Hair dye might let you achieve amazing looks and styles, but putting it on your head on a monthly basis is not a smart choice regarding your health. It has more than 5,000 chemicals in it, and obviously, your body is absorbing some of them each time you slather it on your scalp. For this reason, I’ll show you some effective ways to get natural highlights on any hair color, using only natural dyes and ingredients.
You’ll have a bit more work to do than using commercial dyes, but keeping those chemicals away from your body is well worth the effort and will give you that subtle sunkissed look on your hair!
Get natural highlights on any hair color
To make things easier, I have grouped these natural hair dye solutions based on hair color so if you’re a blonde, redhead or brunette you can simply jump to the appropriate section and skip the rest.
Lemon – This method is old but effective, and depending how you use it, you can either lighten your hair overall or just get natural looking highlights. Mix lemon juice and water in a 1:3 ratio. If you want to lighten all your hair pour it in a spray bottle and spray it on your locks as evenly as possible. If you want highlights, dab a cotton ball in it and use it to wet strands of hair.
Now comes the trick. The citric acid in lemon juice opens the hair cuticles when heated and lifts the pigment, in other words, it will lighten your hair color. To achieve this effect, you can let you hair naturally dry in the sun, or just use a hair dryer if you don’t have the time to wait until it dries by itself.
Chamomile – This is another popular solution to lighten hair, which is also quite subtle. Of course, you will need a large pot of cooled chamomile tea which you can pour on wet, freshly washed hair. Wrap your hair in a towel or cover it with a shower cap and leave it for 10 minutes.
Honey – It contains glucose oxidase, an enzyme that produces hydrogen peroxide, just like the one used in store-bought hair dyes, but with a milder effect and no added chemicals. Honey’s lightening effect is subtle, so you might want to repeat the procedure once a week until you get the results you wanted.
Mix 1/4 cup of honey with 1 cup of distilled water (you might need to make more if you have longer hair) and let it sit for one hour at room temperature. Then apply it on your entire hair or use a dyeing brush to wet only a few strands for the highlights effect. Cover your head with a shower cap (otherwise, the mixture can pour on your face and clothes) and keep it on for 1-2 hours then rinse with warm water and conditioner.
Black Tea – If you want to have dark brown hair or you hair is blonde or a light brown and you’d like some darker highlights, black tea makes a great choice for a natural hair dye. Make a strong pot of black tea using 5 tea bags and let them sit in the hot water for 5 minutes, but more is better.
The concoction should be left on the hair for 1 hour, after which you can rinse it and optionally wash your hair with shampoo.
Black walnut – The hulls of black walnuts have a very strong coloring in them and you can make your own black walnut hair dye using crushed hulls that need to boil in water for 30 minutes. Use the cooled walnut tea to saturate your hair and you can leave it on for up to 1 hour, but check every now and then to see if you’ve reached the desired level of darkness.
Coffee – A cup of Joe not only gives you a jolt of energy in the morning, but you can also use it to darken your hair in a subtle manner. Brew a pot of strong coffee, allow it to cool then mix one cup of coffee with 2 tablespoons of ground coffee and 1-2 cups of hair conditioner.
Rooibos tea – The reddish color of rooibos tea can boost the color of naturally red hair, and also brighten it a bit which is perfect if all you want are natural-looking highlights or a richer red color. Just brew 5 rooibos tea bags and saturate your hair with the cooled tea, leaving it on for up to 30 minutes.
Henna – Henna is definitely the most potent hair dye listed here, but all types of henna will give you red hair, so this is not an option if you want another hair color. However, you can use it to get natural highlights on any hair color, but as a warning, the result does depend on the base color you start with. For example, if your hair is very dark, the result will be barely noticeable, and if it’s very light it can turn out pink.
Beets – I’m guessing anyone that’s ever cooked with beets knows how badly these can stain, but the good side is they WILL stain your hair and turn it red – a beautiful and natural tint you will need to maintain by repeating the process once or twice a week.
Simply mix half a cup of carrot juice with an equal amount of beetroot juice and let it sit in your hair for one hour, then rinse and style your hair as usual.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to get natural highlights on any hair color, and most of these options are incredibly budget-friendly. Have you tried any of these natural hair dyes, and which one(s) worked best?
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