This article by Swati Varma on different hair color ideas seems to be one of her better ones so far. Besides for tips on using the store bought chemical dyes, there is some interesting discussion of natural hair coloring alternatives that I normally would not have thought of without further research, such as henna from Asia and a variety of herbal substances.
We all get tired of our natural hair. Getting different cuts does not always work. Neither does styling. To get that ultimate ‘new me’, we all end up trying hair color ideas at least once in our lives. Hair coloring can be done in a number of ways. You can choose from coloring a lock of hair to coloring the whole head, either for a different look or to conceal grey hair. Hair coloring may be done with a range of natural to chemical dyes.
Chemical dyes alter the structure of the hair and may damage it because of the ammonia in them. Therefore, they need to be used with care! You should generally do a proper skin test to check for allergic and other reactions before applying it onto the whole hair. Chemical colors last for varying lengths of time, from the so-called permanent dyes to the ones that fade away after a couple of washes. With permanent colors, the new growth at the roots has to be continually dyed. Retouching depends upon the growth rate of hair; it can be generally carried out once a month. Semi-permanent or ammonia free colors gradually wash out after six to eight shampoo washes. After that, the dye has to be reapplied. They also require retouching more frequently. Temporary colors or shampoo colors last only until you shampoo your hair again. These are the mildest and cause least damage. All three of these dyes are widely available in the market. I would suggest while choosing your colors, stick to the international and popular brands. The chances of them using cheap chemicals in production of hair colors is less; they are therefore less likely to cause too much damage to your hair.
The most popular vegetable dye or natural dye in most of Asia is Henna. It can be used for both changing the color of the entire hair or for highlighting. It gives auburn highlights to brown and chestnut hair, and red highlights to black hair. Henna also has wonderful conditioning properties. It forms a protective coating on hair that prevents any foreign chemical from penetrating into the hair cuticle. Moreover, it reduces split ends by healing the breakages. Thus it helps to make coarse hair smooth and gives it a distinctive shine. You can make three colors using henna right at home.
Rich red tones: Add a few drops of acetic acid to the henna mixture. Mix one teaspoon of catechu in the henna for a dark red color.
Brown: Mix henna with walnut juice. Add one tablespoon of eucalyptus oil for a darker color.
Blue-black: Mix with indigo. Add one tablespoon of eucalyptus oil for a darker color.
Apart from henna, there are certain other natural dyes that you could try. Chamomile has natural highlighting properties and works as a color improver for blonde hair. Rosemary sprigs give dark hair a rich glossy shine. Rhubarb root brightens and lifts natural color, giving blonde hair golden highlights and chestnut highlights to dark hair. Onion gives your hair a natural reddish dye. To use, boil onion peels in half a cup of water. Add a teaspoon of glycerin and apply evenly to your hair. Wash off after thirty minutes. Walnut juice is also worth trying as it deepens the color of dark brown hair.
You should choose the kind and shade of color for your hair wisely! If your hair is already weak and breaking, don’t use chemical dyes. Whether natural or colored, take good care of your hair. Use mild shampoos and don’t wash your hair too frequently. Always use conditioners!
Related article: Healthy Hair Guide