Free shipping on all domestic orders over $39

Natural hair dye with Surya Henna Brasil Cream

Surya Henna Brasil Cream 2.31 oz
October 1, 2012 Reviewed by TIA Community Member 43 Comments

by Leslie

I have been dying my hair since I was in my late 20's (I'm now 56). I am also a breast cancer survivor, 16 years out now, and so am particularly sensitive about toxins to the body. I've asked various doctors several times over the years about the links between chemical hair dyes and cancer and they have all said there is no relationship. So out of habit and convenience, and because Henna is such a royal pain in the ass, I have stuck to my tried and true Preference by L'Oreal.

But as I've aged, so has my hair and I have increasingly wanted to be kinder and gentler to it, and to my body. Since there was a report in the news several months ago about new (still inconclusive) studies linking chemical hair dyes to cancer, I have decided to ditch the L'Oreal and try some natural products. Surya Henna Brasil Cream caught my eye and I bought a bottle for $12.99 at Ricky's.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest product reviews and save 10% on all orders over $50


It says on the box that it is made with organic extracts, is hypoallergenic and dermatologically tested. It also states that it "Does not contain ammonia, PPD, peroxide, parabens, resorcinol, heavy metals or GMOs." You apply it to still wet and washed hair, so it goes on brilliantly easy. And contrary to my expectations, it has superb coverage - especially the grey temples that seem to always allude the regular dyes. I was also expecting it to rub off on my pillow the first couple of nights, but happily that didn't happen.

I don't know how long it will last, but even if I have to apply it more often than I normally do, I think this is definitely preferable. It has a lovely gentle smell and the color ("Chocolate") came out a beautiful deep reddish brown, with none of the usual burgundy overtones that many of the auburn dye colors have, and which I don't like.

Ingredients in Surya Henna Brasil Cream: Deionized Water, Dipropylene Glycol Methyl Ether, Genipa Americana Extract, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Essential Oils (Rose Flower, Canaga Odorata, Jasminum Officinale and Santalum Album), Achillea Millefolium Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Arnica Montana Extract, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Extract, Chamomilia Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Corylus Rosatrata (Hazel) Seed Extract, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Lawsonia Inermis (Henna) Leaf Extract, Malphigia Punicifolia Fruit Extract, Malva Sylvestris Extract, Paullinia Cupana (Guarana) Fruit Extract, Phyllanthus Emblica (Amla) Fruit Extract, Ziziphus Joaseiro (Jua) Extract, Aminomethyl Propanol, Sodium Citrate, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, HR Red 3, HC Yellow 2, HC Yellow 4, Disperse Black 9

sign up for our newsletter

  • July 5, 2018

    by Esmie

    Hello Im in my fabulous forties and took on my fathers gray genes...I had been using Surya Brasil for about one year...I loved the coverage and the way it camoflouged my Grey's however I began noticing that my hair was getting thin...Sadly I discovered a bald spot about the size of a dime and that drew the last straw. I was estatic to run accross this blog and relieved to learn that Surya Brasil not only made me experience hair fall...and that my suspicion regarding faulty advertising as far as vegan/ chemical free goes (disperse black)?Hmmmm not as natural as anticipated. I have now switched to using Nuper Godrej henna two step process by Using 50/50 henna+ indigo (1/2 cup henna left to cure overnight)1/2 cup indigo cured for 15 min ...then mixing it into the henna paste... apply and leave on 3hrs covered with a disposable shower cap.(See You Tube henna +indigo)Rinse with sulfate Shampoo and conditioner...This natural grey hair solution takes a bit more time but I'm happy to report my hair feels healthy and the hair fall has stopped.

