oVertone is a cosmetics brand that sells hair coloring treatments they claim are healthier than regular hair dye. The brand describes their products as "Healthy Color for Healthy Hair," and sells everything from coloring conditioners to coloring maintenance products to shampoo.
But are the ingredients in oVertone actually healthier, or are these just marketing claims? Does the brand use any ingredients shown in medical studies to be harmful to human health? Is regular hair dye even unsafe? And how do real users rate and describe the effects of oVertone products?
In this article we’ll answer all of these questions and more as we review medical studies on whether regular hair dye is actually bad for your health (which is what oVertone's value proposition focuses on).
We'll then analyze the ingredients in oVertone's hair dye to give our take on whether it's actually healthier or if it's a waste of money.
We'll feature real, unsponsored oVertone user reviews as well as a cost comparison documenting which retailer sells oVertone for the best price.
Is Regular Hair Dye Dangerous?
oVertone’s value proposition rests on the assumption that standard hair dye is unsafe. There have been medical studies investigating this.
A medical review published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology examined results from 63 clinical trials to determine if hair dye use increased the risk of cancer.
The study authors found that hair coloring agents are proven to be “potent” carcinogens (cancer-causing compounds) in animal testing, but the results in humans aren’t fully clear.
A 2020 medical review analyzed the association between hair dye and cancer risk in over 100,000 U.S. nurses over the course of 36 years.
While the risk of most cancers was not increased by hair dye use, the risk of some cancers including breast cancer and ovarian cancer was. The researchers stated the results “warrant further investigation” due to the potentially increased overall cancer risk.
A 2006 meta-study noted an association between hair dye use and bladder cancer, as well as leukemia.
Based on the available research, we consider commercial hair dye to be unsafe and potentially harmful to human health. Although it’s not yet conclusively proven to be carcinogenic, it seems logical for health-conscious consumers to avoid hair dye due to its links with cancer.
But is oVertone really a healthier option? We'll investigate in the next section.
Is oVertone Actually Healthier?
The ingredients in oVertone Pastel Pink Coloring Conditioner are shown above.
oVertone proudly claims throughout their site and in a blog article that their product is “not a dye.” They claim that unlike traditional hair dye, their “coloring conditioners” don’t contain the harsh chemicals that dyes do.
We find these claims made by oVertone to be highly questionable and unfair to consumers, because many of the ingredients in oVertone’s products are synthetic hair dye chemicals.
A medical study published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal examined the toxic effects of two hair dyes: Basic Brown 17 and Basic Red 51. The researchers explicitly refer to these compounds as “hair dyes,” and found that both compounds were cytotoxic (toxic to living cells) and genotoxic (toxic to DNA).
While it’s true that oVertone products don’t contain ammonia, which can be included in traditional hair dye, they do contain many chemical compounds we would describe as harsh and potentially harmful to humans.
oVertone’s Extreme Green Complete System contains a dye called Basic Green 4, which is banned in cosmetics in the E.U. due to reproductive toxicity and the fact that this ingredient is “suspected of damaging the unborn child.”
There isn't even a warning for pregnant women on the product page on oVertone's website at the time of updating this article.
Another medical review on artificial dyes used in cosmetics assessed the safety and toxicity of various violet dyes. The study authors concluded that due to the carcinogenic potential of these dyes, “insufficient data exist to support the safety of Basic Violet 1, 3 and 4 in cosmetic formulation.” Many oVertone products contain Basic Violet 1.
Overall, we do not consider oVertone to be a healthier alternative to traditional hair dye products. The brand provides no proof of such, and uses many synthetic dyes that have potentially harmful health effects based on medical research.
We urge oVertone to remove claims that their products are "not a dye" when their products use many synthetic dye ingredients, because we consider this to be misleading to consumers.
Real, Unsponsored oVertone User Reviews
A YouTube video from the "Insider Beauty" channel tested the effects of oVertone's dye and included before-and-after images:
A YouTube creator named Joyce Lin used oVertone's purple color conditioner and shares her thoughts on whether it worked and whether or not she'd buy the product again:
Where to Buy oVertone for the Best Price
oVertone products are sold at a variety of online retailers. Here's a price breakdown for two of their most popular products at the time of publishing this article:
Extreme Purple Coloring Conditioner
Brand website: $32 (plus shipping)
Amazon: $32 (free shipping, link to official Amazon listing)
Haircare Daily Conditioner
Brand website: $18 (plus shipping)
Amazon: $18 (free shipping depending on plan, link to official Amazon listing)
When factoring in shipping costs, Amazon is currently 5-10% cheaper than ordering from the brand's website for single orders.
Is Henna a Safer Hair Dye?
A dermatologist and YouTube beauty influencer called "Dr Dray" has a video suggesting that henna is a natural alternative that's healthier than traditional hair dye products:
Real Customers Review oVertone
Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.
oVertone's Color Depositing Conditioner is the brand's most-reviewed product on Amazon, with over 5,700 reviews and an average review rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.
The top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Lindsay F." who claims the product was effective and convenient:
"Overall: I love this product and will keep buying it until I get sick of it. I personally think it's perfect for naturally dark brunettes who want to play with purple without a huge commitment AND who have realistic expectations for a purple tint that's noticeable in the light rather than a 180 degree change to their hair color."
The top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "lilcasserole" who claims the product dyed her hair the wrong color and stained household items:
"Tldr: espresso brown dyed my hair, skin, tub, and towels dark purple, almost black. Ruined my hair that i simply wanted a little darker brown. Smells horrible & did not condition at all, made my hair feel like straw. Still washing it out days later & still staining everything. DO NOT BUY. Literally don't know what to do now i'm stick with black purple hair and freaking out."
oVertone has an average customer review rating of 1.05 out of 5 stars on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Some BBB reviewers, like "Ashley M," claim that the brand causes hair loss:
"This product is the only thing I did differently to my hair. It's falling out in large amounts. I'm scared to even touch it let alone wash it. This is the only place I've found reviews of people experiencing hair loss. Shame on you Overtone. You're c*** product should never be sold. I'm devastated."
Pros and Cons of oVertone
Here are the pros and cons of oVertone as a brand in our opinion:
- Contains artificial dyes
- No proof it's healthier than regular hair dye products
- Brand makes questionable health and marketing claims
- Relatively expensive
- Brand charges for shipping
- Some customers claim it causes hair loss
- Unclear brand value proposition
- Bad BBB customer review rating