Are you wondering about hair dye for natural hair and if you should try coloring your tresses? There’s probably one of two reasons you’re researching hair dye. Either you want to cover up your graying hairs, or you’re bored with your natural color.
Coloring your hair is a beautiful way to express yourself and add an instant change to your look. Have you looked at the beauty supply shelf to check out products lately? Were you overwhelmed?
You’re not alone. The number of choices is staggering. Which kind is the most non-toxic? And what about the color?
By the time you finish this post, you’ll have a better idea of which hair color is best for natural hair.
Is Hair Dye Safe for Natural Hair?
The good news is that your natural hair is in better shape than if you’d relaxed it. You haven’t straightened it for several months or years, so your strands are in better condition to endure hair dye.
Even if you’ve flat-ironed it a few times, it’s still going to be healthier than chemically-processed hair. But still, you don’t want to use a dye that kills your hard work.
The best news is that there are safe and effective hair dyes for natural hair. However, you need to make a careful choice. The more bleach or chemicals you use, the more you’ll need to combat the dryness and breakage.
Yes, there are ladies using bleach on natural hair. Bleaching hair will cause damage and breakage, so that’s a huge red flag, but everyone is different. Maybe your pros outweigh the cons of breakage.
Let’s talk about some of the options for your curly hair.
Henna Dye is hands down the safest hair dye for your natural curls. Most people report only a slight color effect with henna, but if your intention is just to cover a few gray strands, you’re in luck. Henna is a great all-natural way to cover gray.
It comes in powdered form, and it has been used for thousands of years by ancient queens and kings in places like Egypt and India. It has several uses for the body, like healing wounds and cleansing. But the most popular uses are henna tattoos and hair dye.
You can use henna as a conditioning and strengthening treatment too. While most dyes break down protein from each strand of hair, henna works to beef it up.
Some benefits of henna include:
- Strengthening Hair. Henna works almost like a protein treatment and will strengthen the hair shaft, giving you a fuller look.
- Reducing Dandruff. It’s antimicrobial and antifungal properties will soothe itchiness and condition the scalp. This will make your scalp healthier and less prone to flaking.
- Adds Gloss. Makes natural hair shinier.
- Reducing Hair Fall. Henna stops shedding and promotes hair growth.
- Covering Henna’s reddish base tone permanently covers gray hair.
Some women use henna along with egg, but if your hair is protein-sensitive, you may want to alternate between henna and protein treatments.
When choosing a henna brand in the store, be careful. Many henna brands have additives that harm your hair. Go with a trusted name like
The best way to use henna is to buy a package of powder and make a homemade batch. The following DIY recipe contains coffee for the mixing liquid. The caffeine will stimulate blood circulation of the scalp and promote hair growth.
Set aside plenty of time to do a treatment as it will take the entire day. Also, be sure to newspaper your floors and counters because it’s messy. Here is an easy-to-follow Henna recipe:
Henna Dye for Natural Hair Recipe
- ¼ cup
- Approx. 1 cup Hot Coffee
- Place the henna in a ceramic or glass bowl. Stir the hot coffee into the henna powder with a plastic spoon until consistency is like cake batter and not crumbly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 4-6 hours.
- Apply the henna to hair and rub it into coat strands you want to color. Cover with a plastic cap and let it sit for 4-6 hours. Rinse the henna out with warm water or co-wash.
- Immediately follow with a deep conditioning mask.
Henna is effective at coloring gray but will leave a reddish tone. If you want a black color, you’ll want to follow-up the henna with indigo.
Indigo will darken reddish tones, but it must always be used as a follow-up to henna to work effectively. Apply indigo after rinsing out the deep conditioner. Here’s how to make and use indigo:
Indigo Dye to Use After Henna Recipe
- ¼ cup
- Hot Water
- Place indigo into a ceramic or glass bowl. Stir hot water into the indigo powder with a plastic spoon until the consistency is like cake batter and not crumbly.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit 15 minutes only.
- Rub the indigo into the hair and coat the strands evenly.
- Cover hair with a plastic cap and leave it in for 4-8 hours. If you leave it in overnight, be sure to wrap your hair thoroughly to avoid staining the bedding.
- Rinse and style as usual.
What is the Best Brand of Hair Dye for Natural Hair?
I’ll admit, henna is not the best if you want to color your hair bright red or blonde. It’s great for covering gray and for a conditioning treatment, but if you want a more striking color, you’ll need to purchase a box of hair dye.
Many natural queens report that they’ve used Creme of Nature Hair dye with minimal or no damage. The dye has no bleach and contains a tiny bottle of argan oil treatment. Favorites are
But here’s the bad news: The toxicity level is shockingly high for Creme of Nature dyes, according to EWG’s Skin Deep Database. They come in at 10, which is the highest level of toxicity for any cosmetic product. So, while it contains no bleach, you’ll still be exposed to a high level of chemicals. If you’re looking to minimize chemical use, keep reading for more recommendations.
Shea Moisture has a Moisture-rich Hair Color System for naturals. Their hair dye systems are both ammonia and sulfate-free and the great thing about choosing Shea Moisture Hair Color is that you get their amazing shampoo and conditioner right in the box. The kits even contain a finishing elixir and a hair dye brush. Natural queens have reported great results with both
Another popular dye is Clairol Textures & Tones, which is designed for women of color. The dye contains no ammonia and naturals appreciate that it addresses dryness. This is a solid choice for good coverage and no fading. Favorites among naturals are
Dark and Lovely’s Fade Resist has been reported to leave hair soft and manageable with little or no dryness or damage. You might want to check out
Non-Damaging Hair Dye
For a less toxic hair dye try
Naturtint is a non-toxic vegetable hair dye. This plant-based product is a safe hair color for naturals. They have a range of tints, including red and blond. Here is a YouTube video of a natural lady successfully using the Naturtint Fire Red:
And there’s another option. Funny as it sounds, using a Kool-Aid hair dye may be just your thing if you want something cheap and safe. It is surprisingly bright and effective on dark hair, and it’s probably safe to assume that Kool-Aid is a good option for naturals since it’s edible. It’s perfect for children that wear natural styles too.
One thing to note is that Kool-Aid Hair Dye is temporary and lasts 1-3 months. Cherry and fruit punch are favorites among naturals. Kool-Aid can stain, so remember to cover your clothing, counters, and floor. Here is an excellent Kool-Aid Hair Dye Recipe:
Kool-Aid Hair Dye Recipe
- 3-4 Packets Unsweetened Kool-Aid, color of choice
- Boiled Water
- Place Kool-Aid in a bowl.
- Add a small amount of hot boiled water to the Kool-Aid to form a paste. Let cool until it’s safe to use.
- Use a small brush to apply the Kool-Aid paste to desired sections, working roots to ends.
- Wrap hair in plastic or use a shower cap and leave on hair overnight.
- In the morning, rinse and condition hair. Do not use shampoo.
- Style as usual.
Natural hair can be dyed safely with the right kinds of dye. The best is always to experiment with your hair and test different colors and methods over time. Now that you have all the best tips for hair dye for natural hair, which one will you try?
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.
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