Our Promise to You Things We Love Wholesale Info FAQ
Be Wild,
Be Beautiful.
Sign up for our Newsletter and
get FREE tips on how to look
and feel amazing here...

Ditch the Chemicals — 7 Ways to Color Your Hair Naturally


Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice... read more

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program. Cosmetic products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. read less

color your hair naturally

According to one survey from the U.K., women change their hairstyles about 150 times over the course of a lifetime. However many times you make the change, it’s likely that coloring is a part of the process.

It’s not required, of course. The New York Daily News states that going gray is in vogue, with celebrities like Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Meryl Streep embracing their natural silver.

Still, about 65 percent of women alter their natural hair color, about a 7 percent increase from the 1950s. We like playing with color. It makes us feel good…Until we open the bottle and smell all the fumes.

Traditional hair dyes are full of potentially harmful chemicals that at high exposures, have been linked with skin and respiratory irritation, a suppressed immune system, and even cancer.

Is there a way to cover the gray—or just enjoy a nice color—without exposing ourselves to these toxic chemicals?

The Concern About Regular Hair Dyes

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that over 5,000 different chemicals are used in hair dye products, some of which are reported to be carcinogenic in animals. Though manufacturers have improved dye products to eliminate some of the more dangerous chemicals that were used in the 1970s, most still contain things like:

  • Quaternium-15, which can release formaldehyde, a known carcinogen);
  • Alkylphenol ethoxylates (APEs), which may be hormone disruptors;
  • Phenylenediamine (PPD), which is a skin and respiratory irritant and has been classified in the European Union as toxic and dangerous to the environment.

The NCI notes that some studies have found that hairdressers and barbers are at an increased risk of bladder cancer, potentially because of coloring chemicals. Other studies have found personal use of hair dyes could potentially increase the risk of leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, but results have been mixed.

When we review the research, we can see that we don’t have enough studies yet to know how coloring our hair maybe 6-10 times a year really affects our health. Most likely—unless we’re hairdressers who deal with high exposures or we color more frequently than usual—the effects will be negligible. Still, it’s not comforting to imagine all those chemicals seeping into our scalps (not to mention the toll the creation and disposal of these chemicals takes on the environment).

What's Your Skin Score Quiz

Fortunately, there are other alternatives.

Coloring Your Hair Naturally

Turns out we can use a lot of natural ingredients—some of which we can find in our kitchens—to create new hair color. It depends on what color you’re looking for, how intense you want it, and how much time you want to spend.

Keep in mind that natural color products are not the same as chemical color products. They don’t usually last as long, you won’t be able to completely change your natural color, and the color may be slightly different than you imagined. (Of course, that often happens in the salon, too!)

It may take some time and experimentation to get the color you’re looking for, but meanwhile you’ll actually be doing something good for your hair.

A helpful tip: If you’re not sure you’re brave enough to try the following dyes on your entire head of hair, save some from your next trim or cut off a few locks and test a small amount of natural dye first.

Another helpful tip: Always rinse out your color with apple cider vinegar to help the color last longer. Try rinsing with a vinegar/water solution, or mix one-tablespoon apple cider vinegar with about a cup of water in a spray bottle and apply after coloring hair—don’t rinse.

If you’re not into making your own, there are a few brands of natural dye out there. Here are a few that look good to us:

  • Logona Herbal Hair Color
  • Naturtint Ammonia Free Hair Color
  • Herbatint Hair Color
  • Palette by Nature
  • Organic Color Systems

7 Ingredients To Color Your Hair Naturally

1. Coffee

Coffee works great if you’re looking to go darker, cover gray hairs, or add dimension to dark tresses. Simply brew a strong coffee (espresso works well), let it cool, and then mix one cup with a couple cups of leave-in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds.

Apply on clean hair and allow to sit for about an hour. If you use apple cider vinegar to rinse, it will help the color last longer. You may need to repeat the process a couple times to see noticeable results.

2. Tea

Like coffee, black tea can help you go darker, and can also help cover gray hairs. If you have lighter hair, though, there are other types of tea you can use. Chamomile, for example, is recommended for blondes, while rooibos may work for redheads.

Do keep in mind that tea works best with your natural color. You won’t be able to turn blonde hair brunette. But black tea can darken blonde hair and chamomile can lighten it—especially if you sit in the sun while you have it in.

The longer you leave the tea on the hair, the more noticeable the color will be. You can also try repeated applications.

The key is to make the tea highly concentrated. Use 3-5 teabags (or about the same amount in loose-leaf tea) for two cups of water. You can apply the cooled tea to hair alone, or mix with conditioner (as noted in the coffee recipe). If you’re seeking to cover grays, mix with some fresh or dried sage, which helps open up the hair follicles.

Leave on hair for at least an hour—more if you want more color. Some even put on a cap and wear the tea overnight, then rinse the following morning. Check your color to determine what intensity you need.

3. Herbs

Depending on what color you’re going for, you can use a variety of herbs to achieve it. Here are some suggestions, depending on what your natural color is:

  • Red hair: Try calendula, marigold, rosehips, and hibiscus to deepen the red shade or add a few red highlights. The effects are cumulative—if you keep using the dye regularly, you will notice more color. Simmer the flowers in water for about 30 minutes, strain, cool, and then spray or pour on hair and allow to dry in the sun if possible.
  • Brunette/dark hair: Rosemary, nettle, and sage are all great herbs for dark hair. Simmer all three with water for 30 minutes, cool, strain, and spray or brush through hair. Allow to sit about an hour. You can also use the rinse daily after your shower. Be patient—it may take several days to notice a difference.
  • Blonde hair: As mentioned above, chamomile tea works, but you can also try calendula, marigold, saffron, and sunflower petals. To hide grays, try rhubarb root in two cups of water, simmer, strain, and pour over hair.

Add black tea to the darker colors above to help the color last longer. Catnip works for lighter colors.

4. Beet and carrot juice

These two juices can add natural red tints to your current color. Depending on what shade you want, you can use each alone, or mix them together. For a more reddish tinge, use more beet juice (strawberry blonde, deeper red, or auburn). Carrot will produce a quieter reddish orange.

