I know most of you are aware of herbal hair dyes, mainly because you have heard of henna rinses which have become sort of the commercial standard. Henna is a herbal rinse and has all the qualities of herbs except when it’s manufactured with added chemicals and fragrances that make it toxic and harsh. You can make your own henna rinse at home that costs a lot less and is a lot more safe. In fact, any color of herbal dye you make yourself not only saves you money but puts you in control of your hair in a way you cannot imagine. When you use a commercial product you are stuck with full throttle color all at once that leaves your hair in shock. Frizzy, burned out hair is often the result. Too much color, too little color, spotty color, are all possible problems that can’t be resolved easily. Who wants to color over color over color until they get the right color, when the cumulative effects of all these treatments spells disaster for your hair.
But how about using herb based dyes you can mix up yourself for very little money and rinsing as often and as deeply as you like, gaining hair color as you rinse and only going as far as you want to? The more you rinse, the darker the rinse becomes so that over time you can control your level of hair color as you work with the various dyes. And over time this does not damage, dry out or shock your hair. No more blue frizzies or orange frays. No more streaky hair with gray that didn’t take mixed with hair that took too much. You can just rinse and rinse every night, twice a day, as often as you like, gaining more color as you do so and then stopping when it’s good enough. Washing over time will take it back out. Imagine this kind of control. It’s actually a real pleasure once you try it. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite herbal dye recipes that you can mix up and try. Remember, with herbal dyes, if you make a mistake you won’t need color remover. Just wash and wait. It will lessen in color over a short period of time or you can rinse over rinse until you find what it is you really want. So are you ready to try it?
If, after you read this post, you still have questions or would like to get more recipes for dyeing hair with herbs, then you should check out my newest ebook, “How to Dye Your Hair With Herbs- A Complete Guide”. This book covers every detail of the process and includes tons of new recipes. To read more about it, CLICK HERE.
Here are the recipes. Along with each are instructions and hints to help you with the process.
Herbal Mixes to Lighten Blond Hair
This rinse will slightly lighten blond hair to the next lighter shade or intensify blond highlights already present in the hair. This will not lighten brown shades to blond. The effects are never dramatic but become more and more apparent when used several times.
Simple Blond Rinse
Put the flowers together in a bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour over the flowers and cover the bowl. Leave these to infuse for 30 minutes. Srain out the herbs and stir in the Lemon Juice right before using. Pour over the hair and leave as a soak. Using this as a daily rinse when washing the hair will dramatically lighten the blond highlights in your hair, more and more with each use.
Blond Dye Paste
This mix is close to the cream on hair color you are used to using in the commercial products. This will have a stronger, faster effect than the rinse.
Put these flowers into a bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour over the flowers. Cover the bowl and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain out the herbs from the water and discard. Remove one quarter cup of the liquid and mix it to a paste using the powdered Kaolin. Judge by the eye if there is enough for as much hair as you have. For long hair or very thick hair, you may have to make twice as much. Simply double the ingredients and use 1/2 cup of water instead.
Once it is a manageable paste, take both the paste and the remaining liquid into the shower or over the sink. Make successive partings over your head, applying the paste evenly as you go. Leave this mix on for at least 30 minutes then rinse off with the remaining rinse water. Do this a few times and the change in hair color will be dramatic.
Herbal Mixes For Darker Hair
These mixes can be used either to darken brown hair, to darken light brown or blond hair or to enhance highlights in already dark hair. The effects are progressive, allowing you to control just how dark you wish your hair to be.
Simple Dark Hair Rinse
Put the herbs into a bowl. Pour the hot, boiling tea over the herbs and cover the bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Strain out the herbs and pour over your head after washing. Leave it soak before drying off. This will darken the hair dramatically with a few uses. Blond hair will eventually turn a very light brown.
Highlighting Rinse For Dark Hair
Crush the Walnut Shells in a mortar with a pestle or buy crushed shells from the link above. If yu do crush them yourself, be sure to crush them to dust. Add a pinch of the Sea Salt and soak this way for 3 days. After 3 days, put the walnut shells and salt into a pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Simmer on low heat for 5 hours, adding more water as necessary to maintain at least 1 cup of liquid. After 5 hours, strain out the walnut shells. If there is more than 1 cup liquid remaining, reduce the amount by boiling until it is exactly one cup. Rinse hair with this cup of liquid. This is rich and dark and will have a dramatic effect after several applications. But once you have the color you want, it is slow to wash out or fade.
Dark Hair Paste
This is close to the commercial hair color mixes you may have used. It will make the hair very dark, gradually more and more so with each application. It’s a deep, rich color you will like.
If you have fresh root, mash and pulverize it to a pulp. If you have dried root, crush it to a powder. Use 3 tbsp of either pulp or powdered root. Mix it with the 2 cups of water in a pot. Simmer this over medium heat, leaving the lid off. When the liquid has reduced by half, thicken it by adding Kaolin powder until it has the consistency of paste.
Shampoo the hair first and then part it all over the head in rows. Apply the paste along each row until the entire head is covered, to the end of the hair. Leave it on for about 15 minutes. Rinse off a little to check the color. If it is not dark enough, leave on another 15 minutes and check again. After one hour, it will not color any longer, so if it’s not dark enough you will just have to repeat the process. When it is the color you wish it to be, rinse it out.
