Herbal hair dye is the latest must-try trend. So what is it exactly, does it really work, and how can you try out the herbal hair colour phenomenon for yourself? Read on for our top haircare tips when it comes to using natural ingredients on your hair.
What is herbal hair colour?
Also known as natural, plant-based, botanical or organic hair colour/hair dye, herbal hair dye is one of the most popular growing trends right now. Think maximum natural ingredients. Hybrid hair dyes and 100% natural origin hair dyes exist.
Why are we avoiding chemicals?
Before, herbal hair dyes were used mainly by vegans, vegetarians, eco-warriors, pregnant women, and those with sensitive skin reactive to certain chemicals (especially petroleum derivatives.) The chemicals used in many hair dyes can dry out the hair, meaning it doesn’t hold the colour for long, and of course there are numerous negative environmental effects caused as a result of chemical manufacturing....
However, it used to be that herbal hair dye wasn’t as long-lasting, shades were limited, didn’t provide even blending of greys. Thankfully, these days, thanks to extensive research and better understanding about hair colour, herbal ingredients can give you even better results than conventional hair dyes.
How plants can provide natural colour
The properties of certain plants means they can be converted into powders used for herbal hair dyes. The most commonly used in herbal hair colours are: indigo (a tropical plant from the pea family) used for dark shades and cool tones; henna (from the hina tree) for warm coppery colours; and cassia (a plant related to cinnamon) for blond and other light shades.
When these ingredients are refined into a powder, they can be mixed together in different concentrations to provide a specific dye that is then diluted in hot water to release its colour properties. This is then applied to damp hair and left on for a specific period of time before rinsing. Sometimes, while the colour is still developing on the hair, certain tones (from green to brassy depending on the dye) can appear. While this effect is only temporary, salons can provide neutralising service to help improve these reflects.
Natural ingredients, professional finish
Using natural ingredients to dye your hair doesn’t mean compromising on quality. Herbal hair colour doesn’t have to be DIY, you can now have it done professionally in-salon to ensure proper application for the best results. Because the right combination of herbal ingredients is essential to get exactly the right shade, and the formula varies depending on your hair type and its condition, it’s highly recommended to have your hair coloured by a professional.
Botanea from L’Oréal Professionnel is an all-natural hair colour service that uses indigo, cassia and henna in different concentrations. After the manufacturing process has removed all metallic salts, the herbs are coated with 100% pure coconut oil, water and... that’s it. Your stylist will blend the perfect combination of dyes to achieve the exact shade you’re after, then add to water and apply. There’s also a bespoke toning service to remove any temporary unwanted undertones. After colouring, your hair will feel light weight, voluminous and glossy, without any of the problems often caused by using harsh chemicals in the colouring process.
As an extra eco-friendly bonus, each jar of Botanea ingredients is made from 50% recycled PET plastic, and refills are provided in airtight sachets made with FSC-certified paper (Forest Stewardship Council) from responsibly managed forests.
Herbal hair care: Source Essentielle
Not just herbal hair dye, plant-based haircare in general is increasingly popular, not only because of its more environmentally-friendly advantages, but because natural shampoos and conditioners are gentler on the hair and don’t strip its colour. Avoid silicones, used in many non-natural haircare products, which prevent colour from gripping to your hair by coating the fibre.
L’Oréal Source Essentielle collection is perfect for naturally-coloured hair. We love the 99% natural Radiance Balm, containing fig pulp, sunflower seed and soya bean oils, and the three shampoos all formulated for different hair needs. The detangling cream, used as a conditioner and left in for five minutes, is also a lifesaver for naturally rebellious hair – allowing you to show off your colour to its best!