Biolage Hair Color: What It Is And How It Compares To Henna

We're Obsessed With Biolage's Plant-Based Hair Color

20 May 2019
biolage hair color packet next to hair

Emily Arata

Senior Editor

20 May 2019

Nothing is quite as intimidating for the salon newbie as hair color, whether you choose dark brown hair or ash blonde. Stylists throw around terms like balayage and ombre with abandon and sometimes you’re left wondering the basics: How much will it cost? Will I look good as a blonde? Will my hair feel like dry styrofoam afterward?

If you’re dipping that first toe into the hair color world, don’t just go for any formula. We tapped George Papanikolas, world-renowned colorist and Biolage partner, for his take on why Biolage hair color is the only choice for health fiends, gray coverage, and hair color newbies.


What is Biolage hair color?

Traditional dyes often feature a mixture of chemicals nobody really talks about—effective, but if you’re someone who likes to know the exact ingredients in every green juice you drink, it may not sell you on trying hair color. Biolage hair color comes in 20 delicious-sounding shades (hello, Hibiscus Blonde, Cashew Beige, and Mulberry Violet) and washes out after 15 shampoos, a deposit-only formula that will leave your hair looking fresh without lifting away your natural pigment. The result? Healthy-looking, shiny hair that basically looks like a shampoo commercial every time you swish it around.

They have no ammonia, they don’t lift, they just deposit. If you’re worried about getting damage, this is a great way to go.

While pale shades will likely require pre-lightening, Biolage hair color shades are totally customizable. Sheer color happens in just 10 minutes, while a more saturated look can happen in 30.


What’s better, henna hair color or Biolage hair color?

If you’re a DIY queen, you may already have tried henna applied directly to your hair for a dose of color. The problem happens when you try to remove it.

“Henna is a nightmare working with traditional hair colors because they have metallic salts in them and it’s very difficult to remove,” the stylist explains. “That’s usually the biggest issue is once it’s on the hair—good luck trying to bleach it off!”

Instead of squeezing a tube of henna directly on your precious mane, opt for a vegan formula that includes 82 to 100 percent plant-based ingredients like henna and cassia.

“Henna usually comes in dark colors or copper—the [Biolage] copper is 100 percent plant-based,” Papanikolas says. “Some of the other colors do have some direct dyes to create the shade, but the base again is either henna or cassia. Cassia is what the clear [shade] is, so that’s the one that’s going to give you the shine and really leave the beautiful feeling in the hair.”


Who should try Biolage hair color?

The obvious first choice for a no-lift, no-commitment color like Biolage’s is someone with virgin hair who couldn’t tell you the last time they spent more than an hour in the salon chair.

“It’s a great introduction to color. Because it only lasts 15 shampoos, you’re not really committed to this if you decide I can’t afford to maintain this, I can’t commit to the time,” Papanikolas says.

Alternatively, Biolage hair color is also a savvy choice for someone who’s seeing gray hairs in the mirror for the first time. Instead of zapping that chic silver into oblivion, the formulas promise 70 percent grey blending.

“Maybe I won’t see you again for six months but that’s OK,” the stylist says. “You can get great fashion colors with a plant-based product so it doesn’t necessarily mean only for those hippie granola types. This can be really anybody who wants beautiful hair color.”

Biolage hair color hits salons this fall, so keep an eye out for this chic color alternative! Henna hair color just got replaced by a smarter, more beautiful choice.

Interested in a new hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.

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