Say no to chemicals; 7 natural hair dyes to color your hair at home


Containing four major sensory organs, our face is one part of our body that remains exposed to the open environment. Thus, every major organ of one’s face should be taken care of. Hair is a significant part of the human face that serves medicinal purposes. The conventional Hair Care methods include Scalp therapy, dyeing, and massages. Dyeing is the most common of these three.

Hair coloring, or hair dyeing, is the practice of changing one’s natural hair color. This could be cosmetic (for covering up grey hair), a fashion choice, or restoring the original hair color after being somehow discolored or bleached. The practice of dyeing one’s hair, nails, and other non-functional body parts can be dated back to Egyptian civilization. It was found via manuscripts that Cleopatra used henna imported from Indian mainlands as hair dye and nail color. Intricate design and illustration on the busts and coffins of many famous pharaohs have been made with the same henna. 

Hair Dyeing typically uses a natural or artificial dye of uniform thickness to be applied to dry human hair. The color of the dye seeps into the minute crustacean and follicles in the hair, thus retaining the dyes’ color. 

Hair Dyes are available in multiple variations in the market, segmented into two categories, Organic and Synthetic. Organic Dyeing products consist of Henna, Beet Juice, Indigo die, and others. These dyes are made from various herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Natural dyes are easy to use but take time to set, and the color does not have a pop to it like any other synthetic dye. On the other hand, synthetic dyes are made from artificial and essential oils. Similar to natural dyes, synthetic dyes are easy to apply. The final product of synthetic dye is more pronounced, but it can have adverse effects on human skin and scalp due to its synthetic constitution. Hair dyed with any synthetic dye will have more vibrant colors, and the natural oils will provide a shine and luster to recently dyed hair.

Comparative study between Organic and Synthetic Dyes

  •  Organic Dyes

Derived from natural products (mainly roots and dried buds of herbs, vegetables & fruit juices, etc.), these dyes are available in powdered form. Easy to use and apply, Organic dyes provide good color to the hair after application. The natural vitamins and minerals in the organic dyes help nourish the hair and cater to the damaged hair. On the flip side, it takes time to set, and the color will not pop out instantly after the dye has been used. The organic dye can last for a respectable period but can be bleached off if the hair is exposed to too much sunlight. 

  • Synthetic Dyes

Mass-produced in factories, these dyes are made of synthetic colors, starters (chemical compounds that give thickness to liquids), metal halides, sulfates that help the color pop, and essential oils. Easy to use and handier than organic dyes, synthetic dyes are cheaper. They produce an instant chromatic upon application. The color takes very little time to set, and the produced color is very prominent and has a pop to it. The essential oils add a protective layer of luster to newly dyed hair. Synthetic dyes last longer and don’t get dumped or bleached away in the sunlight.

Why do we prefer Organic products?

It is easy to say we prefer natural products over Synthetic. But not everyone may provide justified reasons for their conclusion. We do! Studies have shown organic dyes have various oxidants which provide moisture to the hair; the present nitrates provide the hair with essential nutrients and reduce hair loss. Organic dyes will never get smudged during their application. Synthetic dyes use very concentrated colors; spilling them on a piece of cloth means the cloth is permanently stained. On the other hand, organic dyes get their color from a natural pigment similar to Melanin in Human skin, which defines our skin color. This natural pigment is not so concentrated, and thus it can be easily washed off.

Moreover, organic dyes are environmentally and hair-friendly. For example, synthetic Dyes contain halides that help the dye not get bleached and damped, but overexposure to halides causes the hair to lose its moisture. Thus, we have chosen benefits and quality over quantity by declaring organic products superior. 

Seven natural hair dyes to color your hair at home

Here we have brought you seven natural hair dyes. Enlisted below, you can find the various Natural Dyes, their medicinal and nutritional properties (on body and hair), and a step-by-step process to use them. 

  1. Henna

Henna is one the most commonly used and most popular Organic Dyes in the market. Henna is derived from the roots of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis), which are dried and finely grounded to make conventional henna powder. Henna dye has a reddish-brown color. Filled with various medicinal properties, Hennaa has excellent oxidation properties and helps to control hair fall and receding hairline. In Indian tradition, henna is considered a symbol of good hope and fortune.

How to use:

  • Mix about half a cup of henna with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Stir the mixture until it’s thoroughly combined and has the consistency of molten wax, adding more water if the mixture gets too lumpy.
  • Cover the mixture, and let it sit for about 12 hours overnight.
  • Wash your hair correctly before applying henna (don’t use any other hair products during the wash).
  • Wear a headband and apply an oil like coconut oil along your hairline. This is so that the henna won’t stain your skin.
  • Apply the paste mixture to small sections of your combed, damp hair until all of your hair is covered.
  • Let the henna dry for a few hours, and then wash it off; remember to never use any other hair products before or after applying henna.
  1. Carrot Juice

Carrots are both beautiful and healthy. The subtropical vegetable was first discovered in the foothills of Peru and Ethiopia. Originally purple, yellow, or even red, carrots became very popular during the mid-1700s. And one fine day, scientists collected samples from red and yellow carrots to produce a newer breed of the vegetable, giving us one of the most well-known vegetables. Each color of carrot can produce its unique dye. That being said, the red and orange colors are the most used ones. Rich in antioxidants and calcium, carrot juice provides strength to the hair and nourishes the scalp. 

