines. It always looked natural. Now when people compliment my gray I tell them how Dr Bronner helped. I still use it sometimes because it seems to help stop gray from yellowing. I still haven’t got the hang of using it alone as a shampoo on my super fine limp hair. I shampoo with Dr Bronner then a second wash with an organic shampoo. I think I’ll get the Citrus Hair Rinse and try again. Thank You!!!!!! So many compliments on my natural Dr Bronner gray.❤️

Gabriela Kania says:

I colored my hair with highlights of ash blonde. I was having second thoughts on whether to try the soap or not since it will be my first time to use the product. Yes, I ordered it from a friend but I would like to read more positive testimonials from others regarding the product.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Gabriela- I’m glad to hear you’re considering switching from conventional shampoo to soap. Washing hair with soap instead of shampoo is a very different process. The transition between the two can take several weeks until our hair acclimates to it, and it takes tinkering to sort out what works best with your hair’s “personality.” You will need an acidic rinse, which can be our Organic Hair Rinse or a 50:50 dilution of water and apple cider vinegar. This is to balance the pH. If it helps, know that I’ve been using soap and apple cider vinegar (or our Organic Hair Rinse) for more than 7 years and I think my hair is healthier than it has ever been. I wrote about my experience here: And there’s an excellent article on the Dr. Bronner’s website ( Perhaps other readers will share their experiences here.

mazzy says:

I get my henna from mehandi online. I chose them because they have their henna tested for heavy metals and the owner has a PhD, her dissertation was on henna, and was/is doing research on henna. I have short hair, so I mix one package with 8 oz bottle of lemon juice and any additional liquid is chamomile tea made with distilled water. I have a separate anchor hocking glass bowl with a cover that I use. I let it still over night. I divide this mixture up into 4 freezer bags and freeze it. Every 8 weeks I grab a bag and apply. The folks at mehandi will answer questions, plus they have indepth books on the topic ( I’ve used Dr. Bronners castile soap with no problems, however I don’t wash my hair everyday and I’ve never used it right after henna (wait at week). I was concerned about the coconut oil in the castile soap because when I had asked one time if there was anything I shouldn’t use, coconut oil came up. Chapter 6 (see link above) says, “… oil will hinder dye uptake… do it the week before or after”. This chapter also talks about pH levels.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mezzy- Since I don’t have any personal experience with hennaed hair, I appreciate you sharing yours. From what I hear, our Castile soap works fine with henna. I believe this is because henna stains the hair rather than going into the hair shaft, which is then opened up by the alkalinity of the soap, allowing the color to drain out. And speaking from the soap side of things (and certainly not the hair coloring side!), the coconut oil is chemically changed during the saponification process to just leave us with a soap containing lovely beneficial fatty acids.

Gwen Smith says:

Is the hair rinse safe for color treated hair? I bought the rinse to use with the Castile soap before I read that the soap is not safe for coke treated hair. Thx

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Gwen – Yes, the Hair Rinse (and the Hair Cremes as well) is fine for colored hair. It is the soaps that are not good for colored hair. These have an alkaline pH that cause the hair follicles, where the dye is stored, to open and leach out. If you’re looking for an alternative shampoo, check out the Skin Deep database to find a safe option,

Eva says:

I’m still trying to figure out how to use Dr Bronners regular soap, either the liquid or the bar, plain castile baby bar soap or liquid, and not have to buy an additional rinse. I’m wasting my baby’s entire nap time scouring this site for an answer. Can I make a homemade rinse? What, Apple Cider Vinegar? Please help, I have no time to keep reading here, I need to relax.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Eva – I absolutely agree that this is not what you need to be doing during your baby’s nap time. It took me three babies to figure out that I needed to rest then, too. As far as which soap to use, I like the Castile liquid best – liquid because it’s faster than bar, and Castile because I like the scents, but some find it too drying. In which case go for the Organic Sugar Soap. For a rinse, dilute Apple Cider Vinegar in half with water. After you wash and rinse out the soap, squirt the ACV on your hair, work it through, and rinse it out. If you’re talking about your baby, you only need to use a couple drops of the liquid (unscented or lavender) on a washcloth for their hair. Babies don’t need the rinse.

