The 21st Century Herbalist

Naturally Go Bold With Brown

So far we’ve already talked about natural coloring options for  blondes and redheads, so for Week 4 of Natural Hair Dye Month it’s time to go bold with your brunette locks.  Just like any other hair color shade, there are various shades of brown, all with unique and often subtle highlights of lighter browns and reds.  If you’re a natural brunette or just looking to add a bold brown to your red or dark blonde hair then give the rinse below a try.  It’s a great way to slowly build color without the commitment of intense dyes.

Bold Brunette Rinse

You can bring out the natural brown highlights of your hair using all natural walnut hull.  Sometimes I’ll just mix 3-4 tbsp. of powdered walnut hull into my favorite shampoo in order to maintain a deep brunette color.  If you don’t want to use walnut hull every time you shampoo, then the rinse below is another great option.

To make the rinse you’ll need:

  • 4 c. distilled water – bring to a boil
  • 1 c. walnut hull, chopped (or 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. powdered walnut hull)
  • 2 black tea bags
  • spray bottle
  • for a hint of red add 1 tbsp. alkanet root (optional)

Add the herbs and tea to a container and pour the boiling water over them.  Place a cover over the liquid and allow it to steep for 30-45 minutes.  Strain the herbs and pour the infused water into a spray bottle.  Be careful when working with this liquid because it can stain your clothing and light colored towels.  This batch should last for about a week depending on how often you shampoo.

Next time you shower, shampoo and condition as you normally would.  Gently squeeze out the excess water from your hair.  Shake the bottle of brunette rinse and spray it generously all over your hair.  Allow it to soak for 10-15 minutes, then do a quick rinse in cool water.  This is safe to do every day and you’ll slowly start to notice the brunette (or chestnut if you added the alkanet root) color building.  Once you’ve reached a color you like, start skipping a day or two between using the rinse.

Again, this can stain light clothing or towels so be cautious.

Brown Henna

Another great option for brunettes looking to bump up their color is henna.  There are several shades of brown hennas available but each one will have just the slightest hint of red to it.  Be sure to read my post from Week 1 for tips on selecting and using henna as hair color.  And always remember that color or chemically treated hair will absorb the color of any dye, including henna, much faster than “virgin” hair.

If you want to bring out the brightness of your brown, use chamomile tea to mix the henna instead of plain water.  This will give your brown a bit more glow.

Be sure to check back next week for tips on maintaining your hair color.  In the meantime, if you have any great tips for your fellow brunettes, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Have a great week, Gigglers!

images via: featured image from, remaining images photographed by me

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