Unfortunately not all of us are able to dye our hair – some of us break out in dermatitis every time we attempt to put even a little colour in our hair. This can be quite disheartening at times.
Lucky for you, we have you covered! Believe it or not, you can sport great hair without subjecting yourself to chemicals.
Why are some people sensitive to hair dye?
If you are prone to dermatitis then you may be sensitive to hair dye. Particular substances can cause redness and itching resulting in dermatitis, and one of these is present in hair dye. PPD, or para-phenylenediamine, is used with peroxide in dye to alter hair colours. Usually, once you’ve had a reaction to PPD, you will experience the same reaction upon coming in contact with the substance again.
Allergic Reactions to Hair Dyes
An allergic reaction to PPD means your scalp and face may feel itchy and start to swell. You may also experience symptoms such as itching, nettle rash, and generally feeling ill. However, these symptoms may not develop until hours, or even days, later. If you have a severe allergic reaction within minutes it’s known as anaphylaxis, or “anaphylactic shock.” These signs include; itchy skin, red rash, wheezing, swelling of the mouth and stomach pain to name a few.
Alternatives to Commercial Hair Dyes
If you would still love to be able to dye your hair even though you are allergic, you may want to consider some natural colouring alternatives. Below are some organic DIY alternatives you can create from home. Keep in mind – these might not be quite as effective as commercial dyes, but they should provide you with the boost you are looking for!
For those looking to go darker, cover greys, or add dimension. All you do is brew a strong coffee (espresso works well), let it cool, and then mix one cup with a bit of leave-in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds.
Apply on clean hair and allow to sit for about an hour. You will probably need to do this a few times before you notice major results.
As with coffee, black tea can help you deepen your colour, and can also help cover grey hairs. If you’re blonde, try chamomile tea, and if you’re a redhead then rooibos. Keep in mind that tea works best with your natural colour.
If you use chamomile tea, sit outside in the sunshine with it in for optimum results. The longer you leave the tea on the hair, the more noticeable the colour will be.
As with coffee, repeated applications is recommended for better results. Use 3-5 teabags or teaspoons for two cups of water and let cool. Then, mix with conditioner or apply solo.
If greys are your major concern, mix with some fresh or dried sage, which helps open up the hair follicles. Leave on hair for at least an hour.
Depending on the colour needed, there are a variety of herbs you can use for hair colouring alternatives.
Red hair: Try calendula, marigold, rosehip, and hibiscus to deepen the shade. Simmer flowers in water for 30 minutes, strain, cool, and then pour on hair and allow to dry in the sun if possible.
Brunette/Dark hair: Rosemary, nettle, and sage are all great for dark hair. Simmer all three with water for 30 minutes, cool, strain, and spray or brush through hair. Allow to sit about an hour. You can also use the rinse daily after your shower. May require several applications.
Blonde hair: Chamomile tea works, but you can also try calendula, marigold, saffron, and sunflower petals.
Grey hair: Try rhubarb root in two cups of water, simmer, strain, and pour over hair.
Beet and Carrot Juice
Both of these can add natural red tints to your current colour. You can use each alone, or mix them together. For a more reddish tinge, use more beet juice (strawberry blonde, deeper red, or auburn). Carrot will produce a more reddish orange. All you need to do is pour the juice over your hair. Rinse and repeat the next day if colour isn’t deep enough.
A powdered form of the leaves that come from the henna plant, this natural fix has an effective colouring pigment that has been used for thousands of years to dye hair, nails, and skin. Henna on its own creates a red-orange colour, so if you see products offering other colours produced with henna it means it will be mixed with other ingredients. Redheads and brunettes are most suitable for henna. Just be careful as the results can be quite orange!
Warning: Most Hennas are produced quite cheaply with metallic bases. These bases react with colour and can be quite toxic. Henna can also be quite hard to remove from hair, so make sure you always read the ingredient list and steer clear of any metallic elements!
Mix 1 cup of henna powder with 2 cups lemon juice. Allow to sit about 4-6 hours until it thickens. Apply to hair and comb through. Finally, wrap your hair in plastic and allow to sit 2-3 hours before rinsing.
If you’re wanting to lighten up a little, squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto your strands and sit outside in the sunshine. This technique is a slow burner, so be prepared to repeat it a few times.
For dark brown hair crush the walnut shells and boil for 30 minutes. Cool, strain and apply to hair. To save time, use walnut powder instead of shells. Let sit for at least an hour and rinse. Avoid scorching hot water which can strip the colour.
Hopefully you now have a few options up your sleeve to enable you to colour your hair without irritation. Another alternative is to book an appointment in with an expert and be professionally serviced with organic, chemical-free hair colour. Chilli Couture is one of Perth’s best boutique hair salons with a wealth of experience. Chilli offers everything from styling, colouring and hair extensions. We also offer certified organic hair products.
Pamper yourself and contact the salon for a free consultation today!