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How to Darken Your Hair Color Naturally at Home

Brittanie loves sharing her knowledge on natural health and beauty.

Do you want to darken your hair without damaging chemicals or an expensive visit to the salon? Learn how to use natural household products to darken your locks the easy way.

Do you want to darken your hair without damaging chemicals or an expensive visit to the salon? Learn how to use natural household products to darken your locks the easy way.

Darken Hair Naturally

It is possible to darken your hair naturally without using any harsh chemicals or indulging in an expensive visit to the salon. here are some easy darkening methods that you can use at home. These methods are all inexpensive and should cost no more than 10 dollars each. They are also all-natural, so the damage done to your hair is minimal in comparison to using harsh chemicals. Here are the eight natural ingredients that can help darken hair:

  1. Coffee
  2. Black tea
  3. Black Walnuts
  4. Cocoa
  5. Mustard seed oil
  6. Sage
  7. Amla powder
  8. Henna
Did you know your favorite wake-up drink can also be used to dye your hair naturally?

Did you know your favorite wake-up drink can also be used to dye your hair naturally?

1. Coffee

You can darken your hair easily with coffee. This method is pretty simple and you should see results quickly. The coffee should stain your hair. This only makes your hair a few shades darker, so if you are trying to make a drastic change, you are going to need to repeat the process a few times. Coffee can be used to darken all shades of hair, but the best results are seen in light and medium shades of brown.

Method 1: Instructions

  1. Brew some strong coffee. Three cups are the ideal amount.
  2. Let it cool down to room temperature. You can place the coffee in the refrigerator to cool it down quicker.
  3. Pour the coffee into a bowl. You can then dip your hair into a bowl and hold it there for a few seconds.
  4. Alternatively, you could pour the coffee over your head. You could stand in the shower or place your head in the sink. Rinse the coffee through the hair three times.
  5. Wish and rinse the coffee out in the shower.

Method 2: Instructions

  1. Brew two cups of coffee. Be sure to let it cool down to room temperature.
  2. Mix two cups of conditioner with 4 tablespoons of ground coffee. The mixture should look smooth.
  3. Soak your hair with the coffee. Make sure that your hair gets sufficiently wet.
  4. Use your fingers to add the mixture to your hair. Massage the mixture to your scalp to get all the roots.
  5. Leave the mixture in your hair for an hour. Afterward, wash your hair to get all the coffee residue out.
Like coffee, black tea can also be used to darken hair.

Like coffee, black tea can also be used to darken hair.

2. Black Tea

Black tea also has a staining effect on hair that can darken it. This is a great way to darken your hair a few shades. This method does fade quickly, so be sure to consistently perform tea soaks.

Method 1: Instructions

  1. Brew a pot of some strong black tea. Let it cool down to a temperature where you can stick your fingers in without burning yourself.
  2. Put the tea into a bowl. The bowl should be large enough for you to put your hair into it.
  3. Soak your hair into the tea for about 15 minutes. This will allow the tea to absorb into your hair.
  4. Rinse the black tea out of your hair with water.
  5. Repeat this process daily for at least two weeks. You could eventually maintain the color with less frequent soaks. Your hair may lighten sooner depending on the quality of your hair.

Method 2: Instructions

  1. Mix three tablespoons of loose black tea leaves with one tablespoon of rosemary leaves in 4 cups of water. Boil for about 45 minutes and let it cool.
  2. After shampooing, pour the mixture over your hair. Let it sit in your hair for at least 30 minutes while wearing a cap.
  3. Rinse the mixture out with water.
Walnuts can darken your hair? Who knew?

Walnuts can darken your hair? Who knew?

3. Walnuts

Using walnuts—especially black walnuts—to dye hair works really well. This is a great homemade coloring technique, even for blondes. This technique is messier than some others, but it is very effective. Using black walnuts can darken your hair color drastically.