How to use:

  • To extract the carrot juice, boil some carrots and then mash or grade them, then put the grated carrot on a cheesecloth and press out the juices and other liquids until only the pulp remains.
  • Mix carrot juice with a carrier or catalyst oils like coconut or olive oil (avoid any other hair oil, as the extracts there can neutralize the effect of carrot).
  • Apply the mixture properly to your hair.
  • Let the mixture dry for at least an hour.
  • Rinse with apple cider vinegar for best results (water can also be used).
  • If the color isn’t strong enough, you can repeat this the next day.
  1. Beet Juice

Beets are a set of vegetables that belong to a similar family as carrots and turnips. Beets have a deep reddish color and putrid smell. The first instance of the use of Beet juice can be traced back to the mid-1900s when the juice was used to dye wool. Nowadays, beet juice is one of the most popular organic dyes available at human disposal. Its deep red pigments provide vibrant shades of red in the hair. Rich in oxidants, beet juice helps moisturize your hair. If you want deep reddish or burgundy shades with cooler undertones, beet juice is the way.

How to use:

  • To extract the beet juice, boil some beet and then mash or grade them, then put the grated beet on a cheesecloth and press out the juices and other liquids until only pulp remains.
  • To extract the carrot juice, boil some carrots and then mash or grade them, then put the grated carrot on a cheesecloth and press out the juices and other liquids until only pulp remains.
  • Mix carrot juice with a carrier or catalyst oils like coconut or olive oil (avoid any other hair oil, as the extracts there can neutralize the effect of beet).
  • Apply the mixture properly to your hair.
  • Let the mixture dry for at least an hour.
  • Wash it off with cold water. Don’t use any other hair products post-application of the beet juice.
  1. Lemon Juice

A big name in the citrus family, lemon has been widely used on hair and face. The citrus enzymes present in the lemon provide deep cleaning action, making it best suitable for producing face masks and more. Lemon is also consumed to get relief from gastric problems indigestion, and the consumption of warm lemon water early in the morning helps burn fat. Lemon juice became famous as a dye when people found out that weak acids like citric acids can act with human hair and produce a pale sun after effect on the hair. People who want to get a permanent lighter shade on their hair can try lemon juice.

How to use:

  • Pour lemon juice into a spray bottle, spray the juice liberally onto your hair.
  • Use a comb to spread and separate the juice evenly through your hair
  • Sit outside in the sun for 1-2 hours to get optimal results.
  • Then wash the juice out.
  • Remember this method provides permanent color to the hair; thus, be careful while using Lemon juice on your hair.
  1. Coffee

The most famous caffeinated beverage globally, originating from the highlands of Ethiopia and South Africa, coffee has been used in multiple industries for multiple purposes. Presently its primary application is focussed on drinking, cosmetics, and dyeing. The coffee dye can be used to achieve a darker hair tone. Coffee contains various antioxidants that help it treat degenerated scalp and nourish the hair. The concentrated pigment of coffee produces dark and profound colors after application.

How to use:

  • Brew a strong cup of dark-roast coffee( Robusta coffee is best suited for this, it has a more robust flavor and better consistency while grounded).
  • Mix about half a cup of coffee with 2 tbsp of coffee grounds and 1 cup of hair conditioner (which doesn’t have any natural extracts).
  • Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair.
  • Let the mixture sit for at least an hour, and wash it out when you’re done.
  • Repeat if necessary as coffee beans take a long time to exact.
  1. Sage

One of the most widely used herbs globally, Sage has been very well known for its medicinal properties. Originating from the highlands of western Italy, Sage is rich in minerals and has been highly popular for making the hair strong and preventing hair loss. Used widely in cooking and medicines, Sage has been known for its outstanding capabilities since ancient Roman times. If you have dark brown or black hair and want to darken it up, sage is a good option. It can deepen shades of brunette hair, and it can also help cover up gray hair. 

How to use:

  • Steep between half and 1 cup of dried sage in a quart of boiling water for at least 30 minutes. (The longer you let it steam, the darker the tint would be)
  • Let the water cool and strain out the sage.
  • Wash and towel-dry your hair(don’t apply any other hair products during this process)
  • pour the sage water over your hair for as long as possible.
  • Let the tint develop for at least 30 minutes before washing it out.
  1. Chamomile Tea

Extracted from the fruits of Chamomile, a herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family. It has been consumed for centuries as a natural remedy for several health conditions. Want to lighten up your hair? Chamomile tea can help you do just that and is especially effective for those who already have blonde hair.

How to use:

  • Steep 1/2 cup of chamomile flowers in boiling water.
  • Let the mixture sit for half an hour to steep and cool off, then strain the flowers out.
  • After washing your hair, pour the brewed tea through your damp hair at least ten times.
  • Please wait for 20 minutes before washing it out.
  • The color may look uneven, but it will get more prominent and consistent over time. (It may take as long as 24 hours)