It is best to use natural hair care products to color and nourish your hair.

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Natural hair color products

Natural hair care products are rich in herbal extracts. These products help in retaining the soft and smooth texture of your hair. There are many natural hair care products in the market. Try a few and choose one which suits your hair type and gives the best results.

Of all hair care products, hair dyes are used the most. Dyes, be they natural or synthetic, are used to color the hair. But natural dyes made from herbal extracts are free from chemical agents like peroxides, ammonia and coal tar and have low allergenic potential. Synthetic dyes rich in peroxide and ammonia open up the cuticle and damage hair. They also contain carcinogenic compounds harmful for health.

Natural dyes come in a variety of shades. You can also try out newer shades by mixing, blending or processing the various plant extracts for that perfect color.

Sources of natural hair color products

Henna (Lawsonia inermis) is the most popular among the natural hair color products. For ages, it has been used to dye hair, as well as hands, feet etc.

Henna leaves contain lawsone, which imparts the red color to the hair. The color which is produced in the hair is probably due to the reaction of its thiol groups with the Keratin protein present in your hair. Henna is a very good natural conditioner for the hair and strengthens the hair. It also has anti fungal properties that help in the reduction of dandruff.

Other natural elements, such as chamomile, hibiscus or turmeric can also be used as natural hair color.

Chamomile is used to restore the shine and highlight the color of the hair. It removes the brassiness and brightens grey hair. Chamomile also helps to soothe the scalp, lighten, condition, and stimulate growth. Chamomile extracts used in shampoos are very helpful to remove dirt and cleanse the hair. A chamomile hair rinse is a good hair conditioner and, if used all the time, will gradually lighten blond hair with repeated use.

Another herbal fruit called as Shikakai (Acacia Concinna) is the best herbal fruit for dandruff and hair loss. It gives a superior shine effect to the hair and keeps it healthy.

It is considered to be a superior cleanser for lustrous long hair. It has a natural low pH, is extremely mild, and doesn't strip the hair of natural oils. Usually no rinse or conditioner is used since Shikakai also acts as a detangler. This ancient product is probably the world's original pH balanced shampoo.

Extracts from trees like nutgall, logwood, and Brazil wood are also used to darken gray hair.

Effects of natural hair color

Applying hair dye or color means coloring the hair shaft the part of the hair projecting above the skin. The color is absorbed by the inner layer of the hair shaft, the cortex.

Natural hair color such as Henna when applied on hair is actually absorbed by the cortex. So it remains for a longer time when compared to temporary hair dyes. After the application of Henna the hair may become dry which can be easily remedied by applying moisturizing conditioners and oil.

Temporary dyes such as gels, mousses have high molecular weight than Henna or other chemical dyes so they are not absorbed by the hair shaft. They create a layer of color on the outer surface cuticle of the hair and they are removed when the hair is washed. Usually it only takes one hair wash to remove all the color.

But chemical treatments like perms and bleaches make the hair porous and allow the temporary dyes to penetrate inside the shaft to the cortex. This can make the hair color last somewhat longer. But as a result of the processing, hair may become more susceptible to physical damage.

Different natural hair color

If you want a coppery shade to your hair, use a henna dye and mix it with a warm solution of onion peels. If you want blonde streaks, its best to use apigenin, a natural pigment found in German chamomile flowers.

Want to be a redhead? Apply extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa, a species of the Hibiscus family of herbs. The intensity of the red color depends on the ph of the dyeing solution.

If you want a yellow or a deep orange tinge, then it’s better to apply turmeric to your hair. The yellow color is due to the curcumin pigment which is present in the herb.

Natural hair color will give a healthy glow to your hair. Here are some quick and easy hair coloring tips which will help you to color your hair naturally.

Some natural hair coloring tips
  • Treat your hair with a blend 1/2 cup vinegar with 1/4 cup soya sauce for 15-20 minutes to highlight the color of dark hair.

  • For a reddish tinge, rinse your hair with red cranberry juice.

  • Blend 3 tablespoons of vinegar or fresh lemon juice with the henna paste. It will give a golden or coppery tinge to your hair.

  • To add shine to the hair apply an egg yolk or a whole egg. If the hair is dry use egg yolk and for oily hair apply the whole egg.

  • Grind ½ tablespoon of dry whole cloves and add to henna paste to deepen the color of the henna.

  • Mix 2 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil to condition and moisturize dry and coarse hair.

  • Blend 1 tablespoon of cognac with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to provide a reddish tinge to the henna-applied hair.
Synthetic hair dyes are readily available everywhere. People are more familiar with them for their easy usage, variety etc. But some of the chemical hair dyes can cause damage to the hair if used incorrectly.

Synthetic hair dyes often contain an amine group of chemicals which are responsible for a high risk of allergic sensitization to the scalp skin. Synthetic dyes are further divided into many prominent categories like metallic dyes, semi-permanent hair dyes etc. Many metallic dyes contain lead compounds. The semi-permanent hair dyes or coal tar-based hair dyes may contain mutagens which could damage the hair. These chemicals may also induce irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. Synthetic hair dyes also contain carcinogenic substances which can cause cancer.

If you do not want to suffer from the side effects of harmful chemicals, try to use natural hair care products. Lately, the markets have been flooded with “natural dyes”. Use your discretion to select any one of the natural hair coloring tips which suits your hair type for the best results.

In hindsight, it is generally safer to stick to the natural dyes due to their herbal nature.

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