  1. Crush some walnut shells. The more shells you use, the more darker and concentrated your mixture will be. Alternatively, you could use walnut powder.
  2. Put the crushed shells or powder in a pot of water. Boil the pot for 30 minutes.
  3. Let the water cool down. You could place the pot in a refrigerator to cool it down quicker. It should be cool enough so you can touch the water without burning yourself.
  4. Pour the water into a container with the use of a strainer.
  5. Apply the tinted water to your hair. Use a tool like an applicator brush or a cotton ball to cover your hair.
  6. Let the tinted water sit in your hair for at least an hour. You can let it sit longer if you want your hair to be darker.
  7. Wash your hair, preferably with some lukewarm water. Hot water can take out some of your color.
Cocoa isn't just the main ingredient in your favorite treat anymore—it's an at-home hair-dye method too!

Cocoa isn't just the main ingredient in your favorite treat anymore—it's an at-home hair-dye method too!

4. Cocoa

Cocoa is another wonderful all-natural product that can be used to make your hair darker. Cocoa will darken your hair pretty subtly. The cocoa will bring out the natural deeper tones in your hair. This may not be the best method for those with very light hair color, but it's great for light to medium brown hair colors. This method smells really good, making it one of my favorite ones to use.

Method 1: Instructions

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of cocoa powder into a bowl. Add a teaspoon of honey, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Stir the ingredients to create a paste.
  2. Shampoo and rinse your hair as usual, then spread the paste through your hair. Start at the roots and work your way through the tips to cover all your hair.
  3. Leave the mixture in your hair for about three minutes. Rinse out your hair without the use of shampoo.

Method 2: Instructions

  1. Take a bottle of shampoo.
  2. Remove half of the shampoo from the bottle.
  3. Fill the rest of the bottle with cocoa.
  4. Shake up the bottle so it is mixed well.
  5. Use shampoo as often as usual.
Mustard seed oil is a great natural darkener for all hair colors.

Mustard seed oil is a great natural darkener for all hair colors.

5. Mustard Seed Oil

When darkening your hair with mustard seed oil, be sure that you are using cooking oil and not the essential oil, as the essential oil can cause skin irritation. This is a great way to darken your hair gradually over time. Results will show slowly, but no damage will be done to your hair. Mustard seed oil does not smell that great, so this is best done in the evenings. This works on all shades of hair.


  1. Heat up the oil, either in a bowl in the microwave or in a pot on the stove. Don't make it very hot, it only needs to be a bit above room temperature.
  2. Using either your hands, applicator, or brush, apply the oil to your hair. Begin at the ends and work your way up to the roots. Make sure to evenly apply the oil through your hair.
  3. After reaching the roots, give yourself a scalp massage. The oil will help moisturize your scalp.
  4. Use a wide-toothed comb to help evenly distribute the oil in your hair.
  5. Wrap your hair in a shower cap and let it sit for at least two hours.
  6. Wish your hair out. Your hair will be very oily, so you may need to shampoo your hair twice.
  7. For best results, perform this process three times a week.
Sage is used in cooking and as an incense, but did you know it can also help darken your hair?

Sage is used in cooking and as an incense, but did you know it can also help darken your hair?

6. Sage

Sage is a natural herb that you can use to darken your hair. It needs to be used daily for the best results, but it's a great way to darken your hair without causing a lot of damage. This technique is often used for grey hair.


  1. Place two cups of water and half a cup of dry sage leaves in a pot.
  2. Boil the pot for about two hours.
  3. Strain out the leaves and collect the infusion.
  4. Pour the infusion over your hair. Let it soak in for about 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair out afterward.
Alma powder is made from gooseberries and can be used to naturally darken your hair.

Alma powder is made from gooseberries and can be used to naturally darken your hair.

7. Amla Powder

Amla powder is made from Indian gooseberries and can be useful in darkening your hair. It only has mild darkening effects, so you will need to repeat this process once a week, and it may take some time to see results.


  1. Place two teaspoons of the powder in a bowl. Add in one teaspoon of coconut oil and one teaspoon of water, preferably hot water. Mix together until you get a smooth paste.
  2. Add three teaspoons of conditioner to the mix.
  3. Wet your hair and spread it out in sections. Spread the mixture in your hair. Make sure to evenly distribute the mix through your ends and roots.
  4. Put a shower cap on leave the mixture in your hair for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair to remove the mixture. Don't use hot water as this can remove some color.
Henna is typically used to temporarily dye skin, but did you know it is used to dye hair as well?