This one is easy—simply apply about a cup of the juice to your hair. You can also mix in some coconut oil to condition hair at the same time. Work it through, wrap hair, and leave on for at least an hour. (These juices stain—wear something to protect your skin and clothes.) Rinse the juice out, and seal with an apple cider vinegar spray. If the color isn’t dark enough, repeat the next day.

5. Henna

One of the most popular natural hair coloring ingredients, henna is a powdered form of the leaves that come from the henna plant. These leaves have a natural and effective coloring pigment that has been used for thousands of years to dye hair, nails, and skin.

Natural henna, on its own, creates a red-orange color, so if you see products offering other colors produced with henna, realize the manufacturers have mixed the henna with other ingredients to achieve those colors. Redheads and brunettes (looking for a bit of auburn) are the best candidates for henna hair color. Be careful with this one—the results can be more orange than you’d like, so you may want to mix a little chamomile in with the paste to tame the color.

To make your own henna hair dye, mix about one cup of henna powder with 2 cups lemon juice. You can also add in a tablespoon of vinegar to help release the color. Allow to sit about 4-6 hours until it thickens. Apply to hair and comb through. (This is messy so be prepared!) Wrap your hair in plastic wrap and allow to sit 2-3 hours before rinsing.

6. Lemon Juice

Looking for a few highlights? Try fresh-squeezed lemon juice sprayed and brushed through hair. Leave on for several hours. If you sit in the sun, you’ll notice more lightening. Blondes can enjoy even more lightening by mixing with chamomile tea.

Lemon juice works slowly, so expect to repeat applications several times before seeing results.

7. Walnut Shells

If you want to secure a dark brown color, this is the way to go. Crush the walnut shells and boil for about half an hour. Cool, strain, and apply to hair. If you’re wanting to cover grays, you can use a cotton ball to apply only to those areas where it’s needed. Again, be careful as this dye will stain everything, so take precautions.

To create a more intense dye, return the strained juice to the heat and boil until it’s simmered down to about a quarter of the original volume. Allow to cool in the refrigerator, strain if needed, and pour through hair.

To save time, use walnut powder instead of the shells.

Let sit for at least an hour (more if you want more color), and rinse. Try to avoid really hot water as it can take the color away. Wash in lukewarm to make the color last longer.

For more tips on DIY hair treatments, see this article.

Have you colored your hair the natural way? Let us know in the comments below!



Molly Friedman, “Many women are going with the gray, just like Helen Mirren, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Meryl Streep,” New York Daily News, June 16, 2014,

“Hair Dyes and Cancer Risk,” National Cancer Institute, August 10, 2011,

Shares 0
Posted in: DIY
You Might Also Like:

Your Comment
Discussion Dos & Dont's
  • Share your thoughts.
  • Be nice.
  • Post anonymously.
  • Be nasty and mean.

Please Note: Due to our interest in FDA cosmetic guidelines compliance, all blog comments are reviewed before posting and may be removed from Annmarie Skin Care website or edited for claims that do not meet FDA standards.

COMMENTS ( 134 and counting )
  1. Ashley says:

    Well this looks amazing for those of us either not yet experiencing grey hair or determined to cover it. But what about the (hugely growing!) number of us whole our grey? It seems more porous than pigmented hair, and is thus prone to yellowing (and, sometimes, even slight greening). Whilst certainly not everyone’s choice, grey hair can very much can be – once your eye adjusts 😉 – gorgeous in its own right.


  2. Ashley says:

    Oops! ‘whole our grey’ should be ‘owning our grey’! 🙂

  3. Diane says:

    I use Light Mountain Natural Hair Color to cover my gray, and I love it — it’s all natural and certified USDA Organic, and though the process is messy and long, the results are worth it! They only use dried powdered henna, senna, and indigo leaves — and that’s it! You add distilled water. Handy tip: I also add guar gum as I’m mixing up a batch, and this makes application SO much easier! I don’t know how I got along before it. Note that since I have dark brown hair, I have to use the two-step process: color with just Henna (Red) first, and then color with a mix of Henna and Indigo (Chestnut) to get a beautiful dark brown with reddish brown highlights. Oh, and the Henna is also a natural conditioner, so it’s really good for your hair! Just be sure you do a final rinse with tons of organic conditioner. I do this, and my hair comes out feeling like silk, and with tons of natural shine. Highly recommended, if like me, you’re not ready to go all gray yet. 🙂

    • Diane says:

      Update: I just recently switched from using henna/indigo to using Hairprint! Please see my various comments below for more info. And thanks to Ann Marie for spreading the word, because that’s how I discovered it! 🙂 Hairprint is awesome!

      • ANA Maria Espada says:

        Hair print is to expensive only last 2 weeks and it’s done in 3 steps 15 mins.each I tried it twice thinking maybe did it wrong the first time but no.and be careful cause with me it itched and lost some hair. There shampoo and conditioner is also Pricey shampoo ok but conditioner not so good I have curly and frizzy hair and just left my hair Not at all Smooth .but that’s was just my Experience go on the website and to your own research

  4. Deb Polatty says:

    What do you suggest for medium length dyed brunette hair transitioning to silver? I have been contemplating the change for a few years but dread the ‘line’ while it’s growing out. I know color-lifters will fry my age brittled hair so won’t go there. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.

    • Marina Wells says:

      If you haven’t died your hair before, try Hairprint. It will return your color to your natural one.

    • Ruby says:

      @DebPolatty: I’ve always heard that we should go one hair shade lighter for every decade of our lives. I’ve been doing that and now that I’ve decided to “go grey” there is hardly any difference. No discernible roots showing. It’s quite amazing and I’m very pleased with my new “colour”. BTW, I’m 59.

  5. Dot says:

    Diane.. You didn’t say where to buy these products & would apple cider vinegar rinse be better to help “set” the color? How much guar gum do you use & does it affect the color? Thanks for your input.

    • Diane says:

      Hi Dot — Sorry, just saw your questions to me today! Here are the answers: you can find Light Mountain Hair Color at stores like Whole Foods, but I just ordered it directly off their website. For the guar gum, you add one teaspoon per box, but I typically added two teaspoons and it worked even better (but any more than that and it got too slippery and separated). The guar gum does not affect the color — it’s just a binder/thickener, and it helps it stick together and get into your hair and stay on your hair better, and acts as a conditioner, too — I found I needed far less conditioner afterwards when using guar gum. As for a vinegar rinse, you would have to email the folks at Light Mountain and ask them, as I don’t know — it just says to use conditioner as the final step. However, all that being said, I must tell you that I don’t use henna any more!! Just last week, I tried Hairprint for the first time, and now I’m never going back to henna. Hairprint is so much better! I recently discovered it on another post on this very website! 🙂 If you look up the article about Hairprint where it won the “We Heart” contest, you’ll see my comment there, too. 🙂

      • Molly says:

        Doesn’t Hairprint contain PPD? I am extremely allergic to PPD

        • Diane says:

          Hi Molly — no, Hairprint does not contain PPD. If you go to their website, you can read all the ingredients it contains. They are all natural and non-toxic. And I’ve used it twice now and I still love it! Getting ready to use it for the third time soon. 🙂

  6. Janine says:

    Can you bring a store-bought natural brand to your salon and ask them to use it, or is that not cool?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Janine,

      Would love to hear about your experience if you do that!

    • Diane says:

      I tried that once, in a way: A local salon had a deal where they asked people to bring in their own hair color product, and they would get a discount on a coloring job. But when I brought it in, they said they only apply their own line of color products, and were just going to take my product and throw it away — it was just a promotion, like a “trade in.” However, I have heard that some salons will apply henna for you, for example, but you need to ask in advance and see if: a) they will actually do it for you, and with your product, and b) if they’ve done it before and actually know what they’re doing.

    • Karen says:

      I have used hairprint 5 or 6 times and love it. Still struggle with covering perfectly on temples but the gray continually grows anyway so it’s worth it to me to not use the harsh chemicals, so just like any hair color you have to do it every 4-5 weeks or when you prefer due to new growth. I take it to my hair lady at the salon and she doesn’t have a problem doing it. It doesn’t hurt to ask. I do pay her more because it takes longer than the regular salon coloring. I am really wanting to just go natural gray tho now but am having a hard time finding something natural to put on it to enhance the gray so it doesn’t look so dull. Anyone have anything that you use?!!

  7. LOL! My mother in law, who lives in Asia, uses coffee to color her hair! Apparently this is common practice among older Chinese women to cover their grey hairs. She doesn’t brew the coffee though. She adds a little water to the coffee grounds in her hands, makes a bit of a paste with it, and then rubs it into her hair. It must work, because I rarely see her with grey hair!

    I would really like to try the Henna color I think.. sounds fun!

    • How long does she leave the coffee paste on her hair for?

    • MartiniBeanie says:

      Very interesting info. About 20 yrs ago my hair color was a very dark auburn, with a tiny bit of grey @ temples. I used a dark henna combined with strong coffee to create a darker auburn, as I found henna made my hair to “brassy” by itself. Everyone loved the color. Caution : Henna stains skin, clothes, furniture, & only lemon juice helps remove it from your skin. I’ll be going there again. I forgot that henna works so well. Now I have more grey (only around front of my hairline) but have been going to a hair stylist who dyed a lot of blonde streaks into my hair. I’m going to try using a henna again, without the coffee grounds as that made my hair darker. Now I just want to cover the Grey somewhat.

      • Diane says:

        You might want to check out “Hairprint”! I had been using henna/indigo for 4 years, but just recently (last week!) switched to Hairprint, and am never going back. Hairprint is nothing short of amazing! 🙂

        • Beth says:

          Question for Diane re using Hairprint: what was your natural color? Since you were using henna, it made me wonder if you were trying to go back to red. I’d love to try Hairprint but their website says it doesn’t work for those whose natural hair color was red. ??? My hair was never bright orange-y red, but more auburn which got browner over the years and now is a mix of brown (still slightly reddish) and grey/white strands. Thanks!

          • Diane says:

            Hi Beth,
            My natural color is dark brown. Hairprint currently only works for brunettes; they are working on cracking the code for redheads and blondes as we speak. The way I used henna to cover my gray was a two-step process: first just the red henna, and then a mix of henna and indigo which gave me a chestnut brown as a final color. Had to do this because gray hair is very resistant to henna/indigo mixes, so you have to prep it with pure henna first, so it has something to stick to. Hope this helps! 🙂

          • Diane says:

            Beth, since your hair is mostly brown-ish, it might work! You could reach out to Hairprint and ask them, and see if you should try it. 🙂

  8. Jenny says:

    So, I have a systematic reaction to hair dye that causes severe nerve pain in my head and top of my spine. I tried every health food store hair dye and the same thing happened. There is an amazing website called Henna for hair that is packed with information about how to achieve ANY color with plants. Here is my trick, using their info and my own experiments, to get grey hair colored blonde. I use about 10 oz. Of conditioner and mix 6 T of henna and 6 T of indigo ( pure, ordered only from NOTHING ELSE HAS EVER WORKED ) Mix it together and apply all over my hair. It’s messy, so use a plastic wrap or shower cap on your head, let it stay for 1 hour, rinse, but don’t wash it for a day. All the Grey hair is blonde hair! Like highlights! It lasts about a month, washing out gradually. It’s AWESOME!

    • Sarah says:

      Jenny, I would like to try your recipe. I just would like to make sure that you mean henna plus INDIGO. Is that right, for blonde highlights? I thought indigo makes black. I figure since you are using it with conditioner to dilute it that this may actually be what you use, and not cassia. I wonder if you will see this question?? Thanks!

