How to make hair dye from walnut shells

Andrew Beierle

You can make your own hair dye from walnut shells easily and inexpensively with only a few dried herbs, walnut shells with hulls, and high-quality oil. It works well on all hair types, except extremely dry or chemically treated hair. The resulting colour will be light to very dark brown, depending on the original hair colour. This hair dye is especially good for covering grey hair. This recipe yields approximately 16 treatments, which can be used daily to enhance the depth of colour, and will leave hair shiny and soft.

Boil eight cups of distilled water in a sauce pan, and then remove from heat. Add 28.4 g (1 oz) dried sage, 56.7 g (2 oz) of black walnut shells, 28.4 g (1 oz) dried rosemary and 28.4 g (1 oz) dried nettle.

Cut open two regular tea bags and add the contents to the water with the other herbs. Cover the pan tightly, and allow the mixture to steep for at least three hours but no longer than four hours.

Strain the liquid into a medium-size mixing bowl. Add 2 tbsp jojoba oil, and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a 1.1 litre (quart) size bottle or jar, label with the jar and store in the refrigerator. This hair dye will keep for up to three weeks, after which time it should be discarded.

To use the hair dye, shampoo the hair normally and rinse. Put on gloves, as they dye will stain the skin. Shake the bottle thoroughly, and apply about 118 ml (1/2 cup) directly into the hair. Massage into the scalp for about one minute, and then squeeze out any excess and towel dry the hair.

Combine 59 ml (1/4 cup) of the walnut hair dye with 59 ml (1/4 cup) baby shampoo, and wash the hair daily to maintain colour, and/or cover grey. No gloves are needed when applying this way. Use daily in this manner for two weeks, for best results, and then as necessary for touching up.

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