Herbs for Light HairI’ve tried several basic herbal variations including:
- Pure, strong Chamomile Tea (brewed with 1/2 cup herbs per 2 cups water) and sprayed or poured on hair and left on for several hours. Sitting in the sun during this time will enhance the lightening effect.
- Fresh squeezed lemon juice, sprayed and brushed through hair and left on for several hours (in the sun) will also produce natural highlights.
- A chamomile tea rinse at the end of each shower (leave in hair!) will produce smooth, silky hair and naturally lighter hair over time.
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 cups of strong chamomile tea
- 1/2 cup strong calendula tea (optional and will produce more golden tones)
You can also use this as a rinse at the end of a shower (and then lightly rinse with water) though it will take longer to have an effect. This will not have an overnight dramatic effect, though when I’ve put it in my hair before gardening in the sun for a few hours I definitely noticed a difference.
Herbs for Red HairThese will create a red/dark strawberry blonde tint in lighter hair and an auburn tint in darker hair. The effects are cumulative, so extended use over time will create a more vibrant red. The easiest thing is to make it part of your hair care routine if you want continual red hair.
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of calendula flowers or fresh marigold petals from your garden
- 2 tablespoons (or more for more red hues) of hibiscus petals (also available from Mountain Rose Herbs)
Faster Way: If you want faster and more permanent results, you can use Henna Hair Color from Mountain Rose Herbs. This is the only brand I can vouch for the quality of, and the results are very dramatic. They have a lot of color variations with red hues (and darker ones) and the results last for several months (or longer if you wash your hair less often). They won’t completely cover grey hair, but will darken it. Don’t use on chemically treated hair or test on a small section before using on the whole head!
Herbs for Brown HairIt is easiest to darken hair that is already light brown or darker, though these colors will even darken blonde tones. Always test on a small part of hair before using on the whole head, especially on chemically treated hair. Used as a rinse, these will also darken grey hair over time. The more they are used, the darker the results. For faster, dramatic effect, use a Henna Color Like Black, Dark Brown or Mahogany. For a slower or more gentle tone, use these herbs:
- 1/4 cup Nettle Leaf
- 1/4 cup Rosemary Leaf
- 1/4 cup Sage Leaf
- 2.5 cups of water
Herbs for Dark Brown Hair or Black HairIf you have very light hair, it will be difficult to get really dark hues with just herbs, though with enough patience, it can be done. I’ve listed herbs that work, and you can use any combination. As always, test on a small section of hair before using. Henna hair colors will provide really dark results that last longer, but if you want to go dark gradually, these are the recipes I’ve tried:
- For very dark hair, put 1/4 cup of Black Walnut Powder in a tea bag or cheesecloth bag and steep in 3 cups of water in a quart mason jar for at least 6 hours or overnight. Use as a rinse in the shower for hair and dry in the sun if possible. This will create VERY DARK hair, especially if you have dry or color treated hair. It will also provide the darkest coverage for grey hair. Repeat daily or as needed to darken and maintain dark shade.
- Use strong brewed black tea as a final rinse to darken any color hair. This is also nourishing for the hair and will provide a temporary darkening effect on most hair types. Repeat as necessary to get desired shade and sun-dry if possible.