How To Color Your Hair Using All-Natural Botanical Dye

I was curious to see if a hair colorant suspiciously free of ammonia, peroxide, formaldehyde, parabens, sulfates, animal products, lead, chlorine, gluten, and dwarf entrails would actually work. Well, let me tell you… It was such an interesting experience that I decided I just had to share with my readers. Who doesn’t need a new, botanically-derived hair color? Even if they have no gray, like me,* a natural freshening of existing color always lifts the spirits.

Also, companies love unsolicited product reviews, so you’re welcome, Light Mountain Natural 100% Pure Botanical Hair Color ($5.99 at Sprouts Market), I decided to try your Dark Brown, and here is my step-by-step:

1. Skip the strand test because you are lazy.

2. Per instructions, boil 12 oz distilled water and add it to the mountain of green powder until it is the consistency of horse crap. (Note: it will also smell like horse crap. Seriously.) Keep in mind that, per the instructions, it is normal for the texture to be “slightly grainy”.

3. Carry the steaming pile into the bathroom and begin to apply, burning the hell out of your fingers because it was boiling just moments ago. Wonder if it’s normal for clumps of product to fall off your hair, into the sink, onto the floor, and down your back. Be thankful you have chosen to do this activity in your underpants. Consult instructions.

4.  Add a little more boiled water until mixture is the consistency of cow crap, a determination only those of us raised in 4-H and cowgirl boots will be able to make. The rest of you: think baby diaper after too much fruit. And maybe a little ghiardia.

5. Return to bathroom and begin application process again. Daydream of the State Fair, horses, sidewalks in Paris. Don’t try to wipe up the green splatters all over your bathroom, it only makes it worse.

6. Sculpt an actual pile of cow crap on top of your head using every last bit of your 100% botanical hair colorant. You did pay $5.99.

7. Remove gloves, which are somehow filled with colorant.

Seems to be working!

8. Begin the delicate task of removing product from the interior of your home, pondering the notion that if the manufacturer’s claims are true, all the plops of green trailing through the house will soon turn dark brown.

9. Hurry up and clean floors (whatever the dog has left behine, having responded to the irresistible odor of animal dung).

10. Leave product on your hair as long as you want. The instructions say, “timing will vary and the strand test will determine what your hair needs.” But you’ve skipped that, so just leave it on a good long while or until you finish a blog post.

two hours later... The once-malleable pile of cow crap has formed a crispy outer shell which is very difficult to penetrate with water, even with the tub faucet fully engaged. A garden sprayer would work better. After approximately 20 minutes of scouring my hair down to the undergrowth, I get the cocoon off my head and come up for air. Good thing I have a full bottle of Drain-O.

(I had to lock Velma out of the bathroom because she kept trying to climb into the tub, presumably to roll in the sediment.)

Results: Hair looks darker and possibly greener. Hands, legs, feet and back of neck stained; bathroom needs repainted. If I did have gray hair, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t have covered it.

Recommendations: This product should be applied outside, preferably in the nude or wearing a rubber suit. Be prepared to hose yourself off several times during the process, and delight in the knowledge that the used product is being repurposed into a rich fertilizer. Should be avoided by those averse to the smell of cow barn.

37 thoughts on “How To Color Your Hair Using All-Natural Botanical Dye

  1. Dear Fragrant Laura ,

    Why? Really, why? Very entertaining but why would you do that to your beautiful hair? Have you done the taste test? It’s not a proper experiment if you’ve not had a good suck….

    What’s wrong with grey? or Henna?


    • Oh, my! Your answer in private, Roggie! And you already read it Mr. Blackhair, so that’s the important thing. Must be careful about my alter-egos….

      • I have plenty of grey hairs but realise ladies have to hide theirs. I was shocked to find pubic hairs growing out of my ears, fortunately I received a gadget in the post from a mutual friend that keeps them at bay.


        • O God, is that what I can expect in old age?! Pubic hairs migrating to my ears? As if the regular greys aren’t enough… Yes, I will thank Len the next time I see him for sending you a device to keep the clock springs sprung in your ears under control. I’m sure I will appreciate it even more when you are here, and I lean over in the dark movie theater to whisper some sweet nothing or another, and my words are not tangled up in an unsightly mess of your ears. Bless Len and his bright red man-patch. We all have a little something to learn…

      • Glad to hear the ingenious little device is doing its job, Rog! I’ve just tweeted this ridiculous article to the world at large, Laura, so I hope your Lady Garden is fit to receive new visitors.

  2. Oh, dear lord! I ALMOST bought a natural hair color product today at our local Greenwise Publix (think Whole Foods meets a normal grocery chain) and passed. Not that I have any gray whatsoever popping up.* I just want to freshen my color and my natural color is slightly lighter than my current color. I am now going to head directly to Walgreens and buy myself a box of Loreal and luxuriate in the fact that I will be done within a half hour and won’t smell like horse shit at any point during the process.

