Long before chemical dyes came about plants were used to achieve just about any hair color you could want. I have never felt right about putting chemicals on my head but the natural color course my hair often takes sometimes leaves me bored. So, I have always turned to natural plant color methods to help take away the boredom.
Keep in mind that while plant hair colors can give you a variety of colors they cannot lighten your hair, if it is not already light. Your best bet for naturally lightening your hair color is the good old fashion lemon and sunshine.
To achieve the best color with any of these plant dyes make sure your hair is clean, washed and has no conditioner on it before adding the color.
Red, Auburn, Orange – Permanent
Henna (Lawsonia inermis) – If you want your hair a beautiful red, auburn or even Lucille Ball orange try henna. Keep in mind if you decide to use henna the color is permanent and it is best to make sure you buy a 100% pure non-contaminated henna. Also make sure you test the color before doing your whole head because again it is permanent. A blonde will not usually get an auburn color from one henna application. The great thing about henna is that it is good for your hair and the more applications you do the deeper, darker and redder your hair gets.
Brown, Black or Blue – Permanent
Buxus(Buxus dioica) – With the help of henna buxus can turn light hair light or dark brown or brown hair a darker brown. The amount of henna and buxus you need will vary according to what you want to achieve. Make sure you strand test first. The natural color of buxus used alone is not often desirable but paired with henna great colors can be achieved.
Indigo (Indigofera tinctoria) – Indigo is a wonderful blue dye that has been used for centuries. Most people do not want blue hair but when indigo is paired with henna it can naturally create brown or black hair colors. Make sure you test the color mix on hair from a hair brush before doing your whole head because if the amount is off you could end up with a head of black hair when you may have wanted only brown. Like henna indigo is permanent so make sure you test first. It is also a bit temperamental so test first so you do not end up with black hair you are permanently stuck with.
Brown – Temporary
Coffee – Dying your hair with coffee is pretty effective at turning your hair darker and brown. It can be used on gray, blonde or brown hair. To achieve color you will need to brew a really strong brew of coffee and soak or rinse your hair continuously with the brew. You may end up with your hair smelling like coffee but you will notice it more when it is wet more than anything. The coffee dye color is temporary and will gradually fade out.
Black Tea, Sage or Rosemary – If used in just the same way as coffee would be used as a dye you can get a nice brown color to your hair. Many feel the color is not as dark as coffee but the more it is repeated the darker it will get.
Walnut – The hulls of walnuts can impart a brown dye into your hair. You won’t get much effect if you just grind up walnuts so it isn’t the most convenient option, though you can purchase the powdered hulls online making it easier. This coloring is effective with gray, blonde or lighter brown hair colors