Traditional hair dyes are full of potentially harmful chemicals that, at high exposures, have been linked with skin and respiratory irritation, a suppressed immune system, and even cancer.
Home-made natural dye can help one get the desired shade without the use of chemicals which makes it absolutely perfect for all women interested in natural products that do not cause damage to hair, health or environment.
One can use a lot of natural ingredients, some of which can be found in kitchens, to create new hair colour. It depends on what colour one is looking for, how intense one wants it, and how much time one wants to spend. Keep in mind that natural colour products are not the same as chemical colour products. They don’t usually last as long, one won’t be able to completely change the natural colour, and the colour may be slightly different than one imagined. Below are some natural ways to dye your hair.
Coffee: Works great if you’re looking to go darker, cover gray hairs, or add dimension to dark tresses. Simply brew a strong coffee espresso works well, let it cool, and then mix one cup with a couple cups of leave-in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. Apply on clean hair and allow to sit for about an hour. If you use apple cider vinegar to rinse, it will help the colour last longer. You may need to repeat the process a couple times to see noticeable results.
Beet and carrot juice: These two juices can add natural red tints to your current colour 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. 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 so wear something to protect your skin and clothes.) Rinse the juice out, and seal with an apple cider vinegar spray. If the colour isn’t dark enough, repeat the next day.
Lemon juice: 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.
Herbs: This depends on what colour you are going for, you can use a variety of herbs to achieve it. Here are some suggestions, depending on what your natural colour 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 colour. 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 because it may take several days to notice a difference.
Blonde hair: As mentioned earlier, 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 colours above to help the colour last longer.
Tea: Just like coffee, black tea can help you go darker, and can also help cover gray hairs. If you have lighter hair, though, there are other types of tea you can use. Chamomile, for example, is recommended for blondes, while rooibos may work for redheads. Keep in mind that tea works best with one’s natural colour, one won’t be able to turn blonde hair brunette. But black tea can darken blonde hair and chamomile can lighten it especially if one sit in the sun while one have it in. The longer you leave the tea on the hair, the more noticeable the colour will be, you can also repeat applications. The key is to make the tea highly concentrated, use 3-5 teabags (or about the same amount in loose-leaf tea) for two cups of water. You can apply the cooled tea to hair alone, or mix with conditioner, if you want to cover grays, mix with some fresh or dried sage, which helps open up the hair follicles. Leave on hair for at least an hour more if you want more colour. Some even put on a cap and wear the tea overnight, then rinse the following morning. Check your colour to determine what intensity you need.
Walnut shells: If you want to secure a dark brown colour, this is the way to go. Crush the walnut shells and boil for about half an hour. Cool, strain, and apply to hair but if you want to cover grays, you can use a cotton ball to apply only to those areas where it is 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 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 colour), and rinse. Try to avoid really hot water as it can take the colour away, wash in lukewarm to make the colour last longer.
Henna: This is one of the most popular natural hair colouring ingredients, henna is a powdered form of the leaves that come from the henna plant. These leaves have a natural and effective colouring pigment that has been used for thousands of years to dye hair, nails, and skin. Natural henna on its own, creates a red-orange colour. Redheads and brunettes are the best candidates for henna hair colour but be careful with this one the results can be more orange than you would like, so you may want to mix a little chamomile in with the paste to tame the colour. To make your own henna hair dye, mix about one cup of henna powder with 2 cups lemon juice, you can also add in a tablespoon of vinegar to help release the colour. Allow it sit for about 4-6 hours until it thickens, apply to hair and comb through. (This is messy so be prepared) Wrap your hair in plastic wrap and allow to sit 2-3 hours before rinsing.