    Laura, you are a gem for being the guinea pig for the rest of us. I’m truly sorry that I was laughing out loud whilst reading your entire post (so much so that Hubby had to ask me what was so funny) and taking so much pleasure in your painful, stink-ass experiment, but we know it’s really been a long time coming. You guys have been laughing at my awful moments for quite some time now. 😉

    *also a big fat lie

      • It’s salt, Cristy, salt. You don’t think your pre-occupation with self-seasoning is a coincidence, do you? If Matt ever offers to buy you a nice metal bed with a slight incline and drainage gutters, and gets out tubs of salt, run! (BTW, sorry for misspelling your name before. Obviously, my brain was also aversely affected by the lack of chemicals in the hair color.)

    • Oh, yes, thank you Cristy, it’s Thursday — laughs on me! You avoided this indignity by the skin of your scalp. That said, if you want a recommendation for a good henna… the Surya brand ($10 at Whole Foods, Sunflower) is great! (Of course, go for the pre-mixed cream and not the powder…) If you had any grey, which you don’t, I’d recommend Naturcolor (Whole Foods) because it contains no ammonia (yuckier than peroxide) and no resorcinol (main ingredient in formaldehyde). Plus it’s Italian!! Looking forward to seeing your new shade, just as soon as you scrape yourself off the floor from today’s hysterics.

  3. One question: Did you purchase this product with the intent to look like a lion, or attract one?

    And, thank you very much, almost peeing in my pants laughing as I read your post, I was pointedly reminded to get back to the Kegels . . .

    • OH, well, anything wild and beastly sounds appealing just about now. But really, it was because it caused me to envision myself as a Nubian princess with wrinkle-less skin and dark glowing locks. Those marketers know their stuff. Kegel? Can’t say I ever met the man.

  4. What a simple and convenient way to spruce up any man-patch or lady-garden. Can’t think why every person with a few grey clock-springs showing doesn’t do this. My delicates have never looked so dashing. Thanks Laura!

    • Anytime, Len! You know that I make your man-patch my business, at least in theory. Clock-springs… great visual. And great seeing you here, as always.

    • Ooooh, thank you! *curtsey* How very kind of you to think of me for an award. I will check it out–not at the computer much today, but I will! I appreciate that you appreciate my experience, too. Lovely to see your comment.

  5. Laura,
    The timing of your article is perfect because gangsta suburban moms LOVE putting horse shit in their hair. It’s so, like, real and all.

    Loved this!

    PS was your 4H experience pleasant? Looking at it for my 8 year old.

    • Glad I could help direct you in the right direction! 🙂 Now, let me see, 4-H in the mid-70s: horse and cow judging; macrame plant holders with big wooden beads; Favorite Food Show; scrapbooks; killing insects; sticking insects with pins and arranging in life-like poses to display in cases at the 4-H fair (don’t forget the moth balls); killing roosters (or being forced to watch, opt out of plucking); keeping dead rooster leg on my shelf because it was cool to pull the tendons with pliers and watch the foot close; demonstrating pesticide application on rooster legs (alive) to control mites; almost getting killed in a halter show when a rogue horse is let into the arena, just because. That pretty much sums it up! So, all in all, I’d say it was a very stimulating, educational, and esteem-building experience! Good luck, Essa! And thanks for giving me an idea for a future post…

      • Yes, please expand on applying pesticide to a live rooster in a full-length post. I’ve always wanted step-by-step instructions on that one. An accompanying video would be nice too. Somehow I think the cow- shit-smelling organic hair dye and your 4H experience go hand-in-hand.

    • Of course! I’ll do anything to support your summer transformation, temporary as it may be. Yay organic animal ovums on the tricked out ride! Or should that be chicked-out…

  6. Thank you for suffering through this for our benefit.
    Based on your advice, I think I’ll just leave my…delicates in a vat of unfiltered tequila for a few hours.
    Whatever happens, it’s gotta be better than this…

    • Oh, thanks Guap, the visual of your delicates fermenting in a vat of unfiltered tequila is not one I will easily forget. I won’t even go into worms here. And you’re welcome for the suffering! I think the far-reaching benefits were well worth it, especially now that the alfalfa smell has finally faded.

    • Hey, Mike! Nice to see you here. The repainting is on a list of things that need painting or repainting. It’s a long list (some items stretching back eight years. Literally.). I used to be a scenic painter for TV commercials and have done so much of it that at this point, I’d rather drive a nail thru my forehead than get out the rollers and brushes. Maybe the splotches will fade in a year or two, saving me the trouble.

Talk to me! I spend too much time alone in the studio.

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