      • Diane says:

        Hi Sarah — here’s why Jenny’s recipe works (I know from 4 years of experience using and experimenting with henna, senna, and indigo): first of all, gray hair is highly resistant to henna/indigo mixes, and they will only color it very weakly. This is why her mix, further diluted by conditioner, only gives her gray hair a weak color (blonde), which in her case is what she wanted. In order to color gray hair black, you would need to first color it red with pure henna, which the gray hair will usually take up fairly easily, and THEN as a second step color the hair again, this time with pure indigo — and then you will get black hair. But mixing henna and indigo together and applying at the same time to gray hair just produces weak adhesion and diluted results. So, that’s why it worked for her, for the results she wanted! Hope this helps. 🙂

        • Jenny says:

          Hello Diane,
          I am very much interested in Hairprint that you are introducing. Is it also a hair dye ? My hair starts becoming grey after I give birth (dont know why) and I am very frustrated about it. Having now a child I am very particular with the ingredients I use in hairdye and skin care… I have been seaching for the perfect hair dye, til I read your inputs… Thank God! Please help

          • Annmarie Skin Care says:

            This is a natural hair dye, yes!

          • Diane says:

            Hi Jenny,
            Hairprint is technically not a hair dye, as they explain on their website, but rather a color restorer: it restores your gray hair to your own natural color. Currently it only works for brunettes (light, medium, and dark), so if you’re a brunette, then yes this is a wonderful choice — safe, non-toxic, and all natural! I have dark brown hair and I’ve used it twice so far and love it, and am going to be using it for a third time very soon. They also just came out with their own line of shampoos and conditioners, and I used some today for the first time and love them, too! Good luck and best wishes! 🙂

    • Holly says:

      Hi Jenny,

      I am interested in the mix you created with henna and conditioner – you said you came to that with the information found on the Henna for Hair site plus your own experiments. I am not looking to do blonde like you’ve done, but an ash light brown. Definitely not on the red / coppery side. My situation: I have been using chemical dyes approximately every eight weeks. I haven’t been happy with the color results, nor the gray coverage. I have recently learned about Hairprint, but my roots aren’t long enough yet to warrant going through their transition process and application process. I want to stop using chemical dyes completely, especially now that I know Hairprint is on the horizon. However, with my grays, I won’t just let my hair grow out a couple inches gracefully. I feel like finding a mix like you have discovered might be right for me in the interim. If you are still around and would like to share how you happened upon your “formula,” that would be great. Thank you!

  9. Terri Z says:

    i use Naturigin-love it!!

  10. Pamela says:

    I recently read about HairPrint. Does any one have any personal knowledge of it? It says it is very natural and covers grey back to your own color, whatever your color.

    • Ginny Edwards says:

      I tried Hair Print and really liked it. But it’s messy and a lengthy process. I think once you get the hang of using it though it could be less messy.

      • LD says:

        My experience: Hairprint says that if you change your mind the color will lighten each time you wash your hair. I did not find this to be true. After 4 months I had silver roots and more and then the natural dark brown. My hair dresser had to put highlights in my hair to make it lighter and blend so that I did not have the two tone color. It has been 5 1/2 months and the brown is still there. So make sure you want to color you hair every two to three weeks before starting to use this product. It is a 3 step process and very messy. The color is beautiful. My hair grows very fast.

    • Laurie says:

      You do get the hang of it after awhile. I have been using Hairprint for just over a year. It really works. If you have been treating your hair, the first few times your hair will be much darker than the natural color. The damage done from treating changes the hair structure causing the melanin to bind differently. No smell, food grade product. No burning. It only works for light brown to black hair. They haven’t perfected the process for blondes or redheads because that is a different melanin molecule.

    • Diane says:

      I recently used Hairprint for the first time, and I love it! I got full coverage of my grays, and I’m about 60% gray(!), and my natural dark brown color has been restored! The health of my hair has improved, too. Yes the process is a bit time-consuming and messy, but nothing I’m not used to after using henna for a while, and the results are absolutely worth it. My hair grows really fast, so I will have to use Hairprint every 3 -4 weeks, which is normally how often I have to color my hair anyway. And it’s easier to work with than henna and indigo, and has no smell. Highly recommended!

      • Diane says:

        P.S.: I’ve now used Hairprint twice, and will be using it for the third time very soon, and I’m still loving it! It’s getting easier and less messy now. I’ve gone from using two kits at once, to using only one kit at a time. The second time, with just the one kit, I just tried the bare minimum on the pretreatment step to see if it would work, but it didn’t take completely on the new gray hairs, so the next time, I will add baking soda and leave it on for much longer, and that should do the trick.

        A couple tips: You really do need to protect your skin from getting colored with this one, even more so than with henna. I use either coconut oil or Ann Marie’s Coconut Honey Mask to protect my face, neck, chest, and ears, and that works very well (and smells great, and is good for your skin, too!). I also bought a scalp brush to help remove the residue from my scalp afterwards while shampooing, and that helps a lot, too.

        Also note that Hairprint just came out with their own line of shampoos and conditioners, and among those they have their own chelating and clarifying shampoos, so those will help speed up the process! I just bought some, so the next time I prep for using Hairprint, I can clean, clarify, and chelate all in one step instead of three! So for me it will go like this, in a nutshell: use the chelating shampoo, use the pretreatment (with baking soda), put the protecting oil/mask on my skin, do the three Hairprint process steps (wearing gloves), and then finally shampoo (with the scalp brush) and condition.

        Hairprint also just changed their packaging and also their pretreatment formula, and their application instructions have changed a little, too (see their website).

        Hope this helps! 🙂

  11. Louise says:

    I tried a chamomile rinse on my blonde hair yesterday and i don’t like the result, it has made it too yellow 🙁

    Has anyone experienced this?

    How long will it last for and anything I can do to get rid of it quicker?


    • Katie says:

      Hey, it isn’t a natural solution, but there is a shampoo that, if used daily will tone down yellow. If you ever tried the chamomile again. The shampoo is shiny silver.

    • Diane says:

      FYI regarding blonde hair: senna will impart a blonde hue when left on for a long time (for me, at least three hours). I used a henna mix once that included henna, senna, and indigo, and I ended up with blondish highlights and a definite blonde cast overall. I then found there were websites dedicated to blondes using senna to enhance their “blondeness” and also color grays more blonde.

