Natural Hair Dye Recipes

Make your own natural hair dyes for healthy, chemical-free, all natural hair color


There's growing evidence that chemical hair dyes are cancer-causing. Making your own natural hair dye is a healthy alternative - not only for you, but also for your hairdresser and your planet!

Natural hair dyes won't give you the instant results you get with a bottle of Clairol, but they will subtly enhance your natural hair color and highlights with repeated use over time.

Click on the links to jump straight to a specific hair color or scroll down to browse through them.

Henna for All Hair Colors

If your hair is not yet more than 10% gray, the quickest, easiest and most effective way to dye your hair naturally is with henna hair coloring.

Not only is it fast like commercial dyes, but it actually deep-conditions as it colors, giving your hair a rich, healthy shine.

One CRITICAL word of warning: DO NOT use henna on hair that has already been dyed using commercial hair color. You can end up with some awful color issues (green hair anyone?)

Just buy your henna hair coloring and follow the package directions. Looking for a good supplier? Check out henna natural hair dye from Mountain Rose. Click on the little down-arrow to the right of the price to see all the colors. There's lots!

Natural Hair Dyes for Gray Hair

Rosemary-Sage Natural Hair Dye

This natural hair dye recipe can take a while to be effective. You have to rinse, re-rinse and repeat until your gray is gone. Sad to say, but the only way to get instant gray coverage is with commercial hair color.

Ingredients

2 cups hot water

1/2 cup dried sage leaves

1/2 cup dried rosemary leaves

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot. Simmer for 30 minutes, then steep for several hours. Strain, then use the resulting liquid for the natural hair dye.
  2. Pour the liquid onto your hair and leave on until dried. Rinse and dry.
  3. Repeat weekly until you obtain the desired shade, then monthly to maintain hair color.

Again, this method of covering gray works cumulatively over time - it's not an instant fix. Also, some sources recommend using the color rinse daily rather then weekly or monthly. You'll need to experiment and see what works for you.

Natural Hair Dyes for Blonde Hair

Herbal Hair Rinse for Blonde Hair

This herbal hair rinse not only lightens, brightens and highlights blonde and light brown hair, but it also removes product buildup, balances the scalp's pH and improves shine and manageability. Herbal rinses are the best!

Note: If you're using this natural hair dye recipe to cover gray, you have to use it over and over and over. It's not a quick-fix option. If you're looking for instant results, check out the notes for henna up above or go with commercial hair color.

Here's how you make it:

  1. Combine 2 cups (500ml) distilled water with 3 tablespoons each dried Calendula petals, Chamomile flowers and chopped Lemon Peel in a pot and bring to a boil on the stove. 
  2. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 to 3 hours.
  3. Strain out the herbs and pour into a large dark glass or PET plastic bottle.
  4.   Add 2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar.
  5. To use your herbal hair rinse, simply pour it over your hair after conditioning, massage it gently into your scalp and then rinse. (Don't get it in your eyes - it stings!)

Natural Sun Streaking

Here's a happy alternative to sitting with your hair cooking under a smelly cap of chemicals...

  1. Mix the juice of 1 lemon with 2 tablespoons strong chamomile tea. Buy chamomile tea.

  2. Using an inexpensive straw hat with lots of holes in it, pull strands of hair through the holes. (A crochet hook or pencil is good for this.)

  3. Apply the lemon/chamomile mixture to the exposed hair. Sit in the sun for 2 hours - you'll end up with natural-looking streaking. Don't forget sunscreen! (Good book, glass of wine...)

Saffron Natural Hair Dye for Golden Color

This recipe gives hair a rich golden tint - it's a good one for grey roots in blonde hair.

  1. Put a large pinch of saffron threads into a large jug. Boil 2 cups (500ml) distilled water, then pour over the saffron. Let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Buy saffron.

  2. Strain out the saffron and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

  3. To use, pour the liquid through your hair 15 or 20 times, re-rinsing with the same liquid. On the final rinse, wring out your hair and leave for 15 minutes before rinsing with clear water.

Natural Hair Dyes for Red Hair

Marigold Natural Hair Color

This natural hair dye recipe adds nice red-gold highlights to red, light brown and brown hair.

  1. Simmer 1/3 cup fresh crushed marigold flowers OR 3 tablespoons dried calendula petals in 2 1/2 cups of distilled water in a non-aluminum pot for 20 minutes. Buy dried calendula petals.

  2. Remove from heat. After the mixture has cooled, strain out the marigold, saving the liquid. Add 1/4 cup red wine to the liquid.

  3. To use, apply the liquid as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning, pouring it over your hair and catching it in a basin to reapply several times. Allow your hair to dry naturally in the sun if possible.

  4. Repeat the rinsing process every time you wash your hair until you're happy with the color.

Herbal Hair Rinse for Red Hair

Follow the herbal rinse recipe above, but use 3 tablespoons dried hibiscus flowers and 3 tablespoons dried calendula petals. Buy hibiscus flowers or dried calendula petals.

Natural Hair Dyes for Dark Hair

This natural hair color recipe brings out rich brown tones in dark hair.

  1. Simmer 1/3 cup walnut shells, black tea, cherry tree bark or whole cloves in 2 1/2 cups distilled water in a non-aluminum pot for 20 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat. After the mixture has cooled, strain out the herbs, saving the liquid.
  3.  To use, apply the liquid as a final rinse after shampooing and conditioning, pouring it over your hair and catching it in a basin to reapply a few times. Allow your hair to dry naturally if you can.
  4. Do this every time you wash your hair until you reach the desired shade.

Recommended Suppliers

Mountain Rose Herbs

I always recommend Mountain Rose Herbs first because I like and trust them. Their quality is good, their prices are excellent, and a lot of their products are organic.

You'll find a good selection of henna hair coloring, dried herbs, essential oils and glass bottles (along with lots of other great stuff - poke around, it's fun!)

Amazon.com

You can also find essential oils and other supplies at Amazon. They have a number of different brands available at a variety of prices. (Just remember, you get what you pay for!) Happy hunting!

What Next?

Round out your hair care routine by making these other easy, inexpensive hair products for natural hair health.

Shampoo for Natural Hair

Natural Hair Conditioner

Natural Hair Loss Products

Natural Hair Remedies

Natural Hair Products Main Page

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Natural Hair Dye

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