Whether you’re coloring your hair at home or at the Salon, the process usually involves reaching for a chemical cosmetics bottle at some point.
A home hair color starts with a fun trip to the drug store or beauty depot to pick up a hair dye kit, whereas the Salons receive the premium products direct to their door.
Which ever way you decide to go, with the right preparation, product and application you can achieve an amazing result, however there are downsides to using chemical hair color products, and that’s why more and more people are now actively seeking out natural alternatives.
What is the problem with cosmetic hair dyes?
The majority of hair dyes contain strong chemicals, and although these are safety tested, you can never be certain about how your body will react.
It’s not unknown for people who have never had any skin problems before to have a bad reaction to a hair color product, and the last thing you want when you are changing your hair color is irritation, burning, or even worse; serious injury.
If you are concerned about how your skin may react to hair color products, read our guide to hair dye allergies, and of course, always perform a skin test before applying any products to your hair.
The other issue with chemical hair colors is the environmental effect of producing and testing the products. There is still a worryingly high number of cosmetic companies who openly use animal testing on their products, and the production of these chemicals takes a toll on mother nature too.
With this in mind, we’ve tracked down some of the best natural hair dye products, as well as a few colorants that you can make using ingredients from your food cupboard – yes, really!
Ammonia, Peroxide and Paraben free
If you want to make sure that you’re protecting yourself against potential chemical damage when coloring your hair, look for products that are ammonia, peroxide and paraben free as these are the chemicals that have the potential to cause the most damage.
Ammonia, peroxide and paraben free colorants tend to be temporary rather than permanent, and nowadays they often come in the form of a foam color – L’Oreal Paris Foam is one such product and aside from being ammonia free, it is incredibly simple to use.
L’Oreal Professional Inoa is another product that is ammonia and odour-free, and it’s a permanent rather than a temporary dye so it’s ideal for people who don’t want to have to top up their hair color every 28 washes. The only downside is the effect on your budget, as Inoa is currently only available in salons.
Henna Hair Dye
Henna hair dye has often been thought of as an alternative or new age product, but henna dyes are increasingly making their way into the spotlight thanks to their flexibility, look, and natural benefits.
With henna hair dyes you can layer the colors to get a darker tone, or mix colors together to achieve an entirely unique shade.
Henna is an all-natural product that has been used for hundreds of years to dye the hair and to create temporary body art, and is ideal for individuals with allergies.
The bonus of using a henna dye is that it can actually give the appearance of thicker and shinier hair so it works as a dye and a hair care product in one. Unfortunately henna, along with most other natural hair dyes, will not dye your hair lighter than your natural hair color, you can only dye to an equal depth or darker than your natural shade.
Homemade Hair Dyes
Homemade hair dyes take a lot of getting used to because they are so different to the chemical dyes that you buy from the drug store. For a start, you will usually have to apply them every time you shampoo, but the bonus is that most of these dyes are incredibly cheap, risk free, and you’ll never wake up to find unsightly roots!
Desired color: Blonde
Ingredients: 2 tbsp. of lemon juice to 1 gallon warm water.
After washing your hair, rinse with this mixture 15 times, then on the final rinse leave the mixture on for 15-30 minutes before rinsing with cold water to seal the color. Let your hair air dry. The lighter your natural color, the more likely that this rinse will have an effect (someone with naturally black hair is unlikely to see much difference).
Desired color: Brunette
Ingredients: strong black tea or strong black coffee.
Rinse unwashed hair in cooled coffee or tea, then shampoo with a gentle shampoo. Repeat several times to build up color and then leave the final rinse on for 15 minutes before rinsing with cold water.
Desired color: Red
Ingredients: ½ cup beetroot juice and ½ cup of carrot juice.
Pour this rinse over damp hair then sit out in the sun for an hour or dry hair with a hairdryer before blasting hair with the cool setting to seal the color. Alter the amounts of beet juice to carrot juice to change the tone of the color.
And there you have it! There are plenty of alternative options to chemical hair dyes out there, and although some of them are time-consuming, they can give you a stunning and lustrous hair color.Natural Hair Dye - Do It The Organic Way!,