      • Diane says:

        P.S.: “Senna” or “Neutral Henna” are other names for the Cassia plant, and there are two varieties I know of that will give blonde and gray hairs a golden hue, if left on long enough: Cassia obovata, and Cassia auriculata.

  12. Manal says:

    I am a brunette and I have been using henna for years now to color my hair, so if you want a 100% garanteed way to getting a dark blond colour use henna mixed with camomile tea

  13. shital says:

    From tea d hair does not become somewhat reddish or it remains black ??????

    • ADRI says:

      I have used Henna for 10 yrs since I was 32. My aunt recommended it since it is 100% natural. Depending of your hair color you will be reddish or not. I like it because my hair is shine and soft, but sometime I have gotten too orange. That is the only cons with henna that you cannot know what colour will be your hair, since it is natural. Most of the time it is and it will never be the same colour eventhough you choose the same one. I wanted to dye my hair with something else to even my colour but after reading all the cancer’s side effects I would rather have my hair like it is

  14. Ana says:

    Hey there
    Just recently found out I was pregnant, and my doctor told to avoid any chemical hair dyes, so I considered some of these natural hair remedies to at least help me back to my dark brown (and whites).
    Just hope all that coffee does not add much to my caffeine intake 🙂
    Thank you for the tips!

  15. Theresa says:

    What a brillant post, I am going organic and the tips on here are very easy to follow for your own homemade dyes and well layed out. Cant wait to try my own homemade dyes. Just one question please..I use applecider vinegar for my hair in rinsing..I am assuming this wont remove the colour or fade it? you say it seals it this is news to me as is great news.. if thats the case i will add ACV to my shampoo as a double boost for sealing colour for longer resuls.Would this be ok to do.?

  16. Kathleen says:

    I’m trying the lemon juice highlights as I write, Here comes prayers……

  17. dil says:

    my hair is become grey now i want to colour naturally black with use walnut shells. please can tell me where i will get walnut shells.

  18. Mudita says:

    Hey! I have long black hair with not much volume. I want red highlights or a compkete red coloured hair. Which one should i go for, from the above ideas? Btw they are really helpful. 🙂

  19. Caroline says:

    If you have the tea what do you do with it, just make tea and soak your hair in it?

  20. Becky says:

    Just a note. I have not used walnut to dye my hair but I have used it to dye cloth and it is the hulls, not the shells, that you need. The hulls are the thick green colouring that surrounds the shell. Never on in the store. You need to find someone with a tree and ask to have them. They are potent, so wear gloves. Even just handling the raw hulls will stain your skin!

  21. That random person says:

    you can also use paprika for red hair.

  22. Alice says:

    I wanted to ask, would it work to try several at once or might that mess up the dyes? I’m trying to make my hair really dark, and in its current sun kissed state I’ve been told it was a dirty blond.

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Alice,

      My hunch is that you can combine the dark colored ingredients together, but lemon juice wouldn’t mix well with, say, coffee in this case.

  23. nicole says:

    with the strong black coffee can lighten my black hair?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Coffee won’t have a lightening effect on your hair. Lemon is the classic way to lighten hair (put lemon juice in your hair and then go in the sun). Chamomile tea and honey can also lighten a bit as well. Remember that will natural methods, you’ll need to do several applications before getting noticeable results.

  24. jacqueline says:

    I am a teenager I want to color my hair naturally I have black hair I have to color it to light brown what herb should I use for light brown color

    • Diane says:

      Natural dyes (henna, indigo, walnut shells, etc.) only add color (darken), not lighten hair, as far as I know. The only natural way to lighten hair that I know of is to use lemon juice.

  25. Cathy says:

    I used Celestial Lemon Zinger tea tonight and had less shedding, my hair is full of body and the grey is a little more red. I’m trying to go grey natual but can’t stand the roots growing out. I can’t wait to do it again! I only left it on about 45 minutes with no heat will leave longer next time and add heat.

  26. Kat says:

    Just a tip but I’ve learned the hard way if u have a darker brown and use lemon juice it turns ur hair more into a orange then blonde

  27. DEBBIE says:


  28. Meekaira says:

    How long do the color lasts? My teacher wants me to continue my study about hair colors using only herbal plants. I came up with a gumamela flower and did some comparative study with the commercial ones. I need some opinions and comments from everyone. Hope you could help me with it 🙂 Ps. I’m only in grade 9 so it’s quite difficult for me doing stuffs like this.

    • Diane says:

      I can tell you about henna and indigo: henna is permanent, but indigo washes out, just as the indigo in your blue jeans fades (it’s the same dye, indigo!). How long the indigo lasts depends on many factors, including how often you wash your hair, how porous your hair is, etc. Hope this helps!

  29. LayKoon says:

    I checked the ingredients of Naturtint Ammonia-free hair color and saw that phenylenediamine is on the list. I believe most of them have that ingredient – even the ones that say Natural on the box.

  30. Cathy says:

    I’m a natural redhead — more toward auburn (not carrot). Have colored the grey in my hair for years but would like to use henna. How do I keep it from turning orange? Can I use paprika or tomato juice with it to keep it more auburn? Where is the best place to get the henna? Does the apple cider vinegar keep the color from fading?

    • Diane says:

      If you’re a redhead looking for henna, I suggest Light Mountain Natural Hair Color. I think they have 12 different shades, with various mixes of henna, senna and indigo, so you could find the shade you want. I’ve used them and it’s very high quality, and all organic.

  31. Mary says:

    I have used Naturtint hair coloring for a year now and love it. Bought it at the health food store after my doctor suggested it. Now buy from Amazon. I took it to my hair dresser and she was amazed with the results. My hair dresser mixes 2 colors to get our desired results. In the process of finding the right color I used olive oil and honey (half and half) on my hair to lighten a dye job that was too dark. Left it on for an hour and it worked.

