How To Dye Your Hair Naturally with Turmeric

Dyeing my hair has been something I’ve avoided my entire life until recently, when I learnt that you could actually make your own hair dyes that are 100% natural! I discovered this from the Plastic Free Mermaid when she shared this awesome turmeric hair dye you could make at home and apply onto your hair to turn it blonde!

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Now, I have dark brown hair, so I was a little sceptical that turmeric would actually show through on my dark locks. But, nevertheless I decided to give it a go and chose to do a turmeric blonde balayage look just in case it it was a complete mess, that way I could tie my hair up and no-one would ever notice a thing. But it actually worked! Really well too, I was so stoked!

I absolutely love how there is no plastic packaging or any chemicals/toxins used in this dye, and it is the most simple recipe you’ll ever make!

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What really drew me in to making my own hair dyes was how they’re zero waste, plastic free, chemical & toxin free, and 100% natural!!!

If you’re unsure about trying this hair dye out, or any others for that matter, just start out by testing a little on a small section of your hair, and see how it works for you. If you love it like I did, dye your whole head, or try balayage too or another cool combo!

This turmeric dye will give your hair a golden blonde tinge, and tends to work best on light hair. But I’m someone with dark hair, and it was still a great success on my hair. It’ll just show through a lot better (and stay showing on your hair for longer) if you have lighter coloured hair.

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Before we get started in learning how to make these natural hair dyes – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs and tips I share!

If you want to make and share, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa! I’d love to know how it went for you! I love seeing your recreations!

Okay! Let’s get started!

DIY Hair Dyes

If you’re looking for a less expensive and more natural method to dye your hair (and avoid burning or drying your locks out with harsh chemicals), look no further! You can make your own hair dye from a spice like turmeric and apply it to your hair yourself. You can even go a step further and dye your hair black, chocolate brown or even auburn only using natural products! Along with the turmeric dye, I share a few other recipes on how to dye your hair different colours using 100% natural ingredients. Simply scroll down and find the colour you’re looking for!

Natural Blonde Hair Dye

This turmeric dye works on both dark and light hair types. So whether your hair is naturally blonde and you want to go a little lighter, or you have lovely dark brunette hair and are looking for a change, this natural hair dye is a sure way to turn your hair a shade or two lighter.

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Before and after I dyed my hair with turmeric

Turmeric Dye

Curcumin is one of the main components found in turmeric. This anti-inflammatory ingredient gives this spice its yellow colour, and also makes it stain very easily. Not only will the curcumin in turmeric help colour your hair, but it can also help prevent hair loss and dandruff (bonus!)


  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric OR 1/4 cup fresh turmeric
  • Boiling water


  1. Measure 2 tbsp ground turmeric, or 1/4 cup fresh turmeric, and add the spice to the boiling water and stir with a large spoon until all of the turmeric is dissolved.
  2. Turn off the stove and remove the saucepan. Allow the turmeric mixture to cool completely.
  3. Pour the cooled turmeric mixture into a squeeze bottle. You can use one from a home hair dyeing kit or even a clean condiment squeeze bottle. Put the top on the squeeze bottle.
  4. Place a towel around your neck to catch any dye drips.
  5. The turmeric may stain your skin, so if you prefer put on some gloves (preferably rubber gloves instead of plastic ones) to protect your hands from the hair dye. The turmeric eventually fades away with time, so it’s not necessary to wear the gloves (I didn’t bother).
  6. Bend your neck so that your head is over the kitchen or bathroom sink. You hair should fall forward with the roots at the back of your head fully exposed.
  7. Squeeze a small amount of the hair dye onto the roots and the bottom of your hair. Work the dye into your hair with your hands. Continue to add more dye until your hair is completely covered. Work from the base of your neck out to the ends of your hair (I just kept the hair dye at the ends of my hair for a balayage effect, but it depends what you’re going for).
  8. Comb through your hair. You can choose to do this standing up or still bent over the sink. Allow the dye to sit on your hair for 15 minutes.
  9. Rinse your hair with water until it runs clear. Wash, dry and style your hair as usual.