Henna is typically used to temporarily dye skin, but did you know it is used to dye hair as well?

8. Henna

Henna dye comes from henna tress. Pure henna powder is usually a reddish-brown color. However, darker dyes with indigo mixed in are available. These are for people who are looking for more of a darker brown or black shade.

You may easily stain things like furniture or pillows with your hair for the first few days, so be cautious. Henna can dry out your hair with extended use, so only use it on the roots in future applications.


  1. Mix the powder with hot water. Keep mixing until you get a pasty substance.
  2. Put the mixture in a plastic bottle. Let it cool down.
  3. Once the mixture is cool, section your hair and start applying the mixture at the roots.
  4. Once the mixture is distributed, put on a plastic cap. Keep the mixture on your head for at least two hours.
  5. Rinse the paste off with warm water. Your hair may seem lighter initially, but it will darken in a few days.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Brittanie Anne

I Would Love to Hear What You Think! Leave a Comment

Sam on August 01, 2020:

I applied to much Sun In product this summer and desperately missed my natural brown red hair. However I didn’t want to go to a salon to get it dyed and loose my red undertones. So I used both methods of the coffee technique. I first brewed a cup then let it cool completely. Then I used an unused toothbrush to do my roots and then brushed it into the rest of my hair so it faded nicely. I let it soak in then with a another cup of cool coffee I mixed it with conditioner. I went in the shower and applied the conditioner to all of my hair. Waited three minutes. My hair isn’t completely dyed back but I can definitely see how the coffee took away a lot of the blonde. I will do another few treatments until I get desired results. But thank you for posting this!

Jordan on July 21, 2020:

also I heard this ( The best way to go from orange to blonde is to re-bleach your hair after two weeks to bring it down to yellow tones that are easier to neutralize. Once you reach yellow tones, you can let your hair be if you are happy with the color. You can also use an ash blonde box dye to neutralize and lighten your hair color.) from another website is it true.

Jordan on July 21, 2020:

I'm tried of having orange hair!! HELP ME!! I bleached my hair and it's orange, I want my black hair back!!! At least anything besides orange that wont risk me ruining my hair anymore. If there A natural way that'll help me please say it!! I'm running out of options..... I've tried a couple of these Including the coffee one and other ones I've found on the internet. If you have any ideas that allow me to use at home products that I already have I'd be over joyed.

Patrick on July 16, 2020:

The walnut one seems promising. Might try it and see if it works.

Naa on July 08, 2020:

I have been using chemical dye to dye my hair black for some years now. Underneath my hair has become brown as a result of the long use of the dye. Will the cocoa help in bringing back my natural black color?

Alhyn on June 10, 2020:

How many times can i use coffee to make my hair darken, i use coffee once but it seems, looking lighten. .

Gulla on May 02, 2020:

If I use Coffee to get my hair darker will it smell like coffee and if so for how long?.

Michael Grace on October 22, 2019:

Thanks a lot ,I think I'm satisfied with all these in lustration .l will try. it and see ,because I'm so worried about my hair ,I cannot plat any hair styles as a lady ,instead I continued covering my head with scad ,whenever I used hair dye the result become more worse than I expect .but now that reach you online I believed my gray hair we become a story and I will soon testify . by the Grace of God. thank you once more bye for now

Evie on May 19, 2019:

Would it be okay if we didn't use rosemary in the black tea method. I can't get rosemary

Ella on May 10, 2019:

Is this tempoary? If so whats the one that stays in for the longest

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on March 26, 2019:

If you are trying to go many shades lighter it is probably best to see a stylist. But if you are only trying to go a few shades lighter you can use a mixture of honey, your usual conditioner and lemon juice. the results are subtle and lighten without causing damage.

Tired of brown on March 24, 2019:

My hair is dark brown ,but I want it to be blonde... plz help me.

