How often do you go to the salon to get your hair colored? For most women, once they start, they go routinely every six or eight weeks, some even more frequently.
In 2008, Clairol has conducted a survey which showed that 75% of women in U.S. dye their hair. The same survey discovered that for 88% of women, their hair affects their confidence. The advent of hair dyes has brought in much-needed convenience but you cannot forgo the fact that these dyes come with a fair share of harmful chemicals that can cause hair damage in the long run.
There are some 5000 different chemicals used in hair dyes, many that have been found to be carcinogenic in animal studies. Some startling studies even showed that hair dye frequently could increase the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
The question you must ask yourself is: Is there a way to cover the gray—or just enjoy a nice color—without exposing ourselves to these toxic chemicals?
These are the best natural alternatives:
Using Lemons – To Lighten Hair
A method that has been around for a long while to lighten and highlight hair has been one that uses lemons. The acid in lemons works as a natural bleach that is intensified and accelerated by exposing the treated hair to UV rays from sunlight. So after application, expose your hair to natural sunlight for around 30 to 45 minutes (preferably longer) before taking a shower.
As lemon juice acts as a bleach be aware that using it on dark hair may turn it red or lighter brown rather than blond depending on your natural hair color.
CARROT OR BEET JUICE FOR RED HAIR
Dying your hair with carrots or beets is a great way to add a temporary reddish tint to your strands, without dealing with any nasty chemicals.
- Beet juice (can add carrot juice)
- Whipped coconut oil
Directions: Combine together coconut oil and beet juice. Apply to head thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave on hair for up to 1 hour. Rinse, wash, and condition as normal.
Now your favorite morning pick-me-up can double as your hair’s best friend. IF you are looking to take your hair a shade darker or cover gray, coffee can do the trick. Brew a very strong up of coffee and let it sit till it cools. Mix one cup of coffee with two cups of leave in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds. Put the mixture on clean hair and let it sit for about one hour. Rinse with apple cider vinegar. You may need to repeat a couple of times to really see a difference.
Walnut Hulls for Dark Brown Color
Crush the walnuts, and boil the hulls in a pot of water for at least 30 minutes. After it cools, let your hair soak in the dye for up to 20 minutes, depending on the shade you’re going for. Be sure not to rub it into your scalp too much.
Using Tea to Dye Hair – To Darken hair
Here’s how you can use tea to dye hair:
- Black tea – this can act as an effective stain or dye for darkening hair. Brew a very strong mix of loose tea or tea bags with boiling water. Strain and allow to cool completely before applying to hair ensuring complete saturation.
- Chamomile tea – works for highlighting fair high or for subtly lightening blond/fair hair. Prepare as for black tea.
Depending on what color you’re going for, you can use a variety of herbs to achieve it. For 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.