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  • Alternatively, you can have your hair submerged in a bowl of the turmeric water for 15 minutes (which is what I did).
  • Test the dye on a small section of your hair before applying to your entire head. Go through the entire dying process with the small section, ideally located near the back of your neck or in another less noticeable location. If you are not happy with the final colour, adjust the dye by either adding more water if the colour is too dark, or more turmeric if the colour is too light.
  • Do not allow the dye to sit on your hair for more than 15 minutes. Doing so can leave your hair a bright yellow colour.

Other Options:

  • Put 2 tbsp of turmeric in your shampoo bottle for gradual, consistent colour change or mix it with water and some chamomile tea (another natural lightener) to make a paste to put in your hair for a couple hours.

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Natural Brown Hair Dye

One of the things I’m really grateful for about having dark brown hair is that it’s easy to manage, and is a lovely neutral tone (so it rarely ever clashes with other colours).

Cacao Dye

Cocoa powder is full of natural vitamins including vitamin A, riboflavin, and thiamine. These powerhouse ingredients will help thicken, shine and strengthen your locks, helping prevent those bad hair days.


  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 drops peppermint oil


  1. Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to your shampoo for consistent colour change.
  2. It’s also recommended that you add 2 drops of peppermint oil as well, which is a natural conditioning agent with the bonus of you smelling like mint chocolate!


  • If you want to go darker than chocolate brown, opt for dark chocolate cocoa powder next time you’re at the super market. Using dark chocolate cocoa powder will give you an espresso hue instead of a chocolate brown one.

Natural Red Hair Dye

For a beautiful auburn colour, some great go-to’s are paprika and annatto seasonings. Annatto is one of the main ingredients found in red food dye, and will even stain your hands when handled directly. This Mexican spice will have your hair looking lovely and red in just a couple of rinses. Just a word of warning; annatto has a very strong aroma, so you might end up smelling like Mexican food if you put too much in your shampoo bottle. If you’re using both paprika and annatto, it’s recommended that you use 1 tbsp of both to avoid an overpowering scent.

Paprika & Annatto Dye

Paprika doesn’t dye your hair as much as annatto, but it makes up for it by promoting hair growth! Paprika stimulates faster hair growth by improving circulation to the scalp. This also goes for cayenne pepper. If you have bad circulation to your hands and feet, popping cayenne pepper on your hands and feet then putting gloves and socks on will help stimulate and improve blood flow to those areas (a little fun fact!).


  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp annatto


  1. Add 1 tbsp of both paprika and annatto to your shampoo for consistent colour change.


  • Make sure to thoroughly massage the shampoo with the spices into your hair to really promote hair growth.

Natural Black Hair Dye

Hair tints are great because they won’t completely take away your natural hue (something black hair dyes can often do), which means some of your natural hair beauty is still left to shine through. This hair tint also helps avoid washing out your skin tone, which is what often happens to people who dye their hair black.

Black Walnut Hull Powder Dye

Black walnut hull powder gives the hair a powerful tinge that provides a beautiful dark shine to your hair. Just another word of warning; this powder will stain everything, so please be careful not to get it all over yourself (and the bathroom sink!)

Note that this hair dye works best with just a one-time rinse, compared to the other seasonings listed above that work better with constant usage in shampoo.


  • 4-8 tbsp black walnut hull powder
  • Boiling water


  1. For a one time rinse, boil water in a saucepan then mix in 4-8 tbsp of the powder, stirring the mixture until the grainy seasoning is dissolved completely.
  2. Once dissolved, let the mixture sit and cool before applying to your hair.
  3. Apply the mixture all over your scalp, from the roots to the tips, making sure that your hair is fully covered with the dye, then wrap your hair up in a shower cap (one that’s either old, or you don’t mind staining).
  4. Sit with the mixture in your hair for 1-2 hours and then wash it out with water (no shampoo).


  • As an easier alternative, just put 2 tbsp of the powder in your shampoo bottle and your hair colour will change over time as you wash it.

Did You Try These Hair Dyes?

Let me know how it went! Comment below and if you share a picture on Instagram, please tag me @simplynaturalnessa and use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa


  1. Hanson, Elle. How to Get Rid of the Hair Dye Smell Without Removing the Hair Color. Leaf. Retrieved from
  2. Fisher, Sam. (22 September, 2015). How to: Color / Dye Your Hair Naturally. AiryHair.Blog. Retrieved from