Natural Hair Dye: Your Options

A lot of women, and men for that matter, like to color their hair both for a fresh new look and to cover grey hairs as they start to inevitably pop up as we age. While hair coloring is hugely popular, more and more people are becoming concerned about the harmful chemicals that they are putting on their hair and their scalps.

They are looking for natural hair dye alternatives and often times coming up empty since there are many natural hair dyes like henna that have reputations for being time consuming, messy, and often an unpredictable color outcome.

The good thing about the current natural alternatives though, is that you are not dumping the harsh chemicals on your head, inhaling the toxic fumes, and inevitably absorbing the chemicals into your blood stream.

Some of the chemicals you contend with when you use these commercial hair dyes are peroxide, ammonia, parabens (a preservative linked to different types of cancers), resorcinol, bleaches and a chemical family called PPD’s.

These chemicals are the reason you often experience watery eyes, throat irritation, and coughing when you are exposed to them. If they can do that by merely inhaling them, imagine what they might do when they enter the blood stream and come into contact with your various organs.

But, let’s back up a minute here. A lot of henna hair dye products actually contain chemical components, the very thing they claim not to. These chemicals can be toxic as well, and there are only a few trusted companies that sell true, pure, unadulterated henna for dying hair.

While henna has become a sensation as a natural alternative to chemical hair dyes, it also has had it’s fair shake of negative image problems. First of all, it’s a time consuming process to dye your hair with henna. Second, a lot of people complain that the color results are unreliable and often are too red for them.

Usually this type of natural hair color needs a few hours to prepare, or sometimes even overnight, and then must also sit on your hair for several hours for the color to bond to the hair.

However, there are some terrific advances in natural hair color, and there are a few chemical free, plant based hair coloring kits that really get the job done. They also don’t take hours of preparation or development, and they don’t have the noxious fumes and toxic chemicals that are in most of the store-purchased dye kits.

The ingredients that you will find in a good natural hair dye are almost always going to be plant based. The pigments are taken from deeply colored plants and herbs, and are usually put in to some sort of solution or ground into a powder, and later activated with mineral liquids or other liquid bases.

Common plant based pigments that can be used in varying amounts to dye the hair a desired color are henna, indigo (which is a purplish blue color, but can make some great brunettes when mixed with henna),
various types of pigmented teas, lemon juice (for lightening), coffee, saffron, and walnut husks.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of plant based ingredients that can be used as a natural hair dye or color intensifier. Basically, any vegetable or plant found in nature that has a deep pigment and the ability to absorb deeply into porous materials and “stain” them, has the ability to also color your hair.

Think about it, your hair is porous, and it really just soaks up whatever comes into contact with it. The lighter your hair color, the easier it probably will be to get a natural hair dye to “take” and bond with the hair in a semi permanent way.

If you are thinking of coloring your hair naturally, then do a little research on the various henna hair dyes and the new chemical free hair color kits that have come out. There are some great alternative to chemical laden hair dyes today, luckily for us that like to use hair color.

Not only are they better for you because they reduce your toxic load, but they also leave your hair in better shape since they do not contain harsh chemicals. They may be a little more expensive than your traditional “boxed” color, but isn’t your health worth it?