Is it possible to cover grey hair with natural dye? A question I get asked quite frequently by some of my clients who prefer to go chemically free.
There are several different points to mention when it comes to answering this question.
A lot will depend on which color you wish to go and how intense you wish the color to be. There is also the consideration of how long you expect the color to last. And then finally the realization that a true natural hair dye works by staining your hair. Which means that the color may come out a little differently on your hair than you had first imagined.
When chatting with a client whether to color their white hair or not often discussed is the option of covering of their grey hair with a natural color
At this point I generally find that my client has either seen an advert for a natural hair dye. Or discussed this with someone who has brought a box with the words ‘natural’ highlighted on the front.
The problem is that just because a product is labelled ‘natural’ it doesn’t always mean it is. The word ‘natural’ is a very heavily used marketing term which is virtually meaningless.
Because most times it means that the hair color product is only naturally derived.
Meaning that the substance starts in a natural state but then goes through a multi-step process during which chemicals are added before it reaches the finished product.
When looking for a true natural hair dye that is 100% chemical free do make sure that you read the list of ingredients. Because if it states that it is permanent it will contain chemicals.
Take A Strand Test Before You Cover Grey Hair with Natural Dye.
If you decide that you wish to go down this route and stay away from chemicals. I would recommend that you do a test on your hair first. By either saving some of your hair when you have your next haircut. Or taking a small cutting from the underneath of your hair at the back.
Wrap one end of the hairs in scotch tape so that you keep the individual hairs together. And then add some of your intended natural color mix to the other part.
Leaving the color on for the same amount of time that you intended for your whole head. Before washing off.
By coloring these small pieces first you will have an idea of how the color will turnout out before coloring your whole head of hair hair.
As I have mentioned coloring grey hair with natural hair colors can turn out a tad different than you imagined.
Two Important Points To Remember When Using Natural Hair Coloring.
1. Most natural hair dyes work by staining your hair they will not lift or lighten your hair. Only add a tone or make your hair appear darker.
2. The longer you leave your natural hair dye on your hair the more intense your color will be.
Using Coffee As A Natural Hair Dye.
Coffee can be used to mask a few grey hairs if you have a head of natural brown to black hair.
It works by staining your hair. Which means that you may find that you will need to apply the product for several weeks before you are able to start seeing noticeable results.
Steps To Color Your Stray Grey’s With Coffee Hair Dye?
- Brew up a strong pot of coffee and then let it cool down.
- Mix your brewed coffee with a cup of your conditioner and add in a couple of spoons of the coffee grounds. Mixing the ingredients well.
- Apply to your clean head of hair from root to tip.
- Cover with a bath hat or clingfilm and leave on for about 1 hour before rinsing off.
Coffee will not color your hair permanently. In fact you may find that the color will run if you get caught in a heavy shower of rain.
Using Herbs To Cover Grey Hair With Natural Dye.
Covering or enhancing your grey hairs with the natural dyes from flowers and herbs will take patience. As the stains from these tend to be gentle. You will need to use them on a very regular basis to build and maintain the chosen color hue. Below are a few examples of herbs and flowers you can look at using.
With dark hair think of using cloves and cinnamon.
For red hair look at rose hips, beetroots and rose petals.
Blondes can work with chamomile, marigold and sun flower petals.
Getting To Work With Your Herbs Or Flowers.
Using fresh plants or herbs from your garden to cover grey hair with natural hair dye is fine. But believe me you will need a lot.
- Make sure that you dry out your herbs or flowers first.
- Once dried out you will need to use a mortar and pestle to crush them down to a very fine powder.
- Put some water in a pan and add a good half cup of your dried herbs. Allow this to simmer for at least 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool and then add a small amount of conditioner or a little coconut oil.
- Apply to your hair and leave on for at least a couple of hours before rinsing off.
Henna A Very Popular Natural Hair Dye.
Henna is one of the most popular of natural coloring ingredients and has been used to decorate the body and hair for thousands of years.
The Lawsonia inermis plant which is native to Africa, Asia and Australia is the source of your natural henna product.
Leaves from the Lawsonia inermis plant are dried and then powdered to produce a reddish-orange resin. Which is great if you happen to be a redhead or brunette and want to cover grey hair with a natural hair dye.
On dark hair henna will give your greys a natural reddish shade.
Henna works by covering the cuticle (outside layer) of your hair. Think of it as putting a varnish over your natural hair color. To many coats and this natural reddish shade will build up to a strong orange color.
Some people overdo the use of henna on their hair. I have seen many and I am sure you may have too. Heads of hair that have areas of bright orange where the henna has built up over the grey hairs.
To overcome this predicament, you can look at adding other natural ingredients into the pure henna mix to change the outcome of the color. If you have dark hair Ingredients such as coffee or mixing indigo with henna will darken henna’s natural color.
Henna is a natural plant-based dye therefore do not expect every red shade of henna to be exactly the same.
That is why if you aim to use henna to cover your grey hair with natural dye I recommend that you always color a swatch of hair to see the results first.
Working With Henna As A Natural Hair Dye.
Henna will stain everything therefore it is important to wear gloves and to cover surfaces where you will be applying the mix.
1. Use Vaseline or another type of protector around your hairline to avoid any staining of your skin.
2.In a glass or ceramic bowl and using a wooden spoon mix your pure henna with boiling water. Until you achieve a paste like consistency.
3.With your rubber gloves on apply the mixture to dry clean hair from roots to tips. Starting at the back of your head and working towards the front.
4.Cover and leave on your hair for one to 2 hours depending on the intensity you require.
5.Finally rinse off with shampoo.
My Final Thoughts.
To cover or not to cover your stray grey hairs is a question the we all come to. Some of us earlier than others.
Choosing how to go about coloring those grey’s you may look at one of the five most popular coloring techniques. Or on the other hand decide you want to stay away from chemicals and work with natural dyes.
By choosing to work with natural dyes to color grey hair expect that it will often take time and a little bit of experimentation on your part to achieve the desired hue.
That is why if you aim to use henna, coffee or any 100% natural dye to cover your grey hair chemical free. I do recommend that you always color a swatch of your hair first so as to check the result.
Because as these products are natural and they work by staining the hair do not expect each application to turn out the same every time. Slight differences in color must be expected.
With a little experimentation they can be terrific for a chemical free way to cover some grey hairs.
But if you happen to have a high percentage of grey and are looking for 100% full coverage of your grey hairs then maybe these natural ingredients are not for you.
Beware of the so called permanent natural hair colors on the market don’t be fooled by marketing jargon. Always check for chemicals in the ingredients list before you make a purchace.
Because if the color claims to permanently change the color of your hair then the product must be able to penetrate your hairs cuticle (outside layer) so as to deposit color in the cortex area. Something that a 100% natural color product cannot do as it only works by staining your hair.
In today’s world more people are concerned about the use of chemicals in many aspects of their life. If you happen to be one of these people I hope this post was of interest to you.