Walnut Hair Dye, How to color your hair with black walnut powder

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Black walnut hair dye (using hull powder)

When I was looking for ways to all naturally darken my hair I came across the method of using black walnut hair dye. At first, I couldn’t find too much information online about how to use black walnut hair dye or if it really worked. So I figured I would try it out myself. At first I tried to buy the actual black walnut husks, but since no one sold them I bought a bag of black walnut powder online. It was about 3 dollars for 8 oz. I was even able to find organic black walnut powder.

walnut hair dye

After the walnut hair dye powder arrived, the next question was how do I make the black walnut hair dye from the powder.  I decided to use a method that is used for dying cloth.

So I boiled a pot of water, took it off the stove and put in 5 tablespoons of black walnut powder. I let this steep for about an hour.

black walnut hair color

Then once my walnut hair dye mixture cooled down, I dipped the ends of my hair in the pot (since this was my first time using it, I only dipped the ends of my hair in to test it out). I let it absorb for about 15 minutes and then just let my hair air dry. (note: After applying the black walnut hair dye I did not even rinse with water.)

walnut hair dye

The black walnut hair dye results:

The walnut hair dye did darken my hair! Yay, success! My hair is a light to medium brown color naturally. The picture above compares my test strand to my natural hair color. It seems it may work even better for someone with a lighter hair color.

To get an even darker color you could try steeping the black walnut hair dye mixture for a longer time.

imgdddd AFTER PICTURE: (This picture was taken 2 days after doing the black walnut hair dye, there is a before picture of me on my about me page with my natural hair color and also on my facebook page).

If you are going to try black walnut hair dye, just note that my hair has not been colored or dyed in anyway, so I’m not sure how doing this on colored hair would work, but I am curious if it would have the same results.

Please leave a comment if you have tried coloring your hair with black walnut powder and let us know how it worked for you!

UPDATE: I have received a few comments from readers who have tried this method and suggested sitting in the sun or using a hair dryer when you have the mixture in your hair. The heat may help increase the ability of the color to stay.

Check out more Natural Hair Dye Methods using Fruit and Herbs!


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  1. says

    This is so interesting. I have been wanting to try some natural hair coloring processes. I bleach my hair blond & want to find an alternative. Thanks for sharing this – at least I know I have an option to go darker.

    • Anonymous says

      Use lemons! They totally work to lighten and naturally bleach! Make juice, soak your hair in it, wrap it in a hair net and go sit in the sun for 30 minutes. Results show and smell delicious!

  2. melissa alder says

    I am very interested in knowing where you found the powder? I would like to try this. I have to have my gray colored and it is expensive to do plus it is so unhealthy. I am anxious to find something to save me money. Thank you for sharing with us :)

    • Lori says

      Hi! I ordered the powder for the black walnut hair dye online from the company mountain rose herb, I saw a couple other places selling it too when I did a google search. I chose them because they had the best price and they had organic. The other two options I found for all naturally coloring hair are sage tea and coffee, which I haven’t tried yet. Please let us know if you try it and how it comes out :)

      • jane says

        Hi – in my country there is no black walnut powder but the tincture is available. Do you think this will do as well? Thanks.


        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          I didn’t know they made a black walnut tincture! Are there any added ingredients to it? I would probably add several drops to a cup of hot water and do it on a test strand to check first.

          • Anaya says

            Would it be effective enough if i use walnut shells instead of hulls to make the dye (hulls are not available here) I want to cover my grey hair.

        • Jennie says

          I have been steeping strong coffee, thickening it with cornstarch and putting it on my hair for about six hours. I do it once a week and it turns my grey hair blond so that it looks pretty good with my brown hair. I only wash my hair with water and apple cider vinegar- there is no residue on my hair and I think this helps. However, it takes 2 or 3 applications to change it. I always have roots, but they don’t show so badly because it is not an abrupt line. Have started making the coffee with sage and rosemary tea, but have yet to see the results. Now, I will try adding some black walnut powder too!

        • Anonymous says

          Same here, and I REAALLY over-brewed it too so that it would extremely strong and dark. It didn’t do a single thing to change the color, tone, darkness of my hair. I’ve seen a lot of success with Walnut Powder though. i’m going to try that next. ^_^

      • Anonymous says

        Hi, you said you used five tablespoons of the wall nut jull powder, but you didn’t say how much water you put in the pot.

    • says

      Hi, Lori, I found it at Life Grocery, a local co-op here in Marietta, GA….. you can probably find it online at some of the bigger herb companies, as well. Life Grocery sells it in the “bulk” section of their store, you just scoop out what you need into a zip bag and pay for what you need.

  3. alicia says

    I am intrigued with the walnut dye…I wonder if black tea would have the same result. In which its available at walmart.

  4. says

    would love it if you would post a picture of your full head. I have dark brown hair with bits of auburn & have thought about using henna to cover up my increasing amounts of white hairs. Maybe this would work? I wonder if it comes out with a flat color or has the natural look/shine of natural hair color?

    • Brenda says

      I would love to see the ‘after’ pic as well. Like Lisa, I have increasing amounts of white hairs I’d like to cover up and have the exact same questions. Thanks!

    • Lori says

      Thanks for your comments, I just added a picture that I took 2 days after using the black walnut hair dye. It is in the same lighting as the pic on my about me page. The color looks very natural and is not flat at all. I am very happy with the result of it :) I think it is definitely worth a try. The other two natural options I have looked into are sage tea and coffee, but I don’t think they would be as powerful as the walnut.

      • Mrhycannon says

        I died my hair for years.. Recently I decided to darken to my natural shade.. Since I grow herbs, I started with those in my garden.. Sage and Rosemary looked lovely over my dark blonde.. I used them together and separately.. Rosemary was a tad darker strawberry highlights….. They weren’t dark enough so I thought I’d try walnut husk.. I kept thinking how we little girls dyed our doll clothes with walnut husks and other dyes that we made our selves..
        I live in a wooded area that has oodles of black walnut trees.. I don’t use the nuts because of arthritis in my hands.. The husks are easy to break open, especially when they just start turning and if you wash your hands quickly they don’t turn brown.. No matter how you treat them the husks all turn blackish-brown in the end.. I layed the husks out in my drying room and let them dry thoroughly.. Once they are dry they are easy to break into small pieces with no black hands..I love rich color of walnut dye.. I may never tire of using it….. FYI, in the old days indians were played by only white actors.. They used walnut dye to darken their skin….. Enjoy!

        • Cindy says

          We have a ton of black walnut trees on our property – and I have never touched them because of the staining issue. I am very ignorant about them – what part are the husks??? When do they start to turn, spring or fall? Thank you!!!

        • Jacqueline Watts says

          Hello Lori I am afro american wearing Sisterlocks I have a lot of gray hair I I have been using natural black tea it only colors the ends maybe I am not doing it often enough but I am going to try the black walnut powder how much distilled water do I need and how much black walnut powder do I need to make a paste please ;et me know Thank You.

    • Lori says

      I think the black walnut hair dye is great. It is quite powerful at coloring (it even stained one of my white towels brown) and you can adjust the color depending on how long you let the mixture steep. I just received an email from a woman who said it worked for her to cover her grey hairs. I hope to hear from others who have tried using it to cover greying hair to get a better idea of how well it would work. The other two options I have looked into are coffee and sage tea.

    • Lee says

      Black tea worked really well on giving my dark hair med-light brown color on my greys. I steeped for 45 min, put it in a spray bottle, applied after washing, let it dry, rinsed, conditioned, & it worked great. 4 washes later – it’s still dyed (aside from new hair growth of course). I want my hair darker though, so I’m getting fresh unhulled black walnuts today!

      • Neecyanne Bowersox says

        This is so interesting (and exciting) that black tea has worked and the fact you could just apply it from a spray bottle is great. I wonder if the mixture of black walnut could be strained and applied from a spray bottle also? Has anybody tried it in spray bottle form? I am hoping that I will get feedback although this article is a bit aged since the replies. I feel so behind in the times! Awesome news for people who would like a natural alternative to chemicals! I am hoping to try this soon!

        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          The spray bottle sounds like a great idea, not as messy as the method I used. Let us know if you give it a try!

    • Anonymous says

      I tried a tea bag and leftover coffee grounds reboiled and while it was warm not hot brushed It thru my gray edges and top its not so slivery or water I like I so far took a washcloth and dabed a few spots so far im pleased I don’t look so washed out. Il keep trying fihure if it stains your teeth it may stain my hair

  5. says

    Hi! Love those results! I’ve dyed my hair red with henna now for a year and wanted to go back brown. Henna leaves my hair smelling like wet grass for about 3 weeks when wet. What kind of smell have you noticed with this? How has the colour stayed/what type of fading was there? I’m excited to hear your answers so I can try it out!

    • Lori says

      Hi, there isn’t any smell once I applied it and my hair dried. But when I first mixed the black walnut hair dye the smell was strong and not too pleasant. I did it about a month ago and my hair is still a couple shades darker then it is naturally. During the first week it lightened a little from what it was right after doing it. (I only let the mixture steep for 1 hour though, so if you wanted to make it darker you could let the mixture steep longer)

  6. Lee says

    Now THIS sounds promising. I have never-dyed off-Black hair and DID do the sage with rosemary dye (you steep it in tea), but it made my grey hair turn med-light brown & looked more like highlights. I also tried an organic black tea dye another time & to me it was darker than the herb-trial. I am FEIGNING for black walnut hulls/powder, bc I have always liked my natural hair color. You have inspired me tremendously & this will be next!!!!!! Any tips for preventing skin staining?

    • Lori says

      Thanks for sharing your results with the herbs and tea, that is great that it worked! The black walnut hair dye is quite powerful at staining, to prevent it from staining my skin I put it in a small plastic bin and kind of dunked my hair into without letting it touch my skin. Then squeezed out my hair and just put it up in a bun to let it air dry. (It permanently stained one of my towels, so just be careful as it may stain anything it comes into contact with)

  7. Susan C says

    This looks great! How much water did you boil? When you say you left it in 15 minutes did you wash it out after that? I’m confused because it also says you let it air dry. How long did you leave it on your hair before rinsing it out?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Susan, I boiled about 2 cups of water. Sorry that it sounded confusing, what I meant was that I dipped my hair into the mixture and kept it in for 15 minutes. You probably don’t need to do this, I just did it because I wasn’t sure if just pouring it on would work, but the mixture was more powerful than I thought it would be. And then after 15 minutes I took my hair out of the mixture, squeezed out the liquid and put it up in a bun and let it air dry. Hope this helps :)

  8. Marge Sehler says

    Thanks to a lovely elderly friend I was introduced to using crushed black walnut powder on my hair. Her hair had such a natural glow-I had to find out where it came from. I use her recipe. About 2 tsp crushed walnut powder in 1/3 cup water–microwave until water boils–let seep a few minutes–strain through nylon mesh and viola–you’re ready to go. I dilute this by adding water to 3/4 cup and apply it to wet washed hair and style. This adds a soft blond touch to my graying hair, for a darker shade do not diulte. I had to experiment several times to get the proper amount of dilution–and I am thrilled at the outcome and have had several comments on my natural looking hair!!
    I leave any left over in the freezer as it does not retain it’s fresh aroma if it ages.

    • Sylvia says

      Marge, if you get this, does your skin get stained? If not, what do you use to keep it from getting stained? You say you apply the mixture to “wet washed hair and style,” do you not let it dry or partially dry before styling? How long can you leave it in the freezer and it still be usable? Thanks.

  9. Ariel H says

    I’d love to try this as I love dark brown hair but have a similar natural colour as yourself. I quit dying my hair a year and a half ago due to the chemicals and upkeep/root growth, so I finally have it all grown out natural.

    I’d love to try this (as a longterm temporary dye), but was wondering how well it fades in case I decide to quit colouring. Have you redyed your own hair? How much does it fade out? If it fades out to a hardly noticable difference between natural I’ll do it, but I don’t want to have to bother with hard colour lines if I decide to go natural again. Thank you!

  10. Wondering says

    Hello, I have tried the Black Walnut Hull Powder 4 times now and I can’t even get it to stain my skin let alone my hair. I ordered the Powder from the supplier you mentioned. I’ve boiled it. I’ve steeped it. I’ve even used one batch left over from a few day previous, boiled it and then added 5 tbsps of new powder to that, steeped it and it did nothing. I applied it to my hair like a store-bought hair dye, no cream or vaseline around my hairline, got it all over my face, let it sit in my hair under a cap for almost an hour and nothing. Rinsed out in the shower, which other blogs say NOT to do because it is so staining and nothing… I was even applying it 3-4x a day to my roots with a mascara brush for a week and there is no noticible difference. What am I missing? Thanks for your time.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi, May I ask what your natural hair color is? Do you have any color or highlights? My hair was never color treated or highlighted. When I applied it to my hair I didn’t put it on like a regular hair dye. I put the mixture into a bin and dunked my head in to the bin. So it would not get on my face or skin. I let my hair sit in it for 15 minutes before taking it out. Then put my hair up in a bun and left it alone the rest of the day. The mixture seemed very powerful, it permanently stained a few of my towels and the bin I put the mixture in.

      • Wondering says

        Hello, thanks for responding. My natural hair color is dark brown. I have been using store-bought dyes for about 10 years but wanted to get away from all of the chemicals. I have been having issues with the chemical dyes not dying the roots and barely covering my few greys and then fading quickly, so there may be something about my hair that won’t hold the dye. However, as I said, I applied it quite thickly and it ran all over my skin and didn’t stain anything. I let it sit for almost an hour before I rinsed it. -any help would be much appreciated.

        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          Hmm..The longer the mixture steeps the darker the color should get, however, it will only reach a dark brown shade. Maybe your hair color is close to this color already?. It darkened my hair quite a bit, but my hair is very light brown. I know a few have had to steep the mixture for 3 to 4 days to reach their desired color, but I think you mentioned you tried it after a few days. Maybe trying another natural hair dye such as coffee or black tea may be able to give a darker color.

          • Wondering says

            My hair is a dark brown almost black, and I’m trying to cover up some “silver-linings” that have started encroching. However, the 2 inches of new growth will not hold store-dye or any type or sage/coffee/walnut shell powder. The previously dyed hair will change, but the new growth won’t even change with a commercial dye. However, I can understand that perhaps my hair will just no longer hold to a dye, but why does it not stain my skin. I just tried the walnut powder again today, and left it on for over an hour, didn’t wipe up the spills on my forehead, cheek or neck and it all just rinsed away. Am I not supposed to use a metal pot or …. Thanks again for your time.

            • Lori, Health Extremist says

              My skin wasn’t stained from it at all either, which is strange because there is a lot of information online about walnuts staining skin. It stained my hair and also my towels. I’m not sure if using a metal pot changes the result, I used a glass container but I don’t think it would make a difference. Wish I knew more about how it works.

              Henna might be another option to check out. I haven’t tried it, but from the ingredients it appears to be much better than chemical dyes.
              Hope this helps!

              • Mel says

                Might be the shampoo/conditioner you’re using – I.e leaving a film over your hair and preventing the dye from bonding

            • Simona says

              Hi, for your stubborn Grey hair, try the following:
              After you shampoo hair, rinse your hair with Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, (by Bragg).
              Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar & 1/4 cup with water, pour onto your head/ on your hair let it sit for 1-2 minutes, rinse with water. This will clean all the “residue/ build up” and prep hair for the color.
              Also, your hair should feel really soft and Shinny!!
              Let us know how this works for your?!! :)

            • emily says

              Use a clarifying gentle shampoo such as Malibu before you color to be sure to remove all traces of styling products. You may have what is called resistant gray. This type of gray IS difficult to color without the chemical big boys with a peroxide level to open the cuticle. However, as you know the tradeoff for that is exposure to nasty chemicals and dry/damaged hair. There are people whose gray hair simply will not take color. Unfortunately you may be one of those and if so, you may have to just shake hands with your graying and find a style that complements your new look. BTW, graying healthy hair can be beautiful!! Hope this helps.

        • Rosemary says

          Hello Wondering says, I was skimming through the comments and came across yours. My mother have the same problem you have, issues with her hair not taking any of the dyes. I have two cousins that are professional colorists and they both says that when a person’s hair does not take any dyes especially on grey hair its because they have a health issue such as Diabetes. They said that when they work on customers with diabetes its a headache because they have to process their hair with stronger chemicals in order for the color to adhere to the hair shaft. Sorry, hope I’m not scaring you but it would be smart if you get a physical check-up because when a person have a deficiency the body releases a chemical which we, humans, do not sense it. And, many times does not give us what we want such as dye our hair or use some perfume – which gives out a different smell when we are not healthy. Good luck, hope everything turns out to be fine.

        • Anonymous says

          Put it in a bun and let it air dry the ENTIRE day like she did. You only let it sit an hour. may as well give it another try.

      • Neecyanne Bowersox says

        I would like to see a picture of how you managed to use a bin in the process method of using the black walnut mixture. I want to do it in a way that works but I guess my imagination as to how to do this is lacking and intimidating. I don’t want to ended getting it all over and trust in the fact that I probably would.

        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          I poured the mixture into a small plastic bin (about 1 ft x 1 ft) and dunked my head into it. It wasn’t too messy, but the bin was stained afterwards. After putting my hair in the mixture, I squeezed it out and put it up in a bun to air dry. (some say to use a hair dryer to help the color stick). Sorry I don’t have a picture, hope this helps!

      • Anonymous says

        The opening of the cuticle is what I was going to suggest. I plan to try it soon and have some of my own hull. I’ll try to remember to post,
        Some of us have naturally course hair which takes color much easier. Some, like me, have very fine hair and it might be wise to skip the conditioning for a couple of days or use a clarifier, like apple cider vinegar, to take off any junk in your hair and open the cuticle to let the color in. Hope this helps some :)

  11. Yoli says

    I am about to do this. I made a batch in a French press coffee maker. I let it steep for 6 hours then pressed it. Going to spray it all over to get it wet. Let it dry in the sun (got this from another website) I hope it works, I will let you know.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      How long did you steep the mixture? Maybe it wasn’t steeped long enough? Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. I have heard mixed results about it being able to cover gray hair.

  12. Yoli says

    Hi Lori, I steeped for 6 hours and left it on till it dried in the sun. The next day I reapplied and put a cap on like regular dye and let it dry like that and didn’t even use shampoo, I just rinsed it out. I really wanted something natural to cover my gray. I am not completely gray just a few strands on my bangs and side burns.
    I would try the black tea but that doesn’t seem as stainable but maybe I am wrong
    Thanks for getting back to me.

  13. Susan C says

    Just updating that this didn’t work for me either. Steeped it for a looonnnnggg time, left it on for hours and also used black tea with it. Did it twice two days in a row as I know sometimes with henna you need to do that. My hair, except for roots, has henna on it. The henna tends to go more red than I’d like which is why I thought this might be good at getting it more brown. It did put a little colour on my grey but not enough for anyone to notice but me and it still looked like I needed to do my hair. It didn’t stain my skin either (I ordered from the place you suggested). My sister who has lighter hair also tried it and it didn’t work for her. I can see it being good for people with lighter hair that may want to add just a slight tint to their grey rather than covering it up.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Thanks for sharing your results! I have heard mixed results, Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you, I’m not sure what’s influencing it working for some and not for others. Having a lighter hair color seems to be one, but maybe there are other factors, such as what products using on hair, etc. Hope you can find a natural color that works for you!

  14. Yoli says

    I also tried the black tea with sage tea. Left it on till it dried and it didn’t cover my gray at all. I really really wanted something to work.

    I’m glad it’s working for others


    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Sorry to hear the tea didn’t work, I’ve heard mixed results with the tea hair dye too. It slightly darkened my hair but not by too much, although my hair is more of a medium brown, maybe it would work better for someone with very light hair?.

    • Anonymous says

      Hi Yoli
      i have treid the sage, tea and coffee, with limited results. I found Radico Colour Me Dark Brown at the health shop. It is cheap (NZ$20) and I can mix a little at a time. It works really well. At the moment I am trying to find a way to mask the strong smell. Good luck if you try this.


  15. says

    Wonderful post! I’ve been needing to find natural options – I’ve felt so guilty about my regular dye. I will have to try this!

      • Anonymous says

        If you scratch your head, will your finger nails or fingertips turn black or brown? Also does the color rub off on a shirt collar or on a pillow? How long does the color last on the hair that has been treated? I’m considering trying it on my beard. Thanks for your help!

          • Anonymous says

            I ordered the black walnut powder and am going to give it a try. I tried the coffee, tea, and sage methods. They were all very messy due to being water based. Last night I tried food coloring mixed into conditioner. It was easy to apply and looked great until this morning when I put a little lukewarm water on my face. Not all, but much of the color washed away and I did not use any soap. Will just wait for the walnut powder and give that a try. Appreciate your response.

  16. says

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right. This publish truly made my day. You can not believe just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  17. Aj says

    Hi. I tried this for the first time.. Black tea did not work, nor did the sage.. My results were good.. My hair is definately darker and it covered some of the gray but did not cover the silver.. This was with one rinse. I put the remainder in the fridge and I’ll pull it out tmrw and add a little more walnut and add sage then boil it in the microwave..thank for sharing your results.. Aj

  18. Heather says

    I have naturally dark hair already but I am starting to see grays. Not many but some. I am allergic to salon hair color and haven’t had luck with other dying options. Do you think that this will make my hair a richer color also and still give it a nice shine?

  19. Nancy says

    I tried the sage first, and then the sage and black tea with good results. I read it needs to be applied 5 or 6 times before it takes completely, and then about once a week for upkeep, and that appears to be working for me. I found this info on-line from several websites (don’t currently have them with me, but I can locate them again if needed).

    Here’s what I did:

    1 quart water, 1/2 cup rubbed sage or dried sage leaves, 3 black tea bags

    Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Let stand minimum 2 hours. Strain.

    After I washed & conditioned my hair: I put a large bowl in the kitchen sink, leaned my hair into the bowl, and slowly poured the mixture into my hair, multiple times, until I felt the roots had been saturated. Combed it out, let it dry and went to bed. (also went to bed with it damp with a dark towel over the pillow) In the morning, I rinsed it out, then added hair products and blow dried ( my hair has to be dried straight for work -it is very messy looking when natural dried, otherwise, I would not have dried it). Some ppl rinse it out after about 2 hours with good results.

    It has slowly covered the grey, white hair is slower to cover, but getting there. It changed my highlights to a light blonde. It took quickly to chemically treated hair, but slower on the root growth, on me anyway.

    The sage alone was a light-med blonde; the blk tea made it a light caramel color. It seems to take on different shades with whatever hair it is coloring, but it takes multiple applications. I must say, I was very surprised how well it has worked. I have only done it 6 times, will continue to do it.

    My hair grows very fast; I have lots of grey/white hair mixed with my dark blonde. I was salon coloring my roots every 2.5 -3 weeks, then recently did numerous root colors/some bleach highlights at home & damaged my hair. So this was a solution.

    Just keep searching for different methods, there’s a lot of info out there. Good luck.

  20. Nancy says

    Lori, just wanted to say thanks for this post! I am going to try the black walnut powder. It was especially nice that you posted a picture; your hair turned out beautifully. I will post my results once I try it, successful or not :).

  21. Nancy says

    @ Marge Sehler regarding your December 6, 2012 post,

    How did you apply the solution to your hair? Did you use just pour it over it or let it soak in the solution? I’m also curious if you always leave it in or if you rinse it out.

    Also, do you think the solution worked as well once you froze it?

    I hope you get this comment. Thanks for your post. I’m happy to have found this site; I had wanted to use the black walnut but had not seen enough information on it to feel it was worth a try, then Lori posted her picture and it changed my mind. Thank you.

  22. mary b says

    I think age matters, the gray hairs get more resistant to chemical colorants the older you get. Also, I think your water matters. We had very hard water, my neighbor couldn’t get perms any more – back in the day of the fro’s – the chemicals couldn’t penetrate her hair follicle because of the hard water deposits. I used to need a clarifying treatment in order for dyes to ‘take’. I read recently that our hair oxidizes with age, that it is related to gray hair/resistance to color, wonder if anti-oxidants would help?. On the news this past week, they may have discovered a cure or preventative for gray hair, while researching a new drug for another problem, it’s 5+ years away at best. Finally, I have a black walnut tree on my property! Last year we had a drought and I didn’t see many but in 2011 I found tons of them, starting in July ….. I have a few in my freezer, it’s worth a shot. Be back when I have something to report.

  23. Nicole says

    Thanks for this post Lori! Your hair looks beautiful in the ‘after’ photo! I’ve just bought some powder online. I have bleached hair (from mousy light brown) and I despise it. I’ve been doing henndigo (henna + indigo) experiments but none of them get ashy enough for me. So I’ll give this a go :)

  24. Brittney says

    I bought some black walnut hull powder from amazon, also organic. On the package it says the hulls produce a chemical (starts with a “j”) that can be toxic with long term use. This made me nervous so I tried looking up the safety of it online and I’m not 100% sure it’s safe. Have you read anything about this, what do you think? Not sure what would be considered long term use.

  25. Interested says

    I saw you said it lasted a while and that it gradually faded for 1-2 months, did you get back to your natural color? And did you have funky color in between the original dying and the completely faded? I am very interested in trying this since I have a very similar hair color to yours naturally.

  26. Cathy says

    Hi Lori,

    I am wondering if the black green walnut hull power works to cover my grey hair. I tried but it was not working on mine – originally black colour. I put more than 5 tablespoons with boiled hot water. I applied for my hair for an hour then rinsed with water. Should I not rinse with the water and steep overnight?

    Can you please advise me the best way to dye the hair with black walnut hull. Thanks.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I haven’t tried it on grey hair myself, some need to steep it for a longer period of time. I have read a few comments, that some steep it for 2 days. Maybe leaving it in the hair longer would help too? In the comments on this post, I have had mixed reviews on it being able to color grey hair, I’m not sure why it works for some and not for others.

  27. Emilie says

    Hello, I was wondering how much water to use? I just got the black walnut powder in the mail, and I am very excited to test it out! :) I suppose it is just: the less water and the more powder = darker. and vise versa … but I’m still unsure about the amount of water to use. thanks!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I used about 1/2 cup of water, but as you mentioned the result should be darker when you use less water and more powder. :)

  28. Julie says

    hey lori! thanks alot for sharing this..never thought that one can use nuts for coloring hair.! I wanted to ask that can i use the walnut powder do the husk powder??

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Julie, I used black walnut hull powder but I have read that using the husks is best (to achieve better color).

  29. K says

    I really want a way to darken my hair naturally, but the other poster with the juglone question made me very nervous, do you feel like this is safe to use?

  30. vishita says

    Hi Lori,
    I want to try this walnut powder you recommended. Which brand you have used? So I can buy on Amazon. Thnx.

  31. Gitte says

    I tried this today and it didn’t work at all. I have red hair and wanted to go brown. Didn’t even accept. Although it did stain my hands .05%. Will try again tomorrow with guar gum.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hope it works for you. Many say that once applied, it needs to be heated to help the hair take the color (using a hairdryer or sitting in the sun).

  32. Nancy says

    I tried the Black Walnut dye. (apologies for the lengthy post)
    In the sink, I’d shampoo then rinse with the black walnut dye in a large bowl for about 15 minutes. I would towel & air dry. In the morning, I would rinse it, condition, and style as usual. Again, the gray was harder to cover but after 1 week of daily apps, it was covering fairly well. After 2 weeks I had almost all gry/white coverage. It is a bit drying, so I found a recipe that included a little olive oil, sounds greasy, but it wasn’t. This does work. After 2 weeks I began skipping the process. The recipe recommended once you achieve your darkness, to mix some of the dye with shampoo, then only rinse with the dye about once a week. This sounds complicated, but it isn’t. A batch last about 7-10 days, and keeps in the fridge. It’s effort for 2-3 weeks, then it’s almost no difference than regular hair maintenance.
    My problem: my hair grows so fast. So I was applying frequently, which gave a monotone look to my hair, and to me. I need highlights. I tried a little lemon juice in the sun, and again I had success, but once you apply the dye again, the highlights are gone. What I’m trying to find is a way to apply the dye to the roots only. I tried numerous batches trying to create a gel that would keep the dye on the roots only, but no success. I do believe a previous post said water makes a difference, I think so too. Also, the dye varies considerable with each recipe and cooking/setting. You just have to be patient and find what works for you. I’m currently using the chemicals coloring again, because I need some highlights so I don’t resemble death. But I’m still looking for a gel base that will work. The sage tea washed out quickly, but I only used it for several weeks. The black walnut does not rinse out. For me it began to fade. It’s been several months, and it is still present, but faded. Even the gray covered hair, did not wash out, but faded. I’m impressed with the possibilites.

    Also, I did a lot of research on Black Walnut. From what I’ve researched, there is no danger in applying it to your hair/skin. If you are going to ingest it, you should not take it as a permanent daily supplement – you need breaks in the cycle after several months. I would recommend you speak to a healthcare professional if you wanted to take it internally for months. I do believe Black Walnut has incredible medicinal value; I’m so thankful to have it. Just applying it to my hair/scalp, I noticed good improvement in my skin. I believe it has anti-fungal anti-viral properties, which might explain why you can’t take it daily on an unlimited basis. Research, research, it’s the only way to know what works for you.

    I had more manageablity with the Sage, Rosemary and Black tea. A good conditioner makes a huge difference with both. Good luck.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi Nancy! Thank you so much for sharing. Glad to hear you had good results with it covering greys.

      • Nancy says

        You’re welcome Lori. It did take a while, and I do believe how long it simmers or sets make a huge difference. I’m happy to have found your sight and this post you started.

    • Cathy says

      Hi Nancy, I only tried once with black walnut hull to dye my white hair which was not successful. I am wondering how much powder you put into the bowel. Did you boil the powder too? Thanks.

    • Jennie says

      I have no idea how you cook up your dye, but I have been making a strong decoction from rosemary and sage, using this to make strong coffee and then creating a gel with cornstarch. I leave it on my head (wrapped in a plastic bag) for 6 hours, once a week. I haven’t been doing it consistently enough to be able to tell you what to expect. I did it 3 or 4 times, missed a couple of months and then have done it again this past month. My hair is brown, streaked with grey and it turned the greys blond. It didn’t wash out during the 2 months I missed. I don’t know how dark it will go if I am consistent, but the colouring is gradual, to the roots blend in quite well. The main thing is the cornstarch, I used my pudding recipe and it makes it a good consistency.

    • Eva says

      Is it not possible too use gelatine? In Norway we have gelatin plates that are used for cooking, and they will dissolve in hot water, only to become like gel when it cools down..
      Im trying the black walnut powder for the first time tonight, but maybe I should test out the gelatine next time=D
      Wonderfull tips by the way Lori:D and Nancy:) Been struggeling with bad consciousness for using toxic haircoloring for many years now, and Im excited to see if it works on the light roots..

    • Cherry says


      When you say:

      The recipe recommended once you achieve your darkness, to mix some of the dye with shampoo, then only rinse with the dye about once a week.

      Do you mean you use the dye mixed with shampoo as your permanent shampoo from then on, AND you soak your hair in a separate thing of just dye once a week? This is for my mom, who’s managed to have a ridiculous reaction to every single hair dye I’ve brought her, ammonia-free or not.

  33. jayden says

    Hi i was going to try this, but i have two Q:
    How long do i let the walnut mixture sray in my hair
    how should i wash it out?


    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Some leave it on for a few minutes to a few hours. I have been getting quite a few emails from people who have tried it saying that sitting in the sun or using a hair dryer while the mixture is in your hair helps. I gently washed my hair with shampoo the next day.

  34. Vidya Bharambe says

    I need to know if I can apply this mixture at the roots… my hair sustains heena colour for 3 weeks but my hair has good growth.. so even when the colour is still shown my new grown roots r gray n I need touch up… can u respond this if I can us this paste at the roots andhow ssafeit is.. thanks in advance. .

  35. ava says

    I read a book “Diagnostic Face Reading and Holistic Healing’. In it Roger Bezanis, the author says that the Kidneys rules the scalp and if you help the Kidneys, a great deal of the time you can actually get a lot of your natural hair color back and the gray goes away. He also says the Kidneys love grapes. They cleanse and heal them. Of course good water is important too.
    I’ve read Black Walnut Tincture is used for parasites in the colon in addition to a couple of other herbs.
    A friend of mine used the Black Walnut as a rinse for her hair after every shampoo instead of conditioner. The girl had some shiny beautiful hair!
    Good luck ladies! I’m going to mix mine up tonight and apply tmrw!

  36. Jennie says

    Anybody who has henna on your hair- I don’t think that this, or any other hair dye is going to give you predictable results, or maybe work at all. Henna coats your hair and keeps other dyes from penetrating.

  37. coolboy says

    hi ,
    can anyone tell me where i can get black walnut hulls or shells for using it as a hair dye.
    basically my hair is black but now it is with white streaks and i have hennaed it using Henna powder and hence it is now red in colour.

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      Hi there, I bought mine online, the brand name was Starwest and I was glad they also sold an organic kind.

  38. coolboy says

    i am from india (southern part of india), a place called CHENNAI a cosmopolitan city, forgot to put that earlier. if it is available anywhere in INDIA please let me know to try it

  39. Shirley says

    I am so going to try the walnut powder. I’ve been using the sage and black tea for about a month with minimal results, or so I thought. I went on holidays overseas for two weeks and so was unable to use my sage/tea. By the end of the two weeks I was sporting a multitude of greys, I was horrified lol. Obviously it was covering more than I thought but I’m keen to try the walnut powder. I have dark brown hair.

      • Anonymous says

        I am still waiting for my delivery of the Walnut powder. In the mean time, I finally decided to give henna a go as there is no way I can go back to regular hair dye because of my PPD allergy. I’ve done the henna twice and I have to say, I’m hugely impressed with its grey coverage. I have no greys now :-).
        I’m just going through the process of learning the ins and outs of henna. I think I may be able to add the walnut to the henna mix for a more brown result.
        Hmmmm much research to be done.

        • Lori, Health Extremist says

          Glad to hear you’ve had good results with henna, I haven’t tried it yet. Hope the color turned out great!

      • Shirley says

        I am still waiting for my walnut powder to be delivered. It’s taking an awfully long time. In the mean time, I finally decided to give henna a go due to my allergies to PPD and my growing numbr of greys. I’ve done the henna twice in the one week, and I have to say, I’m truly impressed. Not one grey hair in sight…Yay!
        Much to learn about this henna, it’s application, dye release etc etc. but I really do think this is my answer. My hair is so much more shinier, feels thicker and best of all I don’t have to tie it up all the time to hide my frizzy curls because the frizz is, like, disappearing. I’ve worn my hair down in the last two weeks than I ever had and I’m looking forward to reaching full henna saturation. :-)

  40. emberdeen says

    I’ve been using the black walnut hull powder dye in my hair for about 2 weeks now and have definitely seen some color on my grey :-). I pour it over my hair (over a huge basin in the sink), allow the excess to drip back into the basin. I will let my hair air dry and sometimes I leave it until the next day before rinsing :-). For now, I’m using the rinse several times a week especially after cutting my hair. I store any left overs in a jar in the fridge and reuse daily. I have dark brown hair and a few light brown so the combination is very pretty. I currently use Bert’s Bee’s shampoo and conditioner (sometimes I use yogurt as a conditioner).

  41. Maya says

    I have just put black walnut powder mixture on my hair.Managed to get it on amazon from Germany (I live in UK).It was expensive,so I do hope it will work.Although I have mixed it with little conditioner to ensure it stays on my hair,otherwise it was dripping.Will let you know if its works.

  42. Andrea says

    I was wondering if you had success dying your hair with it just washed before hand or left a bit oily when you put on the dye? I’ve heard that affects the outcome. thanks!

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I’ve only tried it with the black walnut powder. If you give it a try, please let us know if it works for you!

  43. Lori L. says

    Hi! I just thought I’d share a variation I’m working on. Down here in South Texas, we don’t have Walnut trees (that I know of 😉 ), but we have plenty of Pecan trees. The Pecan hulls are so similar to Walnut hulls–they are just smaller. I collected Pecans and hulls last week at my friend’s little Pecan grove. I’ve tried several techniques to cover my grays and darken my hair. I’m getting there, but not quite where I want my hair to be yet. I ended up boiling the hulls (about 30 in 8 cups of water) for nearly an hour, and then let it steep for several hours. I refrigerated until I could figure out how I wanted to do it. Instead of holding my head in a bowl, I thought I’d try thickening the liquid dye. I wasn’t sure what to use, but I had cornstarch on hand. I did a section of my hair to test, but only had time to leave it on for 25 minutes. I saw no marked difference. bummer.
    Today, I decided to poor the dye over my hair (catching the dripping dye back into a bowl). I soaked all my hair and then put a plastic processing cap on and wrapped an old towel on. I waited over 30 minutes. BTW–I didn’t think longer was better because I had done a test the day before with 3 different pieces of white fabric. One piece was in soaking in the dye for an hour, the second for 40 minutes and the 3rd for 20 minutes. They all looked exactly the same.
    The above technique showed some darkening, but not much. I decided to go ahead, mix about 3/4 cup with 1 T cornstarch over a burner and thicken it. It started out looking like chocolate milk, but as it started to thicken, it turned a rich brown. I put my gloves back on and began chunking this mixture all over my head. When all of my hair was thoroughly coated, I put another plastic processing cap on, wrapped my head in a towel and took an hour-long nap. :-) when I awoke, I rinsed my hair. I could see a difference this time. But I still want it darker. And I don’t want to see any gray (I still see a bit). So, I’m going to color again tomorrow. If I can’t get where I want to go with this, I’m considering the indigo. :-)
    Have fun, y’all!

  44. Arshi says

    Hi.. I love the idea of colouring your hair naturally.. I have naturally soft black hair, can you tell me how I can make it a chocolate brownish shade?


  45. says

    Reading these posts has made me really interested, I am a 56 yr old gray man who used to have brown colored hair. Tried hair does and don’t like it at all, can you tell me which of the herbs you recommend to have a brownier hair and also does this work with a full beard?

    • Lori, Health Extremist says

      I’ve used the black walnut hair dye with good results, it seems to be the most powerful compared to using teas or coffee.

  46. sudha says

    Even I got interest by reading all these posts. I am Indian girl having black hair, but I am having some grey hair also. At present I am staying in Berlin(Germany). My question is : where can I get this Black Walnut dye in Berlin.. If you know any information pls let me know. I am afraid of applying these hair color products which r available in stores. I heard that if we start applying these colors, slowly the rest of my black hair also turns to grey. Pls give me information if possible. Thank u very much.

  47. Anonymous says

    Can anyone tell how many shampoos does the color from black walnut hair dye will last? I have gray hair and would like to know how often I will have to use this dye. Thanks

  48. Raj says

    1. Beside black walnut power/ henna, is there any other natural products available.
    2. For best result, any thing can be added in addition to only black walnut power/ henna.
    Pl comment.

    • Lori Klein says

      I have tried using coffee and herbal tea to help darken my hair, but so far the black walnut has been the most successful.

  49. Randa says

    This is awesome! My hair is already dark brown, and I usually dye it black. I am definitely willing to try this to see if it would at least work as a root touch up. About how long did the color last?

    • Lori Klein says

      It lasted about a month and then began to fade so there was no noticeable difference near the roots.

  50. emberdeen says

    Hi :-).. It’s been 7 months since I’ve been doing this! I must say, I love the way it makes my hair so soooft; I do a rinse once a week :-). I’ve recently started leaving the brewed mixture in the fridge for three days before straining, I store extra in the fridge; one batch lasts me for about a month. Yesterday I decided to blow dry it and then I sat in the sun for an hour or so; I don’t know if this improves the strength of the stain or not :-). Recently for about six weeks I’ve stopped using store bought shampoo and conditioner, instead I use a baking soda solution to wash and an apple cider solution as a conditioner. The combination of the three products leaves my hair corn silk soft and bouncy. I must add that sometimes I don’t want too much of a bounce so I use a spray diluted Berets Bees conditioner with water and that takes care of it and any tangles :-)..

  51. Becky says

    Hi Lori! I have natural black hair but there are some strands of grey hair showing already. Will the black walnut powder be as effective in brunettes or blondes than in black hair? Am so amazed by the results you have shown. Will give it a try.

    • Lori Klein says

      I have heard mixed results for it covering grey hair. You can check out some of the comments above to read others’ results. It should bring the hair to a dark brown shade. Hope it works for you!

  52. sushil says

    Hi Lori,

    Thank u so much for writing interesting materials and updating people all over the world. I’m from India, seen a walnut, but never heard about black walnut. Its really tough to find the black walnut hull powder in India, its impossible. I did a search, but none. Amazon.com doesn’t ship to India, do u have any suggestions?



    • Lori Klein says

      There are a few other companies that sell it online (online herb stores). I would try doing a search for it. You could also check your local health food store.

  53. Barbara says

    Hi, Lori,

    I’m really excited to try black walnuts dye, but I’m a little worried because my hair has already been colored (at least half of it).. Do you think I will get two different shades if I use this method? Another question: did it do any damage to your hair (especially because you hadn’t rinsed it)? Thank you very much!!

    • Lori Klein says

      I don’t think it would affect it. I forgot to mention that the end tips of my hair probably have color in them from when I dyed it 10 years ago. It just darkened my hair overall. I didn’t have any hair damage from using it. My hair actually seemed shinier and softer. :)

  54. Carla says

    I am very eager to try this, I tried the black tea dye last night, I can tell a small difference. I was wondering if anyone had tried mixing a thickening agent, such as, cornstarch into to liquid to make a paste to help it stay on the hair better? Any thoughts on this??

    • Lori Klein says

      That sounds like a great idea! Since it was liquid, it made it harder to put on. Let us know how it works for you.

  55. Katharina says


    I wanted to ask, if you would be so nice and could give me a tip, what I should do with my hair. I have ash-brown hair and I had full highlights done in blonde. Well.. don’t ask why… lol… I want my natural hair color back, so I will just let it grow out, but I don’t wanna look bad during the process. So I was thinking of dying my hair, but so lightly, that only the already blond hair will be affected… I am looking for a natural way, but not sure which one I should chose… any ideas??

    Thank you very much


    • Lori Klein says

      I think I would try the black walnut hair dye. You could leave it on for a shorter time and do it again if you would like to get a darker shade. You could also try using coffee. :)

  56. Anna says

    ok! I gave it a go tonight and it worked! I had chemically dyed hair (light blonde) and wanted to go back to my natural light brown-this did it! I even tinted my eyebrows (always have been naturally blonde eyebrows that I have wished were a tad darker!) I did three table spoons because my hair is a little shorter than yours. I started off by washing my hair with clay and ACV (I was 4 days post hair cleaning and had a good bit of Coconut oil in my hair but I thought the dye would have the best chance of coating my hair without the oil barrier.) I brought the water to a boil added the powder let the mixture simmer on low for 30 min then turned the heat off and let it set for 30 min to cool (I did this step while my hair had the clay ACV mask on.) I then moved the pot to my bathtub and laid my head directly in the mixture for 20 min.-after that I squeezed the excess liquid out of my hair and put it all in a disposable shower cap to keep the liquid in longer (this didn’t work well! would not suggest this step) after I got over my failed idea of the shower cap to keep the liquid on I just grabbed a dark towel and turbaned my wet black walnut hair for about 30 min. I then blow dried my hair with the liquid still in and voila! Happy hair back to its original color. I am going to experiment with using this as a post no-poo rinse to keep up the tint. If I had to do this over again I would strain my liquid better (I would suggest a cheese cloth or old t-shirt some of this powder is really fine!) and skip the shower cap idea like I said. I thought the dark towel turban was a great way to let the dye do its thing while keeping the mess at bay while I waited for my hair to dry a bit. It was so easy to tint my eyebrows with a q-tip dipped in the liquid and rubbed into the eyebrows a few times. The color came out just right (most importantly with no awful red tint that so often comes with going from blonde to brunette!) Thought I would share my experience and tweaks to your helpful post!

    • Eva says

      So nice with the details in your post, made me really want to try it as well. Did it god light brown? Ive wanted to do this for a long time, but I have chemical light and brown stripes from before, and my hair is naturally dark blond. Do you think the colour would be different from the aftergrowth hair closest to my head to the lengths? Just worried about having lumps of colour :p 😀

      • Anna says


        I tried to add a lot of details because I scoured the comments too reading up on what worked and didn’t work on different hair types (thats how I got the idea of doing a hair detox with clay prior to the dye!) I wish I could load a picture because I am happy with the results! Since my hair was so light (chemically dyed and highlighted with a toner!) my light brown is much closer to Lori’s before picture than her after picture (which is fine because my hair naturally is light brown so that is what I was going for.) I had about two inches of regrowth compared to my all over lightened and highlighted lengths. I would say that the black walnut dye is more of an all over tint so you will still see highlights/lowlights and regrowth but it does look much more blended after the black walnut dye. I want to grow my hair out to its natural color but that is a painful process as we all know! My thoughts on this are- I’ll keep up the black walnut treatments to ease the “ghetto ombre” look and since it is temporary I don’t have to worry about long term color changes to my natural hair color (which is the ultimate goal!) I considered “eco friendly” and “organic” hair dyes but they all had chemicals I didn’t want and even if you all over dye you can never get it to match your regrowth perfectly so your still stuck with a growing out color difference. I also considered a light brown henna but I decided against that because light henna always casts a little red/orange and it wont even out hair color either (you will still be able to see regrowth and higlights/lowlights although it would be better blended-just like the black walnut!) AND henna doesn’t totally come out (it seemed like a big commitment for something that wasn’t going to match my regrowth and help me grow out my natural color which is the goal!) The black walnut dye WILL fade and wash out within about a month from my research so if you dont like it at least it is short term commitment.

        SO long story short-yes I do think you will still have the three different shades in your hair (natural regrowth, light highlights, dark lowlights) but the black walnut dye will tint all of the shades to a more consistent all over color.

        I say go for it! Also-It did make my hair much more voluminous but left it feeling a little dryer (this might be because I didn’t rinse the dye out but rather blow dried it in.) I hope this helped your decision!

    • Lori Klein says

      Wow, so glad the color came out just right! Thank you so much for sharing your results and how you prepared it! :)

  57. AJ says

    Just found this article through Coconut Mama and I’v been dying my hair for about 15 years every fall from my natural color of med brown to black. Why? Cause I love my hair black. As a a guy in his early 40’s I do have some greying so I’m curious to see how the black walnut hull powder will cover.

    Off the top of your head, does anybody know the answer to this question? On the back of the package of the Mountain Rose Herbs Black Walnut Hull Powder it says it contains a chemical know to the state of California to cause birth defects?

    Best Regards,

    • Lori Klein says

      This label has been added to many products, even maca because there is a chance that the plant may uptake and store heavy metals. After researching it, I felt it was safe to use as it is no where near as toxic as chemical coloring methods. :)

  58. H says

    can the black walnut powder procedure be done on the beard too? will it be suitable for covering the gray of the beard? and does it leave color on the skin too or not?

    • Lori Klein says

      Great question! I don’t see why it wouldn’t work on a beard. Let us know if you give it a try! It didn’t stain my skin at all, but it did stain one of my white bath towels.

  59. Kristina says

    I’ve just been reading your post and am very interested in the results and the “fading” of the colour afterwards. My hair is a kind of ginger/brown/blonde shade (naturally it’s quite ginger with brownish tones and I’ve highlighted it blonde in salons). As I am allergic to both henna and dark hair dyes, I’ve been looking for everyday alternatives to darken my hair. My only concern really is when you say it gradually fades, does it fade from the roots or all over? As my hair is quite light, I think this method may work well for me, but because I cannot dye my hair any colour other than blonde, if the colour faded from the roots, it would look odd.
    I plan to do a strand test if I can find the ingredient but was hoping you could help me before I decided to do it on my whole head.
    Thanks! :-)

    • Lori Klein says

      It fades all over in general after about a month or so. My hair is naturally a light brown color and the walnut hair dye makes it a medium brown. So, the more I wash it with shampoo, the color begins to lighten all over (not just the roots), back to it’s natural color.

  60. Shivang says

    I have some scattered greys that I’d love to cover. Could you suggest me something.? Should I add the Indian Gooseberry or Indigo leaves to the Walnut Hair dye .? Does the Walnut Dye method impart a dark brown color or blackish tinge.??

    • Lori Klein says

      The black walnut hair dye made my hair a dark brown color. I don’t think it would ever reach a black tone unless you added something to it. I’ve never used indigo leaves so I’m not sure how they work.

  61. kenzie says

    My hair is 36 inches long and I wanna try the walnut dye but I know my hair is going to require more than 1 cup of water and 5 tablespoons of walnut powder.

  62. says

    I have tried the black tea and sage brew to dye my hair. I have long hair and fully grey on the top. There was some colouring after using this, but the most important part that was missed: the hair line and temples. I believe it has something to do with the liquid not able to sit long enough on those parts, it just runs down, leaving it not immersed. My next plan is to get the black walnut powder, mix it with tea, or maybe even coffee, and thicken it with tapioca to create more of a paste that is easier to apply on the hair line. Anyone experience doing this?

    • Belle says

      I made some super strong coffee. I put on a pot of water and brought it to boil. I poured in a lot of ground coffee. Let it simmer for a few minutes and then turned off the heat. It sat brewing for about an hour. I then poured in about a cup of the brew as I strained it into a jar and added a good amount of coconut oil that I had melted. Gave it a good shake. After I washed my hair and gave it a good towel dry I worked the mix into my hair. I used a brown towel to put my hair up until it wouldn’t drip. Then used a clip to keep it up and left it in for just over an hour. I used a little shampoo to help get the cocktail oil out of my hair. My hair is already a dark brown with red highlights and a few strands of greys. This toned down my natural highlights beautifully! Plus it really added body and beautiful shine! It did not do much for my greys. I think I will try it again and leave it on for longer. If that doesn’t work on my greys I will try the walnut shell option.

    • Lori Klein says

      You may want to check any place that sells herbs. There are some herbal stores online that sell it. Hope this helps. I linked to the one I use above as well.

  63. Jay says

    Hi, I just wanted to ask if you would know if it’s alright to straighten or blowave the hair with the black walnut powder in it?

    Thanks :)

  64. devorah says

    What is the brand name of the organic black walnut powder for hair dye and where can one purchase it? Thank you.

  65. Renee Schuhmacher says

    Love everyone’s helpful comments. I have a family member who is having problems with PPD’s and wants to start using natural alternatives but is concerned that using this over time to cover her gray roots will just make her hair darker and darker. Has anyone who has used this for a while experienced this or does it fade enough between uses to look about the same each time you apply it? And for myself has anyone mixed this with henna to tone down the redness in the henna? I’ve heard henna tends to make your hair more and more red (or orange?) the longer you use it. I’m going for a medium brown red and though this might be a good way to go to get that color and keep it from getting too red at the same time. Thanks

    • Lori says

      It gradually faded for me over a month or two. Then I reapply it. I haven’t tried it mixed with henna yet, but I really want to!

  66. Lucky says

    I want to know can we use black walnut hull powder plus coconut oil to prepare black walnut hull hair dye instead
    of using water.

    • Lori says

      I’m not sure it it would work without any water. Just like tea, I think it would need to steep.

  67. Sylvia says

    Is there anything harmful in it that would mean that I couldn’t use it on my eyelashes? I read above that a couple of people used it on their eyebrows but I am worried that the could be something in the black walnut powder that might harm my eyes. My eyelashes are invisible when I am not wearing mascara and I really don’t want to wear mascara unless I am going somewhere. My eyes don’t stand out at all if I am not wearing mascara.