Let me know if I can answer any other questions!

Cathleen says:

I know I’m pretty late to the game with this comment here, but I just saw this post, so maybe others are still reading, too. I’m a licensed hairstylist with 10+ years experience. This post is really accurate, but a few things could be added.

First, many highlight processes include the use of a deposit hair color (called a toner) after lightening, to correct unwanted warm (yellow, orange, brassy) tones that often become visible when lightening (especially dark hair). Without getting too technical, if you have dark hair and nice, caramel highlights, chances are your stylist put a bit of something with a blue undertone on it to cancel out the orange that appeared when your dark hair was bleached. Blue + orange = neutral. And yellow + purple = neutral. So if your hair has been toned, you need to treat your hair kindly to preserve that color.

Hair, skin, and nails have a PH of 4.5-5.5. Anything higher than that opens the cuticle (the fish-scale-like outer layer of the hair) and allows moisture, hair color, etc to escape. So while Dr. Bronners has a higher PH, the sad truth is that many shampoos, even those expensive, salon-brand ones do, also. If you really want to get technical, you could test the PH of your shampoo with litmus paper to know for sure. And there are some brands that make great natural, color-safe options. I LOVE John Masters Organics. You could also just go ahead and use your Dr. Bronners, and give it a vinegar rinse afterwards to close that cuticle right back up.

But I think the best rule of thumb is to generally be kind to your hair: use natural products whenever you can, shampoo less often in general, minimize the use of heat styling tools. Your general hair habits make more of a difference than any one particular product ever could.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cathleen – Thank you for weighing in here! It is great to hear from an expert in the field with more knowledge behind the scenes. Great suggestions!

Eve says:

I’m so happy to hear this as I’m about to get some highlights to disguise my greys but I also didn’t want to give up Dr Bronners as I have fallen in love with it – I only ever need to wash once as it actually cleans my hair (unlike other even organic shampoos which take two washes for hair to feel somewhat clean), this saving me money, plus the greatest benefit is it doesn’t weigh my hair down and my lovely bouncy curls have come back! I didn’t realise how much ordinary shampoos weighed down my natural wavy hair…now I just have to get used to vinegar washes which is difficult because I hate the smell, but the Castille soap used with normal conditioner just leaves my hair too dry, matted and dread-like!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Eve – Great! I’m glad this has helped. I too found that my hair was much lighter weight, and even had some wave to it, once I stopped weighing it down with shampoos and conditioners that intentionally left a coating behind. Other options for rinsing, if you don’t like the apple cider vinegar, are lemon juice or the Dr. Bronner’s Hair Rinse.

Nita says:

Hi, I’d like to try Dr Bronner’s shampoos. I use Henna and Indigo to naturally colour my hair. I’m an Indian and suffer premature greying.
Please advise which product I cold use.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Nita – I do not know for sure what impact our soaps will have on henna or indigo.

Can any other readers address this question??

Moisturizing DIY PH Balanced Shampoo • says:

[…] is 10-11, while the scalps natural ph is closer to 5.5. And if your hair is colored or treated, the castile soap can strip the color according to Lisa […]

Molly says:

