Because I feel that I look older with gray hair, I want to color it. Currently, the hair on the front half of my head is covered with what they call “salt and pepper“ - almost and equal blending of brown and gray hair. The back half of my hair is around 90% brown with just 10% gray.
Conventional hair dyes contain many chemicals. Some of these chemicals can be carcinogenic (cancer causing). One of the chemicals for brown hair dye is the chemical p-phenylenediamine, known as “ppd” for short is a potential allergen and a possible carcinogen (see more information at the Environmental Working Group website). So I decided to look for more safe and natural ways to color my hair.
For Brunettes, you can make a natural sage rinse to darken gray hair. It is a natural and safe way to color gray hair. You make a decoction of the herb “Sage” as a rinse for your hair. A decoction is made by boiling the herbs in water to extract the active ingredients into the liquid - just like making tea. It is a progressive color - that means the more you use the rinse, the darker the gray hairs get.
I have to say that it DID NOT work for me, but it may work for some other people out there. I’m really not sure why it didn’t work for me. Maybe my gray hair is too stubborn, or maybe it was my shampoo, or maybe it was my cream rinse. Why then am I writing about it on this blog? Well, because I haven't read that it did not work on anyone else's blog.
How to make the Sage Rinse:
|the herb sage with a pan and a pitcher|
Seeing that the process involves rinsing my hair quite often and I wanted to avoid the pesticides, I chose an organic sage that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs - who I am affiliated with.
The formula below is enough for 2 separate applications:
- 1 c. sage
- 4 c. water
- 1/2 c. rosemary (optional - also reputed to darken and bring out highlights in dark hair)
Add the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes, then shut off the heat and let the mix sit for 2 or more hours. The longer you leave it to sit - the stronger the decoction will be. Strain the liquid through unbleached muslin to remove the leaves and sticks.
How to Use:
- You can store the sage decoction in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- When you are ready to use it, place half the quantity into a pitcher for 1 application.
- Wash and Rinse your hair as normal.
- Rinse hair with the sage decoction over a portable basin to catch the water.
- Pour the decoction from the basin back into the pitcher and rinse your hair again - do this 15 times.
- Let your hair air dry.
- Do a final rinse of your hair with clear clean water.
- After a month and a half of using the rinse 3 times a week, my gray hair should have darkened - but unfortunately did not.
Before and After photo - NO CHANGE:
|my gray hair - no change after applying sage rinse for 45 days|
Note: I have also heard that a decoction of black walnut hulls will darken gray hair to a dark brown. However, it will also darken everything it comes in contact with - skin, hands, face, clothing - and it also contains some toxins as well. I did not try this because of the above facts.
So far - as of Jan 2011, the only hair color I am applying that seems to work for me is Clairol Loving Care temporary hair color - see my blog article Simple, Easy, Almost Non-Toxic Conventional Way to Dye Gray Hair: Loving Care Hair Color for Permanent Coverage.