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Tips for Coloring Your Hair Naturally (and Safely)

Gone are the days when hair dying was only a means of covering the unavoidable graying of the hair. Nowadays, artificial hair coloring has become a trend, both among the young and old, men and women alike. The process is essentially a cosmetic one, done to combat gray hair, revitalize color after a hairdressing procedure like bleaching, or experiment with a brand-new color to make a fashion statement.

Hair coloring is no longer a process that is solely undertaken at luxury salons since a lot of people have become expert at doing it at home. Furthermore, over the course of time, safer and more natural substitutes and tips have emerged, allowing to color your hair naturally and safely.

Steer Clear of Chemical-based Products

According to the National Cancer Institute states that more than 5,000 different harsh chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are considered to be carcinogenic in animals. Even though manufacturers have greatly improved dye products to get rid some of the more harmful chemicals that were used in the 1970s, the majority still contain things such as:

  • Quaternium – 15, a chemical that can release formaldehyde, a well-known carcinogen.
  • Phenylenediamine – which is a respiratory and skin irritant and has been termed in the EU as toxic and dangerous to the environment.
  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates - which may disrupt hormones

Various studies are backing up the claim that excess exposure to hair dye might adversely impact our health. Even if you are not a hair color fanatic, it is still not comforting to imagine all those harsh chemicals absorbing into our scalps (not to mention the negative effects these chemicals have on the environment).

Fortunately, there are better alternatives.

Coloring Your Hair Naturally

As it turns out, our kitchens are full of ingredients that would make excellent substitutes for harmful hair dyes. However, keep in mind that natural color products are not the same as chemical coloring products, which is why they do not last as long, and may not bring about the same color that you had in mind. Let's take a look at 5of those natural hair dye products that might change your hair coloring game forever.

1.      Coffee

Coffee is an excellent way to achieve results if you are looking to go darker, hide your gray hairs, or just wish to add dimension to your darker locks. All you need to do is brew a strong coffee (espresso works great too), allow it to cool down, and then combine it with 1 or 2 cups of conditioner (preferably leave-in) along with two tbsps. On coffee grounds.

Apply the solution to clean and product-free hair and allow it to sit for about 60 minutes. If you want the color to last longer, use an apple cider vinegar. You might need to repeat this procedure more than once to see any noticeable results.

2.      Tea

Just like coffee, tea also works great for darkening your hair and covering gray patches. If your natural hair color is light, there are other kinds of tea that you can use. For instance, chamomile works very well for blondes, whereas rooibos may work for redheads.

Remember that tea works best with your original hair color, meaning you won't magically turn blond hair into black or brunette. However, black tea can darken light hair very well while chamomile can work to lighten it, specifically if you sit outside in the sun while you have it in your hair.

The longer you let it sit on your hair, the more prominent your results will be. Also, you will need to repeat the process more than once to see any significant difference.

3.      Herbs

Depending on the type of color you are going for, you can make use of a variety of herbs to achieve the desired results. Listed below are some suggestions:

  • Dark/brunette Hair: Sage, nettle and rosemary are all great options that work to lighten dark hair. Simmer all three of these herbs in water for half an hour, strain, then spray and brush it on your hair. Let it sit for around 60 minutes.
  • Red Hair: try rosehips, calendula, hibiscus, and marigold to darken your red shade or simply add a few red highlights. To prepare your natural dye, follow the procedure mentioned above, and sit outside in the sun for maximum effect.
  • Blonde Hair: Use marigold, calendula, sunflower petals, and saffron to prepare a mixture and pour it over your hair.

4.      Henna

Henna has long been used to deal with problematic hair and has been used as a beauty tool in south Asia, Ancient Egypt, Africa and Arabia. It is one of the most powerful natural hair coloring agents in the world. Depending on your present hair color and the quality of henna being used, the final color after the application can be red, orange or dark burgundy.

In addition to its coloring properties, henna also makes a great remedy for dandruff, hair loss, as well as hair growth.

Prepare your henna by mixing 1 cup of henna powder with 2 cups of lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours or overnight. Apply to the hair and comb through it. Finally, wrap your hair in a plastic cap and let it sit for 2 to 3 hours before thoroughly rinsing it off.

5.      Walnut shells

Walnut shells are your best bet if you are looking for a dark brown shade. Grind the shells and boil them for 30 minutes. Let it cool, then strain and apply to your hair. You can also use walnut powder in place of the shells to save time.

Incorporating any of the above-mentioned natural hair dying techniques into your hair care regimen and giving them enough time will help you achieve that desired look in a short while, and that too without any side effects.