Natural Hair Dye Alternatives Other Than Henna

belwillcoilybelwillcoily Posts: 303Registered Users Curl Neophyte
This may have been asked and answered on this forum (I did a search and didn't find anything) so I apologize if it has but here goes...

I'm one of those rare folks who is actually allergic to henna and indigo and I my natural hair color is very dark (almost jet black) 4b/4a type hair. I have a huge concentration of grays along my front hairline and on the sides which makes it impossible for me to wear my hair back without feeling like I look 3 million years old. I have scattered gray in the crown and in the back which gives a salt and pepper look. I've been trying very hard to embrace my grays mostly due to feeling I had no alternative since I don't want to risk the health of my hair by putting strong chemical dyes in my hair to cover the gray and despite the fact that it did work to cover my grays, as I said before I am very allergic to henna and indigo. But I'm very unhappy with my current look. I am not ready (at 45 years) to embrace the gray. Most days I glance in the mirror at myself and cringe. I know it's natural and all of that jazz but I'm just not ready. Not ready, not ready, not ready...

I have been researching other natural dye alternatives besides henna and indigo and I was happy to find some that I will be experimenting with very soon. But I did want to come on here and see if anyone else has tried any of these methods and had any success with covering or even camouflaging gray hair in particular.

You'll find my list below:

-Black coffee rinse
-Black tea rinse
-Sage and rosemary tea rinse
-Black tea with sage and rosemary herbs rinse
-Cocoa powder added to shampoo then wash your hair with this mixture to darken hair
-Curry leaves boiled in coconut oil, strained, cooled then massaged into hair before a wash
-Dried sage, rosemary, stinging nettle, elderberry and cloves steeped in strong black tea and used as a rinse

All of these methods that I have researched thus far (with the exceptions of the black coffee rinse, the cocoa powder shampoo and curry leaves in coconut oil) are to be applied everyday until you reach the desired color you are seeking. I figured I have nothing to lose by trying but as I said previously, wanted to see if anyone on here has tried any of these methods and what their experiences were (worked smashingly; didn't work; worked but took a very long time; it didn't work but you feel had you kept with it there's a possibility it could have worked over time...?) Pray tell me about your experiences.

In the meantime, I am happy to report my results here if anyone is interested.

Thanks! :happy7:
:afro: Me Fascina El Pelo :afro:

Low Porosity; Medium Strands; Dense


  • MissCamilleMissCamille Posts: 47Registered Users
    I do not have a solution for another natural product that will cover grey, but you could use a semi-permanent such as Adore or Clariol Beautiful collection. They do not contain any peroxide developer so they will not damage hair. The downside is you will have to touch up frequently, but following a CG method will help preserve the color.

    I developed an allergy to henna after using it for a long time
  • followmeskyfollowmesky Posts: 287Registered Users
    I'm not allergic, at least I don't think I am but I feel it has thinned out my hair and made it drier and frizzier.
    Therefore, my grays are all sort of cut - long , short. A big mess.

    I'm really interested. Please report back.

    I will stop hennaing my hair for sometime. In the meantime, I figured I would use the pencil to cover the front.
    3b/C with nicer curls on the bottom!
    Hair: naturally very dry and VERY porous
    hair seems to be moody.
    Does not seem to like oils
    Does not like protein or too much?
    Does not like rich products

    So, I ask myself. What does it like? That is the question, and I'm on a mission.
  • Benjamin.MerBenjamin.Mer Posts: 1Registered Users
    Organically Blonde is worth a look. It'll cover gray in blonde to light brown hair. It's made of organic veggie skins and flowers that the owners grow themselves... no additives. I use it as a leave in conditioner and it makes my hair more curly and adds strawberry highlights.
  • GClayGClay Posts: 1Registered Users
    I've just discovered Just for Men Control GX Grey Reducing Shampoo with Conditioner, a great solution for covering gray hair without permanent PPD color reaction, or henna orange issues, or Grecian Formula lead acetate poisoning.

    I have fine light brown hair with about 60% gray. Based on numerous comments from others the gray made me look 10 years older.

    I'm almost 60 and used Grecian Formula for a couple years until my Naturopathic Doctor informs me I have a lead acetate build up in my blood.

    I tried Just for Men's 5 minute color in a light brown/blonde and slowly developed a bad allergic reaction to PPD chemicals with swelling, itching, for days. Had to take Benadryl. The allergic reaction got worse every time until I got the message.

    I switched to henna and it looked fine indoors but would reflect sunlight and neon light with an orange on the brown hair and a brassy look on the gray. People would ask me if I was Irish. What an embarrassing mess that stuff has been. It would fade to even more of a red look and more brassy look under neon and sunlight.

    I finally decided to go back to Grecian Formula and just try to be more careful to not contaminate by bathroom, house, brain and blood with lead. It wasn't good. I was a walking lead contaminator and I knew it. I always felt dirty especially if I ran my hands through my hair, plus the sulfur smell, and it gave me a puffed up blow-dried TV minister looking hairdo I didn't like, plus having to shower it out at night so as not contaminate my pillow and bed

    Then I discover Just for Men Control GX Grey Reducing Shampoo and Conditioner and I finally found an easy, quick solution. The directions say shampoo, leave it in one minute, then rinse it out. Within 2 to 3 weeks you'll find your perfect shade. Cut back on use to occasionally to maintain the color. And BINGO, this stuff is great. I got a perfect multi-tone natural look with just a touch of gray if you look close. No more 5 minute shoe polish brown sudden color change from the Just for Men 5 minute stuff.

    I did a 48 hour pretest on the inside of my elbow and had no reaction which surprised me. Then started using it morning and night and leave it on for a minute at a time. After one week it had a subtle difference. I read a few forums on Just for Men Control GX Grey Reducing Shampoo and Conditioner where others said leaving it just one minute isn't long enough, try 2 to 3 minutes and it works quicker.

    Then I ran across a forum post where a guy says to try combing it into the areas you want to target on dry hair and leave it for 5 minutes then rinse it out in the shower (at own risk and after a 48 hour skin test). Which I tried and within 2 or 3 days I have the exact look I want and couldn't be happier. In fact I'm ecstatic to finally find a quick, easy solution without lead acetate.

    I rinse it out of my hair using lukewarm water because I don't want the hot water opening all the pours on my scalp to suck up the little bit of chemicals in this stuff.

    I see this as the lesser of all the bad hair color chemical ingredient evils. Especially lead acetate.

    Posting to help other guys or women who may be looking for a better solution.
  • naturecatnaturecat Posts: 1,986Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Organically Blonde is worth a look. It'll cover gray in blonde to light brown hair. It's made of organic veggie skins and flowers that the owners grow themselves... no additives. I use it as a leave in conditioner and it makes my hair more curly and adds strawberry highlights.

    I think I saw this both online and also in a store a long while ago and wanted to give it a whirl. Couldn't remember what the name was. Thanks for mentioning! Also, though the OP has dark hair, I wonder if dying with this first would help the tea "take" better than the grey. Or it may not, but might be worth experimenting with if the tea rises by themselves don't do the trick.

    Super baby fine hair, low porosity
    Shampoos: SM Fruit Fusion (mostly), Avalon lemon (to clarify). Occasional aloe vera and glycerin to wash.
    Stylers: Intelligent Nutrients Perfect Hold Hairspray
    Treatments: Catnip tea, IA girl's PT, Fermented Rice Water, Catnip Tea, Amla tea, Irish Moss, SS PT
  • BrittanyLoganBrittanyLogan Posts: 6Registered Users, Curl Ambassador Curl Neophyte
    Great advice, thanks!

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