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Color Craze: Natural Hair Dye Alternatives

Avoiding chemicals and loving your color has never been easier!

· beauty,natural,hair care

By now you’ve seen and probably grown accustomed to the new beauty trend for Millennials – colorful hair dye spanning every color of the rainbow and beyond – from electric blue to neon pink and even unicorn colored hair! But with all the dangers of the harsh chemicals present in most modern hair dying products, it’s time to discover the safer, more natural hair dye options on the market today, in addition to some DIY hair dye projects you can try at home. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Switch to Natural Hair Dye?

Over-the-counter hair coloring kits as well as the most professional salon products contain harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of its nutrients and lead to stunted growth, lifeless and dull locks, and even worse – potential long-term health problems (even cancer – yikes!). Common chemicals in hair dyes include carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and serious skin and respiratory irritants. Disposing of those chemicals after dying your hair also harms the environment, so why not try gentler, natural hair dye options?

When it comes to bright hair colors, unless you already have light hair, most natural hair dye products will look like a less-saturated wash or tint. But instead of bleaching the color out of your hair to achieve a brighter hue, consider a temporary fix, or learn about bleach-free hair lightening.

If you’re worried about how your hair may look after trying the natural hair dye recipes below, just cut off a few locks and test that hair first with a small amount of dye. Then, if you like the results, go all in with your full mane!

Natural Blue Hair Dye

Try this recipe from Bellatory for chemical-free blue hair coloring.


  • Blue food coloring (or make your own)
  • Dye-friendly conditioner
  • Paint brush (to mix and apply hair coloring)
  • Shower cap
  • Small bowl


  • Pour half a cup of conditioner into a bowl.
  • Stir in a few drops of blue food coloring.
  • Once you have the shade you want, apply the dye evenly to your hair and then cover your head with a shower cap to prevent staining.
  • Leave the dye in for 5 to 6 hours.
  • Rinse out the dye with water or consider rinsing with an apple cider vinegar/water solution (1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup of water) to help the color last longer.
  • Towel dry your hair.
  • Avoid washing your hair again for several days, so the color doesn’t fade out right away.

Naturally Lighten Your Hair

When it comes to a sun-kissed color, try naturally lightening your hair with herbs. While it won’t be as dramatic as blue hair, you’ll love the golden glow – especially on already blonde or chestnut locks.


  • 1/2 cup of chamomile leaves
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice (optional)


  • For golden highlights, brew a 1/2 cup of chamomile leaves in 2 cups of water, and spray or pour the mixture on your hair.
  • Leave on hair for 2-3 hours while sitting in direct sunlight to enhance the effect.
  • Over time, a chamomile tea rinse left on your hair at the end of each shower will also naturally lighten your hair.
  • To touch up highlights, spray and brush a 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice through your hair and leave it in the sun for several hours.

Or, for a quick fix on-the-go, use Chamomile Shampoo from Herbatint, made with chamomile, rhubarb, and saffron extracts that naturally illuminate your highlights.

Red Tinted Hair Color

For a strawberry blonde hue, herbs and flowers in this recipe from Wellness Mama will do the trick.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of calendula flowers or fresh marigold petals
  • 2-3 tbsp of hibiscus petals
  • Pot to boil water
  • Paint brush or applicator
  • Strainer


  • Boil water.
  • Add the flowers and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Strain the flowers and refrigerate the liquid.
  • Use the mixture as a final hair rinse at the end of each shower.
  • Towel dry hair in the sun.
  • Repeat daily and then every few days to maintain the color.

Natural Brown Hair Color

For caramel colored hair, henna-based products will darken your locks naturally, but don’t use henna on chemically treated hair. Instead, opt for natural hair dye made from herbs , or use this recipe from Wellness Mama. (You can also try darkening your hair with coffee!)


  • 1/4 cup nettle leaf
  • 1/4 cup rosemary leaf
  • 1/4 cup sage leaf
  • 2.5 cups of water
  • Pot to boil water
  • Paint brush or applicator
  • Cheesecloth


  • Boil water, and then simmer herbs in water for 30 minutes.
  • Strain when cool with a cheesecloth, and store liquid mixture in fridge.
  • Spray or brush mixture into hair an hour before showering each day or use as a final rinse at end of shower.
  • Shampoo as normal.
  • Repeat until desired color is reached.

For more fun all-natural hair dye recipes, check out this article from Healthline, which calls for carrots, beets, sage and a host of other kitchen staples to add more color to your life!

Natural Hair Dye Out of the Box

If you have sensitive skin or don’t have time to prepare your own natural hair dye concoctions, try Herbatint’s line of Permanent Herbal Hair Color. The brand’s natural hair dye products have been dermatologically tested and found to offer nourishing, 100% grey coverage from certified herbal extracts without the addition of any ammonia, parabens, or alcohol. Herbatint offers a wide variety of shades – from Mahogany Chestnut to Crimson Red.

And if you absolutely can’t get the color you want out of natural solutions, check out this list of the least-toxic hair dyes available today, as researched by the Environmental Working Group.

What natural hair dye tips do you have for our readers? We’d love to hear your suggestions!


Photo by Kyle Smith on Unsplash

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