Rhubarb hair colour - and that is the last of the Rhubarb recipes

My Rhubarb talk went really well.  The venue was this folk museum that has some of the oldest houses in Reykjavik and it looks like a small village in the olden days, complete with animals and people in the national costume.  The weather was incredibly nice and the turnout was good.  People had to squeeze to get into the room.

I gave them all the recipes that I've posted and then a few others.  I was a little surprised that people were surprised that you could do something other than just jam and pie.  So the ice cream, soup, drinks and muffins recipes were all enthusiastically received.  But I did save the best for last and I think that really, really surprised them:  Hair colour from Rhurbarb!

I was a bit surprised myself when I found them and I have to admit that I haven't tried them, but I just had to share them anyway.  And please let me know if you dare to try.  And, no.  The photo's are just for fun and in no way reflect the outcome of the recipes.

This recipe is for lightening hair and originally comes from a book called "Natural Beauty" by Aldo Facetti, but I found it on Ehow

1 oz. (30 g) rhubarb root, finely chopped or powdered
1 pt (1/2 liter) cider vinegar
2/3 oz. (20 g) chamomile flowers
2/3 oz. (20 g) marigold flowers
Juice from two fresh lemons, squeezed and strained
2 oz. (50 g) acacia honey
2 oz. (50 g) 95 percent proof liqueur
Thick conditioner

Boil the root in the vinegar for 10 min.
Add the flower petals and simmer under lid for 5 more min. and then let cool.
Strain and add the lemon juice, honey and liqueur.
Add enough conditioner to make this into a creamy consistency.
Apply to hair and cover with sower cap.
Rinse with cool water and let hair air dry.

Here is the recipe for dark hair. I found it on Harmony Green blog where there are also a number of other recipes for herbal hair dyes.

3 tbsp Rhubarb root, mashed
2 cups water
Kaolin clay to thicken

Simmer the mashed root until half of the water has evaporated.
Add enough clay to make into a paste.
Wash hair and divide into sections.  Apply the paste to every sections like any other hair dye.
Leave for 15 min and check the colour by rinsing and drying a strand.  Leave for additional 15 min. and keep checking until the colour is dark enough.  After 1 hour the root will not give any more colour.
To make hair even darker, repeat after 2 days.

I am pretty sure that the blond recipe works because all the ingredients are tried and tested hair lighteners and it also contains honey and conditioner so it shouldn't be too harsh.  I hae to admit that I am a bit intrigued by the other because there the root is supposed to mae the hair quite dark.  Now I know that in acidic environment the rhubarb root colour will turn yellow and that in an alkaline the root will turn a lovely mahogany brown.  I guess the clay must be alkaline.

I might have to try this out to satisfy my curiosity.  But not yet because I am putting finishing touches to my Icelandic sweater.  It is very pretty in it's summer colours from Rhubarb and I look forward to wearing it.  But I guess that is the subject of the next post.  And then I'll have to start to think about something else!


  1. What a funny idea, to colour ones hair with rhubarb. But why not? The colour is stunning, and if wool takes the colour, hair will do too.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. You scared me with the pink hair photo! I had no idea there were so many great things you could do with rhubarb! :)

  3. Thanks for the blogger comment tips Amber!! Love all your rhubarb posts. The colors you acheived (previous post)....simply wow!!! :)

  4. hey..I once had pink hair, but it wasn't from Rhubarb..way back in the mid 80s..pure chemistry. loved it :)

  5. Petra - I wish I could be bothered to try these out because they sound really interesting. But I've decided to love my gray hair and it's so much easier.

    Amy - :D That is actually my younger one. She had pink hair for the longest time and she looked great! I did encourage her to do it. I always regretted not going blond when I was young and would have been able to pull it off. Now it would just look pathetic :)

    Nitya - Thanks, I thought everybody was asleep by now :)

    Cocobong - I'm sure you looked fab! I never had that much imagination (see my comment to Amy :)


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