Hair, the best natural treatments to dye or to highlight Part 1, henna, indigo, chamomile and turmeric
How to dye your hair at home and naturally? Is it possible to revive hair color and cover the first white hair using herbs and spices? Today we talk about henna, chamomile and turmeric.
Taking care of ourselves is a little attention, a cuddle that we can dedicate to our person. What to do when the hairdresser is closed and our hair requires treatments because there is a regrowth, the hair appears dull or we see some white or grey hairs? Natural remedies can be helpful also in this case thanks to natural treatments made from plants and herbs, such as henna, one of the most effective natural dyes, but also herbal teas of chamomile, black tea or turmeric that give special highlights to the hair thanks to the presence of antioxidant substances, in particular tannins and flavonoids, with a coloring action.
Henna and Indigo
One of the most effective and well-known natural dyes is certainly henna, which fortifies, makes the hair full of body and lasts about a month. Henna is a powder obtained by grinding the leaves of the Lawsonia inermis, a plant of the Lythraceae family, and the resulting dye is of a red color able to cover also the grey and white hair. There are also mixes of dyeing herbs to give other shades of color, for example the indigo gives a dark color. However, to cover white hair or to go from light to dark hair it is necessary to make two dyes, one prepared with classic henna and then the dye with indigo. There is also a product called blonde henna that, thanks to a mix of dyeing herbs, gives a light blonde color to white or gray hair while hair that is already light may appear a little darker. Henna-based dyes can be easily found in herbalist’s shops or online and, for what concerns the application, follow the instructions on the package. Finally, a recommendation, you can use henna on bleached or dyed hair as long as it is pure and does not contain sodium picramate, which is a synthetic additive that, reacting with the substances used in hair dyes, could cause unpleasant results, like green shades or visibly damaged hair.
Chamomile is traditionally used to give golden blonde reflections to the hair thanks to its flavonoids with coloring properties (Stallings et al, J Clin Aesthet Dermatol., 2009). However, this treatment does not cover the regrowth but is good in case of dull hair or in presence of some white hairs. Then, to obtain the best results use chamomile only on a light base, therefore blond or light brown hair. Prepare a chamomile decoction by bringing a cup of water and a tablespoon of chamomile flowers to the boil, remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Filter and let cool down. Pour on wet hair, leave to rest for 5 minutes then dry the hair.
There is also the possibility to use turmeric as a natural hair color. Turmeric is, in fact, a spice used since ancient times to dye fabrics but it is also useful as an ingredient in dyeing products in order to give golden reflections to light hair. It can also be used to accentuate the color of red henna. Turmeric's ability to dye is given by the presence of flavonoids, such as curcumin (Suryawanshi et al, J Oral Maxillofac Pathol, 2017). However, it is necessary to pay attention in using this spice and not to exceed with the doses so as not to find the hair of a not really natural yellow orange color. Moreover, it is also necessary to pay attention in case of bleached hair or with highlights because the final result may not be the desired one but a greenish color. The advice is to first try on a small strand not very visible to see the effect. Bring half a liter of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Let it cool down. The turmeric powder will settle on the bottom, therefore pour only the water and not the turmeric powder on the hair, always taking great care not to stain towels or clothes. Wait 10 minutes, then rinse with your shampoo.