Melanie Spina
Published on June 12, 2021

If you feel uneasy about using harsh chemicals in your hair but still want to color it, there’s no need to worry. There are plenty of natural ways to color hair and avoid major damage.

Read on for a full guide to all-natural hair dyes and chemical-free, plant-based color brands. Experiment with organic hair colors and never worry about the effects of hair dye again!

Alternatives to Hair Dye

Hair dyes contain harsh chemicals like ammonia and paraphenylenediamine (PPD) that may cause irritation and often leave hair dry and damaged. Thankfully, there are natural ways to color hair and avoid the side effects of chemical hair processing. If you start with heat damaged hair in the first place, healthy hair dye will help you enhance the shade of your locks without further compromising their health.

10 DIY Hair Dyes and Safe Hair Dye Brands

Did you know you can dye your hair at home without hair dye? Herbs, tea, coffee, and lemon do not only spice up your dinners and your life but also make splendid homemade hair dyes. If these options don’t work for you or you want more control over the desired shade, choose among the chemical-free hair dyes also listed below.

1. Coffee

If you’re looking to go darker with your hair, coffee hair dye would be a good natural option to try. Note that coffee, although black, will not make a diy black hair dye. Instead, it will help you go a shade or two darker and will also cover up some grays.

To prepare the dye, brew a cup of strong coffee, let it cool, and mix with 2 tbsp. of coffee grounds and one cup of leave-in conditioner. Once you’ve got your mix prepared, apply it on clean, damp hair, and let it sit for an hour or so. Rinse and repeat the procedure one again if necessary.

Coffee Hair Color

Instagram / @difiaba

2. Herbs

There are many herbs that can help you achieve the color you want based on your natural hair color. For instance, hibiscus works best to deepen red shades. Sage deepens shades of brunette and black hair. At the same time, if you have light blonde or bleached hair, you can achieve a vibrant and impactful yellow hair color with turmeric mixed with conditioner. Just check the incredible results shown in this video:

3. Beet Juice

This natural ingredient can help provide your hair with a natural red tint. Note that beet juice gives cool red, so if you want a warmer tint, mix it with carrot adding in some orange pigment.

Mix the juices with a carrier oil like coconut or olive oil, apply to your hair, and put a plastic cup on. Wait for about an hour and rinse. If you want a darker color, you can always reapply the mixture. The beauty of natural hair dyes is that there are no harmful effects, and you can repeat the process as often as you want to.

Beet Juice Hair Dying Ingredients

Instagram / @juiceit502

4. Lemon Juice

Subtle sun kissed balayage requires much mastery and substantial investment. But did you know you can achieve a sun kissed hair look with something as common as lemon juice?

To lighten hair naturally with a lemon juice, pour it into a spray bottle, spray the juice liberally throughout your hair, and brush it over to distribute the “dye” evenly. For best results, sit in the sun and leave the juice on for at least an hour before rinsing it off. Mind that this natural hair color is permanent and the strands will remain lightened until you cut them off.

Lemon Juice for Lightening Hair

Instagram / @nurturing_thyself

5. Camomile Tea

Another homemade hair dye that can lighten your hair is chamomile tea. To prepare the tea, steep camomile flowers in boiling water, let the mixture cool, and strain the flowers out. Thus, pour the tea through your clean, damp hair several times.

Camomile tea lightening is most effective on those who already have blonde hair. To maintain beautiful, bright color, repeat the procedure every week or even every wash day.

Camomile Tea

Instagram / @kasiaburke

6. Henna

There are many benefits of henna for hair that make getting a new color an ultimate treatment procedure. Today, there are a lot of boxed natural henna products with clear color palettes. However, you can buy pure henna powder and mix it with other ingredients to get the desired shade, as described in this handy henna dyeing guide.

Henna color is permanent, even though it tends to fade in about 4 to 6 weeks. Thus, a word of caution: it will be difficult to get rid of the red pigment, so do not use the dye if you contemplate dyeing hair with other synthetic colors any time soon.

Henna Dye for Coloring Hair

Instagram / @hennasooq

7. Herbatint

Herbatint is one of the safest hair dye brands that prides itself on being the most natural permanent hair coloring gel, free of ammonia and other harsh chemicals. The products are made with herbal extracts that will provide nourishment and protection to your locks and scalp. It also resembles other box dyes, making it easy to choose the desired shade and dye hair at home.

Herbatint Natural Hair Dye

Instagram / @herbatintofficial

8. Original & Mineral

Original & Mineral Cørcolor is zero ammonia, PPD or resorcinol. Instead, it has natural and nourishing active ingredients that, according to the brand, are sourced from the outback and ocean. It was one of the first brands to have professional products that were free of chemicals and remains a good natural hair dye to opt for.

Original Mineral Hair Dye

Instagram / @originalmineral


ONC NATURAL COLORS is a natural dye brand that claims to provide your locks with the color you’re looking for without exposing your hair to harsh chemicals. It does require heat to open the cuticles of your hair (something that ammonia would normally do) for the color to fully penetrate the hair and not fade.

Natural Hair Color Brand

Instagram / @oncnaturalcolors

10. Logona Herbal Hair Color

Logona Herbal Hair Color is 100 percent botanical and was designed to cover gray hair while providing your hair with the nourishment it needs. It’s vegan-friendly and may contain henna, jojoba oil, and rhubarb root powder.

Coloring hair doesn’t have to be damaging. DIY hair dyes and vegan brands providing healthy hair colors make a good alternative and allow enhancing the color of your tresses, no harm attached.

Coffee Hair ColorBeet Juice Hair Dying IngredientsLemon Juice for Lightening HairCamomile TeaHenna Dye for Coloring HairHerbatint Natural Hair DyeOriginal Mineral Hair DyeNatural Hair Color BrandHerbal Based Hair Dye