  32. roxanne says:

    I can’t believe that indigo was left out of this list. If you have dark hair and want to cover gray, you can use henna and indigo. You must use henna with it, because the indigo will not “stick” to gray hair. If you want a dark brown color, then mix the henna and indigo together for a one step process–I don’t remember the ratio but I think its 2/3 indigo to 1/3 henna. There are online sites where you can get the info.

    But if you have black hair like mine or very dark brown, you will need to do a 2-step process. First you do the henna, and leave it on at least 2 hours. Then rinse. Then indigo, and leave it on at least an hour–I’ve actually slept with it on! Then rinse. The color is gorgeous and gray is covered. It gives your hair body and makes it thicker as it coats the hair. You can touch up roots as often as you want because it is good for your hair! Yes it can be messy and time consuming, but I didn’t want to use commercial dyes, even the natural ones. And I most certainly do not want gray hair–just not gonna happen. So for me its worth it. It looks very natural, your hair is healthy and shiny. I order the henna and indigo at Amazon–there are many sellers if you can’t buy it locally. I am hooked and have been doing it for years.

    • Eileen waits says:

      I have medium brown hair with some gray in it I want it all medium brown what do I need to use plz ty

      • Diane says:

        I suggest you look into using Hairprint. 🙂

      • Margaret says:

        My natural hair colour was a light-to-mid brown, but my hair now has a lot of white in it. I’ve used Brown Hairprint several times, and although I feel that it’s basically a good product, I do find that my hair gets darker each time I use it (even though, after the first time, I only put it on my roots). (I suppose the rinsing water running through the rest of the hair was the reason for this – perhaps I should mask the already coloured with oil to prevent this happening.)

        I also confirm the comment of another contributor that the colour has not lightened as time has gone by. Some lower parts are very dark indeed.

  33. Tony says:

    I’ve actually tried both the tea and coffee approach to dying my grey hair. Neither seems to do anything at all. I used three black tea bags (I squeezed the life out of them!) in one small cup of water, sprayed it into my hair and, presto, I have the same grey hair! I don’t even rinse it out.

    I tried the coffee and conditioner one too and made it very strong. I’m a brunette and the coffee looks more red when applied. So after an hour (by this time the conditioner has gone solid) I rinse it out. My grey is still grey.

    Any suggestions?

    • Diane says:

      Gray hair is often very resistant to coloring. You can use henna, but you’ll need to do a two-step process if you want a color other than bright red, with your choices being a color that falls between light brown and black — this is what I used to do: I’d color the grays with henna first, then follow with a henna/indigo mix to get a dark chestnut brown. But, now I use Hairprint, which I highly recommend, again if your hair is anywhere from light brown to black. Hairprint has not been developed for blonds or redheads yet, but they’re working on it!

  34. TAMIR says:

    I have a fair amount of gray and decided to try Hairprint. It took six applications but finally worked beautifully. It is extremely messy, cumbersome and time consuming but my hair is nit only dark but much healthier and is growing longer, so I recommend it. However Hairprint only works for dark hair and is expensive.

    • Diane says:

      I use Hairprint now, too, and I love it! Highly recommended. And, it’s not that expensive, relatively speaking — current price is $39 a kit, if you do it yourself at home (which I do), compared to about $200 (from what I’ve heard) if you have it done at their salon in Sausalito.

  35. Leopoldine says:

    I have been using Hanna, however I am grey and I do not want red or orange hair, which I have experienced. However I do like the texture and the health of the hair afterwards. Can you recommend something healthy to improve hair’s texture? Thank you.

  36. Ruth says:

    I’m interested in trying the herbs for hair dye. Can you give specific amounts and specific instructions on how to use the herbs?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi there!
      We don’t have those specific recipes on our blog but a really great book of natural herbal recipes for all things cosmetic is Beauty by Nature, by Brigitte Mars. Check it out!

  37. Gayle says:

    I am Auburn Red Brown. I am a natural color. It is starting to catch up on me, and I am totally NOT sure what to do for my Hair.
    I never dyed it, I would just use
    a method to extract them. Now I am not sure what to do about my
    Hair color. Do you have any good news for me to come to my conclusion? I’m not good about shades and dyes that hurt more than make your look original from the very first time.
    Thank you for your immediate response to my message.

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Gayle!

      Check out HairPrint! Its a little messy to use, but it’s really helpful for covering up grays 🙂

  38. Stefanie says:


    I have naturally medium brown hair. I recently chemically dyed the underneath a bright pink, then toned it down to a wine/burgundy color. Unfortunately my work thinks it is still too “pink” looking, so I am wondering if I can use the coffee method to dye the wine color. Do these methods work on chemically colored hair?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi there!
      You could certainly try that and see if it works, and I hope it does. You might want to try a henna hair dye or hairprint to cover it up though.

  39. Zohra says:

    I have used henna from the pakistani store for years. I also add tapal danedar tea to it and leave it overnight. I wash it out in the morning. It covers stubborn greys and gives a lustrous red/brown look. I do this every 30 days. It is fragrant and adds body to the hair as well. I also apply coconut oil or amla oil once a month for moisture and scalp stimulation.

  40. Sara says:

    Would this work on a teenage girl that has no gray hairs?

  41. Sara A says:

    Hi, Annmarie!

    I have graying hair. The gray hair has an intense shine to it like light shiny silver tones, mostly on the top and sides of my head. Most of my hair is has faded a dark medium brown, that is at the bottom of my head.

    I want to take advantage of the look by adding a slight bit of yellow. This way my crown will look like I had it styled with high-lights.

    I tried regular dye a few months ago. I couldn’t stand the fumes.

    My hair shafts are fine, my hair is soft + slightly wavy and 3 foot long. I hope to use your recommendations for coloring my hair blonde, with the Chamomile tea and Sage, and then using lemon juice to lighten the brown hair more. Finally, seal it with Apple Cider Vinegar.

    If this works well, I could be using this the rest of my life.

    Can Turmeric also be used?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Congratulations on your decision to use organic materials on your hair!

      Turmeric can be used to dye fabrics but I’m not sure about hair. It’s also pretty orange.