Hi Lisa,

Thank you so much for all your helpful advice and for responding so promptly and helpfully to questions! Your customer service has made me even more of a Dr. Bronner’s convert. I have a quick question, and I apologize if you’ve answered it elsewhere before. I use only Dr. Bronner’s products for my body and home, and I recently found out about the citrus hair rinse. I would love to use it to replace my conditioner, but I don’t think I’m using it correctly. Can you pre-dilute it (one capful to one cup water) and leave it in a pump bottle in the shower? And, if so, how should I apply it? I have read so many different answers on others’ blogs! I usually work conditioner in away from the water, leave it in for a few minutes and then rinse it out. I will do whatever you tell me, though! Thanks!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Molly – Oh dear! After your kind words on my responding quickly, here I drop the ball! I very much apologize. The amount of rinse needed depends on hair type, thickness, length, etc. But let’s take shoulder length, average thickness hair – you’d need one full capful diluted in a cup of water each time you rinse. Or, you can just get your hair sopping wet after you’ve rinsed the soap out and work a capful directly into it. You’ve got the right idea in letting it sit on the hair for a few minutes. If your hair is super thick, you might need two capfuls. Once you rinse this out, your hair still won’t have that slippery feel that comes with using silicone conditioners. Nonetheless, your hair should still brush out easily and be soft and silky when dry. Give it a couple weeks to transition.

Mandy says:

Ok so you said coloured hair, I’ve got bleached blonde hair, Dr Bronner’s ok or not ok? Coloured means turned darker correct?
Where it gets tricky is I have light purple highlights and a toner to make my hair more platinum, I’m not sure how it would react with that… Seems like a pricey experiment haha!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Mandy – Wow! Your hair sounds awesome! You’re right that if color is taken out – through highlighting or bleaching – the soap will not affect that. However, your purple highlights may be affected. You might want to try a shampoo specifically for colored hair – one with a lower pH – just to be safe.

Sharon says:

I believe that most “highlights” are actually color placed on the hair in strips, not just color removed? What if this is the case?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sharon – It definitely depends on what you’ve had done to your hair. In my case, I’ve just had color removed. However, if lowlights have been added back in, then our soaps are not recommended for that.

Joanne says:

Is Dr Bronner’s Lavender liquid soap safe to use on hair after a Keratin Treatment?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Joanne – I’m sorry, I really don’t know. I’m not familiar with how a keratin treatment works.

Can any other readers help with this question?

sandy says:

Hi Lisa,
I just bought the citrus orange castile soap..i did a keratin treatment on my hair and i was wondering if it is safe to use the castile soap on my hair?is it going to strip off the keratin treatment from my hair?

Thank you

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Sandy – I really don’t know much about keratin treatments. I understand they’re for straightening hair and that you need to use a sulfate-free shampoo, which our castile soap is, but I don’t know how they work and if there’s a residue on the hair strands that needs to stay put. I’m sorry not to be of more help.

Perhaps another reader can weigh in here?

Heather says:

I’m a hair stylist, and I can assure you that salt is the enemy of Keratin treatments. While it wouldn’t strip your treatment out entirely in one wash, it certainly would make it lose its effectiveness sooner.
The best advice I can give you is to use only the shampoo/conditioner and styling products that are formulated for the brand of treatment you got. (Your stylist should be able to help you find the right products. In my salon we do not gaurantee the treatment at all unless the client uses the product line. I usually just include the products in the treatment price to make it easier for clients.)

Krissy says:

Hi Lisa!

I’m somewhat confused about the affects of the soap. I am a natural brunette, and have only dyed (too-toned) the underneath half of my hair black about 5 year ago. I recently purchased the 4-in-1 Sugar Tea Tree Organic Pump Soap to use on my body and hair. Is this soap okay to use in my hair?

Looking forward to hearing back!

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Krissy – The Organic Pump soap’s pH is slightly lower than the castile soap’s, and in general, I advise people not to use it on colored hair, although you’ll see some customer testimonials in these comments about the soap’s working fine with their colored hair. In your case, if your dye has been able to stay in your hair for 5 years, I think it’s pretty steadfast and the soap will not affect your color. I also learned from another customer that black dye in particular is very steadfast and tends to stay put.

Priscilla says:

I color my hair with Ion Color Brilliance’s Permanent Cream Color in Jet Black & I use the Unscented Baby Mild Castile Soap to wash my hair daily. My color stays vibrant, dark & never washes out. May not work for lighter hair types but since black is so hard to get out the hair in general it may be why this fantastic soap doesn’t destroy my color.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Priscilla – That’s great to hear! Thank you for sharing it here!

