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Homemade Organic Hair Dyes

written by: Laura Jean Karr•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 5/24/2011

There are chemical free and organic ways to change the color of your hair. Over a gradual period of time you can achieve your desired color and retain the ability to control the intensity of the shade.

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    Natural Hair Coloring

    Essentially, there is no completely organic hair dye on the market today. In order for the hair shaft to make a dramatic change in color, it needs to be chemically treated with oxidative dyes and a hydrogen peroxide developer. Now, there are commercial hair dyes that are ammonia free and that add essential oils to their compounds but they are not organic. Currently, the only way to make a quick dramatic change organically is by using Henna. You can read more on using Henna as a dye in Henna Hair by Harriette Halepis.

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    Home Made Hair Dyes

    There are homemade and organic options to dyeing your hair. From natural spices and plant extracts you can make a change to your hair shaft and create a new color but the process is not an automatic one. Depending on the chemical state of your hair now and how dramatic a change you want to make, the organic dyeing process for your hair can take days, weeks or months to accomplish. Having a certain level of commitment and patience is a bonus when trying to dye your hair in an organic way based from home.

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    The following are ways to lighten your hair organically. Keep in mind that if you are starting off with very dark hair that the process of changing shades will take a bit longer.

    • Mix 1 cup organic lemon juice and 3 cups Chamomile tea. Message into your hair and spend some time in the sun. Far faster results repeat a few times a week.
    • Mix up mashed organic Rhubarb with 4oz organic pineapple juice. Let the mixture soak into your hair and spend some time in the sun.
    • Mix 3/4 cup honey with 1 1/2 cups organic plain yogurt to damp hair. Massage into your hair and wrap head in saran wrap. Let sit for up to eight hours and rinse.
    • Mix 4 tablespoons Cinnamon with 8oz yogurt. Message into hair and let it soak in for 30 minutes.

    Keep reading if you want to go darker or try red tints!

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    Red Tints

    If you want to add a reddish tint to your hair or bring out your natural red highlights, you can try the following organic ways to go red:

    • Mix 1/2 cup organic Beet juice and 1/2 cup carrot juice. Message into hair and let sit for one hour.
    • Boil 1 cup Rosehips in 2 cups of water. Strain and massage into hair. Can be left in until next shampoo.
    • Boil 3 Hibiscus tea bags down in 2 cups of water until you have 1 to 1/2 cup of liquid. Massage into hair. This can also be left in until your next shampoo.
    • Boil down 1/3 cup crushed marigold flowers in 2 cups water. Strain and add 1 cup of red wine. Massage into hair and leave in for 30 minuets.

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    To darken your hair and enhance the shine for creating low-lights, you can try the following organic ways to get darker:

    • Boil down 1/2 cup of dry organic Sage in 2 cups of water. Strain and massage into your hair. Leave in for 40 minuets and rinse.
    • Boil down 1/3 cup walnut shells, 3 black tea bags in 2 1/2 cups of water. Strain and massage into hair. Leave in until next shampoo.
    • Steep a strong tea from black tea leaves and cherry bark. Let steep until the color is as dark as it can get. Massage into clean hair and leave in until next shampoo.
    • Brew some coffee. Leave it black and allow it to cool. Massage into hair and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse hair with warm water.

    All of the above organic ways will color your hair in gradual intervals. The hair shaft color won't change completely in one application but the benefits to coloring your hair in an organic way will leave both you and your hair in a healthy and chemical free state.

    Organic Shampoo & Conditioner

    Want to go organic on all your hair products? Try out these recipes for making your own shampoos and conditioners.