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Are there any natural hair color products?

Michelle asks…Do you know of any natural hair color product on the market yet (other than Henna) for people to use in place of the ones on the market with harsh chemicals? I’ve heard of a few salons that have options for consumers but they don’t allow us to purchase them and use on our own. It seems there is a trend right now in the beauty industry with natural ingredients and I’m wondering if you’ve heard of any coming up with hair color that regular consumers can buy and that actually work without too much complication.

The Beauty  Brains respondsmiling_rainbow_hair_by_eds77-d4gligr

Well Michelle, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is that this is a very easy question to answer. The bad news is you’re not going to like the answer!

Chemical colorants

There are a number of natural materials that can stain hair. Henna, as you mentioned in your question, is one. Certain fruit and berries extracts also work well in this regard (especially if you’re looking for a nice strawberry red or blue berry blue.)

But if you’re looking for the shades that are traditionally associated with permanent hair color, there is no “natural” solution at this time. Part of the reason for this is that no staining material can lighten hair. The natural melanin pigment in dark hair must be destroyed in order to make hair lighter and this requires a fairly strong chemical reaction.

If you, or any of our readers, have seen haircare products that claim to be all natural please forward a link to our attention and we’ll review the ingredients for you.

Quote of the Day: ”When she saw her first strands of gray hair . . . she thought she’d dye.”

Image credit: http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/i/2011/322/e/0/smiling_rainbow_hair_by_eds77-d4gligr.jpg

Have you ever seen any truly natural hair colors? Leave a comment so we can shed some additional light on the subject.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Radium March 9, 2015, 12:55 am

    Also, I know of a natural henna dye from Lush. Buuuut, from what I understand, not only does it take the entire day to dye your hair, and way more preparation than traditional hair dyes. I have also heard, and this is debatable, that the process is super tricky, and if you don’t do it right it looks spotty, or unnatural depending on how it’s executed. Everyone I’ve known who’s had the patience has always had really flyaway, unhealthy looking hair after doing it, but if you try it, could write about it in the discussions to let us know how it went down?

    • Kelli March 9, 2015, 9:48 am

      I did post a comment below but thought I would reply to this comment.
      Yes it does take pretty much all day to color hair with henna and indigo. After I leave mine on for 5 hours I stick my whole head under the faucet in the bathtub and rinse it all out. When it’s most of the way rinsed out I put a great big glob of conditioner on my hair, not any certain brand (I make my own products), you can use what you like. I work the conditioner all through my hair and and then rinse completely. Then I squeeze all the excess water out and put a really intense conditioner in my hair and put a plastic bag on and leave it for about 15 or 20 minutes. I do not wash with shampoo after coloring for 48 hours. I have been doing this process to over 3 years and my hair doesn’t have flyways, nor does it look unhealthy. I get compliments all the time and wouldn’t keep doing this process if it made my hair look bad. There are a great many people on the Mehandi website ( link is in my other comment)who post before and after and they are all very happy with the outcome. Of course, if someone just has bad hair to begin with, henna and indigo isn’t going to fix it. They were just unfortunate with the type of hair they were born with. I will make a suggestion for people who have considered doing this process but have always used traditional store bought dye. Make sure you wait at least 3 months after traditional dye before using henna/indigo. There is more information about this on the mehandi site and it should be read and completely understood prior to switching. Catherine or her staff can answer any questions.
      They do say on the website that it takes two people to do this but I do it by myself. The very first time my sister did it but no matter how many times I told her to put it on really thick, it was obvious she didn’t since there was over half the bowl still full and the color wasnt as good as when I do it now. It is extremely messy so you have to prepare for that. I would be more than happy to post a pic of my hair but I dont know how to that.
      I know I switched because I can’t tolerate dye with ammonia and the temporary stuff washes out way to fast and fades even before that. I’ll stick with henna and indigo.

  • ArgonOilsTheNURadium March 9, 2015, 1:06 am

    ^Lush henna dyes, and they list the ingredients on the site too for future reff. I forgot that in my last comment.

    This is actually how I found out about Lush, one of my friends from high school had REALLY bad excema (SP?) Anyways, we were at the mall, and she and I stopped in, because she wanted to pick hair dye. I just stared, and thought, “that, was hair dye???”

