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How to Dye your Hair With Herbs

Chemical-free hair, it’s a nice thought.

Well, fortunately, with a little help from mother nature, it is possible.

She provides us with a vast array of herbs, that caters for every hair colour.

Dyeing your hair with herbs

Because you’re using natural herbs, the formula will change depending on the treatment you are doing.

For instance, if you plan to add high or low lights to your hair, then a decoction or tincture needs to be used as a rinse.

However, if you plan on fully dyeing your hair, the formula will need to be more intense, so a paste is required. To get the desired result, the dye will need to be left on for some time.

Herbs for low lights and highlights

Blonde hair

  • chamomile
  • rhubarb root
  • privet leaves
  • mullein flowers


  • sage
  • rosemary
  • walnut shells
  • raspberry leaves


Herbs for dyeing your hair

Blonde hair

  • lemon
  • marigold
  • rhubarb root
  • chamomile
  • horsetail root


  • sage
  • indigo
  • black tea
  • elderberries
  • walnuts


  • henna
  • saffron
  • hibiscus
  • alkanet root

Grey Hair

  • sage
  • walnut
  • black tea
  • walnuts

Restorative herbs

It’s great to include these herbs as a mask or treatment, to help restore your hair after dyeing:

Horsetail is a nutritive herb abundant in vitamins and minerals and rich in silica, which gives horsetail its effectiveness in revitalising your hair. Silica is a mineral that is the third most abundant trace mineral found in the human body; it helps strengthen your hair and helps to give it shine.

Marshmallow root is a demulcent herb that contains mucilage, which will moisturise and soothe your hair and scalp. The mucilage binds to the proteins in your hair, making it appear fuller and thicker. It also works really well as a detangler and is the perfect choice for dry, brittle, and damaged hair.

Chamomile works to promote a healthy scalp and add shine; it will also lighten and brighten blonde hair.

Calendula works similarly to chamomile; it cleanses your hair and brings brightness to the colour. It helps the hair grow and acts as a gentle hair and skin tonic.


As you can see, many different herbs can be used depending on your hair colouring, the final intensity you get will not give you the same result as a synthetic dye, so be prepared to add more then one application, if you don’t get the desired result on the first go.

If you have trouble sourcing herbs don’t be tempted to substitute, as you could end up with disastrous results; as a rule of thumb, dried herbs or fresh herbs are fine to use but never substitute herbs for berries, leaves or stems.

You may end up with the wrong intensity or colour.

On a final note; many chemical hair dyes contain amines. While you may think you’re safe because it’s only your hair coming into contact with amines, your scalp is very porous. It can easily absorb these chemicals into the bloodstream.

This is why it is great to choose natural hair dyes obtained from herbs; they are much safer than commercial dyes, containing these unhealthy compounds.

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