Tell me about DIY natural hair dyes

So I have been taking advantage of

a) being stuck mostly at home with hardly anyone seeing me;
b) the fact that even though I think it’s now allowed in Illinois again, my asthmatic self doesn’t plan to go to a hairdresser for a really long time; and
c) my general tendency over time to reduce the amount of nasty lab-created crap that I ingest or apply to my body

to experiment with natural DIY hair color. My original color is dark brown (with maybe a bit of reddish highlights in the summer if I am outside a lot), but at this point I am probably about 60% gray (thanks, Dad!).

I tried various colors of Lush henna, which worked OK, but didn’t really cover the gray completely (and the Noir is definitely not black). My hair is pretty resistant, so I realize it may take multiple applications, but after I think 4 rounds, it was getting ridiculous.

So then I went to straight henna powder mixed with black tea and lemon juice, which gave me a pretty insane orange (which toned down a bit after a couple of days, but not a whole lot). I followed it with a mix of about 3/4 indigo and 1/4 henna, with a teaspoon of salt, which I let sit for about 4 hours. It toned down the worst of the orange, but still isn’t as dark as my actual hair color, and has more orange to it than I would like. All in all, better results than the Lush (and a hell of a lot cheaper!), but not quite what I am going for.

So I am also seeing suggestions to use strong dark coffee, beet juice, sage tea, rosemary, mustard oil, and all sorts of other natural DIY things to darken hair and cover gray. Is anyone here knowledgeable in these matters, or am I stuck with more trial and error? I wouldn’t mind some red tones if they were more burgundy than orange. We do have a giant sage plant in the yard, so maybe I will try that next…

Grape koolaide will give you dark purple. Doesn’t last long. But it smells good. YMMV

The lil’wrekker does cosplay. Her main character was Harley Quinn. She would dip her ponytails in blue raspberry and cherry koolaide . Worked really well.

Sally Beauty has a couple of well-reviewed all natural semi permanent products:
https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-color/semi-permanent-hair-color/premium-natural-semi-permanent-hair-color/IROIRO.html
https://www.sallybeauty.com/hair/hair-color/semi-permanent-hair-color/henna-semi-permanent-hair-color/RESHMA1.html?bvstate=pg:2/ct:r

I don’t think the Kool-Aid berries are in season.

That’s ok. Koolaid Doesn’t use real fruit flavoring.
I promise the stuff will dye your hair. It washes out, after awhile.

Disclaimer: YMMV

I am not aware of any natural product that does what you are asking. A lot of so called Natural Henna sold contains additives (like Lead acetate) which the FDA has tried banning - see here https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-products/hair-dyes

Back in India where I grew up, there were Henna trees/shrubs around. The girls would take the leaves, grind it up and put temporary tattoo art with them. It never came out to be as dark as the stuff sold in the stores.

So if I were to pick, I would pick a Revlon or Clairol or a mainstream brand of hair color that is extensively tested by FDA . I would not pick some obscure brand that calls itself “natural” or “organic” with no lab testing to back it up.

I am hoping for experiences with natural-ingredient hair dyes, with Kool-Aid most certainly is not. I am giving a try with a black tea and sage mixture now, as I had both of those things around anyway.

I used straight henna powder mixed with straight indigo powder, and mixed them myself, not prefab hair dye from a box. I don’t mind puttering around in the kitchen - I have nothing but time to experiment right now! If it takes a few tries to get where I’m going, that’s OK.

Eva_Luna : My suspicion is that a lot of straight henna powder is not straight henna powder but has additives in it. As a person of Indian origin, our family members get “straight henna powder” from time to time and going by the colors it produces we have a strong suspicion that it is not straight.

Unless there is a lab test report or FDA certification, I would doubt that it doesn’t have additives.

One unsolicited vote for embracing your silver. I did it 3-4 years ago and I love it. I can promise you that your natural hair color is more flattering than any dye you can put on it. I know the social conditioning is strong and deep, but maybe allow the idea to start percolating. What better time than now! :smiley:

And make sure it is the kind without sugar unless you want a cloud of flies surrounding you.

I am not going to use Kool-Aid on my hair, or for any other purpose.