Dyes

Natural homemade hair dyes

Grey hair for most people is just a fact of life. The first one may seem cute, but as the years pile on so does the grey. For most people, the only option is dye. If you have reservations about putting chemicals in your hair then we have great news for you. Here are a few tips for homemade hair dyes that will give you the youthful vibrant look that you long for without the chemicals.

Pick your hair colourDyes

Dyes
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Henna can be used for almost all hair colours, reason being that it is available in a variety of colours. We all may be familiar with  henna body art at Hindu wedding ceremonies but it has been used traditionally as a hair dye as well. The paste method can be used for henna application using the henna powder.

For black hair, it is a bit difficult but black walnut powder will give you very dark, almost black hair. Indigo will give you blue-black hair, but should be used with or after henna treatments.

Blonde hair will usually take up more colour than others. Lemon juice works well for light blonde and some darker blonde hair. A tea made from chamomile and calendula will work for darker blonde types. Rhubarb root makes golden honey tones. Simmer the root in water and cool. Use as you would with other tea methods. It’s also possible that other berberine-containing roots such as mahonia (oregon grape root), yellow root, bayberry or yellow dock can work, but we have found no reports of individuals using them.

For brown hair, use a strong black tea or coffee solution. You can also make a tea from nettle, rosemary and sage. Sage has long been used to cover grey hair. Use it weekly to get better coverage on greys that keep on coming back.For red hair, nothing beats tomato juice. Massage a generous amount into hair, lightly squeeze out any excess, then pile on top of head. Cover with a plastic bag or shower cap, and leave on for at least 30 minutes. You can also make a tea from hibiscus flowers and sorrel (roselle). By adjusting the amount of each, you can vary the shade of brown. And both are full of antioxidants which are very healthy for your hair. Pureed beets will give your hair a reddish purple tone. All red tones of hair will pick up highlights from a vinegar rinse if used after any hair colour.

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Making homemade hair dyes

Chop or crush your plant material as finely as possible. This will increase the surface area of the material. The greater the surface area, the more contact it would have with your hair and the better the result would be. If you have a mortar and pestle, then add a small amount of water to the mortar and then the herbs. Use the pestle to grind the mixture to a thick paste about the consistency of toothpaste. It is best to use hot water to make this paste. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle feel free to use a mini chopper or food processor.

Another method is to make a strong tea. Different plant/herbal materials can be fashioned into hair dyes by making a strong tea. You will get a matching hair colour by changing the plant material you use to make the tea. Then, you may use a spray bottle to add it to your hair or just pour it on slowly leaving it to soak in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing. It is recommended that you leave it for at least 30 minutes before rinsing.

We suggest doing it in the shower or over a bathtub because it can make quite a mess. If possible, dry your hair in the sun. It will give it more natural highlights. Most of these dyes are semi-permanent. They will last a few weeks. Hair usually grows out faster than colour fades. To keep the colour, reapply a few times per month or more.

Safety tips

Since these plant-based hair dyes are natural, there is very little to worry about in terms of chemical interactions, personal safety or the effect they may have on the environment. However, they can be a bit messy. We offer you a few recommendations.

– Wear gloves since no one wants dye under their finger nails.

– Do not used them hot as scalding may occur.

– If any dyes were to get into your eyes rinse liberally with running water.

– If you suffer with thyroid problems then you should use black walnut powder.

– Protect your surfaces by dying your hair in the bathroom over a sink, bath tub or in the shower.

Some easy tips to prevent grey hair in the first place:

  1. Do not stress. Stress makes us age faster! So try not to worry. Take one moment of the day for yourself just to relax.
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  2. Do not smoke. Some studies have found that smoking brings a lot of negative health effects from every point of view, including appearance.
  3. Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Avoid excessive consumption of coffee, and try to eliminate the intake of alcohol, as these beverages favour the dehydration of the body.
  4. Consume foods rich in copper. Some studies have found that the early appearance of grey hair is sometimes due to lack of copper in our diet. So, eating spinach, beans, turnips, meats, blackberries, pineapples, pomegranates and almonds will help us with the lack of copper in our body.

Now go out there experiment mix and match, mix colours or just cover your greys. Share with us your results either in the comments below or by sending them to contact@sweettntmagazine.com.

May 2017   www.sweettntmagazine.com

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