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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
Natural hair dye being applied to a woman's hair
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Which Is the Best Natural Hair Dye? [Slideshow]

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Whether you want to hide your mousy roots discreetly, cover some grays, or experiment with the year’s hottest color trends. Switching up your hair color is one of the fastest ways to transform your look.

However, traditional hair dyes often contain potentially damaging and toxic chemicals such as parabens, ammonia, and paraphenylenediamine (PPD), a substance that can cause mild skin irritation or even anaphylactic shock in rare cases.

Even if the risks of adverse reactions are low, the harsh chemicals in hair dyes can damage your hair and cause skin irritations. If you are worried about these possibilities, there are some more natural alternatives available. Here are our GR8 picks for the best natural hair dyes.

Containers of henna powder used for dying hair
Image by Manusha / Shutterstock
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Henna

Use pure henna for vibrant, long-lasting red hair. It colors your strands while maintaining natural undertones and highlights for natural-looking color. The color can last for up to six weeks and leaves your hair healthy and conditioned. There are many natural henna hair dyes available, follow the directions on the package.

2 glasses of carrot juice used as a natural hair dye
Image by Couleur / Pixabay
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Carrot Juice

Mix highly concentrated carrot juice with a carrier oil such as olive oil or coconut oil to give it a red-orange tint. Once applied, wrap your hair in plastic and let it set for about an hour. Wrapping in plastic will intensify the red color. Rinse with apple cider vinegar to set the color. Repeat this process the next day if the color isn't strong enough.

A glass of beet juice used as hair dye
Image by congerdesign / Pixabay
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Beet Juice

For a deeper red with cool undertones, mix beet juice with a carrier oil, add some ginger, and your favorite essential oil. Apply to your hair, and wrap your hair in plastic. Let it set for at least an hour before washing. You'll get soft, shiny hair with a noticeable red glow.

Image by Marcin Kolacz / Pixabay
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Lemon Juice

Lemon juice slowly lightens hair, so it's perfect for creating sun-kissed highlights. Unlike the other methods such as carrot juice or beet juice, the lightening effects of lemon are permanent. They will remain until that portion of your hair grows out, and you cut it. Fill a spray bottle with lemon juice and apply liberally. Separate it evenly through your hair with a comb. Sit outside for best results, leave it for at least an hour. Reapply as desired.

A glass pot of coffee used for hair dye
Image by Anshu A / Unsplash
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Coffee

Brewed coffee mixed with coffee grounds can dye your hair a shade or two darker and cover grays. To do this, brew a strong cup of coffee. Mix 1/2 cup of coffee, 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds, and 1 cup of leave-in conditioner. Apply to clean, damp hair and let set for an hour or more before you wash it out. Repeat as needed.

a bundle of sage leaves tied in a weaved basket
Image by Sunny Forest / Shutterstock
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Sage

This aromatic herb can deepen shades of brown hair and cover up grays. Bring a quart of water to boil and add 1/2 to 1 cup of dried sage leaves. Steep for 30 minutes or more. The longer they steep, the darker the tint. When the water has cooled, strain to remove the sage leaves. Apply to clean, towel-dried hair, and leave on for at least 15 minutes.

a bowl of dried up chamomile flowers
Image by DeymosHR / Shutterstock
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Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea can lighten up blonde hair when used at least once a week. The process is similar to that of using sage. Bring about a quart of water to boil and steep 1/2 cup of chamomile flowers. When the water has cooled, strain out the flowers. Pour over hair and wait 15 minutes for washing.

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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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