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How can I recover my hair color naturally?

Hair dyeing is a popular way to change up your look. However, over time the colors can fade or turn brassy. Instead of immediately reaching for more dye, there are natural ways to restore your hair’s vibrancy. With some simple ingredients from your kitchen and a little patience, you can naturally enhance your hair’s color.

What causes hair color to fade?

There are a few key factors that cause dyed hair to lose its luster:

  • Sun exposure – The sun’s UV rays break down hair dye molecules.
  • Washing – Frequent shampooing strips color from hair.
  • Hard water – Mineral deposits can make hair appear dull.
  • Heat styling – Exposure to heat from blowdryers, straighteners, etc. fades hair.
  • Chlorine – Swimming in pools removes hair color.
  • Oil production – The oils your scalp produces take dye molecules with them.

Knowing what makes hair color fade means you can take steps to preserve your shade for longer. But when fading does occur, you don’t have to immediately redye. There are natural ways to rejuvenate your color.

Boost hair color with vitamin C

One way to revive hair color is with vitamin C. The vitamin C helps remove product buildup that can make hair appear dull. The mild acidity helps close and smooth the cuticle for renewed shine.

Vitamin C powder

The most potent form is vitamin C powder. Mix 1-2 tablespoons with enough water to form a paste. Apply to damp hair, leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse. Do this once a week.

Vitamin C crushed tablets

If you don’t have powder, crush 5-10 vitamin C tablets into a fine powder. Mix with water as above and apply.

Citrus juice

Freshly squeezed lemon, orange, or grapefruit juice also contains vitamin C. Mix 1/4 cup juice with 1 cup water. Pour over hair after shampooing. Leave on for a few minutes before rinsing.

Use apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another ingredient that removes residue and closes the cuticle for shiny, vibrant color. It also creates a protective barrier to help repel minerals and chlorine.

Apple cider vinegar rinse

Mix 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar with 1 cup water. After shampooing, pour over hair and wait a few minutes before rinsing. Do this once or twice a week.

Apple cider vinegar hair mask

For a deeper treatment, combine 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water. Apply the mixture all over your hair and let sit for 20-30 minutes before washing out. Use a weekly.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask Amount
Apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Hair conditioner (optional) 1 tbsp
Essential oil like lavender (optional) 5 drops

Use anti-oxidant herbs and spices

Herbs and spices containing anti-oxidants can help stop color fading due to free radical damage. They also enhance hair’s natural pigments.


Rosemary prevents color fading and adds shine. Boil 2 cups water with 2 tbsp dried rosemary or a handful of fresh leaves for 15 minutes. Rinse hair with the cooled tea once a week.


Nettle helps hair hold onto color longer. Make an infusion by steeping 2 tbsp dried nettle in 1 cup boiling water for 4 hours. Use as a weekly rinse.


Hibiscus flowers are rich in anti-oxidants and can help boost red tones. Steep 3 tbsp dried flowers in 2 cups water for 1-2 hours. Rinse hair with the infusion every few days.


Cinnamon keeps hair color looking rich. Simmer 1 tbsp ground cinnamon in 1 cup water for 10 minutes. Cool and apply the tea to hair after shampooing. Rinse after 5 minutes. Use weekly.

Herb Method Frequency
Rosemary Rinse with infusion Weekly
Nettle Rinse with infusion Weekly
Hibiscus Rinse with infusion Every 2-3 days
Cinnamon Apply as tea Weekly

Nourish hair with oils

Natural oils help seal in hair color and provide nourishing moisture. The fatty acids make hair smooth and glossy.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil penetrates hair strands very well. Apply a quarter-sized amount to the mid-lengths and ends. Let sit for at least 1 hour or overnight. Shampoo as normal. Use a few times a week.

Almond oil

Rich in vitamin E, almond oil helps protect color. Apply a few drops from mid-shaft to ends. Leave on overnight then shampoo out. Use every 3-4 days.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is lightweight but very moisturizing for hair. Rub in 1-2 tbsp from roots to tips. Cover with a shower cap for 30 minutes to 1 hour before shampooing. Use 1-2 times per week.

Natural Oil Method Frequency
Coconut oil Apply to mid-lengths and ends 2-3 times per week
Almond oil Apply to mid-shaft to ends Every 3-4 days
Avocado oil Apply roots to tips 1-2 times per week

Enhance color with brewed beverages

Certain brewed beverages can deposit pigment and shine to hair when used as rinses. They also have protective antioxidants.

Black tea

The tannins in black tea bring out deeper, richer colors. Brew 2 black tea bags in 1 cup hot water for 5 minutes. Cool, then rinse hair with the tea. Repeat 2-3 times a week.


Used on hair, coffee enhances brown and black shades. Brew 1/2 cup ground coffee with 2 cups water. Once cooled, apply it to damp hair. Leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Red wine

Red wine boosts vibrancy in red, brown and black hair. Boil 1 cup red wine, let cool. Apply to hair, wait 20 minutes, then rinse. Use weekly.

Beverage Method Frequency
Black tea Rinse hair with brewed tea 2-3 times per week
Coffee Apply brewed coffee to damp hair Weekly
Red wine Apply boiled then cooled wine to hair Weekly


Before you rush to redye faded hair, consider giving your locks some TLC with natural remedies. Vitamin C, apple cider vinegar, herbs, oils, and brewed beverages can all revive hair color without chemicals. With some simple kitchen ingredients and a bit of patience, you can safely enhance the vibrancy of your hair.