Many have taken a fancy to changing the colour of hair or adding different coloured streaks to it. This is not something created by modernity. Even before the second millennium BC, noble women from Sumeria used to colour their tresses with golden dyes, with the aid of gold or silver combs. It was in ancient Babylonia that henna first became popular as a hair dye. The orange to brown tint of henna was adored by the Indian women for generations.

Today, hair colouring is one of the most popular branches of the beauty industry. Despite the many negative consequences of use of artificial hair dyes, many opt to colour their hair, to be trendy and to enhance their looks. However, chemicals used in artificial hair colour contain many potentially harmful ingredients, including carcinogens and allergens. Use of these dyes could cause cancer, severe allergies, irritation and arthritis.

The less serious effects would be hair loss, accompanied by dry and damaged hair. However, there are perfectly safe, natural ways a person could colour hair. Instead of harmful effects, these herbal remedies serve to improve overall hair texture. The only hitch is that it does not produce immediately observable results. The remedy should be repeated many times over for the effects to appear in black hair.

Honey and vinegar
Take two cups of distilled vinegar and mix one cup of raw honey with it. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of ground cardamom to the mixture. Then, wet your hair and apply the mixture, covering the areas you want coloured well with it. Pile your hair on top of your head and wrap it up with a plastic shower cap. Leave overnight. In the morning, wash off thoroughly. Repeat once a fortnight, until highlights appear.

Olive oil and honey
Take one quarter cup of extra virgin olive oil and warm it. Add warm honey and stir well. Apply on hair and leave on for an hour. Wash off well and repeat twice a week for
best results.

Dilute half a cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice by adding half a cup of water. Apply the solution all over your hair. The more lemon juice you apply, the lighter your hair would get. Sit under the sun and dry the mixture in the hair in the sun for about 30 minutes. As the hair dries, it would lighten. However, do not follow this method if you have dry hair, as it would result in overly dried hair strands. The lighter colour is the result of lemon juice reacting in the sunlight.

Chop rhubarb into small pieces. Then, boil one quarter cup of chopped rhubarb in two cups of water. Strain the juice, and let it cool. Apply it on the areas you want coloured. Leave on for 10 minutes and wash off thoroughly. If you leave rhubarb on for too long, it would get sticky and would prove difficult to remove. Repeat once a week.

Cinnamon gives brighter highlights when applied on hair. Mix finely ground cinnamon powder with a handful of conditioner, to make a thick paste. Then, evenly coat your hair from roots to tips with this paste. Pile your hair on top of your head and cover with a plastic shower cap. Let it sit for three to four hours, it is best if you can leave it on overnight. In the morning, thoroughly wash your hair and shampoo. Repeat twice a week.