Last week I shared a few words on using natural hair dyes. Over the weekend, I dyed my hair again, and have a few tips to share from my second go.
Once again, I used a combination of Khadi’s Light Brown and Dark Brown natural hair dyes. Just to fill you in – last summer I dyed my hair a brilliant shade of violet. I loved the color, but as part of my switch to a more natural lifestyle, I had to say goodbye to chemical dyes. The violet faded to a shade of raspberry red that still stands out a little against my natural brown. To let my hair grow out without looking two-toned, I’ve been using natural dye to blend the red into my natural hair color.
This time the color both looked and worked much better than last time. Here’s what I learned:
How natural dye works:
Natural dye coats your hair shafts, it doesn’t penetrate them the way chemical dyes do. This means that if you are growing out your hair, the dye may react differently to your colored hair and your natural hair color. On my hair, the difference is only noticable when I wear my hair in a bun, when the tips are easier to see against the hair that has grown out on the crown of my head. It doesn’t look bad, but you can tell the tips are bit lighter in some light.
Due to the fact that natural dye is a coating, it does need to be applied every four weeks or so, depending on how intense you like your color.
Before you dye:
- Wash your hair with a chemical free shampoo before getting started.
- For best results, switch to a completely chemical free hair routine at least a few weeks before dying.
- Silicon products coat the shafts of your hair, making them shiny and healthy looking, but prevent the dye from sticking. Make sure to wash away all traces of conventional hair products before dyeing.
- Apply the dye to wet hair! The dye absorbs better when applied wet.
- Use a water bath for your dye bowl if you have long hair- do not let the dye cool. Placing your dye bowl over or in a bath of warm water will keep it looking its best, and makes it easier to apply with no clumps.
- Use gloves and a dye brush, this makes the process so much faster!
- Apply vaseline around your hairline/around your ears. This keeps the dye from sticking. You can find petroleum free jelly here 🙂
Things I noticed:
- Khadi recommends to dye your hair in two steps if you are looking to color gray hair. First, you should dye with henna, then you should dye over the henna with your desired color.
- I don’t have that much gray hair, but the ones I went hunting for were actually covered quite well by the dye. Sometimes they appear slightly lighter than the rest of your hair, but if you only have a few, I wouldn’t worry about double dying.
- The more you use the dye, the better it works. Your hair will adapt to the dye, and the second time around, my hair was much more receptive to it.
- Don’t be afraid of the color– last time I was terrified that my hair would turn green and didn’t leave the dye on very long. This time, I noticed that the dye started to turn dark under my cellophane wrap within an hour. Wrapping your hair makes a huge difference!
Tips for success:
- Goop that dye on! Really go for it! This time I used a lot thicker paste, and it was much easier to apply.
- Make sure to wrap your hair in cellophane and cover it in a towel afterward. It keeps you and your hair warm, and warm dye works better.
- Time is your friend! This time I waited 5 hours, and the color was much deeper.
- Take your time. The water bath kept my dye much easier to work with, so I didn’t feel rushed. I was much more precise with the dye this time around.
- Let the dye set! The color will continue to develop for the next 48 hours, so avoid heavy washing right after dyeing.
- Finish with a hair oil. I scrunched in a few squirts of Badger’s Argan Hair Oil and it made my hair feel softer and easier to work with the next day. Plus my hair completely absorbed the oil. For more words on hair oil, see here. I am obsessed 😉
I hope these tips were helpful for your natural dye adventure! What is your favorite natural dye brand or product?