I have only ever dyed my hair once, and it was done professionally, only because I did not trust myself in the slightest to be able to do it properly. You often hear horror stories about home hair dyes going wrong and people ending up with bright green hair when they intended on a silvery grey, or a luminous yellow when they wanted a soft blonde.
There are also multiple chemicals in store bought hair dyes that aren’t at all good for your hair, especially after numerous uses which most dyes require for them to work properly. I have many friends who have been left with dry, brittle hair after using these chemicals, so I don’t fancy going down that route myself.
All of these reasons kick-started my research into natural hair dyes, ones that were both inexpensive and nondamaging to my hair. I was surprised to find that most of the suggested natural dyes were made of ingredients I already had in my cupboard.
Hair Friendly Natural DIY Hair Dyes
Now that I think of it, coffee is an obvious choice to try out if you are hoping to make your hair that little bit more brown. When added to boiling water it can turn it almost black, so it makes sense that the color would transfer well onto hair.
Coffee is so inexpensive that you could top up your hair as often you wanted without having to worry about salon level prices. This recipe is said to enhance shine and shade, as well as potentially promoting hair growth. By merely adding coffee to your conditioner you can use this simple method to achieve silky brown locks.
I have wanted to try out a colored dip dye ever since it became a trend but I’ve never had the guts to do it. The idea of taking a childhood treat like kool-aid and using it to funk up your hair a little is highly creative and fun. The method itself looks simple, and it would wash out relatively quickly so would be fun to try for parties, or just as a test run before you go for the real thing.
Something cool about this specific example of how to dye your hair using kool-aid is that it comes along with a color chart. It tells you which flavor sachets, and how many of each, you should use to achieve the color you’re aiming for.
This website recommends multiple different ways to use beets as a natural hair dye, from combining them with coconut oil to enhance the color, to mixing them in along with a herbal shampoo.
Using beets in your hair should add subtle red hints to it, and will most likely work best on lighter hair. It’s a great way to play around with color before going permanent, and because there are different methods to try out, you can see which works best for you. Of course, all the ingredients in each of these suggestions is entirely natural, so you don’t have to worry about nasty chemicals damaging your hair.
This natural hair dye recipe claims that sage is the must-use ingredient when it comes to darkening your hair naturally. The creator of this method was specifically struggling with grey hair and looking to find a way to hide it without constantly using harsh chemicals.
There are two different recipes here, both using sage, one for a Naturally Dark Cider Vinegar Rinse and one for a Naturally Dark Sage and Tea Hair Rinse. Both are simple to make and use, only requiring you to pour it through your hair after shampooing. Bear in mind that this is a gradual working hair dye so it will take some time before you see the effects, but they will be worth it.
I have a couple of friends who have dyed their hair using henna and, despite the inevitable mess it creates during use, they have gotten on well with it.
When you buy henna for hair dye it should come along with instructions, so make sure to stick to these carefully. Henna is the most permanent of natural hair dyes which is ideal if you know exactly what color you want and hope to achieve salon level longevity. It may seem scary at first but as long as you do your research and efficiently prep your bathroom for the henna explosion that is about to take place within it, then you will be fine.
6. Food Coloring
Using food coloring to dye your hair might sound drastic, and believe me I thought so too when I first read about it, but hear me out. There are multiple ways in which you can use food coloring as a relatively temporary hair dye, whether it’s as a fun color highlight technique or as a way of combatting unwanted hues in your natural hair color. Adding a drop of green food coloring into your regular shampoo will help to hide red tones in brunette hair for example.
Of course, you could also use food coloring to obtain bright colors in your hair, either all over or as fun streaks or highlights.
7. Lemon Juice
My sister had startlingly blonde hair when she was younger, but as she got older it darkened naturally, and she was gutted. When exposed to the sun in the summer months she often regains highlights of her previous bright blonde hair, and something she does to enhance that is by adding some lemon juice to it.
She tends to clumsily pour lemon juice over her head before sitting out in the sun, but this method sounds a tad more sophisticated. By putting the lemon mixture into a spray bottle you have more control over where you apply it, it is also convenient to keep around the house for when the sun shows its face, and you fancy a little at home salon treatment.
8. Washable Markers
This isn’t the most natural of ingredients to use when dyeing your hair, but the color possibilities are endless, and it looks like a lot of fun.
When using washable markers to add color to streaks of your hair, you have a lot of control. Once the dye has been left to settle, you can either repeat the process to enhance the color of your hair or rinse it with cold water if you would slightly dim the vibrancy a little. Because the ink in these pens is washable these colors will wash out quickly, making them perfect to use as a bit of something extra to spice up your outfit for a costume or regular party.
9. Black Walnuts
I have seen a couple of different websites and forums suggesting black walnuts as a way of naturally dyeing your hair a dark brown. If you have these growing anywhere nearby, or even in your garden, it’s an incredibly cost-effective way of doing it. I love that the creator of this method has included before and after pictures of her hair, as it gives a real idea of what you’re letting yourself in for.
Like with the henna, you have to be extremely careful when using this dye as it will stain everything it comes into contact with. This doesn’t make it an impossible task, however, as you can do it outside and this particular example gives multiple different tips and suggestions as to how to best avoid any mess or staining.
There are multiple ways in which you can use vinegar as a natural hair dye. You could mix it with lemon water to lighten your hair or do the complete opposite and combine it with soy sauce to darken it.
Vinegar is inexpensive, and the results it produces when used in your hair aren’t too drastic which is great if you only want a subtle change. Different types of vinegar can be used for various purposes; for example, white vinegar can be used for brightening whereas an apple cider vinegar will bring out auburn tones. It is also said to enhance your hair’s natural shine which I love as I am all about that glossy look.
Now I can enjoy a cup of tea while dyeing my hair with tea at the same time. As you would expect, different types of tea will make your hair go different colors, so make sure to research before deciding which is best for you.
The majority of teas will only die your hair temporarily. Because it is so inexpensive, you could repeatedly top up the color for a longer lasting effect. This method is all natural, and by using darker colored teas, especially if your hair is currently lighter, you can achieve some beautiful brown tones running through your hair.
If you’re considering dyeing your hair, be it a wacky color or simply adding a few lighter or darker streaks through it, you may not need to look beyond your kitchen cupboard. By using natural ingredients to color your hair, you avoid using harsh chemicals which will damage your hair in the long run.
I am lucky in the sense that my hair is pretty light colored, so natural dyes will work well with that. The summer sun already makes my hair go a little more blonde, so I would love to enhance that even further by using lemon juice. For a festival or party, I will try out some crazy colored washable marker streaks.
Have you ever tried dyeing your hair naturally? Do you think you’re adventurous enough to give some of the brighter colors a go?