Natural hair dye?

topic posted Sun, July 30, 2006 - 10:08 PM by  Lucia
I have some grey hair, so I dye my hair, but I I want to stop using chemicals. I have tried henna before (the light mountain brand) and the grey did not absorb any color. And applying henna is quite messy. I go to the health store and see a lot of hair dyes, they say chemical free, and they look a lot like the regular hair dyes, easy to use. Has anybody tried them? I am hoping I can find something natural and easy to use...Thank you so very much...
posted by:
San Diego
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Sun, July 30, 2006 - 10:51 PM
    I don't know whether this would work for grey hair, but I've had success in darkening hair by using a boiled concotion of sage, rosemary, and thyme. I think I threw in a little clove also.
    Tag alder bark is also supposed to work but the color produced is supposedly not as dark as that produced by sage. I wasn't messing around when I did mine and wanted to ensure sufficient darkening so opted for sage.
    Also, I've read that walnut hulls produce a pretty potent dark dye.
    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Mon, July 31, 2006 - 4:43 AM
      It does depend on how much gray you have, but you might wanna try henna again but with a slight twist

      this is how I use it. First of all instead of water I use black tea which boosts the henna ALOT. Also I add tea tree oil.

      The easiest way Ive found not to make a mess is after applying the mud on the roots, and continue with the rest of thr hair sticking them on top of my head, not letting them on my shoulder, so it looks like an anthill.

      Then when all my hair is covered I wrap it all in plastic wrap, and cover it with an old towel. Since the plastic wrap I havent had any accidents anymore. I leave it for up to 6 hours.

    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Thu, August 24, 2006 - 4:45 AM
      what is the process for darkening hair with this boiled concotion of sage, rosemary, and thyme? Do you use it use it as a rinse, or leave it in the hair...I am very curious to try this one....thanks!
    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Sat, July 23, 2011 - 9:59 AM
      Chemicals we use on our skin penetrate and enter the blood stream. Thus, I am leary of using chemicals to dye my hair.

      However, there are natural ways to cover grey hair. You can use such substances as ground up henna, a plant, which is available in natural food stores, sage, coffee and black tea to dye your hair. (Don't use instant or decaffinated tea or coffee.)

      There are extra steps to dying hair naturally when it is grey. It's a bit more difficult. Instead of pouring boiling water into the henna, you pour boiling black tea and coffee -- or boiling sage and rosemary. Some use black walnut shells.

      Don't use instant or decaffinated tea or coffee. And before you boil the tea and coffee, let it steep in the water 25 minutes. Strain out the grounds before you mix it in the henna and add a tablespoon or two of vinegar.

      Now you must open the cuticle of your hair with heat. I take a wet wash cloth and iron over it to make it steam and apply it to a section of my hair. Then I dab on the henna, coffee and tea mixture. Let it dry.

      You will have to experiment to get the color you desire. Each time you wash it the color gets a bit lighter.

      Some people use rosemary and sage in making hair dye. You can also use black walnut shells. Whole Foods Market sells ground black walnut shells in bulk.
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Tue, August 1, 2006 - 4:53 PM
    My guess that the reason the henna won't absorb the color is that it is a stain and does not open the cuticle . What I use on my clients before i color is a demineralize treatment, a removal that takes off all the build up.
    The best one yet is Malibu 2000 crystals. Unfortunatily it is professional. you disolve it in about 2 oz. of hot water pour over, work it thru, bag it and go under a hair dryer for 20-30 min. a MUST. Heat activates it. maybe you have a friend that is a stylist!
    This is needed about every month or so depending how much product u use, and what you put in your body ALWAYS ends up in your hair. Trust me I've been doing this work for 40 yrs.
    This way you are starting with a clean pallete.

    Good luck,
    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Thu, August 3, 2006 - 2:24 PM
      Sounds like you really know your stuff. I am always so bummed about the toxicity of regular hair color. I know if you use regular hair color after henna your hair will turn to mush ( this I have been told by many stylists, due to the minerals in the henna...). But, if you use henna after you use regular hair color, is it the same?
      • Re: Natural hair dye?

        Thu, August 3, 2006 - 2:37 PM
        I've used henna after regular hair dye and had no bad results - you just have to be prepared for the fact that it's a little unpredictable as to what color the dyed hair vs undyed roots might end up after the henna. Mine was just fine.

        Blessings and good luck!

        • Re: Natural hair dye?

          Thu, August 3, 2006 - 5:30 PM
          i have used a few different brands of hair dye from the health food store.
          the one that works the best is the one in the green box, herbatint. the problem
          for me lately is that although it covers my grey, by two weeks it fades off.
          i have read of some salons using this product on pregnant women, so
          it must be fairly safe
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Wed, August 9, 2006 - 1:28 PM
    so i saw my father the other day and he's started growing kambucha mushrooms and drinking the tea everyday. he naturally has black hair and after drinking this for a few months almost all of his gray hair has gone away. my great grandmother was 98 until she passed about two months ago and she drank the tea everyday with my father. her hair went from being stark white to dark gray.
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Wed, August 9, 2006 - 11:49 PM
    I used henna and it did stain my grey. I used coffee instaed of water and I think I added olive oil but I don't remember for sure. I put a shower cap on and warmed my head with hair dryer. It's lasted for a while but seems to fade more when I use dandruff shampoo.
    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Thu, August 10, 2006 - 8:33 PM
      anyone have experience using the natural dyes on dark hair?
      i used to bleach my hair and dye it every color of the rainbow, but since getting pregnant and having a baby i quit all that.
      but i miss the colors, i recently tried red henna on my dark brown hair but it's barely noticeable
      any suggestions
      would using coffee or black tea make a difference in this case?
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Sat, January 20, 2007 - 9:00 AM
    I recommend the natural hair threads on henna at

    Some people have commented that Light Mountain hasn't worked well for them. but individually using henna, and some indigo will help cover greys more effectively. Also good , fresh and pure henna powders and hair powders.
    I hope this helps

    • Re: Natural hair dye?

      Sat, January 20, 2007 - 10:25 AM
      I'm about 30% grey now. I used Colora henna powder (mix with water) for years. They also make a liquid version, which I finally tried. MUCH easier...just snip and apply, easier to control, and half a 2-oz. bottle did my roots to match the hair colored by the powder. It also says organic on the package.
      I used to leave the powder/mix on my hair for up to 3 hours to insure the color took. I seem to need about half that for the liquid.
      I don't use a hair dryer, but I do wear a shower cap while I henna to keep it warm and moist.
  • Re: Natural hair dye?

    Mon, May 30, 2011 - 11:08 AM
    I also have been experimenting with homemade hair dye. I tried beet carrot juice (homemade) with an apple cider vinegar activator (2 parts juice to 1 part vinegar). It was a great protein boost but it didn't change my color at all (maybe it was a bit darker). I have fairly dark brown hair w/ lots of natural highlights so I've been putting lemon juice to lighten but I need a good recipe that will dye my hair reddish/magenta. Most importantly I need to find an effective activator. Does anyone have any ideas?

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