Nature is beauty. Do you know that plants and herbs can also help revive a dull hair color and cover the first white hair? This can be very useful when we are unable to go to the hairdresser and we don’t feel comfortable experimenting with chemical dyes on our hair. So let's see the dyeing and reflective capacities of walnut hull, hibiscus, black tea and sage.
Walnut, as we find it in the supermarket, with its hard and wrinkled brown shell, is not found on the tree. In fact, the walnut and its shell are wrapped in a pulp, which is called hull, and an outer skin. The hull is initially green but becomes darker as the fruit ripens. It is precisely this part of the walnut that has been known and used since ancient times as a dye thanks to the presence of substances such as juglone, tannins and flavonoids (Beiki et al, Coloration Technology, 2017). Walnut hull can also be used to dye or give brown highlights to the hair. Given the dark color, the walnut hull lends itself to give body and nuances to dark, brown or black hair. But even people with blonde hair can use it to darken their hair. However, the walnut hull gives reflections and does not cover perfectly white hair that at most can become of an amber color. Walnut hull is found in powder in herbalist’s shops and online, in the INCI of the products it appears with the name Juglans Regia. It should be mixed together with as much water as it is needed to obtain a cream. Apply the cream on clean hair, cover with a plastic wrap and leave on for 30 minutes. Then rinse with shampoo.
Hibiscus and black tea
Hibiscus or karkadè, scientific name hibiscus sabdariffa, is characterized by fleshy flowers that, once dried, are the basic ingredient of healthy herbal teas. But the hibiscus, due to the presence of anthocyanins, also shows a mild dyeing power. It should be mentioned that it is not able to cover white hair but it helps to give auburn highlights. Let's see how to prepare a final rinse with hibiscus that, in addition to the light reflective action we mentioned, has also an acid pH, useful to close the hair cuticles and to give shine. Bring 2 cups of water and two tablespoons of hibiscus to a boil. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes, filter and, once lukewarm, pour onto the hair after shampooing. It should not be rinsed. For mahogany reflections, black tea is excellent thanks to its tannins such as thearubigins (Koch et al, Molecules, 2019). Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, remove from the heat and leave to infuse 2 bags of black tea for 30 minutes. Pour on hair and leave on for 30 minutes. Finally, rinse.
For black or dark brown hair sage can be a help to give brown shades but also to cover some white hair. Bring to the boil a cup of water and a handful of fresh sage leaves or two tablespoons of dried sage. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 30 minutes. Filter and apply on wet hair after you have used the shampoo, for example you can use a nebulizer. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse.