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How Can You Dye Your Hair Naturally?

Many people are shocked to hear I dye my hair, as they look at it as an unnatural process. But in fact human beings have been dying their hair with natural plants for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the mid 1800s that the first non-natural hair dye was created. 

Due having an autoimmune condition from my early twenties, I began having white hair from my late teens. This has meant I’ve have explored so-called natural hair dyes, going completely natural and creating natural hair dyes from plants. In this blog post I share with you my latest discoveries.

Years ago, I started experimenting with henna, but soon got fed up with the red tone. So I started to look for ways of creating my natural hair colour, which is dark brown. I wanted to use only plants, as I don’t have the regular waste water system at home. Our wastewater goes straight onto our land, so I wanted to make sure it would cause as little harm as possible. Of course, whether or not we are on the conventional water system, everything we pour down the plughole eventually ends up in the earth – plus it ends up inside us! Autopsies have even found evidence of hair dye on parts of brain tissue! So, let’s embrace the natural way for the health of both our bodies and our planet.
So I now use a mixture of henna and indigo to create the colour I want, along with a mixture of other plants to help wash and nourish my hair. I mange to do this without any access to running cold or hot water – so I’m sure you’ll find you’ll be able to adopt a similar practice at home. Remember, our skin absorbs whatever we put on it a lot quicker than the digestive system. We want to make sure what we put on our hair is truly natural.

Whilst in lockdown, you may have gone weeks without dying your hair with chemical hair dye. This makes it the perfect time to experiment with natural dyes, as its always best to wait between two and four weeks after using any chemical dyes on your hair before using henna.

Before you start on this journey: You can’t use chemical hair dye on top of henna so make sure you are happy to embrace the plant-based hair dye life before starting!

The process I use *:

  • Place a handful of seaweed in 900ml of water and leave it to soak for twenty minutes. Take out the seaweed and put it in a saucepan with two soap nuts (or soapwort, if you have some growing in the garden). Bring it to the boil and simmer for twenty minutes. Then bring it back to the boil.
  • For a dark brown colour, I put 66g of henna and 198g of indigo in separate bowls. I add approximately half of the hot seaweed and soap nut solution to each. I mix both the henna and indigo in their separate bowls, mixing well to get out all lumps, until they are the consistency of runny mashed potato or thick yogurt. I then leave them to sit for twenty minutes, or until I start to see the layer of orange fluid around the edge of the henna – a bit like when the oil starts to separate from a curry.
  • Once the two mixtures are cool enough so they are comfortable to touch, I mix them together until they become one. I then put argan oil all around my hairline and ears to protect them – remember, this dye will dye your skin and anything else! Put on some reusable rubber gloves and apply the solution. Make sure you cover the area well and wipe down any splashes to prevent stains. Once all my hair and roots have been well covered, I wrap my hair in clingfilm (or if you want a plastic free option you can use a wet towel) and then an old hair scarf. I then leave this on my hair for five hours, and get on with my day.
  • Before I am ready to wash off, I prepare more seaweed solution (see above), marshmallow and Rhassoul Clay to help rinse it out and nourish my hair.

Marshmallow – put one tablespoon of dried marshmallow into 300ml of water and leave it to simmer for twenty minutes.

Rhassoul Clay – I hydrate this with enough water to create a runny pourable solution.

  • Then I simply rinse off the dye until the water runs clear. I find using a natural sponge to wipe away around my face and neckline particularly helpful. I rub in the clay mixture and rinse, then pour on both the seaweed and marshmallow solutions to act as a conditioner and rinse. I then use a couple of drops of Argan oil rubbed into the bottom part of my hair to help detangle, and comb through.

I purchase all of my products from Natural Spa Supplies:


There are all kinds off ways of making all hair colours with different plants. Have you tried any? Let me know in the comments below. Women used to gather and henna their hair together, so maybe during lockdown you could host a henna zoom party and after lockdown you could spend the day with your besties and have a pamper day with henna, massages and raw chocolate! So don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends so they can learn how to embrace the plant-based hair dye life and join in the fun!

* Place some henna paste onto the inside of the forearm and leave on for as long as you are going to apply the henna on your head to check for allergies. Always complete a hair strand test before applying to all of your head to check the colour.


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