Natural Hair Dyes

Monica Wildeby Monica Wilde
Spring 2015

I'm not quite ready to go grey yet! I used to use henna when I was younger, as chemical dyes make my scalp itch but, as your hair starts to go grey, henna tends to dye it a cartoon-shade of orange. The grey-banishing secret of Mediterranean matriarchs with their smooth, shiny, jet black hair is the common kitchen herb - sage.


For brown and dark hair

Make a strong infusion of sage herb Salvia officinalis. You can also add some rosemary if you like, as it stimulates the hair follicles on the scalp. Cover a handful of sage with 1 litre of water, bring it to the boil, then simmer it for 30 minutes. Leave it in overnight to steep if you want to make it really strong. Then strain it and keep it in the fridge.

To start with, every day, spray the Sage Infusion onto the roots of any grey hair (or dab it in with cotton wool but spraying is earlier) and massage it to ensure full coverage. 

Leave it in for 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing your hair, or washing it if it needs washing anyway.

After 3 to 4 weeks of applying Sage Infusion daily, the grey will start to disappear and your normal colour should return. Then you can use Sage Infusion once a week to maintain the colour and prevent the grey returning. 

The colour comes back gradually as the dye slowly darkens your hair. It is also an excellent conditioner and will not damage your hair or scalp. Sage covers the hair in a different way to dye. For a faster 'dye' result you can add walnut leaf or shell powder and coffee. (Be careful with walnut not to also stain your fingers and scalp!)

For blond or light brown hair.

Follow this same process but use chamomile flowers instead of sage. You can also try calendula or mullein flowers too. You will need to leave the infusion on for a little longer, 15 minutes each time.

© Napiers Herbals Ltd 2014 • Edinburgh and Glasgow • Herbalists and Medical Botanists since 1860
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