In my previous post I listed more than 12 ways to lighten hair:

This time I’m going to give options for how to darken hair naturally for those with light hair or those who’ve lightened their hair more than they’d intended. I know I’m a bit worried about my hair getting to light so it’s reassuring to know how to make it dark again. I’ll also put methods on reddening hair too since I don’t think there’ll be that many on just darkening.


Darkening and dying dark colours

1. Cherry tree bark or cloves (darkens brown)- Boil 1/3 cup of either cherry tree bark, black tea or cloves in 2 1/2 cups of water and use as a rinse. You can either leave it in or rinse it out with water. (note: cloves apparently make the hair slightly reddish)

2. Black tea (subtle darkening)- Brew some strong black tea, let it cool, lean over a tub or sink and pour the mixture over your hair. Repeat this process many times and then rinse out hair with water. Repeat weekly for optimal results. 

3. Coffee (subtle darkening) – Brew strong black coffee. Let it cool before pouring in hair. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary and then rinse hair with water.

4. Sage and/or Rosemary (subtle darkening) – boil sage and/or rosemary in water until it’s a similar colour to dark tea. Let it cool before pouring in hair and let it sit for a 15-20 minutes. Repeat as necessary and rinse with water. It smells wonderful and is good for hair.

  • I used this but I’m not so comfortable using the stove to make hair products so I just use hot water from the water dispenser in a bucket/bowl with the herbs and put a lid over it and leave it for a while
  • Apparently it’s good for use on grey hair

5. Black walnuts (quite dark) – Put the entire walnut in boiling water and boil for 15-25 minutes. After the water is dark, let it cool and strain it to remove the walnuts and shells. Read the precautions in bullet points before continuing. Then apply the dye evenly in your hair either using your hands or those brushes from commercial hair-colouring kits (they’re really cheap usually). Put on a shower cap or plastic bag and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Don’t let the hair dry with the dye in it and monitor the colour frequently so it doesn’t get too dark. After that, remove the shower cap and bend over so the hair hangs downwards so that, when you rinse, the whole body doesn’t get stained. Once the dye is rinsed, wash hair (maybe twice for no-poo). Dry hair to see final colouring. If it isn’t dark enough, repeat process as necessary. The steps are more clear on this website

  • Be very careful not to spill anything. It will stain everything, including skin.
  • Make sure to do this with either as few items of clothing as possible or wear something old you don’t care about getting stained.
  • Surround your area with towels and work over hardwood/tile/linoleum floor and not carpet.
  • It is recommended to put masking tape over your forehead as this will stain your skin and look awkward. Rub the top of the tape with oil (or petroleum jelly but that’s less preferable)
  • Wear latex gloves and cover any exposed skin with oil so the dye will hopefully roll off. If the oil doesn’t work, petroleum jelly will definitely work but has been linked with cancer.

Reddening hair colour

1. Mix 1/2 cup of beet juice and 1/2 cup carrot juice and let sit in hair for one hour. Perhaps use a shower cap.

2. Boil 1 cup Rosehips in 2 cups of water. Strain and massage into hair. Can be left in until next shampoo.

3. Boil 3 Hibiscus tea bags down in 2 cups of water until you have 1 to 1/2 cup of liquid. Massage into hair. This can also be left in until your next shampoo.

4. Boil down 1/3 cup crushed marigold flowers in 2 cups water. Strain and add 1 cup of red wine. Massage into hair and leave in for 30 minuets.


I’ve seen a lot about henna for hair colouring as well as strengthening but I don’t know enough about the topic to write about it at all. I would recommend you just look it up if you’re curious (I will tomorrow since it’s 3am).

All of these are natural and can be used by those of you who go shampoo-free (no-poo).