Cherry says:

I use vegetable dyes like the previously mentioned ‘Manic Panic’, Stargazer, Directions, Adore, etc. Also known as fashion dyes, unnatural colour dyes, temporary dyes, and a few other names, I think. There is absolutely no chemical process in these dyes, so would they react to the soap more like henna than regular box semi-perm dyes? Possibly why they weren’t affected in the previous posters comments? I recently bought some Rose liquid Castile soap, and was double checking the fact sheet before I used it on my hair today, when I got sucked into the blog, glad I saw this! I’m still going to use it, of course, and will record the results 🙂

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Cherry – Definitely let us know! I’m very curious.

Cherry says:

So I FINALLY got around to washing my hair today… I had a few setbacks concerning my homemade rinse, and I don’t think it turned out too well. Never mind, I’ve ordered the official Dr.B’s citrus rinse now! So, as for my multi-hued purple hair, I can report that the Rose castile didn’t suck out any more dye than an ordinary evil-sulphate-laden shampoo would… Except for the roots… My roots are COMPLETELY naked! HAHA! I can probably safely put that down to the rigorous (over-kill, tbh. I need to quit that!) scalp massage that I tend to give myself, as I often suffer from dry scalp problems and so want to exfoliate as much as possible. Needless to say, my roots are the first to fade normally anyway, just not usually all at once! Oh well, lesson learned!

Ashley says:

Will Dr. Bronner’s be ok to use on blond balayage hair? I’m unsure if it’s lowlights or highlights.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Ashley – I really don’t know. Balayage is a gorgeous look. You might want to ask your stylist if any color is added back in.

Ashley says:

Ok, thanks for replying! I will ask them next time I’m there!

Katie says:

Ashley – did you find out whether balayage is lowlights or highlights? I have the same question and can’t seem to find the answer on the internet!

I have been using Dr Bronners for two weeks, which has been great so far but want to check this! Thanks.

Lynn says:

I love Dr. Bronners liquid soaps!
I accidentally ran across a bottle of each of these ~ sandalwood & jasmine ~ green tea ~ and lastly cherry blossom (favorite) and was sad to see they were only available in Austraila. *sad face* Any chance they will come to the U.S. Any new fragrances on the horizon?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Lynn – We test market new fragrances on our smaller international market before launching full scale in the States. Based on the success of the Cherry Blossom, we are testing it States-side in Whole Foods this month to see how it goes.

Cherry says:

Oh wow, I really REALLY hope we get them in England, too!!! <3

D says:

I found the cherry blossom one in TJmaxx. You could check Marshall’s as well if you have those stores near you.

Jan says:

I use a semi permanent colour in my hair and I’m wondering if I added some lemon juice or citric acid ( low PH ) to Dr Bronner’s diluted baby mild shampoo ( high PH ) …… could this work?

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi Jan – Lowering the pH of the soap with an acid, such as citric acid or lemon juice, will cause a reaction that will “un-saponify” the soap, which is my term for undoing the soap formula. I wrote about it here: Unfortunately, soap is not a great option for traditional hair color. I have heard, but haven’t tried myself, that henna dyes are not affected by the soap. Otherwise, a detergent shampoo will preserve your color. You can search for less hazardous ones on the Environmental Group’s Skin Deep database, Just type in “shampoo” or a specific brand to get info.

Dawn Snow says:

Seems I’m late to the hair color party. Just my two cents: I have a bit of BLUE streaks running throughout my hair. Think of frosting, but with blue. Dr. Bronners kept it BLUE for the entire bottle. Dam if I didn’t run out. within 3 “normal” shampoos – my beautiful blue streaks were a light blue – almost green. Time to reorder and head BACK to the salon.

Lisa Bronner says:

Great to know, Dawn! I’d love to see a picture of your latest color. Can you post one here?