Kim Reader on May 29, 2018:

My hair is blond.... Like in almost white... I tried the coffee and I mixed it with cacao and honey and tee and still the colour hasn't changed... Please help

Olivia Mendez on January 15, 2018:

This works and it doesn't damage your hair I loved this method!!

aj skiotys on October 22, 2017:

will the coffee rub off on your pillow? or anything?

Iyke on August 28, 2017:

I have never used dye to dar my hair because of chemical damage. I love coffee and would gladly try it since it has the highest success rate, need my hair to turn black including by the grey. Thanks

lady myke on July 24, 2017:

I really need to get my hair black overnight,please what do I do?

Melodye Whitaker on March 30, 2017:

Thank you so much for this article! I have been very distressed about my hair - I have colored it blonde for years but the last few times my scalp became red and irritated so was afraid to color all over. I highlighted with a cap to keep the color off my scalp and got it too heavy and too light for my liking. As it is growing out, my mousy colored roots look terrible in contrast. Not wanting to damage it more with haircolor again, I used Orange Pekoe and Black Tea according to your directions. The blonde in my hair was so light I was afraid to use coffee or cocoa or black tea, fearing that it would look more gray. The tea has given my hair lovely golden tones. Even though it didn't affect the roots, now that the blonde is toned down, I can live with it easier until I figure out a better solution. And I am so happy I didn't have to use chemicals! Looks as good as a permanent toner would without the damage! Thanks again! :)

blah on September 24, 2016:

i dyed my hair blue but i bleached before that, and now it is green. i want my hair dark brown because my hair is like really dark blonde. which will help best?

Going Grey on May 04, 2016:

Thank you for providing these methods with concise instructions! One of the best resources I've come across. So far, coffee seems to make the most distinct change in one use, covers fading brown (becoming red and grey) hair quite well.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on September 24, 2014:


No this will not not bring back blonde tones. If your hair is yellow from bleaching you could rinse in a small amount of purple food coloring or purple drink mix and that will get rid of the yellowy brassiness temporarily.

Blondie on September 23, 2014:

So I bleached a few streaks in my hair and they turned yellow... will using the coffee bring back blonde tones?

Ajit -Indian on November 03, 2013:

very use full and economic method . I try all this

HappyMikeWritter on May 18, 2013:

I know I am a man but What a great hub you have written. Makes me wanna try it out!

shobha khokhar from Chandigarh, India on May 07, 2013:

I find this hub very useful.And I this coffee is the best option .voted up.

anastasia p on March 31, 2013:

Thanks! And I will try it hopefully it works, it would kill me to have to dye it again!

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on March 31, 2013:

If your hair is really light blonde they might not turn out as well. This is more of a tint it darkens whatever color your hair is temporarily. I would suggest using the sage or the method for lighter shades of hair.

Anastasia on March 31, 2013:

Does any of these methods work on bleached hair? I'm trying to grow mine out and don't want to dye it again.

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on March 05, 2013:

I will try the coffee as we always have leftovers in the morning. This was very interesting and thanks!

lupine from Southern California (USA) on February 17, 2013:

So glad I read this hub, great ideas. I will try the cocoa in shampoo and the coffee since those seem to be easier. I always worry about damaging my hair and scalp with chemicals found in hair dyes.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

Thank you for your votes hope it works well for you let us know what you think after trying it out.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

Thank you I will check out your link :)

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

Mustard seed oil works well. I never liked the smell and it lingers a little bit. For the best results try using this method once or twice a week. It will start to fade within a week or two so keep it up for as long as you want the dark tint.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

Yes you can but your hair will smell a lot like cofee. I would try putting the cocoa in your shampoo.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

I think sage might work but these recipes darken more to chocoalte colors I am not suree what will give you a silver tone sounds like a great new topic for a hub. I think I will start researching it now.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 17, 2013:

Thank you! Yes sage can be a little time consuming but coffee is much quicker let me know how it works for you and let us know what you think.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on February 16, 2013:

Great ideas. I use sage and it really works. But, like your recipe shows, sage has to be boiled for a long time, so I usually boil a lot of it at a time and then keep the extra in the refrigerator until I'm ready to use it. But, then it's cold when I get ready to use it. I like the results with sage, but it's such a hassle. I am going to try your coffee technique.

