Lots of people occasionally have the urge to change or enhance their hair color but are unwilling to use the harsh and, in some cases, potentially harmful hair dying chemicals found in most commercial dyes and color rinses.
If you’re concerned about the hazards that hair color ingredients present, you’ll be glad to learn that you can achieve results similar to those possible with beauty shop products, quickly, inexpensively and safely. Just as men and women have done for thousands of years, you can change your basic hair color, put new highlights in your locks or naturally darken gray strands using natural hair colors.
How Natural Hair Dye Works:
Most of these natural hair dyes work progressively, although some of them have immediate results. The progressive hair dyes typically require being used more than once or repetitively to reach your desired color. Although, even with the natural hair dyes that work progressively, immediate results can still occur even from just one use.
Natural hair dye, such as the black walnut powder is one of the more potent and powerful natural hair dyes. With this natural hair dye, the change in color can be quite drastic if that is your desired result. Coffee is another one of the natural hair dyes that can be observed to make a great difference from just one use also.
Depending on what color you’re going for, you can use a variety of herbs to achieve it. Here are some suggestions, depending on what your natural color is:
- Red hair: Try calendula, marigold, rosehips, and hibiscus to deepen the red shade or add a few red highlights. The effects are cumulative—if you keep using the dye regularly, you will notice more color. Simmer the flowers in water for about 30 minutes, strain, cool, and then spray or pour on hair and allow to dry in the sun if possible.
- Brunette/dark hair: Rosemary, nettle, and sage are all great herbs for dark hair. Simmer all three with water for 30 minutes, cool, strain, and spray or brush through hair. Allow to sit about an hour. You can also use the rinse daily after your shower. Be patient—it may take several days to notice a difference.
- Blonde hair: As mentioned above, chamomile tea works, but you can also try calendula, marigold, saffron, and sunflower petals. To hide grays, try rhubarb root in two cups of water, simmer, strain, and pour over hair.
Add black tea to the darker colors above to help the color last longer. Catnip works for lighter colors.
Beet and carrot juice
These two juices can add natural red tints to your current color. Depending on what shade you want, you can use each alone, or mix them together. For a more reddish tinge, use more beet juice (strawberry blonde, deeper red, or auburn). Carrot will produce a quieter reddish orange.
This one is easy—simply apply about a cup of the juice to your hair. You can also mix in some coconut oil to condition hair at the same time. Work it through, wrap hair, and leave on for at least an hour. (These juices stain—wear something to protect your skin and clothes.) Rinse the juice out, and seal with an apple cider vinegar spray. If the color isn’t dark enough, repeat the next day.
Looking for a few highlights? Try fresh-squeezed lemon juice sprayed and brushed through hair. Leave on for several hours. If you sit in the sun, you’ll notice more lightening. Blondes can enjoy even more lightening by mixing with chamomile tea.
Lemon juice works slowly, so expect to repeat applications several times before seeing results.
If you want to secure a dark brown color, this is the way to go. Crush the walnut shells and boil for about half an hour. Cool, strain, and apply to hair. If you’re wanting to cover grays, you can use a cotton ball to apply only to those areas where it’s needed. Again, be careful as this dye will stain everything, so take precautions.
To create a more intense dye, return the strained juice to the heat and boil until it’s simmered down to about a quarter of the original volume. Allow to cool in the refrigerator, strain if needed, and pour through hair.
To save time, use walnut powder instead of the shells.
Let sit for at least an hour (more if you want more color), and rinse. Try to avoid really hot water as it can take the color away. Wash in lukewarm to make the color last longer.
With any of these herbal hair colors, make sure to test on a small part of your hair first, especially with color treated hair and especially with the henna colors as they have more lasting effects. Experiment with any of the above and mixtures of them to get the right mix for your hair!
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