    • Melissa says:

      I actually tried a thick paste of turmeric, yogurt, and coconut oil. I only left it on for about 10 minutes and I was glad I had not left it on any longer! It did dye my grays–a light yellow, but not a blonde. It stained my body while I was washing it off and badly stained the tub. (I didn’t see that it had stained me right away, and thus did not vigorously try to wash it off.) The next day I realized that my undershirt and bra were also stained yellow from where it had rubbed off my skin! I scrubbed and scrubbed the tub and was able to lighten the stains, but they had to wear off (about 2 weeks.) The color of my grays lightened slightly with each shampoo and roughly a month or so later, I can see no color, just the white/light grays (i normally have medium brown hair with reddish highlights with the grey/white highlights at my temples.)

      I would not recommend it. Very messy, with poor results. I might have continued and worked around the messy, but the color was not a natural hair color. Think sunfllower petals yellow. However, I do recomend turmuric, lemon juice, and greek yogurt for a face mask!!! (That is actually where I got the idea to use it on my hair. It is apparently fairly common for women in India to use it on their faces.)

  42. andrea says:

    How about cinnamon and coconut oil? Would that color my blonde gray roots or would it wash out when it was washed>?

    • Diane says:

      Hi Andrea,
      Oils help loosen and remove color from hair, and interfere with it sticking to hair, so I don’t think that would work — that’s why they say don’t use oils or conditioners before or during applying indigo, for example. As for the cinnamon, when I used to color with henna and indigo, I sometimes added spices to the mix to make it redder and/or browner (cinnamon, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, cloves, allspice), and it did work, but that was when added to a mix of henna, indigo, distilled water, and guar gum. I don’t know if the spices would stick on their own. Also, if you have a sensitive scalp, you might want to be careful using potent spices such as cinnamon and ginger on your head — a couple of times when I used them in my mix, it burned/stung a little. So be careful! 🙂

  43. Tracy says:

    I was sitting having my hair colored the other day and for the first time I started to wonder about the chemicals. I dont want to go grey before my time ;-(
    I’m going to be using this article quite often. Thank you 😉

  44. cody says:

    coffee dont work

  45. Alex Gabriel says:

    My grandmother always rinsed her hair in sage water to give her hair a beautiful silvery tone without yellowing.

  46. Rebecca says:

    Ok this will be a long one so please bear with me… I’ve really enjoyed reading your post thank you I’ve found it really informative. I have a brain condition where I believe the stress of it is causing my hair to fall out in big clumps when I wash it, I now have noticeable thinning patches on my hair and it’s breaking my heart as I’ve always had lovely thick hair. I’m already a big fan of apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, what hair I have is in the best condition its ever been in and I have started using a green tea rinse everytime I wash my hair so I have a two part question if you could help me. My hair is chemically dyed a dark red/purple atm but I am loathe to do that again with my current predicament but my greys are starting to come through! Firstly, can you recommend anything else I can be doing to promote hair growth and secondly can I use your natural suggestions for hair dying over chemical dye?
    Thanks in advance

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      We would suggest HairPrint! I’m not sure how it will do over the dye you already have, but you could reach out and ask them.

  47. Kimberly says:

    Ive sure my hair with beet juice and hibiscus flowers and I love the results from just the first process. I’ve also added the same mixture with Castile soap to make a red shampoo

  48. Pragati says:

    Will the red color work on black hair?

  49. Monica says:

    I always use natural Henna since I’m allergic to most chemicals and fragrances. It does a great job covering my gray and although at times is redder than I would like, it still looks beautiful. I use organic olive oil or organic raw coconut oil as a conditioner. When my hair is dry, I just run put some of my fingertips and run it through my ends and hair. The best place to purchase Henna is at local Indian or Middle Eastern stores. They are usually less than $5 for organic Henna.

  50. Maria says:

    I am 66 and try to go auburn or burgundy but my roots always are so bright red or a lot lighter then the rest of the hair what do I do?

  51. Abbey says:

    Looking at other methods for dyeing my brown roots to match my damaged blonde hair. Tried organic honey and cinnamon tonight! Works a treat even after 1 mask. Will do again next week to lighten again… you must try it!

  52. Elin says:

    Yesterday I tried to dye my hair red with soyss bright red but it turned purple/winered, how could I make it redder without having to buy more dye?

  53. Dana says:

    Question regarding wlanut hulls (or tea, henna, coffee etc). I have very fine hair and not alot of it, especially in the front, which means that whate er I put on to colour my hair will colour my skin. How long does the stain on skin last? Has anyone had problems with this issue?

  54. Eleftheria says:

    If you have brown hair like me you can go blonde easy with chamomile tea, lemon , beer,w white vinegar and sun .I did it when I was child and I had blonde hair.! But if you have very dark brown it’s difficult to have a lighter or red shade.

  55. Robotron Kandy Jc says:

    I’ve colored my hair from black to gold before,but i still want to change the color to pure white but i don’t know the chemicals am to mix and apply

  56. daphney says:

    what kind of tea to use is classic black tea ok to use and is any favor safe to use in black tea box type

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Classic black tea is perfect and any kind will do. We do suggest working with organic tea if you can because of the potential for chemical pesticides in non-organic tea brands.

  57. pammy says:

    iam from India, can you please suggest me where i can buy the below ingredients:
    wallnut shell

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi there!

      We usually suggest working with a company called Mountain Rose Herbs but if you’re living in India, you might have a hard time importing herbs from the US. I would suggest working with your local store to see if they have a place where they source herbs.

  58. Tanya says:

    Keeping any of these on my hair for long makes me catch a cold. Can you suggest alternatives to water?

  59. Maya says:

    Great ideas! I find that red palm oil applied to clean dry hair and left on for a few hours before rinsing out will leave behind silky soft hair with a subtle tint of natural red, meaning a coppery warm red, not a cool violet red. Works on my colored hair and I’m thinking it’d work equally well on natural hair.