  • June 19, 2018

    by Janet

    I've been using Surya for 10 years. Every once in a while I wait for it to wear out and color my hair with traditional dye - and am always sorry when I do. I get the best colors when I mix. Dark brown is too dark but it fades out nicely. Light brown is probably the one I use most. It also disappearsthe fastest. To make it last longer I don't wash my hair the first week, just rinse. If I'm not happy with a color I just use regular shampoo and the color is almost gone in a couple of weeks. LIght brown mixed with burgandy came out very pretty. I haven't had problems with hair loss but I'd quit immediately and post about it if I did. I forgot that I don't like Mahoghany. It looks coppery on me. I'm going to put another color over it. I'm tempted to use Natural Instincts because they have a nice auburn, but I know how bad box dye is for my hair so I think I'll stick w/Surya for now (or try some of the other Hennas mentioned) A note - my daughter dyed her hair w Fox Mt. red for a play and it never came out.

  • January 6, 2018

    by Maureen

    I have been using the Surya Brasil for the past few months and have noticed hair loss. It's quick and easy to apply but the color washes out within a week and the grays appear again. After losing hair I researched the ingredients and found that the company lies to its consumers! It does indeed have chemicals and not safe to use. It is safer then some others out there bit the others didn't cause hair loss like Surya Brasil. After I discontinued this product my hair grew back. I will stick to Light Mountain Natural which is a little time consuming but at least I can rest assured I won't get cancer from it unlike Surya Brasil.

  • October 17, 2017

    by diana

    this product left me with an allergic reaction of bad headaches and puffy eyes. also the smell is not pleasant at all

  • July 28, 2017

    by Nancy

    Hi Everyone! I just applied Surya Brazil Henna Cream Dark Brown to my hair this evening, July 28, 2017. After reading so many reviews and watched several youtube videos, I finally decided to color my hair with this product. I'm 49 and I've never colored my hair before. Since I've been getting more and more grey hair on the right side of my head sorted of hiding underneath, I figured it's time to cover the grey. I used a new plastic disposable toothbrush to brush the roots of grey with Surya Cream and find this very useful and did not even need the coloring brush I bought from the cosmetic store. After coloring all the grey areas I then pour the entire bottle onto my hair (Long hair) and covered with a plastic cap and put on a wool hat to keep warm and blow hot air with hair dryer for 5 min. I waited for at least over an hour before rinsing all this in the bathtub. To my utter excitement, my hair really looks amazing! All grey strands are dark brown almost black now and my hair is thicker, fuller, shinier and healthier than before. I cannot believe! It actually works! No smell and my scalp feels fine so far.

  • July 3, 2017

    by Jan

    Surya Henna: I have used it for around a decade or more. I am older and didn't notice hair thinning until I got a small bald spot where I part my hair. I started using 2 different shampoos for thinning hair. The shampoos fried my hair but they seemed to stop the large amount of hair shedding. My hair was so dry that I went back to surya shampoo & conditioner to restore it . Then I again colored with surya cream henna and the large shedding of hair started again right after coloring and rinsing it out. For about 10 days after using it the fallout is heavier then as the scalp gets a rest it slows down I wont use it anymore It does contain disperse black which is not good. Thanks to those who gave safer alternatives. The colors I used were Burgundy mixed with dark brown

  • March 1, 2017

    by Denise

    This hair color is great for people like me that are allergic to PPD in hair coloring products. I had been coloring my hair for years ( in my 50's now) with regular hair color and about 3 years ago, I developed a sensitivity to using them and started breaking out on my skin. I switched to henna, first trying the green powder, which was a nasty smelling pain in the neck to use and then I discovered this product, which I use on dry hair, just like regular hair color and has the same result color wise. Of course this product will wash out pretty quickly and within about 2 weeks, you will want to do a touch up, especially if your like me and have lots of gray hair. Overall all, I would say this is one of the best and gentlest products you can use these days. I just wish they had more varieties of colors available, such as purple or blue.