If you wish to repeat the process to achieve even darker hair, wait two days before doing it again. It won’t damage your hair but you should check to see how much washes out before going through the process again. You can always double the strength by doubling the rhubarb that you use in making the mix.
Herbal Mixes for Red Hair
Everyone is familiar with Henna hair dyes. They are sold commercially in every drugstore in the country. Here I have a homemade recipe so you can make your own.
Henna Hair Dye
4 tbsp ground or powdered Henna
You can get powdered Henna at most health food stores or herbalists. Some pharmacies carry it as well. The best kind of the fresh organic powder found in bulk. It’s cheaper, too.
Make a paste with the powder and the hot water. Once it is a manageable consistency, leave it to mature for 30 minutes. The water will bring out the red in the Henna. Test it slowly and carefully, starting with only a few strands of hair. This can be intensely red so use it with care. If it’s not red enough, just add more Henna to it until it’s as red as you would like.
For those of you who would like a more strawberry blond color or are looking to just highlight red hair and not add more red to it, you can water down the Henna with Chamomile. Make a strong Chamomile tea and strain out the flowers. Mix the Chamomile in with the Henna until it’s a lighter, blonder shade.
When the color is satisfactory, part the hair into rows. Spread the paste along the rows, making sure to cover every length of your hair. Once the paste is all over your hair, cover your head with a plastic bag. A leftover plastic grocery bag is perfect. Use the handles to tie it under your chin. Then moisten a towel and heat it to steaming in the microwave. Wrap your head with the hot towel and leave until it’s cooled back down.
You can check the hair at this point to see how dark red it actually is. If you wish it to be darker, you can wrap it back up and leave this on overnight. It will continue to color your hair for as long as you leave it on and it won’t destroy your hair. When you are ready to wash it out, shampoo as usual and then towel the hair to moist. Rub oil into the moist hair and leave it to dry. Use cosmetic quality oils like Avocado, Olive, Coconut or Grapeseed Oil. In a pinch, Mineral Oil is just fine. The oil will leave your hair rich and glossy. Really shiny. This color is so intense it will last for as long as 6 months.
Red Hair Rinse
This is a rinse that will add reddish highlights to blond or brown hair. It will also enhance red hair but it won’t change the color of red hair.
Put all of the flowers into a bowl. Boil 2 cups of water and pour it over the flowers. Cover the bowl and let sit for 30 minutes. Once the water has cooled, use it to rinse the hair. Leave it on a few minutes to soak. This is a light reddish tint that is not orange or brassy. It will deepen with every use and can be washed out over time.
Gray Hair Fixes:
Rinse to Remove Yellowing
Some gray hair gets a yellow tint that some folk find unattractive. It happens to people with blond or light brown hair. To get rid of yellow in gray hair, use this rinse every night until the yellow has gone.
1 handful of purple blue Hollyhock Flowers
Soak the flowers in 2 cups of water, tossing in a pinch of salt. Let sit for a half hour and then put flowers and water into a pot. Heat the pot over low heat, simmering this way for an hour. Strain the flowers out and replace the water in the pot. Heat to boiling and reduce the water to one half. Once the water has been reduced to one cup, rinse the hair with it.
This mix may take a few applications to work but once it’s affected the hair, stop using it until the yellowing returns. If you use this day after day, there can be a bluing effect. Like all yellow removers, this can turn the hair blue over long term use. Use with care and only use it until the yellow is gone. And only use it if the yellowing returns.
Rinse to Highlight Yellow
And then there are those of you who like the yellow highlights in your blond hair. There is a certain honey skin tone that makes this sort of gray hair look lovely. To highlight the golden or blond tones in your gray hair, here is the rinse to use.
2 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried Betony Flowers, Leaves and Root
Make this up as you would a strong tea. Use about 2 cups of water and simmer it until the liquid is darker and reduced in quantity. The stronger you make it, the more yellow it will add to your hair. Go lightly at first and add strength in future mixes until it’s what you like. Too much and it might look brassy.
Simply rinse your hair with the liquid after shampooing. On nights you don’t shampoo, it’s ok to just rinse your hair with this. If you can, leave it in as a soak for as long as you can before toweling your hair.
This rinse can be used indefinitely and will not harm your hair. It will simply keep brightening and lightening the yellow in gray hair. If it gets brassy, stop use for awhile and allow it to tone down. If it’s not bright enough, add more Betony in each tea you make until it’s effective.
Rinse to Darken Gray Hair
And then there are those of us who like our gray hair darker rather than lighter. Some people don’t look so good with silver locks. Steel gray can be flattering on women with porcelain or blue based complexions. For those of you who want to darken the gray in your hair, this is the rinse for you.
Fresh or Dried Sage Leaf
Use a handful of fresh Sage or a few tbsp of dried Sage. Add it to water and make a really strong tea. Boil it until the water is very dark and strain out the sage. Pour it over your hair anytime, either after shampooing or just to rinse. This will make gray hair very dark and however often you use it the darker it will get. It will not leave streaky patches or fade out in areas like some colors do. If you want to, you can take it all the way back to dark brown. It’s up to you. Just remember to use it as often as you like and stop using it when your hair is where you want it. You can always freshen up, at any time, when the color fades or isn’t rich enough. This will not harm or dry out your hair. In fact, it’s good for it!
Now that you have read my post on dyeing your hair with herbs and maybe even tried a few of the recipes, you might be interested in learning more. Here are my books on this subject:
OR ON KINDLE: