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Copyright Notice
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  Thursday, January 25, 2007
Going Blonde The Natural Way
Author: Karen Marie Shelton
Date: 7/15/2000


Lots of people want to go blonde, they just don't want to use harsh chemicals, pay pricey professional colorist fees or try to figure out the right colors to buy at the drugmart. (Photo of blonde from ARTec).

When people are frustrated with the best way to go blonde, they often write to me and ask me how to use lemon juice to get their dirty blonde, light brown, or medium brown hair blonde.

The answer is simple, lemon juice is not going to cut it.  Clairol and L'Oreal are not worried about lemon juice cutting into their competition.  Why?  It just doesn't have the punch to add those glorious blonde streaks that so many people are dying to obtain.

If you don't want the expensive salon visits, chemicals or concerns about what shade of honey blonde to select, why not head to the nearest salon and ask a colorist or stylist to explain to you how to take advantage of the hot color shampoos based on your current hair's condition and color.  

Aveda and ARTec have done a great job of creating some great shampoos that add subtle tones and highlights to hair.  Everything is relative though.  The tones and color of your current hair will dictate the outcome any color shampoos that you use. (Photo of ARTec Lemon Flower color depositing shampoo). 

Continued below ↓

ARTec Color Depositing Shampoos

When the ARTec color depositing shampoos first became available a while back I talked personally with Arlene Benza of ARTec about the color shampoos.  Arlene told me that "ARTec's color depositing shampoos and color depositing moisturizers were designed to cleanse, condition and deposit color simultaneously for salon fresh haircolor."  (Photo of brunette from ARTec).

Arlene told me also that the ARTec color depositing shampoos can be used with the ARTec matching color depositing conditioners. The color depositing conditioners offer not only color co-ordination with the shampoos but also provided rich moisturizing properties.  

For help determining the best colors ARTec that are best  for you and your type of hair refer to the special color depositing shampoo chart on the ARTec site. Please look at the chart carefully and note that some of the ARTec color depositing shampoos are not advised for certain colors of hair. For example, Cherry Bark is not recommend for light blonde hair colors.  Read the chart carefully or consult with a colorist or an ARTec rep when in doubt.

The first time I used ARTec Lemon Flower my stylist, Shelley Pryor recommended that I start with the ARTec Kiwi Coloreflector shampoo followed by the Lemon Flower Color depositing shampoo and then the Lemon Flower depositing moisturizer. 

It is important to note that Arlene told me personally that the ARTec color depositing shampoos contain absolutely no color carrying agents.  They do not contain peroxide, ammonia or anything that can stain the skin or scalp.  Because they contain absolutely no color carrying agents they are completely safe for color treated, permed, relaxed and natural hair. According to the official ARTec information about the products, the color depositing shampoos and conditioner do not contain any type of color or dye molecules.

Both my stylist and Arlene advised me that Lemon Flower would probably add subtle lemon colored blonde highlights to my already blonde highlighted hair.  They were both correct and my hair did look lighter and brighter.

The Key Word Is Subtle

The key word is subtle.  Don't expect to go from mousy blonde to instant butter yellow with either the ARTec or the Aveda blonde enhancing color shampoos.  What they might do, depending on your actual natural color, is add subtle blonde lights that may enhance existing blonde hair.

The ARTec  Lemon flower worked great at building a more obvious blonde highlight for my naturally dark blonde hair over extended use.  It may now work that way for everyone.  

When in doubt, ask your colorist or hairstylist for tips on the best way to use the ARTec color shampoos and conditioners.  The type of blonde highlights that ARTec's Lemon Flower might achieve for your hair most likely will not be the same color as Pamela Anderson's bleached blonde.

If you want white or super blonde, you are going to have to bite the bullet and do the bleaching ritual.  Please go to a colorist who can get you a beautiful shade of platinum or white or even butter, if that is your heart's desire.

If I had a dollar for every email I get from a visitor with a botched bleach job that has gone orange, green, spotted or purple, I would be rich by now.

If you really are determined to try a natural dye, the following blonding formula is a recipe from the book Natural Beauty by Aldo Facetti.  I have personally tried the formula and it does work by adding highlights.  Keep in mind I have naturally blonde hair, that is highlighted and I left the mixture on my hair, in an undiluted form for close to 3 hours.  It is also extremely messy and will dye just about anything from white bathroom towels to tubs and sinks.

This recipe is not for the faint of heart and it needs to be undertaken with care and every precaution.

If all this talk of mess and fuss has not already scared the beezeers out of you and you still want to try going blonde the natural way, here are the ingredients you need to buy before you start:

Natural Blonde Dye Ingredients:

Be sure and get all the ingredients at the store and lay everything out before you start the recipe.  Everything will need to be added at once. 

2 whole uncut fresh lemons (squeezed & strained for juice)
2/3 ounces or 20 grams of marigold flowers (you can buy at health food store)
2/3 ounces or 20 grams of chamomile flowers (buy at health food store)
1 - 1 1/4 ounces or 30 grams of finely chopped or powdered rhubarb root ((grocery store or heath food store)
2 ounces or 50 grams of acacia honey (health food store)
1 pint  or 1/2 liter cider vinegar
2 ounces or 50 grams of 95% proof liqueur alcohol (liquor store).

Put the vinegar and rhubarb into a stainless steel saucepan.  Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Be sure to make it exactly 10 minutes.  Less or more may  cause problems.

Add the chamomile and marigold flowers and juice of the two lemons.  Cover the pan and simmer for another 5 minutes.  Remove completely from the heat.

Let the mixture stand covered with the lid until the liquid is tepid.  Filter the concoction through a fine sieve into a bottle.
Make sure you squeeze out any liquid in the herbs left in the sieve. Remember to be careful since the liquid may still be warm or even a tiny bit hot.

Add the honey, alcohol and squeezed and strained lemon juice from the 2 lemons. Put a tight cap on the bottle and store for your next shampoo.

How To Use Dye

There are a couple of ways that you can make use of the natural dyes.  You can use a dilution of the mixture by adding 1 tablespoon of the dye mixture for each quart or liter of final rinse water.  

If you really want to punch up the highlights, apply the mixture directly to your hair and leave on for at least 30 minutes.  Be sure to cover your head with a shower cap or the drippage can stain.

To get less drips, you can also mix some undiluted dye with a thick rinse out or deep conditioner and glop that on your head to get a thicker mixture. 

Rinse & Shine

After allow the mixture as a quick rinse or as a longer leave on dye, rinse your hair with cold water to seal the color.

Let you hair air dry if possible.  While there is no guarantee of the level of color you will have achieved, changes are good that you will definitely see some blonde highlights.  The lighter the color your natural hair, the more intense the blonde color from the mixture.

Remember that this is a type of all natural vegetable dye.  The dye will only last from shampoo to shampoo.  If you want to maintain the highlights or added blonde colors you will need to apply the mixture after each shampoo.

One batch will last from 2-3 weeks if kept refrigerated.  It will last a shorter period of time if kept at room temperature. Depending on the length and thickness of your hair, the mixture will provide several after shampoo applications.

Remember to take special care because in undiluted form, the final liquid will dye any materials it comes into contact with.  This means it can stain your hands, your skin and any
clothes or other materials.  Apply this mixture in the shower and wash off immediately. 


Will this recipe turn you into a Meg Ryan, Pamela Anderson or Heather Locklear?  Probably not.  Will it work better than just some lemon juice squirted onto your hair?  Definitely.  

There are some downside to this recipe.  It takes time, you have to gather all the flowers and herbs and you have to make the mixture.  It can easily stain skin or clothes and is messy.

The up side is that it is all natural, it saves you from the expense of a professional salon and it may even be fun to experiment.

Warning:  If you are a minor, ask your parents or guardians for permission before you make the recipe.  This recipe include alcohol and they should be consulted first. does not guarantee any results with this natural dye recipe.  Proceed at your own risk.

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Disclaimer: This information is not guaranteed to be proven, scientific or clinical but is based on my humble opinions and experiences. This article is provided solely for your general information only. It is in no way intended as medical or beauty advice, and should not be depended upon as a substitute for any consultations with qualified health professionals. makes no warranties of any kind regarding this article, including but not limited to any warranty of accuracy, adequacy, completeness, currency, reliability, merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, expressly disclaims liability of errors or omissions in this information and materials. No warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, is given in conjunction with the information and materials. This information and material is not, and should not be construed as advice in any shape or form.



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