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Natural Red Hair Dye Recipes

Red Hair Dye, Courtesy of Mother Nature

Blondes are wild, Brunettes are true,
But you never know just what a redhead will do

Fun hair colouring fact.

Did you know that all redheads aren’t really redheads; they’re copper heads?

Why? Because all red hair is made up of a base of gold and copper undertones first, this is why they tend to look more natural than cool reds.

So if you are a silver fox or strawberry-tinged blonde, who is flirting with the idea of going all red and vixen like.

Or just a little nervous about dying your mousey brown locks red this is the article for you.

Adding red highlights or undertones to your hair is a great way to give your hair a gentle, natural lift, this you can easily achieve with the following red hair dye tips, that are surprisingly easy to create:

The best herbs to dye your hair red

Instead of going the commercial route to get the job done, you can dye your hair at home.

You can achieve almost any look, from vivid reds to subtle auburn; it simply requires a little trial and error before you achieve the desired effect.

The following gorgeous herbs will take your hair from dull to lovely undertones of red and copper in no time at all:

Hibiscus and calendula herbs


  • 1 cup dried hibiscus or calendula flowers
  • 2 cups purified water
  • pinch of paprika (optional)
  • spritz bottle
  • strainer
  • a bowl


  1. Boil the water in a saucepan; once boiled, turn off the heat.
  2. Add the flowers to the steaming water and steep for 5-10 minutes. The longer you steep the flowers, the stronger the rinse will be.
  3. Strain the flowers and allow the water to cool completely.
  4. As an optional step, you can add a pinch of paprika to your brew.
  5. Place the solution in your spritz bottle

To use:

  • spray on dry, clean hair, either all over, or in small sections to achieve targeted highlights
  • Comb through and leave on your hair for one hour, then rinse and shampoo as usual
  • If it’s expedited red highlights you want, blow dry your hair while the spray is still on, the heat will speed the highlighting process

Here at the Naked Chemist, we love gorgeous hibiscus and especially calendula; it truly is a herb of the sun. Using calendula flowers as a herb will help to give your red hair a beautiful, pinkish-red hue.

Hibiscus flowers mixed with alkanet root makes a strong red dye, creating warm, bright highlights.


If you want to take your look from blonde to bright red, or go from black to vampish, henna delivers every time; or if you want red hair with high impact, henna will be your best option.

Henna is a flowering plant that contains a burgundy-red dye known as lawsone. When shopping for henna, beware of henna formulations that list various shades on the box, such as burgundy, auburn, pink, and so on. Natural henna really only comes in a single red-orange shade.

The best way to determine whether your hair colour will be right for you is to do a strand test before putting it over your entire head. Henna can be really stubborn to remove once you have applied it, and just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it is not as permanent as most synthetic hair dyes. Therefore, we recommend doing a skin patch test first to ensure you’re not sensitive or allergic to henna before using it.

This article covers henna recipes and hair dyes, to help you achieve the tone you require, depending on your hair colouring.


As we can see, adding red or pink highlights and undertones are simple with natural ingredients – the more applications you do, the darker your hair will become.

As with everything in nature, some herbs work synergistically together; for instance, both hibiscus and calendula are great for creating subtle highlights, hibiscus and alkanet will create darker tones. Alternatively, if you want to add red undertones to brown hair, saffron is a really nice option.

Seriously, who would have thought that mother nature could give us so many options? You almost have to wonder why we use commercial dyes in the first place.

This is a really cool resource for redheads, covering everything from dyes to makeup for cool tones.

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