Since turning 40, I have been tossing up whether or not to let the grey hairs roam wild on my head. While I don’t exactly have a head full of grey, I have been cultivating these special silver threads for about 14 years now! Every time I make the decision to let them be, I find that at about an inch or so I end up reaching for the hair colour.
I have tried a bunch of different ‘natural’ hair colour solutions, some of which worked well, others not so much. All of them, besides the henna and indigo, had at least some questionable ingredients. Even if they were only a tiny percentage, they were still there. The best one that I found was Tints of Nature. However, I really want to do away with the chemicals completely.
Personally, I find that henna and indigo powder solutions are just a pain to use. So I’m investigating other herbal solutions. About ten years ago I used sage and black walnut infusions sporadically, but for one thing I had minimal grey presence, and for another, I was pretty inconsistent in my approach.
So, I have researched and come up with some must-try recipes for dark hair. I will diligently use each one for at least three months and report back with my results! They are all in the category of “patience and persistence is required”, with the exception of the shampoo-in colour, which yields faster results but is not as permanent:
POTATO HAIR RINSE
5 medium sized potatoes
2 cups water
1 tsp. lavender oil
1 tsp. rosemary oil
NOTE: I think this sounds like a lot of oil, so am assuming that it is not pure essential oil – I would imagine that a few drops of each would suffice!
1. Peel potatoes and then boil the peels in water for 30 minutes.
2. Leave to cool, then strain the liquid.
3. Add rosemary and lavender oil, and use this as a rinse after shampooing.
4. Leave the potato rinse in the hair and style as usual.
SAGE, ROSEMARY & APPLE CIDER VINEGAR RINSE
1 cup rosemary (fresh is best)
2 cups sage (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cups water (use more if needed to cover the herbs)
1. Place herbs in a bowl (do not use plastic or aluminium)
2. Boil water, and pour over herbs then cover the container overnight.
3. Strain herbal mixture and add the apple cider vinegar, mixing thoroughly
4. Shampoo hair and then rinse with the herbal mixture, leaving it in the hair.
5. Style hair as usual.
BLACK WALNUT HAIR RINSE
3 tablespoons black walnut hull powder
4 cups of water
plus gloves – this rinse will stain your hands!
1. Boil water. Mix walnut hull powder into the boiled water and leave overnight.
2. Strain the water and put gloves on.
3. Shampoo hair and then rinse with walnut mixture.
4. Leaving the rinse in, style hair as usual
BLACK TEA HAIR RINSE
3 heaping tablespoons of loose black tea leaves
1 heaping tablespoon of rosemary leaves
4 cups boiling water
1. Steep black tea leaves and rosemary in boiling water for approximately 45 minutes.
2. Shampoo your hair with a mild shampoo (no sodium lauryl sulphate) and rinse once.
3. Pour the black tea and rosemary mixture over your hair.
4. Leave the final rinse of black tea on your hair for 30 minutes wrapped up in plastic wrap or a shower cap, then rinse with lukewarm water.
5. Style as usual.
1/2 cup Liquid Castile Soap
1 tablespoon Sage Leaf (steeped in water and strained)
1 tablespoon Rosemary leaves (steeped in water and strained)
1 tablespoon Peppermint leaves (steeped in water and strained)
2 teaspoons of black tea (steeped in water and strained)
1 teaspoon Olive oil (coconut oil is also a good option)
1. Boil water and steep the herbs in 1 cup of water for each herb. Infuse in a covered glass or china container (or put all four into a 4-cup non-metal teapot!) for 45 minutes.
2. Strain all of the herbs and allow to cool.
3. Combine the liquid from the herbs and tea with the liquid Castile soap and oil, then transfer to a bottle.
4. Use instead of regular shampoo.
NOTE: Keeps for up to 2 weeks.