    After preparing the black walnut dye, how long is it good for? If it won’t harm my eyes, I could keep a small amount in a bottle in the bathroom and use a cotton swab daily.

    I have about half and half grey hair now, my original color was brown verging on dark brown but as I have gotten older and the grey started coming in so thickly, the brown has lightened to a light brown. When my hair started to grey, it came in spots so I started dying my hair, I didn’t want to walk around looking polkadot.

    BTW, I have been using baking soda on my hair rather than shampoo and conditioner. I wash with the baking soda about every 2 – 3 days. Sometimes I will use diluted vinegar as a rinse and I think my hair has gone darker than it was. I have read that using vinegar will darken your hair but it didn’t seem to before I started using the baking soda. It could just be my imagination but I really do think it looks darker. I will be trying the black walnut dye with cornstarch when I find out if my local health food store carries it.

    • Lori says

      I would think it would be ok for eyelashes. Just be sure not to put it too close to your eye or get it in your eyes. I don’t know if there is anything in black walnut powder that can harm eyes. I know some people eat it for other health problems, but eyes are very sensitive, so I would be careful. Since there is water in the mixture, I use it right away and don’t save the rest because the color usually lasts me a good month or two. You could probably save it in your fridge for 3 to 5 days. Hope this helps :)

  68. Lucky says

    I want to know can we use black walnut hair dye to dye beard and moustache?
    Will color be spread on face and remain for days while applying to beard?

    Also, while washing black walnut dyed hair with water, do color will be spread
    on my face and will remain for days?

    • Lori says

      I think it would work for other areas like a beard, but I haven’t experimented on anyone so I don’t know for sure. It didn’t color my scalp, hands, or skin when I applied it to my head. But, it did stain my towels.

  69. Arun Pillai says

    Hi Lori,
    My hair is all Grey..rather almost white…I used Henna, Hair changed almost like your natural hair colour..I would like to try Black Walnut Dye..but you mentioned you dont wash/rinse after applying it..Will it fade after rinse… Is it that we cant rinse or wash our hair after that…Is it Ok to leave the hair unwashed after applying…I mean , we may require to wash our Head and Hair …what do you suggest

    • Lori says

      I haven’t used it in awhile, but if I remember right, I think I left it in my hair overnight without rinsing and then washed it the next day.

  70. Mohamad Farhat - the Lebanon says

    Hi Lori,

    Your experiment is very interesting, as kids we used to eat walnuts a lot from trees along our village river, the walnut hulls stained our fingers and took a whole month of time to regain normal skin color.
    Always thought of it after my hair went grey but never tried it, now I’m gonna do it.

    Thanks a lot for your lovely experiment.

  71. Shevon says

    Hi there! I am super allergic to any kind of hair dye so I would really love to try this . I read something online about Black Wallnut Hull being dangerous orally and topically… I was just wondering if you you know anything about this? Or if it’s safe for long term usage on the skin?? Hoping it’s ok

    • Lori says

      I’ve come across that too and got concerned, but I think it is safe because a lot of people actually eat black walnut hulls. Some use it to help treat cancer. I actually just bought a supplement to kill parasites that has black walnut hull in it that I’m going to start taking. For myself, my general rule is, if it’s safe to eat, then I feel comfortable putting it on my skin/hair.

  72. AmyLynn says

    I am looking for a healthy way to color my hair. I have had a really bad hair experience, I have natural dark hair, I have been fighting grey hairs and been coloring with salon hair colors. My mom had a great idea of just going blond, so we did it.But we only did the top layer, thinking it would be a nice overlay style. Now its black under a nasty yellow / orange color. Well after 2 bleaching treatments, (worst thing ever), it was kinda blond with a hint of orange. So we tried a Henna dark brown to try and get it back to a brown color,well at the first was the henna washed right out of my hair leaving a brassy yellow, orange color again.
    So at this point the only thing I can do is something natural to help repair my hair. I just used a mixture of coconut oil, coffee, and coco. I let it sit on my hair for 2 hours. It did change my hair to a golden blond color and is shiny / silky smooth.
    Has anyone tried this black walnut on bleached hair? I ave seen a lot on grey coverage but nothing on bleached hair.
    Any help would be great.
    I’m thinking of doing the coffee and coco mixture with out the coconut oil. I don’t want my hair to be over oily.

    • Lori says

      Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you. I wonder why it only works for some. Do you have color treated hair?

  73. Lucky says

    How much time we have to boil the water before mixing walnut powder? How much time we have to boil the mixture of water and walnut powder? For how much time we have to keep the mixture before applying it to hair?

    • Lori says

      I just brought the water to a boil. Then with the black walnut powder, I let it steep for 1 hour before applying

  74. Jesse says

    Hi ! I’m just wondering if you know if this is safe for pregnant women? I’m 40 weeks pregnant and wanna dye my hair but don’t want to risk any chemicals with the baby.. Do you think walnut hull powder is safe ? Also did you strain the mixture at all after adding the powder to the water and letting it steep? Or after it was steeped did you just dunk your head right into the mixture- hull powder and all? Thanks !

    • Lori says

      Hi, I didn’t strain the mixture at all. After I steeped it, I just dunked my hair into it. I’m not sure about during pregnancy because I know some say to avoid eating them during pregnancy but haven’t read anything about applying it topically. I would check with my doctor first just to be extra careful.

  75. Sue says

    Hi, I wanted to ask if you washed your hair after dying it with the walnut or if you just let it dry in your hair. Would the color rinse out completely if I shampooed after dying? Thanks!

  76. Travis says


    Thanks for the post. Your hair looks dramatically darker than before. How long do the results last? Have you heard of any other natural ways to darken hair?

    • Lori says

      It lasted for about a month or so. There are other ways, like using coffee. But, I’ve found the walnut hair dye to work for making my hair substantially darker. The coffee only darkens my hair a little bit.

  77. Emily says

    I tried it and once I rinsed, it all went down the drain. Before I rinsed, I let my hair dry and it looked like the powder never dissolved, and was just sitting on my hair in little specks. Am I supposed to boil the powder in water or put boiling water on the powder in a separate bowl? I did the latter and dunked my hair for 20 minutes after letting the mixture sit a few hours. I love the color before it washes out, just want it to stay! Any suggestions? Thanks! Love your blog!

    • Lori says

      I put the powder in the boiling water (after it was removed from heat). Someone commented that after you put it on your hair, it helps to either sit in the sun or dry it with a hair dryer.

  78. Katie says

    Hi, I’m so excited to try this! On mountain rose herbs website did you buy 4oz, 8oz or 1lb of black walnut powder?

  79. Nancy says

    When you were explaining how to color hair. You left out few steps. So that left many people confuse.
    1. How much water is in the POT ???
    2. Did you boil the water first and then you add 5 tablespoon of walnut power ?????????????
    3. Do you boil water again with the 5 tablespoon of walnut power ??????????????
    4. Then do you let it set for 1 hour, which means let cool down ???????????????
    5. And how long did you leave it in your hair ??????????????

  80. Sarah says

    You let it air dry? I used the same powder and my mixture turned out very watery but also gritty so the “grinds” end up in my hair so i can’t imagine letting it dry like that and not rinsing it out. I left it for 20 minute, rinsed with cold water and my hair looked the same as before. Maybe I need to let it steep longer than 1 hour?

  81. Anonymous says

    Welp. Still not working. Doubled the amount of black walnut, let it steep overnight and let it sit on my hair for TWO HOURS, applied heat and it still won’t even tint my BRIGHT BLONDE hair. Comes right out. Wasted my entire morning off…..

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