Many people have dyed or colored their hair at one point or another—for fashion, fun, or other unique reasons. Whatever the reason, store-bought hair dye can contain lots of chemicals and synthetic compounds. Why not try some all natural hair dye, instead?
Be aware that the term “all natural” is not a controlled term like, for instance, “USDA organic,” and therefore companies could claim to be selling all natural hair dye, while still including many questionable chemicals. This article, however, specifically refers to hair dyes that are actually all natural and non-toxic, with no ammonia.
Here are five ideas for natural hair color, many of which you can make all on your own (and some for each kind of color goal). Wackier colors (i.e. neon purple) are a little bit harder to manage, but the more “typical” ranges of colors are easy to accomplish!
1. For black, brown, red or blond hair: Henna hair dye. Henna dye is very versatile, and depending on the color of henna (of which there are many), your hair can be a wide variety of colors. It comes from the leaf petiole of the henna plant, which has been used in India for beauty and religious rites for thousands of years. It is one of the most popular kinds of natural hair dyes available.
Henna is absolutely safe, especially when organic, and with no additives—so check for those when you look at the label! Make sure your hair is not already chemically dyed before using henna, as the colors may interact and deliver something unusual (probably a good idea for any hair dye you use). While chemical dyes strip your hair and then insert colors, henna gently covers the hair strands without damaging the hair, and actually moisturizes.
2. Blond hair: Chamomile and lemon juice hair dye. Brew chamomile tea, letting it steep for as long as you’d like (i.e. enough to let it cool). Douse your hair with this all natural hair dye, and let it dry in the sun.
Next, put lemon juice (approximately ¼ cup lemon juice to ¾ cup water) in a spritz bottle, and spray it over your hair, being careful not to get too much on your scalp, as it might sting. Sit in the sun some more, and your hair should lighten considerably.
3. Gray coverage: Rosemary and sage hair dye. Although gray hair can be beautiful (and is even in fashion in certain quarters), many people wish to cover up their grays. A combination of rosemary and sage, boiled, simmered, and then steeped for approximately four hours will create a natural hair color liquid that should, over time, cover up gray hairs.
Make sure to douse your hair in the liquid and leave it on until it has dried completely. Ultimately, you can stop once you reach your preferred color—probably after a week or so, if you repeat this daily.
4. Golden blonde hair: Saffron and lemon juice hair dye. Put a few small pinches of saffron into a container, and in a separate stove-safe container, boil two cups of water. Let this mixture soak while it cools, and then strain out the liquid, which will now be your golden blonde natural hair color. Add some lemon juice to this mixture, and stir.
Rinse this through your hair multiple times, ultimately leaving it on for approximately 15 minutes—after this, rinse with plain water. After a few tries, you should have a definite golden tinge to your locks.
5. Brown hair: Black tea recipe hair dye. Mixing black tea, walnut shells, and cloves with water, simmering it for approximately half an hour, and then straining it to remove the shells should create an all natural hair dye (once cool) that can be used to douse your hair after your shower. Let it dry naturally, and repeat every time you shower until your hair reaches the brown you prefer.
This shouldn’t have to be said, but please do make sure any heated liquids you use are cooled to a comfortable temperature before you put them in your hair, and avoid any ingredients to which you may be allergic or feel you may not react well for any reason.
Whatever color you choose, you can use all natural hair dye to protect your body, your hair, and the environment–all while getting the color results you’re looking for!