How to Dye Your Hair Naturally

By Sher Warkentin in Natural Products

Whether you want a new look or hope to cover some grays, hair dye can come to the rescue. Store-bought kits or pricey trips to the salon aren't your only options, however. You can also use items you already have at home to give your hair a transformation. Discover how to dye your hair naturally with simple ingredients from your kitchen.

Why Choose Natural Dye?

Maybe you want to adopt a more natural hair care routine or just want to spend less. The cost of having your hair dyed at the salon regularly can quickly add up. Dyeing your hair at home can save money. DIY natural hair dye methods offer a great alternative to a box kit and allow you to ease into a new color gradually, relying on simple ingredients you have on hand.

Three women laugh in a flower field

Natural Hair Dye vs. Traditional Dyeing

The process of dyeing your hair naturally is slightly different from using a boxed kit or visiting the salon. Natural methods offer a more minimal approach and, for the most part, won't permanently change your hair color, so you will likely have to repeat the process to maintain the look you're going for. At the same time, the natural approach allows you to quickly try a new look without committing to a more permanent change.

Whether you visit a salon or use an at-home method, how you care for your hair afterward will have an impact on how long your color will last. Choosing a mild or natural shampoo, washing your hair less frequently, and avoiding hot water when washing could potentially help to maintain your natural hair dye longer. You can also try rinsing with apple cider vinegar instead of water after treating with natural dyes to help preserve the color.

How to Dye Your Hair Naturally

The natural hair dye method you choose will depend on your own hair color and the look you're trying to achieve. Some natural ingredients will lighten hair, some will darken, and others will enhance red tones. Try one of these methods below, depending on which color you want.


If you want to lighten up your tresses and minimize dark streaks and roots, lemons are the best DIY natural hair dye method. Unlike most other natural forms, lemons will permanently strip your hair of its pigment. However, it is still a minimal change, so you may need to repeat the process a few times to achieve the color you are going for.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Lemons
  • A spray bottle
  • A comb

Squeeze the lemon juice into the spray bottle. Spray the liquid into your hair and comb it through for an even color. Leave it in your hair and go outside in the sun for at least an hour—the longer, the lighter. Then, wash it out with a gentle shampoo.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile flowers are another natural ingredient that may help lighten your locks. This method is not permanent, however. You can repeat the process weekly to maintain the look.

For this method, you'll need two things:

  • Fresh or dried chamomile flowers
  • Water

Bring two cups of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add half a cup of chamomile flowers and let the mixture simmer for 30 minutes. Then, allow the water to cool to room temperature and remove the flowers. Pour or spray the tea on your freshly washed hair. You can also blend the tea with conditioner and work that into your hair. In that case, leave it on for at least an hour. Wrap it up and wear a cap, or go out in the sun to help enhance the color. Afterward, rinse it out.


If you want a quick fix for darkening your hair that won't last long, pour yourself a cup of coffee!

Go ahead and grab these items:

  • Leave-in conditioner
  • ½ cup brewed dark roast coffee
  • 2 tbsp. coffee grounds
  • Bowl

Combine a small amount of leave-in conditioner with the brewed coffee and coffee grounds in a bowl and mix the ingredients well. Work the mixture into your hair, and wrap it up under a cap. Let it sit for at least an hour, then rinse the mixture out.

Three women look over nature scene


To darken hair or cover up gray, reach for some sage.

For this method, collect these ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried sage
  • Boiled water

Steep the dried sage in boiling water for about 30 minutes. For a darker tint, you can steep even longer. Remove the sage and allow the water to cool to room temperature. Pour or spray the sage water on freshly washed hair. Wrap it up under a cap and leave it on for at least an hour, then rinse it out.

Carrot and Beet Juice

If your hair could use a reddish boost, you can give it some vibrancy with carrot and beet juice. Depending on your natural hair color, you can use carrot juice for a more reddish-orange tone, beet juice for a deeper red, or combine both together.

To get started, you'll need these ingredients:

  • Carrot and/or beet juice
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

Mix a cup of juice with two tablespoons of oil and work it into your hair. Wrap your hair up or put a cap over it, and let it sit for an hour. Rinse out your hair with apple cider vinegar afterward. Note: these juices may stain your skin, so be cautious. If you do accidentally tint your skin, use a gentle soap after applying the dye to wash it away.

Natural DIY hair dyes allow for a more subtle change and cost very little to make, which can make it easier and less expensive to maintain your color at home without salon trips or box kits.

To discover more ideas for your natural personal care routine, check out the DIY Naturally board by @tomsofmaine on Pinterest!

Image Source: Unsplash | Unsplash | Unsplash

The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Tom's of Maine.

Why It's Good

Giving your hair a new look doesn't mean you have to break your budget or your natural care routine. You can use simple, low-cost ingredients you already have at home to give your color a boost.