How to Darken Your Hair Color Naturally at Home

Updated on March 10, 2016

It is possible to naturally darken your hair without any harsh chemicals or going to the salon. These are some methods that you can use at home.

They are all inexpensive and should cost no more than ten dollars each. They are also all-natural, so the damage done to your hair is minimal in comparison with using harsh chemicals.


You can darken your hair easily with coffee.

Here's how:

  • Brew some strong coffee.
  • Let it cool down.
  • Pour the coffee into a bowl.
  • In the shower, wash your hair with it a few times.
  • Rinse it out.
  • Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
  • Towel dry your hair.

This 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.

Video Tutorial

Black Tea

Black tea also has a staining effect on hair.

Here's how to use it:

  • Brew a pot of some strong black tea.
  • Let it cool down.
  • Put it into a bowl.
  • Rinse the black tea into your hair a few times.
  • Rinse one last time, waiting ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing out completely.
  • Shampoo and condition your hair.
  • Towel dry your hair.

This is a great way to darken your hair a few shades. This method does fade quickly, so for best results try repeating once a week.

Black Walnuts

Using black walnuts works really well. This is a great homemade coloring technique, even for blondes.

Here's how to do it:

  • Crack walnuts.
  • Put all the walnuts (and shells) into a pot of water.
  • Boil the water and walnuts.
  • Reduce heat and wait for it to cool.
  • Pour the liquid into a strainer.
  • Separate the walnuts from the liquid.
  • Toss the walnuts.
  • Take the leftover liquid and apply it to your hair.
  • Leave it in for thirty minutes.
  • Rinse out hair in the sink.
  • Shampoo and conditioner your hair as usual.
  • Towel dry hair.

This technique is messier than others but is very effective. Using black walnuts can darken your hair color drastically.


Cocoa is another wonderful all-natural product that can be used to make your hair darker. Here's how to use it:

  • Take a bottle of shampoo.
  • Remove half of the shampoo from the bottle.
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with cocoa.
  • Shake up the bottle so it is mixed well.
  • Use shampoo as often as usual.

Cocoa will subtly darken your hair. 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.

This is great for light to medium brown hair colors. This method smells really good, making it one of my favorite ones to use.

Mustard Seed Oil

Here's how to use mustard seed oil:

  • Put mustard seed oil in your hair.
  • Let your hair dry overnight.
  • Rinse it out in the morning.

This is a great way to darken your hair gradually over time. Results will show slowly, but no damage is 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.


Sage is a natural herb you can use to darken your hair. This method darkens hair a few shades but needs to be repeated once a week for the best results. Here's how to use it:

  • Put about a cup of sage in a pot filled with water.
  • Let it boil for a couple of hours.
  • Strain out the leaves.
  • Apply the water to your hair.
  • Leave in your hair for half an hour.
  • Wash your hair.
  • Towel dry.

This is a great way to darken your hair without causing a lot of damage. This technique is often used for grey hair.

What works for you

Which method works best for you?

See results

I would love to hear what you think! Leave a comment

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    • profile image

      Olivia Mendez 2 months ago

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

    • profile image

      aj skiotys 4 months ago

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

    • profile image

      Iyke 6 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      lady myke 7 months ago

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

    • Melodye Whitaker profile image

      Melodye Whitaker 11 months ago

      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! :)

    • profile image

      blah 18 months ago

      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?

    • profile image

      Delta R. 21 months ago

      If you have water left from you boiled, can you save it for next time?

    • profile image

      Going Grey 22 months ago

      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.

    • profile image

      jenifer 2 years ago

      my hair is blackish red i want to make it pure black without coloring

    • profile image

      Kirito 3 years ago

      Can any of these permanently keep your hair a dark color?

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 3 years ago from Seattle WA


      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.

    • profile image

      Blondie 3 years ago

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

    • profile image

      molly 3 years ago

      these are all great remedies! but will this work on dyed hair? i dyed my hair too light :(

    • profile image

      Ajit -Indian 4 years ago

      very use full and economic method . I try all this

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image

      HappyMikeWritter 4 years ago

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

    • Shobha Khokhar profile image

      shobha khokhar 4 years ago from Chandigarh, India

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

    • profile image

      anastasia p 4 years ago

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

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 4 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • profile image

      Anastasia 4 years ago

      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 Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 5 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

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

    • lupine profile image

      lupine 5 years ago from Southern California (USA)

      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.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

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

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      Thank you I will check out your link :)

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

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

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 5 years ago from USA

      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.

    • profile image

      Eliza 5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      mary 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Mary Thoms 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      bangell08 5 years ago from Ohio

      maggie - Let us know how it works for you!

    • profile image

      maggie 5 years ago

      Trying the coffee one right now!!!!!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 5 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      Kenzie 5 years ago

      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 profile image

      sajidzain 5 years ago

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

    • bangell08 profile image

      bangell08 5 years ago from Ohio

      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?

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • profile image

      marion 5 years ago

      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

    • themadimadimadi profile image

      Madison Gardiner. 5 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      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!!

    • turnerkristina35 profile image

      Kristina Turner, Leigh 5 years ago from Henderson, nv

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

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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.

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

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

    • Creative Mixtress profile image

      Dori Ball 5 years ago from Safety Harbor, Florida

      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...

    • everythingdazzles profile image

      Janelle 5 years ago from Houston

      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 profile image

      YogaKat 5 years ago from Oahu Hawaii

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

    • profile image

      Glastofairyanna 5 years ago

      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!

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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 :)

    • profile image

      Alana 5 years ago

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

    • Brittanie2216 profile image

      Brittanie Pervier 5 years ago from Seattle WA

      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 profile image

      Recently Awakened 5 years ago

      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?