Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Dying Hair With Spices... Dare I?

I have been considering giving my hair a break from harsh permanent dyes recently. Mainly because it's crispy fried and dry, good if it was fried seaweed from the local takeaway, bad for hair. Not sexy. However I am not prepared to forgo dye altogether - I'm one of those people who (up until a few weeks ago) couldn't tell you what my natural hair looks like. Well, I let some roots grow a few weeks back and I was like 'NOOOO' ... I don't want to see my natural colour. It's brown - not lustrous rich brown but cool, dull crap brown, and where there used to be streaks of red and blonde there are now streaks of grey. Ugh. So, what were my options?

The first, from Superdrug, is simply wash-in-wash-out 'Effects' dye. The stuff you used as a teenager in the 90s! It's pretty quick, easy and cheap, but I have to apply the dye and wait 15 min (to get a good colour) every other time I wash my hair, which is a hassle. I don't mind once a week - or preferably once a month if I can get away with it. So I'm looking at other natural alternatives. At first, I was primed to pop off to Westfield and pick up some henna from Lush (only buy henna from reputable sources m'kay - as a West London girl I've seen the allergies and scars using adulterated, cheap - especially black- henna can cause). But then I got wind of a thriftier, home-made alternative from Youtube; spice dying.

As anyone who has got haldi (turmeric) on their clothes will attest, it's a pretty strong natural dye. The same goes for paprika, cloves, coffee and saffron. See how they can be used on these Youtube clips:

So, shall I try it? Do you want to see if my plain brown roots turn a nice chestnut? Or, which will probably be more entertaining, do you want to see me with an orange scalp and no decipherable change to my hair?

I even have some old bags of spices I forgot to unpack when I moved... lacking in flavour but perfectly OK for DIY dye...


  1. Hi there! wow, spices for dyeing hair, you learn something new everyday!! Hope you're well and having a good week xxx

  2. Hi

    I never dye my hair because I hate the though of harsh dyes on my hair so therefore I bought a product called INdola Colour Mousse from Ebay it was about a fiver. Its brilliant its just like hair mousse but in colour form and it has none of the nasty things normal hair dye has. The one I buy is Chocolate brown. It just gives my hair the richness and slightly darker colour than I am.

    I would not mind trying the ones you mentioned though x

  3. Good luck with the spice dye experiment! I'm always surprised when I learn a new thing natural things can do, usually better than man made products. When I was a young lad about town, I had fair hair, a light brown almost dark blonde colour. At the start of the summer, I would often wetmy hair with lemon juice and go out, letting it dry naturally and yes, it did lighten my hair, giving a nice natural blonde colour (although when I only did the fringe, it looked a little funny) I suppose it made my hair a little dry at times, but a drop of beer when shampooing made it all silky smooth and soft again!

  4. I'm definitely keen to see how spices can colour the hair! Makes perfect sense, really. I've been using henna (currently from a local wholefood shop, they source it from France) for about 15 years. I certainly never want to see my ghastly natural colour again! Not until I'm completely grey, anyway, then I can have all sorts of crazy colours! XXX

  5. I can't wait to see the effects if you do decide to go for it :)

  6. What an interesting idea! I'm dyeing (hahaha) to see the results.
    I'm chemical all the way, all the booze I consume a bit more on the bonce can't kill me! x

  7. I was always curious if Helga used henna, I love her red color. You know I have hair opinion. All the pink in my hair is gentle non toxic. So my suggestion is to dye your hair pink obviously. I am totally intrigued by this and also want to try hair chalking. HAve you heard of that?

    1. I've heard of hair chalking but never seen it done... I will do some research! Unfortunately my job means I can't go all out pink but I might do some streaks one day soon! :)

  8. Oh yes! I would love to know if this works!

  9. Will watch the results of this with interest. I'm a big fan of Lush henna but prior to the I did go through a phase of using tea or coffee.


Let me know what you think!