Totally Natural

Totally Natural

As autumn fades, slate grey clouds roll across the sky foretelling the approach of winter. A quick glance in the mirror reflects dreary, dull hair colour. It is time for a daring new look.

Midnight black, chestnut brown, vibrant auburn, pink, or purple–the choices of commercial hair colour products seem limitless.

But standing in the hair colour aisle at your local drugstore, you quickly realize that the decision to colour your hair is not going to be easy. Do you want a temporary, semipermanent, or permanent colour change? Do you want a natural treatment or a chemical hair-colouring product? At least the answer to the second question is obvious.

The chemicals used in commercial hair colouring products can cause skin redness, itching, and broken patches on the scalp, as well as on the ears, neck, and shoulders–any skin that comes in contact with chemically treated hair. Long-term use of chemical hair colouring, especially dark colours, has been shown to increase risk of cancer.

Here are some tips to lead you along the totally natural hair colouring route. The most effective herbs traditionally used to colour hair and cover grey hair are sage and black tea for dark hair, camomile for fair hair, and calendula to brighten brown or auburn hair. Use rosemary to promote healthy hair growth.

Natural treatments need patience and perseverance but do not have the side effects or risks of commercial hair colouring. The results will be less dramatic, but you and your hair will be healthier.

Herbal hair colour rinses help maintain hair texture and vigour, but change your look just enough to put some colour into the grey days of autumn.

Simple Hair Colouring Rinse

This herbal infusion is not only simple to make but also costs very little. Be sure to wear an old T-shirt or drape a towel around your shoulders when applying the sage tincture, as this solution may stain.

1/2 cup (125 mL) dried herb (sage and black tea or camomile or calendula)
2 Tbsp (30 mL) dried rosemary
2 cups (500 mL) hot water
1/2 lemon, sliced (optional)

Place the herbs in a small saucepan and cover with the water. Add optional lemon slices to the camomile solution if you want to bring out subtle highlights. Simmer for 20 minutes. Cool. Pour through a coffee filter into a glass jar. Cover; because the solution does not contain preservatives, keep it refrigerated.

To rinse hair, pour 2 Tbsp (30 mL) or more (depending on the length and thickness of the hair to be treated) into a bowl. With a small cosmetic sponge, dampen your entire head of hair. Do not pour any remaining liquid back into the original container to avoid risk of contamination. Allow hair to dry naturally. Repeat daily for two weeks, then as required.

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