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Going Blonde The Natural Way


Lots of people want to go blonde, they just don't want to use harsh chemicals, pay pricey professional colorist fees or try to figure out the right colors to buy at the drug mart.

When people are frustrated with the best way to go blonde, they often write to me and ask me how to use lemon juice to get their dirty blonde, light brown, or medium brown hair blonde.

The answer is simple, lemon juice is not going to cut it. Clairol and L'Oreal aren't worried about lemon juice cutting into their competition. Why? It just doesn't have the punch to add those glorious blonde streaks that so many people are dying to obtain.

If you don't want the expensive salon visits, chemicals or concerns about what shade of honey blonde to select, why not head to the nearest salon and ask a colorist or stylist to explain to you how to take advantage of the hot color shampoos based on your current hair's condition and color.

Many of the hair care manufacturers have done a great job of creating some great shampoos which add subtle tones and highlights to hair. Everything is relative though. The tones and color of your current hair will dictate the outcome any color shampoos you use.

Color Depositing Shampoos

When the ARTec color depositing shampoos first became available I talked personally with Arlene Benza of ARTec about the color shampoos.

Arlene told me "ARTec's color depositing shampoos and color depositing moisturizers were designed to cleanse, condition and deposit color simultaneously for salon fresh hair color."

Arlene told me also that the ARTec color depositing shampoos can be used with the ARTec matching color depositing conditioners. The color depositing conditioners offer not only color co-ordination with the shampoos but also provided rich moisturizing properties.

Arlene also told me the depositing shampoos contain absolutely no color carrying agents. They do not contain peroxide, ammonia or anything that can stain the skin or scalp.

Because they contain absolutely no color carrying agents they are completely safe for color treated, permed, relaxed and natural hair. According to the official ARTec information about the products, the color depositing shampoos and conditioner do not contain any type of color or dye molecules.

For help determining the best colors right for you and your type of hair check out the different manufacturer's color depositing shampoo and conditioning charts. Look at the chart carefully and note if there are any color depositing shampoos not advised for your specific color of hair.

When in doubt consult with a colorist. The first time I used a color depositing shampoo my stylist recommended I follow up with a color depositing conditioner. This may be or may not be good advice for you.

The Key Word Is Subtle

The key word is subtle. Don't expect to go from mousy blonde to instant butter yellow with any of the blonde enhancing color shampoos. What they might do, depending on your actual natural color, is add subtle blonde lights that may enhance existing blonde hair.

The color depositing shampoo worked great at building a more obvious blonde highlight for my naturally dark blonde hair over extended use. It may not work that way for everyone.

When in doubt, ask your colorist or hairstylist for tips on the best way to use the color shampoos and conditioners.

The type of blonde highlights a color depositing shampoo might achieve for your hair will probably be the same color as Pamela Anderson's bleached blonde.

If you want white or super blonde, you're going to have to bite the bullet and do the bleaching ritual. Please go to a colorist who can get you the beautiful shade of platinum that is your heart's desire.

If I had a dollar for every email I get from a visitor with a botched bleach job which has gone orange, green, spotted or purple, I would be rich by now.

If you really are determined to try a natural dye, the following blonding formula is a recipe from the book Natural Beauty by Aldo Facetti. I have personally tried the formula and it does work by adding highlights.

Keep in mind I have naturally blonde hair, that is highlighted and I left the mixture on my hair, in an undiluted form for close to 3 hours. It is also extremely messy and will dye just about anything from white bathroom towels to tubs and sinks.

This recipe is not for the faint of heart and it needs to be undertaken with care and precaution.

If all this talk of mess and fuss has not already scared the jeepers out of you and you still want to try going blonde the natural way, here are the ingredients you need to buy before you start:

Natural Blonde Dye Ingredients:

Be sure and get all the ingredients at the store and lay everything out before you start the recipe. Everything will need to be added at once.

2 whole uncut fresh lemons (squeezed & strained for juice) 2/3 ounces or 20 grams of marigold flowers (you can buy at health food store) 2/3 ounces or 20 grams of chamomile flowers (buy at health food store) 1 - 1 1/4 ounces or 30 grams of finely chopped or powdered rhubarb root ((grocery store or heath food store)


2 ounces or 50 grams of acacia honey (health food store) 1 pint or 1/2 liter cider vinegar 2 ounces or 50 grams of 95% proof liqueur alcohol (liquor store).

Put the vinegar and rhubarb into a stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Be sure to make it exactly 10 minutes. Less or more may cause problems.

Add the chamomile and marigold flowers and juice of the two lemons. Cover the pan and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove completely from the heat.

Let the mixture stand covered with the lid until the liquid is tepid. Filter the concoction through a fine sieve into a bottle. Make sure you squeeze out any liquid in the herbs

Add the honey, alcohol and squeezed and strained lemon juice from the 2 lemons. Put a tight cap on the bottle and store for your next shampoo.

How To Use Natural Dye

There are a couple of ways that you can make use of the natural dyes. You can use a dilution of the mixture by adding 1 tablespoon of the dye mixture for each quart or liter of final rinse water.

If you really want to punch up the highlights, apply the mixture directly to your hair and leave on for at least 30 minutes. Be sure to cover your head with a shower cap to avoid any drips which may stain.

To get less drips, you can also mix some undiluted dye with a thick rinse out or deep conditioner and glop that on your head to get a thicker mixture.

Rinse & Shine

After allow the mixture as a quick rinse or as a longer leave on dye, rinse your hair with cold water to seal the color.

Let you hair air dry if possible. While there is no guarantee of the level of color you will have achieved, changes are good that you will definitely see some blonde highlights. The lighter the color your natural hair, the more intense the blonde color from the mixture.


Remember that this is a type of all natural vegetable dye. The dye will only last from shampoo to shampoo. If you want to maintain the highlights or added blonde colors you will need to apply the mixture after each shampoo.

One batch will last from 2-3 weeks if kept refrigerated. It will last a shorter period of time if kept at room temperature. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, the mixture will provide several after shampoo applications.

Remember to take special care because in undiluted form, the final liquid will dye any materials it comes into contact with. This means it can stain your hands, your skin and any clothes or other materials. Apply this mixture in the shower and wash off immediately.


Will this recipe turn you into a Meg Ryan, Pamela Anderson or Heather Locklear? Probably not. Will it work better than just some lemon juice squirted onto your hair? Maybe.

There are some downsides to this recipe. It takes time, you have to gather all the flowers and herbs and you have to make the mixture. It can easily stain skin or clothes and is messy.

The up side is that it is all natural, it saves you from the expense of a professional salon and it may even be fun to experiment.

Warning: If you are a minor, ask your parents or guardians for permission before you make the recipe. This recipe include alcohol and they should be consulted first. does not guarantee any results with this natural dye recipe. Please proceed at your own risk.

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Thank you for visiting us at The HairBoutique Blog and for leaving your comments. They are very much appreciated. We apologize in advance but must remove any direct advertisements or solicitations.

- Revised Publication Date: 01/03/11

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