What is natural hair dye?

A hair dye kit.

Natural hair dye is a hair dye extracted from plants and vegetables. It is usually used in pure extract form and does not contain chemicals like ammonia, resorcinol, and phenylenediamine, which are found in commercial hair dyes. Because they are non-toxic, natural hair dyes do not pose a risk to health or the environment. They do not harm the structure of the hair, they can even help with conditioning and hydration of the hair, and therefore are generally good for long-term use.

Hibiscus can be used in natural hair dyes.

However, while these dyes are considered safe, they all have a different threshold of what they can tolerate. There is no guarantee that what works perfectly well for many people will not have an adverse effect on others. People can be allergic to a wide variety of natural ingredients, and a store-bought natural hair dye can contain certain levels of metals, lead, and mercury that can irritate or inflame sensitive skin. Therefore, before using any natural hair dye, it is advisable to do a patch test to observe the body’s reaction to the dye.

Natural hair dyes often incorporate herbs, such as parsley.

A patch test is done by applying a small amount of paint to the inner skin of the elbow or the skin behind the ear; if there is an allergic reaction, this dye should not be applied to the hair. Allergies can develop despite regular safe use, so ideally, a skin patch test should be done prior to each coloring process. A strand test is also recommended and useful for checking how the dye works on the hair, but this is not always accurate and the final application of the dye may look different.

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An effective, natural dye rinse may contain catnip.

Compared to chemical dyes, the color options in natural hair dyes are limited. Henna and walnut hulls are used for dyeing red or brown hair, castor and indigo are used to achieve a black, indigo and pastel bluish hue, and saffron, chamomile and rhubarb for a blonde look. Tinctures are also made from boiled potatoes, black coffee and black tea, respectively. Other effective rinses include those made from various herbs such as rosemary, sage, parsley, catnip, lemon, raspberry leaves, hibiscus flowers, marigold, rose hips, betony, ivy berries, black coffee, and black tea.

Chamomile tea can be brewed and applied to lighten hair.

Dyeing with a natural hair dye is not an exact science. The process can be complicated, getting the exact color you need is often a matter of trial and error, and the color is not as permanent as a chemical ink. The benefits of hair care, however, are long-lasting.

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