  • Kelli March 9, 2015, 7:40 am

    The only thing natural that I know of is Henna and Indigo. There is also Cassia that deposits a little bit of a golden color but I think people with very light blonde hair would notice any difference.
    The only thing about this Lush brand mentioned is the different color options. Henna will color your hair different shades of reddish-orange depending on which type you buy. You have to mix your henna portion with a little water mixed with something acidic, like lemon juice, vinegar etc. I use lemon juice and water in approx. equal amounts. This mixture must then be covered and left for 8-12 hours for dye release to happen. You can speed this up somewhat by putting your bowl of the mixture into a bigger bowl of hot water and keep changing the water every so often. Even still it will take about 4 hours for dye release. Henna will not color hair any other shade without the addition of indigo or another traditional dye. I like my hair VERY dark brown so I use indigo. However, indigo only takes about 15 minutes for dye release to happen so you dont want to mix it up until you have everything else ready to do the dye process. You only mix indigo with water (warm works best). Once it is mixed to a thick yogurt consistency you add the henna mixture and mix the two together very well. You can do the henna process separately and then do the indigo the next day. This will give you an even darker color and it is how many achieve a black color.
    The Lush product above would not work well in my opinion. I have been using Henna and Indigo for over 3 years. The trade off with the traditional hair dyes is that you dont have all the harsh ingredients but you have to leave it on for quite a few hours………yes I do mean hours. It is also not unlike putting mud or something of that consistency on your hair. You have to apply it extremely thick so you dont miss any areas of your hair. Then you wrap your hair with plastic wrap and I out a towel on top of that and leave it on for about 5 hours. I know that it is a very long process but I love the results I get and it lasts me at least 4 months. I buy my henna and indigo from http://www.mehandi.com and they know everything you could possibly want to know about this process. You can check out their website for tips on achieving different shades using henna and indigo.

    • Randy Schueller March 9, 2015, 9:23 am

      Excellent assessment, thanks Kelli!

      • Kelli March 9, 2015, 9:54 am

        You are very welcome Randy!

  • Paige Smith July 29, 2015, 12:01 pm

    It is interesting to learn about natural hair alternatives. However, it is unfortunate that you can only stain your hair when you use these. I would like to learn more about natural options for redheads.

  • Sveta September 16, 2015, 3:33 pm

    There is a salon in my neighborhood that claims using organic hair dye by Organic Color System. “Organic Color System is an oil base hair color. What it does is to actually suspend color molecules in an oil base, which softens the hair cuticle. The stylist applying heat then opens the cuticle rather than blowing it up and damaging it with ammonia. Organic Color System is an oil base hair color. What it does is to actually suspend color molecules in an oil base, which softens the hair cuticle. The stylist applying heat then opens the cuticle rather than blowing it up and damaging it with ammonia.
    No other permanent hair color can deliver such vibrant color and great coverage while maintaining the condition of the hair.
    Organic Color Systems is the world’s only hair color that is:
    •Truly Salon Exclusive & ammonia free
    •Supreme 100% Resistant grey coverage 
    •Exclusive Certified Organic Ingredients
    •Certified vegan & cruelty-free by PETA
    •Guaranteed Supreme Performance
    •Rich with Nutrients, Antioxidants, Vitamins, & Amino Acids”

    The link to this Organic Color System takes you to a website that brands their hair color as OWAY. Salon’s website also has a link to a NY Times article that talks about L’Oréal Professionnel INOA, which stands for Innovation No Ammonia. The article does mention Organic Color System.
    Any thoughts?

  • Samara October 19, 2015, 5:29 am

    Idk what you guys are talking about with this Henna thing. Maybe mainstream American “Henna” (purposeful quotes) needs to be left in hair but I get mine imported and the first I used (France) told to set for 30 minutes, worked like a charm.

    The second was one hour, and that seemed bizarre to me. The cheaper brands seem more mud-like. In regards to where you get them: An international store of course.

    I also never heard of wrapping hair in plastic and leaving in for hooouuurs~ that seems like compensation for a very weak henna product. I thought the time it took to apply was a bit much but it’s like a trip to the salon & if the product is right, looks just as good. 😉

  • Anna Menzel February 26, 2016, 8:08 pm

    Hopefully we will eventually find a natural way to color hair. I’m perfectly fine with our current synthetic coloring methods. As long as enough research is done to know that it won’t negatively impact anyone I am fine with using scientifically derived products.

  • Hemani Herbal June 21, 2016, 2:59 am

    Staying healthy and natural is the primary and main concern of our lives. Using natural hair care products by the Hemani herbal makes your hairs remain natural forever with shine in it.