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Natural Hair Dyes

Many women and some men enjoy dying their hair. Some people want to keep the gray covered while others simply like to change the color of their hair. However, hair dyes are full of chemicals that are not only unhealthy for your hair, they could be detrimental for your health. Anything you put on your hair goes to your scalp. This means there is the possibility that chemicals could penetrate your skin and get into your blood stream. Hair dyes also have fumes that could cause health problems when you breathe them in repeatedly.

This doesn’t mean you can’t dye your hair. What it means is that you have to make sure you are using all-natural hair dyes that do not contain chemicals. You may be surprised to find out how many natural hair dyes you can find in your kitchen and nature. The following natural hair dyes will get you started on your journey to coloring you hair safely and naturally.


If you want to lighten your hair or add blonde highlights, the following recipes will help you. These are used as a rinse on clean hair. You will need to rinse ten or fifteen times with the same mixture. You can use a large bowl or basin to catch the solution as you rinse repeatedly with it. You should leave the last rinse on your hair for 15 minutes and then rinse with cool, clear water.

  • Full Blonde: Add one tablespoon of lemon juice to one gallon of warm water. Rinse 15 times with this solution.
  • Highlights: Mix one cup of lemon juice with three cups of cool chamomile tea. Pour this mixture over hair and allow to soak for one hour while you are in the warm sunshine. Wash out using your regular shampoo and conditioner. This solution should be repeated daily. It will take several weeks before your highlights are evident.

Brunette Hair

Brunette hair color can be accomplished over time with the following rinse. This is much like the rinse for blonde hair in that you need to rinse ten or fifteen times using the same solution. Your last rinse will be using clear water. It may take several weeks for your hair to become darker; however, don’t give up and you will see brunette results.

Brunette Rinse: Strong black coffee cooled. Rinse hair ten to fifteen times daily. In a few weeks, you’ll have shiny, brunette locks.

Henna Color

Henna is a naturally occurring plant dye that can be used to dye many things, including your hair. Make sure you are using pure henna and that you have tested a strand of your hair to make sure you like the color result. Your strand test will also tell you how long you need to leave the henna on your hair. You will need to have plenty of time set aside for dying your hair with henna. It can take an hour or more for your hair to pick up the henna.

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Henna works best on dark blondes and brunettes. This natural dye has a reddish tint that will look great as highlights in darker hair. You can also mix henna with powdered walnuts, Indigo dye, or cloves and use the coloring on gray hair. You can even mix henna with rhubarb root for making gray hair blonde.

Before you run out and find some henna, you should note that if your hair is currently colored by a professional or using commercial dyes, you should wait at least two months before you use henna. You should also make sure you do the strand test before you start.

Now for the fun. Henna is a greenish powder when it is dried and ready to be used as a dye. When you are mixing your henna, use only glass or plastic bowls and utensils. Metal can react with henna and create unpleasant results.

Mix the henna powder with boiling water until you have a paste-like consistency. If you prefer to tone down the red color of the henna, use a little strong, black coffee. Make sure you keep the consistency thick enough to stick to your hair.

Before you apply the henna to your hair, you should put some type of oil or cream around your forehead, ears, and hairline. This will keep the henna from dying your skin, as well as your hair. You should also wear gloves when using henna.

Next, apply the henna paste to your clean and dry hair. Make sure you cover your entire head. After you have covered your hair with henna, wrap your head in something plastic (a shower cap works fine) to hold the heat in while your hair is soaking up the dye from the henna. You can add a heated towel on top of this, but it is not necessary. You are now ready to relax and wait. The strand test you performed earlier will be your guide for how long to leave the henna. It could be twenty minutes or it could be over an hour. This is why you can’t skip the strand test.

Once your time is up, rinse the henna. You don’t have to shampoo—just rinse until the water runs clear. You should follow with a conditioner. Your beautiful new color will last for several months. When you see root growth, you can repeat the process.

Natural hair dyes are much safer for you and the environment. Your hair will be healthier, and you won’t have to worry about chemicals causing health problems. You will be doing the environment a favor as well. When you use commercial hair dyes, you rinse chemicals down the drain and possibly into the ground water. This pollutes the water table and can ultimately cause your drinking water to be tainted.

Save money, your health, and the environment with natural hair dyes. You will look beautiful naturally and feel better about your impact on the world around you. Look around your kitchen and in the plant world around you for materials you can use to dye your hair naturally.

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