Hair dyes have become a necessity in the world of style. They allow us to customize our own look and try something new.
However, many hair dyes (especially those containing peroxide) will remove moisture from hair strands. Even worse, many hair dyes are known to cause scalp irritation, especially for users with sensitive skin.
And as if that wasn’t enough, most conventional hair dyes contain harsh chemicals which are suspected to be the main causes of cancer.
So, what can we do instead?
By: Aubrey Ginsberg
Some stylists are now resorting to natural hair dyes. These holistic alternatives provide the same great results without harming your hair or your health. They also use easily-obtained ingredients, from essential oils to coffee beans. The process may differ a little, but the results are just as high-quality as with conventional hair dyes. The only real difference is that it may be even easier, and there are no short or long-term side effects.
Here are five natural ingredients to dye your hair:
Who doesn’t love coffee? It tastes great, gets us going in the morning, and offers a great natural way to color gray hair to a shade of brown. Here’s how:
- Brew a pot of coffee as you normally would and wait for it to cool. You need to use dark roast coffee or espresso to ensure that it’ll darken your hair.
- While it’s cooling, wash your hair thoroughly. Then, once the coffee is cool, pour it over your hair slowly and carefully rub it into your scalp.
- Wear a shower cap for about 20 minutes, then rinse the remaining coffee out.
Sage is known for providing a variety of health benefits as a tea. And that’s how we’ll use it to dye your hair to a darker shade. It is best used when you want to cover up your gray hair.
However, using sage to dye your hair will take more patience. You might have to do this process repeatedly over an extended amount of time to achieve the shade that you want.
- Steep ½ a cup of sage leaves in 2 cups of boiling water for about 2 hours.
- Separate the leaves from the tea using a strainer.
- Pour the sage tea over your hair and let it set for 30 minutes. You need to do this over a large bowl or other container so that you can catch the run-off.
- You can repeat the previous step as many times as you want with the run-off, until you achieve the shade that you want. This process can be repeated weekly.
Rosemary has so many great uses and offers a fantastic scent. Additionally, it also serves as a natural hair dye. As an added bonus, it can contribute to healthy hair growth and even improve the condition of your scalp. And it’s very easy to implement.
- Add 3 teaspoons of rosemary leaves into one cup of boiling water. Note: It’s important to wait until the water has started boiling.
- Allow the leaves to soak for about 30 minutes.
- Filter out the leaves, and rub the liquid onto your scalp.
- Let the liquid soak into your hair for about 5 minutes before rinsing it out.
The beautiful fragrance may not last, but your hair’s new lighter color will!
Henna can be used to dye your hair a lighter orange or red color. It’s special flowering plant originating from arid regions across the world. You’ll need about 10 ounces of henna and 8 ounces of lemon juice. Mix the two together and they should form a green paste. Allow the mixture to set overnight.
The next day:
- Put on gloves to prevent staining your skin. You can also apply protective balm like Vaseline around your hairline to avoid staining skin.
- Apply the mixture evenly on your hair. For long hair, it may be easier to lift your hair in strands and carefully cover each from the roots to the tips.
- Once your hair is covered with the mixture, carefully wrap your scalp with a plastic covering.
- Allow it to sit for about 3 hours, then rinse it out with shampoo. Be patient, as it isn’t easy to remove, but the results are splendid!
Want an edgier look? Try Indigo! With this incredible plant, you can achieve a blue-black look. In order to achieve that look, pre-treat your hair with henna (see above). Be prepared, as this will initially make it a bit lighter. But don’t worry, we’ll change that (unless you enjoy the orange look).
Quickly treat your hair with Indigo after rinsing out the henna. Here’s how:
- Put 8 ounces of indigo in a bowl. Slowly mix in warm water until it takes on a texture similar to yogurt.
- Mix in a dash of salt to further enhance its color.
- Cover the blend for about an hour before applying.
- Use a color brush to evenly distribute the mixture into your hair.
- Put on a shower cap, give it a few hours to soak, then rinse it out. Give your hair a few days to set, and it’ll appear that stylish blue-black color.
Note: avoid using shampoo during this time.
Now that you’ve learned how to dye your natural hair without chemicals, you can see how easy the healthy way really is. You can also finally dye your hair with peace of mind, knowing that your natural alternatives won’t damage hair (or your scalp) in the long run.
Aubrey Ginsberg is the co-founder and editor of www.girlswithnaturalhair.com. She is a professional graphic designer and blogger, but has a big passion for beauty and hair care.