  60. They should have natural hair coloring in most major department stores. Like walk mart CVS Walgreen’s

    • colleen says:

      Hairprint did not work for me – despite using 6 pkgs over a year long very determined try, their two shampoos, and their help desk and customer recommended extensive pre-treatment protocols. I’d be near 100% gray without coloring, I do not use chemicals, I only use very natural shampoos and conditioners, oils, no other processing. 40-60% of the color would wash out – which, according to Hairprint meant it wasn’t penetrating the shaft, despite preparing my hair as per their help desk, for three weeks prior. Other details for hopeful users: the restorer process is three hours, loved that it had no harsh smells, some users report success…in my extensive research, it seemed to be folks with less grays.

      • Linda says:

        I also used Hair Print but my hair grows really fast and it was needing to recolor every two weeks. When I asked about getting smaller portions to do touch ups I was told they were thinking about it at that time. It did not wash out for me like they said it would, so I had lots of white/grey roots and light brown on the rest. It was not a pretty site so I had my hairdresser soften the color till it grew out and was cut off. It never washed out.

        The color was pretty but to recolor every two – three weeks was a lot of work and expense,

  61. Allison says:

    I had strawberry blonde hair growing up, but now that I’m older it is a dark dishwater color–very boring! Not quite brown, blonde, or red. For a while I was having it dyed red with demi-permanent dyes at the salon (which I liked a lot), but it got too expensive to keep it up, and even the demi-permanent left my scalp irritated and itchy for days afterwards. I’d love to find a totally natural solution to give my boring hair a boost of color and hide some of the gray strands coming in. Can any of these natural solutions, like maybe the carrot and/ or beet juice, bring out a reddish tint to hair that was never fully red to begin with? Or would I have to go for dull blonde highlights? I know going brown would be easier, but dark shades totally wash out my skin tone and I look like a ghost. I also have very dry, naturally wavy hair, so whatever I use needs to add moisture if possible. Will an apple cider rinse after dying have a drying effect? I’m open to suggestions from those who have some experience with natural dyes.

  62. I think you should at least for once try Indus Valley Gel Hair Color, the reason being it is a completely useful as well as natural hair color. I love the orange smell it has and believe me I have never come across an efficient hair color like this. Try this PPD-free, Ammonia and Hydrogen Peroxide free hair color and believe me it will be a perfect suitor for your coloring needs.

  63. Jan says:

    I can recommend Naturtint. I have used it for years and it always comes out perfect. Finding the right color when you are making your own, seems like a risky endeavor. How do you minimize the risk of turning your hair into a “nightmare”? I love beet salad, but not on my head. 🙂

    • Wendy says:

      Naturtint works as well as the high street brands because it contains ppd. I’d been using it for years, thinking herbal=natural, before it started causing rashes.

  64. Leah says:

    I have already used dyes with chemicals to colour my hair and of course they have weakened it. how do i get out these dyes so i can use the natural ways of colouring my hair

  65. names says:

    it is very interesting to know all of these colouring, still many things that tide to genes are hard to explain and know.

  66. divi says:

    These days henna is also available in lush stores not sure how it works though. I am from India and i have been using henna for years now. We mix henna powder with boiled tea and coffee water (boil water with tea and coffee powder for 10 minutes and let it cool and then strain the water into a separate bowl and then mix the henna withe the strained water). Let it sit for atleast 4-5 hours or overnight.It is definitely messy but it makes your hair healthy. if u need conditioning with it, add 1 or 2 spoons of regular non-flavored yogurt. this mixture gives u orangish red color. but if you want a darker color which is nit visible, add beetroot juice to the tea and coffee powder and boil all 3 together. It gives a plum color which is so natural and beautiful looking. Avoid Lemon if you have dry hair. It’s suggestable to add egg white before applying henna to the hair. don’t apply shampoo when you wash your hair. Wash it with shampoo the next day. The henna color usually lasts for about 3weeks depending on the duration you let it sit on your hair.

  67. Ann says:

    Hi! You did not mention Indigo and Cassia. They are sometimes added with henna to make other colors. Both of them are natural as well. I’ve been using henna and indigo for 5 years on my hair. I have naturally dark brown hair with some grays. It has worked perfectly for me. It leaves my hair shiny and relaxes the curl pattern. My grays are all covered. Initially, they look a bit like a highlight, but after a few applications, they just blend with the rest of my hair. My hair feels soft and thicker. I have used herbatint in the past as well. It’s great, but it’s not as natural as the henna/indigo. The darker colors do contain walnut shells which creates a really nice deep brown color.

    Happy coloring!

    Ann 🙂

  68. Rachel says:

    I have naturally fairly light brown hair but in the summer it turns a golden dirty blonde color. I really want to lighten it to a medium blonde but I’m not sure what to use… I’ve heard mixed reviews on Chamomile tea and I don’t want it to look fake! Any ideas?

  69. Beth says:

    I’ve just turned 58 and have, so far, not indulged in coloring the gray strands which are encroaching more on my naturally auburn hair. I may need to begin considering my options, however, since the research I’ve done into reversing the graying process with diet, supplementation, etc. seems to only apply to ‘premature’ melanin loss. That’s clearly not the case with me! I was excited to see your product referred to the natural reversal of gray; however, now I read it’s only helpful to brunettes. Are there no products in your line which produce the same effect for my hair color?

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Beth! We don’t have any hair care products in our line, but I do think using henna to dye your auburn hair might work. For more info, check out #5 in this article. 🙂

  70. Nancy says:

    Thank you for the “home ingredient hair color” solutions !

  71. Sandra says:

    Is that correct? “then mix one cup with a couple cups of leave-in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds” A couple of cups of conditioner seems a lot

    • Annmarie Skin Care says:

      Hi Sandra! Great question. I believe it is correct, but if you need to modify the recipe to your liking, please do. Use however much conditioner as you would like. 🙂

  72. Olivia says:

    I would definitely not recommend the tea to darken hair. While it might make blondes hair look darker, my hair is naturally a dark brown and was hoping to make my highlights go away. It actually lightened the color of my natural hair which was very disappointing.

  73. Melina says:

    Please note that Herbatint and Naturtint (mentioned above) are actually ordinary chemical dyes! Nothing “natural” in them despite the advertising / clever marketing.