Eliza on February 16, 2013:

I think I would try mustard oil method. And tell me several things about it. How many times should I use it in a week? How long should I try it? and other things that you know. Is there anyone who tried mustard oil method? Share your experiences.

Sarah on January 08, 2013:

can you put coffee grinds in you shampoo? or would that not work?

mary on January 04, 2013:

have white hair, would like to give it a more silver tone, which of your natural remedies would you recoomend? thanks

Mary Thoms on December 07, 2012:

Great work. Share this of information is always appreciate, it can be done by a real nature’s lover. To find this type of rear fact is really hard work. I totally agree with you, use natural product is always beneficial.

bangell08 from Ohio on December 05, 2012:

maggie - Let us know how it works for you!

maggie on December 05, 2012:

Trying the coffee one right now!!!!!

torrilynn on November 26, 2012:

thank you i appreciate reading. the fact that you can use natural ingredients instead of buying expensive and maybe damaging dye for your hair is amazing. Im surprised that you can use coffee and sage as a hair dye. I might consider using in the future. Thank you. Voted up.

Kenzie on November 23, 2012:

I have dirty-blonde hair. Would the coffee one work on my hair? For me, I think it would be the easiest one. And how often should I repeat this? I don't want super dakr hair.

sajidzain on November 23, 2012:

nice post. . i really like this plzz visit my site

bangell08 from Ohio on November 09, 2012:

Great tips! I want to try the coffee one, but I've heard that it doesn't always work well. Are you just supposed to rinse your hair with it a few times, or should I leave it in for like an hour or two (with a shower cap) before rinsing it out?

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on November 06, 2012:

If your hair is very light this could be more difficult but I would try adding cocoa to your shampoo and see if this helps a little. You can also try mustard seed oil but it won't smell as good as cocoa.

marion on November 06, 2012:

hi ive got dyed blond hair just want to go abit darker but not to much is there an oil or shampoo that i can use don't want anything that makes my hair to soft as its to fine

Madison Gardiner. from Denver, Colorado on November 03, 2012:

Oh my gosh! These tips are WONDERFUL! I love having dark hair but mine is naturally light brown, I try to avoid dying it as much as possible. Great tips for healthy dark hair! THANK YOU!!

Kristina Turner, Leigh from Henderson, nv on October 30, 2012:

Awesome Hub! I'm definitely going to try the cocoa idea! Sounds like an awesome, inexpensive, good smelling way to a subtle change!

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on October 30, 2012:

Coffee will tint your hair a few shades darker but you will have to do this once a week to keep it up. I would try the coffee or cocoa to make it easier you could put some in your shampoo. If your hair is damaged at all try putting an egg in your hair for a half an hour this will make your hair super soft and healthy.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on September 22, 2012:

Thank you for commenting let me know what works best for you :)

Dori Ball from Safety Harbor, Florida on September 11, 2012:

I have used the coffee, tea, herbs and walnuts before; yes it does cover gray hair temporarily. I have yet to try the cocoa or mustard oil. Off to the store...

Janelle from Houston on August 30, 2012:

Really good idea. I don't like using things with a lot of harmful chemicals in them so I will definitely give these a try. Thanks!

YogaKat from Oahu Hawaii on August 16, 2012:

I find these methods up, interesting and useful. Thanks . . . I will be trying the sage I think.

Glastofairyanna on August 02, 2012:

Thanks for this, will try some of them as I'm growing out some dye, its only slightly lighter than my natural colour but I think I'll give these a go!

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on July 11, 2012:

mustard seed oil will darken your hair over time but if you are trying to get your hair several shades darker fast then I would suggest trying the black walnut method :)

Alana on July 11, 2012:

Do you think the mustard oil is best to darken blonde hair?

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on July 06, 2012:

Any of these will work on grey hair but I think that the sage is the best for greys in particular thank you for the comment :)

Recently Awakened on July 06, 2012:

Wow, what really cool ideas! Maybe I will try one of them. I am thinking either the coffee or the cocoa. Just curious, does it work on gray strands if your hair is mostly brown?