We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my full disclosure for more information.
The following natural hair dye alternatives are all cheap, chemical-free ways to colour your hair as an alternative to regular hair dye. These options are perfect if you have a hair dye allergy or are looking for a more frugal, sustainable way to dye your hair.
Having a hair dye allergy can be incredibly frustrating. You can’t really do anything with your hair other than have the cut and style changed (and hair only grows so fast!).
Plus, women with greying hair often feel like they have no choice but to accept the changes to their hair since colouring it is out of the question.
However, some options are still available to you, even if they won’t have quite the same impact as a chemical hair dye. In this article, we’ve listed some of the top natural hair dye alternatives that you might want to consider.
Why Use A Natural Hair Dye?
Of course, being allergic to hair dye is a good reason to look for natural alternatives!
However, you might be looking to switch to a more natural alternative for other reasons:
- Natural hair dyes have far fewer chemicals. Chemical hair dyes use so many ingredients that most of us can’t even pronounce, let alone predict what they actually are. Those chemicals are lingering in your hair, scalp, and on your skin – and a lot of people are understandably uncomfortable with that.
- More environmentally friendly. Natural hair dyes like the ones listed below are a far more eco-conscious way to have fun with your hairstyle – they may be more temporary, but even the smallest ways you reduce your impact on the environment can make a big difference.
- Cheaper! Most of the natural hair dyes listed below will cost you less than $2 – versus paying $100+ to have your hair dyed at the hairdresser, it’s kind of an obvious choice when you’re trying to be more frugal with your money!
Now, of course, natural dyes probably aren’t as effective as chemical-based dyes. Additionally, your results will vary depending on your hair colour. So don’t expect these natural hair dyes to blow your mind. They’re a fun (and cheap) way to mix things up with your hair if you don’t have any other options!
hair dye allergy
A hair dye allergy could be a mild reaction to a hair dye, such as an itchy scalp – or, you could have an extreme reaction with swelling all over your head and face, and you could even go into anaphylactic shock.
That’s why doing a patch test is so important before getting your hair dyed. Since a hair dye allergy can occur at any time, you should get a patch test done at least 24 hours before getting your hair dyed every time.
What am I allergic to?
Most permanent and semi-permanent hair dyes contain a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD), which is what the majority of people with hair dye allergies are actually allergic to.
Allergy UK covers more about Hair Dye allergies here.
7 Natural Hair Dye Solutions With No Chemicals:
Coffee is a great natural way to darken your hair and add extra dimension to your locks.
Simply brew a strong cup of black coffee, and once it’s cooled mix in a few tablespoon of conditioner.
Apply the mix to your hair and allow it to sit for about an hour, and then rinse with apple cider vinegar to lock the colour in. If you like coffee, you’ll love how this makes your hair smell.
2. Lemon Juice
In contrast, lemon juice is a good natural way to lighten your hair. If you’re a brunette, don’t expect to apply lemon juice and suddenly transform into a platinum blonde – lemon juice will create something closer to what your hair looks like when it’s been lightened in the sun after a summer holiday.
Simply spray fresh lemon juice into your hair (again – smells amazing!) and leave it to sit there for a few hours. Sitting in the sun will enhance the look.
Tea, like coffee, can be used to darken your hair. You’ll want to follow the same steps as the coffee recipe – brew a strong cup of black tea (use 2 – 3 bags), and then stir in some conditioner before applying it to your hair. Leave it for at least an hour before rinsing.
Feeling experimental? (Well, you wouldn’t be on a natural hair dye post if you weren’t!) Try using chamomile tea to lighten your hair or rooibos tea for a reddish tint.
Anyone who has cooked with beetroot before knows that the root vegetable will stain anything and anyone it comes into contact with, so it should be no surprise that it can also be a great hair dye for a reddish tint.
Blend beet juice with coconut oil, then apply liberally to your hair before wrapping it. Leave for an hour or so before washing out.
5. Walnut Shells
The hulls of walnuts produce an incredibly potent stain that you can use to dye your hair a darker shade.
Be warned – this stuff will dye everything it touches – so take care to wear clothes you don’t mind getting dye on them, and use a pot you don’t care about instead of your bathtub to avoid it getting ruined.
This post is fantastic for showing exactly what you need to dye your hair with black walnuts.
There are a number of herbs that you can use to add a tint to your hair. You’ll need to brew these herbs in water for about 30 minutes before cooling, straining, and then applying to your hair before leaving for around an hour.
Blondes: Saffron, marigold, calendula, sunflower petals, cassia powder.
Redheads: calendula, rosehips, henna (if not allergic), hibiscus
Brunettes: Sage, cloves, rosemary, blackberry shoots
7. Pure Henna & Indigo
These two natural products can be used to great hues from brown to black, and are widely available online.
Make sure you get pure henna, not black henna which can actually increase sensitivity to the chemicals found in hair dye.
I hope these natural hair dye alternatives have given you some inspiration for ways to mix up your hairstyle with no chemicals!