This one is for the brunettes and dirty blondes.
A while back I talked about trying henna as an all natural hair color method to cover gray. I did a crazy amount of research and ultimately chickened out. Henna is red. Orange-red. From what I read on henna-friendly websites, there was a risk my gray would sop up that henna and turn orange despite the addition of other plant-based dyes. Um, no thank you.
That, and I was intrigued by a comment from Ani of Paper and Lens about how she successfully covered her gray with a sage and rosemary mixture.
I used to make a concoction to color my grays and it really worked. It’s 1/4 cup dried sage and 1/4 cup dried rosemary boiled in 1 cup water, strained and cooled. (It keeps in the refrigerator.) I applied it after washing my hair with a spray bottle but that was messy so then I dipped a cotton pad into it and rubbed it on the gray parts of my hair. It works really well, and I think it smells nice (my family, however, did not agree) and my hair was soft. I found it on the internet originally with a few variations. Now I go to an environmentally friendly salon and still color only the grays, but honestly I like the sage/rosemary concoction better. Supposedly, if you keep using it, the grays disappear after a while. I may go back to it, actually, because I don’t like the whole salon thing.
A few days later I was at the health food store.
I want to say I found the answer to all my problems, but I didn’t. My gray is not only color resistant, it frames my face and accounts for roughly 40% of my hair. Something as mild as this won’t be strong enough to completely cover, or even blend, my gray. Still, the hair where it did take was a gorgeous, non-brassy, caramel. Gorgeous. I really do wish my gray took to it because the color was translucent goodness.
Note that Ani said it left her hair soft. This is where this little concoction has become invaluable. One of the reasons I started searching for natural hair dye was because of the dry, brittle condition of my hair. Seriously, it was like straw after ten years of non-stop coloring. I also think last year’s experiment with cheap shampoo was a failure. (Never again.) Like Ani said, a quick google search will pull up scads of recipes and techniques. I chose one closest to Ani’s. I applied it to the front, especially the bangs, where I have the most gray. They say to leave it in until your hair dries. Once it does, you wash it out with your normal shampoo.
- Friday night.
- Drape shoulders with an old bath towel.
- Spray down dry hair with leave in conditioner.
- Enjoy smell. (I agree with Ani on the smell. If you like the smell of Aveda products, you will love this one.)
- Grab book/magazine/movie.
- Enjoy the rest of the night.
- Go to sleep.
- Wake up.
- Eventually take a shower.
I knew it was working because I immediately noticed an improvement in the texture and condition of my bangs, which is where I concentrated all my efforts. The back and ends of my hair remained a hot mess. Another quick google search confirmed my suspicions. Variations of the same formula are used to condition the hair, mainly as a rinse with the addition of vinegar. I’m not going to do it that way as I love my leave in method.
As for my gray? Drama. I ended up going to a salon that offers a more natural hair coloring experience. A more natural hair coloring experience to which I was allergic. My scalp just kept getting hotter and hotter and hotter until I realized that maybe it was ON FIRE. Que the flock of hairdressers with cold towels and frantic swipes at my head. I avoided cancer, but somehow managed to melt my scalp. Only me.