{Recipe} Homemade Healthy Scalp Shampoo says:

[…] soap is safe for color-treated hair, but I tend to err on the side of caution and agree with this post from Lisa […]

Homemade Herbal Shampoo says:

[…] possibly henna colored hair. I don’t know anything else about those two options – but THIS POST will give you further reading to […]

Leila says:

Hi Lisa,
I just started using the Dr. Bronner’s unscented hemp baby soap in the 32 oz. bottle. (I’m 65). I use it on my face, hands and as a shower gel. It’s delightful! Would it be good for gray hair? I normally use one of those purple shampoos to eliminate yellow tones so my hair stays silver/gray. Do you think Dr. Bronner’s unscented hemp baby soap would keep my gray hair looking good?

Denise says:

I’ve been using Dr Bronner’s once every week or two for a while. It stops my gray from yellowing. It’s always a perfect gray. I get a lot of compliments about the color. I use another shampoo on the other days since I never got the hang of the rinse. I’m going to give it another full time try this week.
Yes. Dr Bronner’s keeps your gray looking good.

Jen says:

I just wanted to share my method of use for the citrus conditioning rinse. I have long hair and really mostly need the conditioning on the ends, so after washing with (I love the lemongrass lime) shikaki soap I put about a half capful in a solo cup and fill it with water. Then I squeeze any excess moisture out of my hair and sunk the ends in the cup and let it sit for a few seconds. Then I squeeze it out and dunk it again. Then I knot it at my neck and soap up my body (with that same yummy soap) and rinse it with my bod.
I also no longer have acne on the nape of my neck or at my temples since the switch to Bronners. So that added with super soft, full, healthy hair I am a happy lady! I <3 all things Dr. Bronner

Stephanie says:

I could not find the citrus conditioning hair rinse, so I bought a different organic conditioner. Will it have the same effect? Or do I need the citrus conditioning hair rinse?

Barbara says:

I just started using dr bronner’s soaps in lavender. The big concern with hair color are stripping agents since Dr Bronner’s doesn’t have any sulfates added to it I don’t think it would harm processed hair. The oils are actually very healthy. Washing and rinsing hair with cool water keeps the cuticle sealed and the color in.

Ellen W. says:

I am seriously adding this now just in case it helps someone-

Dali- do you live outside the US or use well water? I just learned that the ph of water from wells is sometimes different enough from urban treated water that there can be an uncomfortable reaction between the products and you can feel it on your skin. I noticed this when I would shower off pool water when I lived in the Bay Area of California and it would literally fizz on my skin when the two waters would mix. (Gross, yes? So gross.) Anyway I know this because when my sister moved to Germany when the Air Force transferred her husband the other people living there mentioned that she needed to switch to German-made products.

jackson says:

It’s not easy to pick out a color I like. Still learning to color my hair.

tom says:

I’m tired of paying top dollar for hair color at the salon. I’m learning to color my hair at home.

davis says:

Very interesting post. And I think it’s very important to choose the right color for different skin tones.

Lisa Bronner says:

Hi MC1R – I hate disappointing people! However, an excellent resource is the Cosmetics Safety Database run by the Environmental Working Group, an independent research organization. If you search for “shampoo”, or “color shampoo”, you should be able to find non-hazardous recommendations. You’re looking for something with an acidic pH, which will be a detergent, but can still be mild and non-toxic.

Hi Dana – Check out that EWG database as well.

Thanks, Nicole! I’ll check your site out!

Hi Lara – My understanding is that henna is a different sort of stain that is not stored in the same way in the follicle as conventional hair color. I’ve been told that our soaps are safe on henna and will not pull it out. One of these days I intend to try it for myself. If you give it a go, let me know what you discover.

All the best,

ella says:

Thanks for posting. I have had my hair colored for over ten years and I like to look for some good hair colors on this page.

Lora says:

I know that Dr. Bronner’s soaps (and hair rinse) don’t work on chemically colored hair, but do they work on hair colored with Henna?

Shannon Smith Brennand says:

HENNA is the BEST! I was a natural redhead, but it faded to BLAH in my mid thirties, and I started chemical dyes. I lost my hair after chemo at 55, and was afraid to go back to antiperspirant and chemical dyes. Someone recommended a henna company, and I can’t believe something so safe works SO well! It looks so natural and lasts until it grows out.

We are getting to the bottom of our store bought shampoo and wanted to try making more with Bronner’s. I will research with my henna company and check back with you, if I get an answer.

Lisa Bronner says:

Great, Shannon! I look forward to your feedback!

Jacqui says:

I just colored my hair for the first time with henna and I just bought dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, and I’m about to make my own shampoo and I’ll let you know how it works….

Dana says:

Following…salon colored, no highlights and I’ve been using SOME DR. Bronner’s in my Burt’s Bees shampoo because it seemed like it wasn’t cleaning my hair!

MC1R says:

So very disappointed to learn that Dr. Bronner’s soaps will not work with color-treated hair. Don’t you have anything that will work? I extremely desire a chemical-free, safe, non-toxic cleansing agent for my hair. But I do color because otherwist I am the gray-haired old witch on the block! Got anything? Even a referral for a mostly non-toxic cleaner? I am so disappointed. I love Dr. Bronner’s in my bath. I love the clean rinse with no soap scum. Oh!…so disappointed.

Ree says:

I color my hair and I wash it in Almond Dr. Bronners and it does just fine. The Almond adds just enough moisture to keep my hair from drying out. Works for me!

Lisa Bronner says:

Great stories, everyone! Thanks for sharing!

Brea – I know it’s kinda odd looking, but that’s what the hair rinse can look like, especially when it gets cold. The coconut oil in it solidifies at 67 degrees on its own. Mixed with everything else, it just gets really thick. The color is from the Shikakai extract.

All the best,

Carol says:

Born a towhead, I tried to let my hair darken naturally with age. The result however was horrid as I am very fair and look terrible with dark hair. I even tried red, it no avail. So, this “natural” blonde is a towhead once more!

Thanks SO much for the clarification on highlighting! Now that I have the full story will ask my hairdresser just exactly what she uses so I can compare her notes with yours. I love Dr. Bronners.

Brea says:

I just used the hair rinse for the first time. I love how it worked on my hair, but it was thick and gloppy and extremely hard to get out of the bottle. Is this normal or did I get a bad bottle?

Michele says:

I color my hair pink (using Manic Panic – “tested on celebrities, not animals!”) and use Dr B’s Castille Soap (both liquid and solid) as my shampoo. It lasts just as long with Dr. B’s as it did when I used “name brand commercial” shampoo.

Seriously, my hair stays pink for 2 months.

… and I love the Conditioning Hair Crème, I just wish it came in other scents.

CB says:

Great to know! I’m a Manic Panic pink girl too (cotton candy pink for the record)! I hope I have the same luck keeping the colour when I switch to Bronner’s!

Patti says:

When we moved into our new old home ( before plumbing redo) my hair turned orange from the rust in the water. I used Dr. B’s castile soap in peppermint and all gone pumpkin head. I imagine it would work great with green hair from chlorine. I didn’t have the conditioner but used Bragg’s apple cider vinegar and it worked great.

Dali says:

Dear Lisa,

I don’t highlight my hair, but I would like to share that it has been two years since I started using Bronner’s castile soap, the rinse and sometimes a bit of the creme on my naturally curly hair. I have never been happier. My curls look beautiful–defined but not weighed down or slick. And I no longer have dermatitis on the nape of my neck. Gone. Totally. After fifteen years of itching and prescription steroid creams. What a relief! I think something in conventional shampoos and conditioners doesn’t agree with my skin. I wonder how many people have similar “disagreements” with product and think it’s a skin condition.

Ree says:

I did. When I stopped using commercial shampoos and soaps and laundry detergent all my skin issues went away. The more natural products may cost a little more at the outlay, but I find them just as economical in the long run.

About Lisa Bronner

My grandfather was Dr. Bronner, my family makes soap, and I share ways to use it plus tips on greener living.

Learn about my book, Soap & Soul!

Learn More