If, say, you wanted to try out an all natural way to color your hair for when you might eventually need to do so, this is it. As with many of my DIY experiments, I found this on the DIY Natural site.What I really like about them is that they allow comments for people to say what's worked, what hasn't, and ask questions. And hey, the people who run the site actually answer those questions!
They also offer links to where to purchase certain herbs and oils they use, but I've found that my local health store stocks everything I need, is locally owned and operated (I'm a huge fan of small, local businesses!) and doesn't require far to travel, thus cutting my personal carbon footprint.
What herbs to use for certain hair colorsAll hair is different and may take longer to soak up color or maybe no time at all. Some hair grows faster while others just plug along slowly. Some colors of hair react differently to different colors. Here’s a list of herbs that work best for each hair color type.
Rhubarb root makes golden honey tones. Simmer the root in water and cool. Use as you would with other tea methods.
hair will usually take up more color that most others. Lemon juice works
well for light blonde and some darker blondes. A tea made from chamomile and calendula will work for darker blonde types. (Find dried chamomile flowers here and dried calendula flowers here.)
It’s also possible that other berberine-containing roots such as mahonia (Oregon Grape Root), yellowroot, bayberry or yellow dock could work, but I have found no reports of individuals using them.
You can also make a tea from nettle, rosemary and sage. Sage has long been used to cover gray hair. Use it weekly to get better coverage on gray that keeps coming back. (Find dried nettle leaf, dried rosemary, and dried sage leaf here.)
For brown hair, use a strong black tea or coffee solution.
You can also make a tea from hibiscus flowers and calendula.
By adjusting the amount of each, you can vary the shade of brown. And
both are full of antioxidants, which are very healthy for you
hair. (Find hibiscus flowers here and dried calendula flowers here.)
For red hair, nothing beats tomato juice.
Massage a generous amount into hair, lightly squeeze out any excess,
then pile on top of head. Cover with a plastic bag or shower cap, and
leave on for at least 30 minutes.
Pureed beets will give your hair a reddish purple tone. And all red tones of hair will pick up highlights from a vinegar rinse (like this) used after any hair color.
Natural Herbal Hair Dyes
True black hair is difficult to work with. Black walnut powder will give you very dark, almost black hair. Indigo will give you blue-black hair, but most sources say it should be used with or after henna treatments. (Find black walnut powder here.)
While most herbal material can be made into a strong tea and rinsed through the hair, there are a few more steps that can make the dye last longer. And for anyone who has dark hair with gray coming through, you know how important that is! Here’s the basic method:
- Chop or mash your herbal material. (See rest of article for suggestions on what to use for your hair color.) You can use fresh or dried for most applications, though specifics are noted with certain herbs. The smaller the material is, the more surface area can be exposed to hair, and therefore, creates a stronger and darker dye.
- Make a paste by mixing the herbs with some hot water. Add a small amount of water at a time until you get a thick paste the consistency of toothpaste. Hot water will open the pores of the herbs and allow more color to be released.
- For colors that require making a tea, use a large amount of herbs - ½ cup of herbs to 2 cups water. Use hot water and steep as long as it takes to cool off. Strain herbs out and transfer tea to a squirt bottle to make application easier.
- If using a tea, squirt onto scalp and hair, repeating until tea is gone. Twist hair, secure on top of head, and cover with a damp towel or shower cap. If using a paste, apply the paste to the roots and cover with a damp towel or shower cap.
- For both types of preparation, leave on for a half hour or so and rinse out. I suggest doing it in the shower or over a bathtub because it can make quite a mess.
- If possible, dry your hair in the sun. It will give it more natural highlights.
- Most of these dyes are semi-permanent. They will last a few weeks. Hair usually grows out faster than color fades. To keep the color, reapply a few times per month or more.