Using hair dye is the quickest way to make a major style change to your hair. But if you’re looking for subtler results, you can save money and reduce your hair’s exposure to chemicals by opting for natural color changers. In addition to being more subtle, natural hair changes have a shorter lifespan, so you’ll need to repeat them every six weeks or as needed to maintain your desired results.
Lighten Fair Hair or Add Highlights
Steep 1/2 cup of chamomile flowers in 1 qt. of boiling water for about an hour. Let the mixture cool.
Shampoo your hair as usual, and towel it dry until your hair is just damp.
Put the stopper in your sink to catch the water, and pour the chamomile mixture through your hair 15 to 20 times, working it through your hair until it’s completely saturated. Let the liquid run into the sink with each pour, then scoop it back up to pour again.
Let the chamomile mixture soak into your hair about 15 minutes, then rinse it out with cool water. You’ll notice that brown streaks and darker strands have faded to make your hair golden, reports “Mother Earth News.”
Squeeze two lemons into a quart of cool water.
Pour the resulting lemon mixture through your hair, letting it soak into your hair.
Sit in the sunlight to dry your hair. The sun will enhance the lightening effects of the lemon, adding pale highlights to your hair and lightening your overall color even more.
Add Red Highlights
Combine 1/4 cup powdered henna with 1/4 cup powdered chamomile in a plastic bowl. Combining henna with chamomile helps keep your color from turning out too orange — a potential risk with using straight henna, warns “Mother Earth News.”
Whisk in boiling water until the mixture forms a thick paste.
Add 1 tbsp. white vinegar to the henna mixture to set the colors. Let the mixture cool.
Put on plastic or rubber gloves to prevent the henna mixture from staining your hands. Use your hands to work the henna paste thoroughly through your hair, making sure that every strand is saturated with the mixture. Wrap your hair in a towel, and let the mixture soak into your hair for up to two hours. The longer you let it sit, the more dramatic the results will be.
Rinse your hair completely with cool water, making sure to remove all the henna from your hair.