Non-toxic, chemical-free hair dye: 3 natural ways to colour your hair
Natural hair dyes are one of those things that can seem slightly old-fashioned – Henna, for example, was popular among hippies in the 70s and used by Ancient Egyptians way before that. But with more and more of us switching to a cleaner beauty routine, naturally consumers are also looking for an alternative to synthetic hair dyes – and it turns out these non-toxic remedies can actually be pretty effective, not to mention come with a much lower price tag.
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Why switch to natural dyes?
While chemicals are helpful for getting quick and vibrant results, natural dyes could be the way to go if you want a subtle mane makeover. Best of all, if you decide to go the natural route you won’t experience the level of hair damage that chemical dyes typically cause. Speaking to Women’s Health, hair stylist Olivia Crighton says that most traditional hair colours use chemical ingredients like ammonia, resorcinol, paraphenylenediamine (PPD) and para-toluenediamine (PTD). “These can raise the PH level of your hair beyond normal and the ammonia can damage your hair condition.”
Besides synthetic dyes also zapping all of the moisture from strands, they also have a track record of being irritating on the skin – particularly sensitive skin – and eyes. The highly toxic nature of them is another reason you may want to make the switch to plant-based dyes.
With that in mind, here are 3 natural ways you can dye your hair if you’re looking to go non-toxic.
Henna is made from the powdered leaves of a tropical shrub, popularly used in Indian culture to decorate the body. When henna leaves are blended with vinegar or lemon juice, you are left with a natural dye that brings out reddish tones in hair. In recent times henna has also made waves with its ability to naturally dye eyebrows, a great alternative to traditional brow tints.
Henna not only changes the colour of hair, but also affects the texture, giving you a glossy, polished result – bonus!
Best for: This is one for brunettes and dark haired beauties looking to add warm tones. If your hair is chemically treated in any way, henna may not be the one for you as it can turn strands an undesired tone (such as orange).
bh loves: Lush Caca Marron – add deep auburn and rich chestnut tones to your tresses. With Fair Trade organic cocoa butter, this henna hair dye also acts as a deep conditioning treatment to soften while colouring. If you’re after darker tones, the brand offers a few different henna dyes.
We have all heard of lemon being used to lighten strands, with a little help from the sun, but is this a long-told myth or does the fruit actually have the ability to bleach hair? Well, the answer is yes – lemon can lighten hair – albeit subtly.
The best way to do it? Fill a spray bottle with juice and spray onto the areas you want lightened (we advise doing a strand test first) and then all you have to do is lay out in the sun for a few hours. The latter is a vital step to make as lemon needs heat to activate the lightening properties. You will likely have to repeat this process several times to achieve noticeable results.
One thing to note is that lemon can be drying on the hair so mixing it with a small amount of oil, such as coconut or olive, is a smart idea. You can also try adding it to your conditioner to counteract the drying effect.
Best for: If your hair is already blonde or light brown, you can use lemon to bring out lighter tones. Colourist Rachel Bodt tells Teen Vogue that lemon juice will only work on fair hair with a fine texture, but probably won’t mix well with dark hair that has red undertones.
Cinnamon and honey
Cinnamon and honey are two ingredients that will naturally lighten and bring out golden tones in the hair. But when used together, it’s a match made in heaven. Honey naturally contains hydrogen peroxide, which is activated when combined with cinnamon.
A great way to take advantage of the lightening powers of cinnamon and honey is with a hair mask. Mix two tablespoons of raw honey with one tablespoon of cinnamon and one tablespoon of olive oil for added hydration. Let the mixture do its thing for half an hour before applying to your hair and sealing with a shower cap. Leave this on for as long as you can, even overnight if possible.
You can also marinate your hair with a mixture of raw honey and your favourite conditioner.
Best for: Those who are have blonde or light brown hair looking to go a couple of shades lighter.
Image via @aniamilczarczyk
Have you ever used natural dyes?