Homemade Herbal Hair Dye Recipes for All Hair Colors

Updated May 7, 2018
Homemade herbal hair dye recipes

Most recipes for homemade herbal hair dyes are easy to make. While homemade herbal dyes can't reproduce the same colors as store-bought ones, they're a great solution for anyone concerned about the chemical safety of traditional hair dyes.

Blonde Rinses

An herbal rinse is a good way to lighten blonde hair and add a few natural looking highlights.

Chamomile and Calendula

A weekly rinse with chamomile and calendula can brighten dull blonde locks and stop any extra dark streaks caused by UV exposure.


  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried chamomile flowers
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried calendula
  • 1 quart of water


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a non-aluminum pan.
  2. Remove the water from the stove.
  3. Add the chamomile and calendula.
  4. Allow the herbs to steep for 30 minutes, then strain out the solids and save the liquid.
  5. Allow the infused water to cool completely. You can store this in a refrigerated jar for future use for up to one week.
  6. Wash your hair like normal and then towel dry it.
  7. Pour or spray the water onto your hair. Leave it on for 15 to 30 minutes before rinsing or skip rinsing and style as usual.

You can try other yellow-flowered herbs, such as saffron or turmeric. If you have very long hair, use a full cup of flowers in the mixture.

Chamomile Lemon Coconut Spritz

This lightening hair spritz is an easy way to lighten blonde hair. Use it before heading out for a day at the beach. The sunlight will help further lighten your hair.


  • 2 cups of water
  • 5 chamomile tea bags
  • 2 lemons (juiced)
  • 1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil


  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add coconut oil, lemon juice, and tea bags.
  3. Steep for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the tea bags and add the cooled mixture to a spray bottle; shake and spritz hair thoroughly.

Brunette Rinses

You can use an herbal rinse for brunette hair to darken and create auburn highlights.

Sage and Rosemary

Sage and rosemary can significantly darken hair when used several times a month. They can also bring out natural highlights and some red tones in the hair.


  • 2 cups fresh or dried sage
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh or dried rosemary
  • Enough water to cover
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar


  1. Place the herbs in a large, non-aluminum pan and cover with water.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for approximately six hours, checking frequently to ensure the water does not boil away. Add more water as needed.
  4. Strain and allow the mixture to cool.
  5. Add the apple cider vinegar and mix well.
  6. After shampooing, rinse the hair in the sage and rosemary rinse and style as usual.

Walnut Darkening Rinse

Walnut hulls are an extremely effective way to darken hair (and everything else). Always wear gloves when working with walnut hulls.


  • 2 tablespoons crushed black walnut hulls
  • 3 cups of water
  • Tea ball or muslin tea bag


  1. Place the crushed black walnut hulls in the tea ball or bag and steep in 3 cups of boiling water overnight.
  2. Shampoo your hair as usual and rinse hair 10 to 15 times in the walnut mixture.
  3. Style as usual.

Red Hair Rinse

You can use henna powder for brown or red hair. It adds light or dark highlights to both red and brown hair, depending on the mix you create.

Try this method for a subtle, red/gold color.


  • 200 grams of henna powder
  • 2 cups lemon juice
  • Saran wrap


  1. Mix the henna and lemon juice in a non-metal bowl.
  2. Allow the mixture to remain undisturbed for four to six hours until it thickness slightly.
  3. Apply the mixture to your hair and comb through evenly.
  4. Pile your hair on top of your head and wrap with saran wrap.
  5. You'll need to let this mixture remain on your hair undisturbed for two to three hours.
  6. Rinse your hair until the water runs clear.

Cover Gray Hair

If you want to cover gray hair, substitute the henna powder with neutral henna powder. Neutral henna is a misnomer for Cassia Obovata, but it is commonly used. This herb will cover gray. It will also mask light and blonde hair. It won't affect darker hair. Neutral henna doesn't have the lasting power of henna, so you'll need to use this rinse more frequently.

Black Tea Rinse Darkens any Hair Color

Black tea will give a subtle and temporary darkening to your hair, no matter what it's starting color.


  • 3 heaping tablespoons of loose black tea leaves
  • 3 cups boiling water


  1. Steep the black tea leaves in the boiling water for approximately 30 minutes.
  2. Shampoo your hair as usual and pour the black tea mixture over your hair 15 to 20 times.
  3. Leave the final rinse of black tea on your hair for 10 minutes, then rinse with clean, warm water.
  4. Style your hair as usual.

Safety Tips

Just because a product is natural or herbal does mean it is absolutely safe. Be sure you conduct a test patch before leaving any sort of dye on your hair for a long time.

  • Do a basic allergy test by swabbing a bit of hair dye mix on your inner lower arm.
  • Leave on your skin for a day.
  • If you have any burning, itching, or other reaction, don't put the mix on your hair.

Give You Hair Some Color and Shine

Homemade herbal dyes revitalize your hair. The color change is usually subtle, but your hair will be shinier and in better condition than chemically treated hair.

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Homemade Herbal Hair Dye Recipes for All Hair Colors