  • November 10, 2016

    by Rita

    I was using Surya cream henna. At first I liked the results but noticed a lot of shedding that increased overtime. Then, a large patch of hair seemed to almost melt off the last time I used it. Very upsetting is an understatement!!! I thought this product was supposed to be harmless at best, but on further examination found it contain some very harsh chemicals. They are listed on the bottom of the box and in almost microscopic very difficult to read print.
    Switched to a pure henna, the brand is Light Mountain and I use dark brown. My hair almost immediately stopped the huge amount of shedding, feels much healthier and I can go several days without having to shampoo it. Much happier!! Beware of Surya henna cream!!! It definitely is that as natural as I would like for you to believe.

  • April 4, 2016

    by Sioux

    I use pure henna mixed with amla powder (to darken) from Henna Color lab. No other ingredients than pure henna. It may seem like a lot of effort as compared to a cream, but it is pure and chemical free. I would suggest making the effort to try this. It covers gray very well as long as you follow instructions. They also offer premixed packages to obtain certain colors, still all natural. Apply with the tip of a frosting bag and it's really not all that hard.

  • September 17, 2015

    by Suze

    Please double check your facts. I have read on more than 1 web site that there is not requirement that says the first few ingredients are what you find the most of in the product. As long as consumers tell themselves products are safe, we will all be stuck with garbage and worse. If enough people speak up or don't buy it, they will notice.

  • July 2, 2015

    by Hair dye is toxic

    person above is WRONG dipropylene etc and names likee it in traditional color dyes that last..are very toxic

    cause severe allergic ractions over time ,affect your immune system and can cause horrible rashes and cancer! i

    illegal in europe, pregnant women cannot use.

    from your scalp to your bloodstream BEWARE!

  • March 12, 2015

    by Marla

    The best henna based hair color is from Lagona (German brand) that we can buy at Whole Foods; its absolutely fantastic, completely pure, in a cream form. No need to mix with anything; its ready to apply. They have several shades - love it!!
    Even purer than Surya (does not contain those artificial colors, like blue, black, etc, etc).

  • March 8, 2015

    by samina

    I have been using surya brasil for last 3 years.
    igot Allergic from hair dye in 1999 but i didnt know about S B.Its amazing No Allergy hair texture improves.The only problems is that it does not color front root hair properly.

  • November 21, 2014

    by Alesha

    Hi everyone. For those with questions about henna, all-natural henna will NOT cause a reaction if it is pure (unless you're allergic to it). This henna dye is mixed with a lot of different ingredients, which means it's not the same as pure henna (and most likely not as beneficial to your skin or hair). For those looking to try out a completely all-natural solution, I would suggest Rainbow henna, which is solely deived from the lawsome plant. As some have pointed out, pure henna powder can be a lot more difficult to apply, and the process can be either relaxing or annoying depending on your level of patience. Pure henna does have te benefits of thickening hair, giving it luster, and sometimes improving scalp itchiness. If this dye is making your hair fall out or causing irritation, I would suggest you stop use immediately.... My mother uses this brand and I've been trying to convince her that it is not as all-natural as she believes. If looking for an all-natural option, I would definitely recommed an all-natural powdered henna. I just wanted to put that out there; although Surya Henna may not have ammonia, PPD, peroxide, or parabens, it still contains enough chemicals to cause an adverse reaction. Stay safe, everyone.

  • August 28, 2014

    by Angelica

    Hello Ladies,

    I have checked all the ingredients in this hair dye with the help of this page:
    Simply paste the ingredient in the search field and it will tell you all about it.
    To answer a previous question, dipolypropylene glycol seems to be harmless but those chemicals at the end of the list are moderately hazardous. (Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, HR Red 3, HC Yellow 2, HC Yellow 4, Disperse Black 9) tey are at the end tho and so far it seems to be the best dye I found. I haven't used it yet, I am just researching different dyes claming to be natural. Hope this helps,

  • July 9, 2014

    by Lisett

    I am allergic to hair dye, I am reading about Henna and coloring products. there is not much information if the product is safe? I am scared to try the hair dye, what if I get an allergic reaction? is it really all natural? there is not much said about allergies? help ? .

