Colouring hair is incredibly popular. A recent study revealed that 85% of women dye their hair at least once every 8 weeks. But it’s well known that commercial hair dyes contain a cocktail of harsh chemicals that can play havoc with your hair and scalp. Ingredients like hydrogen peroxide, ammonia and PPD affect the composition of your hair, drying it out. This can leave it brittle and prone to break or fall out. These chemicals can also strip oils from the scalp, leaving it itchy and swollen. If you dye your hair with these products, some level of damage is inevitable. If you suffer from thin hair or hair fall, you should give these dyes a wide berth. But, if you still want to change the colour of your locks, there are natural alternatives that are far kinder to your tresses. Here’s how to colour hair naturally.
If you’re a brunette looking to go a shade or two darker or cover up some grey hairs, then coffee is a brilliant, chemical-free ingredient to use. Simply brew up a couple of cups of black coffee and allow to cool. Then wash and rinse your hair as normal. Then pour the coffee over your hair, and massage through gently until it covers all your hair from root to tip. Leave in for 30 minutes to one hour, then wash with shampoo and rinse again. You should look to reapply once or twice a month – coffee won’t last long as a dye, but it’s a cheap, quick and kind method how to colour hair naturally.
Thinking about a lighter, sun-kissed look for the summer? Then lemon juice can deliver great results. Simply pour lemon juice into a spray bottle and spray it all over your hair. Leave it in for a few hours (if the sun is shining outside then get out into it as it can help the process) then wash out. Lemon juice removes pigment from your hair slowly, so you may need a few applications to get the shade you need. One thing to note – lemon juice acts as a permanent dye. So once in, if you want to remove it, you’ll need to grow your lightened hair out then get a haircut.
Henna is a great way of colouring your hair naturally, and it’s long-lasting too. Often used for temporary tattoos, henna is a natural pigment that also works as a hair dye. Dependent on how long you leave it in, you can use it to get red-orange, burgundy, brown or blue-black hair. It works best on redheads and brunettes. It does need some preparation though – and beware – henna will dye pretty much anything it touches, so gloves and old towels are the order of the day.
Mix 240 grams of henna powder with 480 ml of lemon juice. Leave it to stand for 6 hours then apply through your hair. Cover with a plastic wrap and rinse thoroughly after a minimum of 3 hours. Remember, the longer you leave it in, the more intense the colour will be.
Camomile works very well for blondes and those with light-brown hair. It will lighten your locks and give them a gorgeous golden colour. Simply boil up 300ml of water and steep 8 tablespoons of camomile flowers in it for 20-25 minutes. After it has cooled, apply the mixture through your hair then allow to dry naturally. Then head to the shower and shampoo. Camomile’s effects are relatively short-lived, so you’ll need to repeat weekly to maintain the look.
Herbs can be a very effective way how to colour hair naturally. Sage works particularly well for brunettes or those with black hair who are looking to achieve a darker look. It’s also a not-so-secret weapon to conceal recently-appeared grey hairs – it is claimed it reactivates melanin, the protein that controls our hair colour. Steep 120-240 grams of dried sage in a litre of boiling water and leave for 30 minutes to an hour (the longer the time, the darker the result will be). Wash your hair as normal, then pour the brew over your tresses and leave in for half an hour, then rinse thoroughly. Repeat at least weekly for best results.
How To Make Your Naturally-Coloured Hair Last Longer
These are just five of the many natural dyes you can use to colour your hair. Once you’ve found the one that works best for you, extend the life of your new colour by cutting down on blow-dryers, straighteners and curling tools. Take cool showers and limit the times you wash your locks – no more than 2-3 times a week.