  • June 28, 2014

    by Kate

    I have been using henna since 1978...with awesome results. I am a natural redhead and this allows me to vary my hair color a bit. However, the henna I used was a powder, which, when mixed with water, was a cow ploppy mixture. A bit hard to put on but I did. LOVED the color, always. Tried L'oreal in the late 90's, liked the color, too, but hated the smell. So...I will give this cream a try and see what happens. I am hoping for great looking hair (starting to get a bit of grey), not as messy, and not have the original henna smell. I will update after I put it on....

  • December 31, 2013

    by Maya

    Has anyone gotten anything conclusive about how safe this product is, including the fifth ingredient that one writer mentioned, which is not very safe according to EWG? I used Naturtint which I bought at the co-op thinking it was "safe," but recently discovered it has a chemical, I believe PPD, which is not safe. I might call the company, but rather get the info from a neutral source. Thanks much!

  • December 26, 2013

    by Lynette

    Is the ingredient dipolypropylene glycol used in henna related or the same as polypropylene glycol? Also is the alcohol used in this product safe? I know ispropyl alcohol is unsafe and I have been told to absolutely avoid it.

  • October 1, 2013

    by Debra

    I found the henna. It's the 19th item listed in the ingredients line up.

  • October 1, 2013

    by Debra

    I just started running the ingredients through the EWG Safe Cosmetics Website, and recognized one of the ingredients: Arnica Montana Extract. That is a plant used to reduce inflammation and treat stinging and pain naturally. Sounds like a pro-active approach to reduce the appearance of the potential toxicity of some ingredients. In particular the 5th ingredient came up with a somewhat increased level of concern on the EWG website. I'm on the fence about this product. I'm also a bc survivor of two years, so I'm still wanting to be extra vigilante about products. I'm not getting the warm fuzzies with this ingredient list.

  • October 1, 2013

    by Debra

    Why does the ingredient list not list Henna?

  • June 18, 2013

    by Lorraine

    I used preference and naturacolor and lastly natural tint. I only like the natural color I get glowing reviews. I read it has bad things in it also. So I would like to try the henna can I do this on new regrow without it causing an issue it has been two months almost three since I dyed my hair with natural tint. My grey is almost light blonde you cannot really tell until I pull my hair back. My hair dresser and other people tell me all the time my hair color is so pretty. I am 46 I just dont want to be gray yet. Otherwise I would just stop coloring all together. I don;t need my hair different colors or purple. I dont need to have my hair stripped. I may have ms so I am looking to reduce my chemicals.

  • February 21, 2013

    by Sarah

    Hi I have Dark Brown hair with copper ends from a previous coloring I have been growing out. I recently purchased the chocolate color and although the box says to leave in for 30 mins I am wondering if I should leave it in for around an hour. I already have dark hair and thought the chocolate would be a good mix with that but after reading the review im a bit worried my hair will just look black.

  • February 3, 2013

    by beach girl

    In response to Kaye, I am also about 70% gray, with the rest of my hair being dark dark brown. I started using Surya Brasil Henna Cream about 6 months ago due to fragile hair that was falling out like crazy, with my chemical haircoloring. I use the dark brown henna right after washing and lightly conditioning my hair ( I read that it is absorbed better in wet conditioned hair, contrary to traditional haircoloring) . I leave it on 55 minutes. I get EXCELLENT gray coverage, this color makes my hair very dark brown, almost black, very shiny and soft, with a lot less hair loss. It does come off on the pillow case, but washes right out. Does not last as long, but well worth it to have healthy soft hair!!

  • December 30, 2012

    by Kaye

    I am 70% gray and bought chocolate and didn't get great coverage. I've been using Bidgen but am concerned about PPD content as Ive been losing hair and have scalp irritation after using it. I bought surya brasil black and am going to try it again and leave it on longer this time. I really hope I get a better result. Any tips for covering gray? I didn't wash my hair first last time but I think I will this time.

  • December 21, 2012

    by Wanda

    I've been using Surya Hena since August 2012. I was going out of my mind because my hair was falling out and I didn't know why. I decided to change certain things in my life. One being my hair coloring product. I had read that heenas were safe to use. I didn't want to put anymore chemicals into my body. I must say that I'm not sure if it was the henna or al together the changes I made. However my hair is no longer falling out. Thank God! My hair looks and feels thicker and has a great shine! Because I'm a brunette and do have grey, I mix dark brown & black together to achieve the color that is best for me. There are red highlights in my hair and I'm ok with that because at least my grey is not showing and my hair is not falling out. :-). Hope this helps.

  • December 14, 2012

    by Karen

    I have been using this product for almost a year in dar reddish blonde. I purchase it from Swanson Health Products for $7.99/box. I have been dying my hair for 40 years and looking at my roots, I am quite gray. Love it! My hair is healthy, shiny and strong. It covers the gray and does not turn it pink or orange. Hair looks dimensional and not flat. It does fade but is so easy to use, it is not a bother to use it more often.

  • December 14, 2012

    by Heather

    Hi, I WANT to believe the product is safe, but like Kathy am confused by the dyes. Are they "safe" dyes and not synthetic??

  • October 10, 2012

    by Carola

    Hello: I love Surya Brasil -- does anyone know anything about long-term usage of henna? I have friends who have used henna forever and have thick, lovely hair -- and others who have also used henna long-term and have an issue with hair loss. It might all be unrelated to henna but I would love to know. I use the Surya Brasil Black (with Indigo) which I believe is new.... it is lovely! Thank you.

  • June 15, 2012

    by JP

    Hey all. Really enjoyed reading the comments and reviews you have posted, especially pertaining to Surya Brasil dye. I am - hold your breath, don't gasp - a guy :) I am in my late 30s and i am starting to grey a bit. I am greying a bit on my chest too, and realllly want to dye that area. I have never used any hair dye, and certainly don't want to use anything chemical-based - i am very mindful of all that. I was wondering what recommendations. suggestions. tips etc you may be willing to share. I know, i'm the only male here who has posted something, and you don't have experience with dyeing chest hair (hehe), but i would be open to any tips. i saw this product (Surya Brasil dye creme) in stores, and it's $19.99/package at Whole Foods, so i didn't want to splurge before getting some feedback. Appreciate any info. (btw, i am looking to get the black dye.) Thanks in advance! Be well.

  • March 7, 2012

    by Margaret


    I used the "Strawberry Blonde" color of this product on my light ash blonde hair, hoping to just add some nice coppery red. It turned it dark ash brown, then faded to an atrocious gray-blue-brown. Very disappointed. To lighten hair, one really must use chemical dye. The best non-bleach lightener that I've used is that cheap Revlon Colorsilk in 03, followed by a protein treatment and deep conditioning.

  • February 27, 2012

    by Lorene

    I would like to use this product to dye my dark blonde hair a LIGHTER color. Does anyone know how well it works for this purpose. Do you have a color recomendation?

  • November 3, 2010

    by marta

    Hi Lesley, you just reminded me that you were using Nutra-Lift's goat milk shampoo at one point. Do you still like it? I am tempted to give it a try.

  • November 3, 2010

    by Leslie Wayne

    I'm so pleased that my 2009 positive review has been confirmed by so many other users. I'm still happily using it and would only add these few updates based on my past year's experience. One is that I do need to recolor more often than I did using chemical dyes, and I would say that it's around once a month. As for my initial claim that it doesn't rub off on the pillowcase - wrong. It does for the first few nights. But it comes right out in the wash. And lastly, to address your concerns about the brown vs. red coloring Amy, I've been using chocolate for a year and find that my hair has turned redder and redder over time as I cover the color with more color. So recently I bought light brown and mixed it with the chocolate and got a much better result. I suggest being creative and mixing colors if you don't find the exact shade you want.

  • August 11, 2010

    by Amy Camus

    I've been using this product for about a year and it works well, covers gray and conditions at the same time. I use dark brown, which turns slowly more red as the month wears on. However, today I tried to buy dark brown before going to my salon appointment and the health food store where I purchase this product only had colors named chocolate, mahogany and light brown. I chose chocolate, thinking it would be the closest to dark brown. Big mistake! My hair turned a bright orange! I believe that henna based products tend toward red anyway, so it is probably best to pick something on the darker side of the spectrum or to mix colors.

  • December 5, 2009

    by robin

    I love this stuff. I bought a box for me and one for my mom. She's completely gray and dyes her hair all the time so it's very dry and brittle. My hair is long but one box did the trick. If I'm going to do an intense color, I might use two. No one really noticed the color, you could see red tones under my dark brown natural hair but everyone commented on how shiny and healthy looking my hair was. It washes out quick but at least my hair is still soft. Make sure you use an old towel everytime you dry your hair. I would also suggest buying a better pair of rubber gloves at a salon store because one of the fingers broke in my plastic glove. I didn't realize it until I pulled them off and my index finger was a dark maroon color! The majority came off soaking it in acetate. That's my only gripe. But I'm lifer. I never thought I would love dying my hair so much!

  • October 2, 2009

    by L

    I've been using this for probably over 1/2 a year and doing my mom's hair also using it. We absolutely think it is great. It leaves our hair soft and even fuller. It does cover the grey well. My mom now looks almost as young as I do.
    It is a winner for us.

  • October 2, 2009

    by Lisa

    Love this review! I recently used Natur-Tint and liked how it made my hair feel although the color was dull and one-dimensional. I also noticed it was given an "8" on the cosmetics database so there goes the idea that this natural product was a better alternative. So I keep looking for better coloring options without all the "henna hassle". This seems like a good product to try. Thanks Lesley! Keep more natural hair color reviews coming!!!

  • October 1, 2009

    by Kathy

    Does anyone know the answer to this: I have my hair colored and highlighted too. Let's say I decide to touch up any regrowth at home with this henna product, then go to the salon occasionally for a coloring and highlighting. Would using a henna product make it more difficult to color with regular dyes later? or ruin the color I'd get from regular color later?

  • October 1, 2009

    by Kathy

    Whew -- that's good to know!

  • October 1, 2009

    by admin

    Hi Kathy,
    Before we posted Lesley's review, we checked the ingredients and these dyes all appear to be safe and not to be confused with FD&C colors.

  • October 1, 2009

    by Kathy

    I saw this on

    This product says it's made from all natural ingredients, but once you really read the fine print, it has the following:

    May contain the following:
    HC Blue 2
    HC Yellow 5
    HC Red 3
    HC Yellow 2
    HC Yellow 4
    HC Red 1
    Disperse Violet 1
    HC Violet 14 D
    Disperse Black

    So basically you are putting a bunch of synthetic dyes on your head. If you search on any of these synthetic dyes, they are pretty scary.

    The product does a nice job of coloring your hair....but it certainly isn't a natural product. I tried calling the company, but they are down in Brazil and my portugese is pretty lousy!

Join the discussion! Leave a comment below.

My Comment

Add a comment...

-or- Cancel Comment
* Required Fields
truth in aging's five best

Truth In Aging's Five Best

The very best to choose from for your skin concerns.

Read More

truth in aging videos

Truth In Aging Videos

Helpful how-tos and reviews from Marta and friends.

Watch Now

meet our contributors

Meet Our Contributors

The TIA community consists of our trusted reviewers.

Meet Them

be inspired

Be Inspired

Inspiring thoughts and women who are aging gracefully.

Read More