Issue # 8 – Get Your Color from Mother Nature

By Joey Herkert, Sonia Lopez, and Benjamin Ray

Photos by Dominique Clay-Brown and Sonia Lopez


Need a new look? Do you like dying your hair? Tattoos? Clothing? Have you ever experimented with food-based dyes? The results from these easy processes are stylish, unique, and inexpensive…not to mention a temporary tattoo is far less painful than a permanent one! Check out our 3 favorite food-based dyes for hair, clothing, and skin.

Fabric Dying with Spices

What you will need:

Crock pot, ground turmeric, water, wooden spoon, and rubber gloves

Where to buy:

Wal-mart, Target, or Dollar Tree if you want cheaper prices

Process:

Add four tablespoons of turmeric to four quarts simmering water in a crock pot. Let sit for 20 minutes. Submerge the fabric in the water and let sit for about one hour. Turn off the crock pot and allow to cool. Remove fabric with gloved hands and squeeze out the water. Hang to dry.

Tips and tricks:

You can repeat the process for a darker color. Roll and coil your fabric and wrap with rubber bands for a tie–dyed look.

Also try cinnamon or chili powder for additional colors.

Hair Dying with Kool-aid

What you will need:

Unsweetened Kool-aid packets, hair conditioner, water, small bottle, and sponge orbrush applicator.Where to buy:Wal-mart, Target, or Dollar Tree if you want cheaper pricesProcess:

Mix Kool-aid powder with a tablespoon of water and a dime-sized amount of conditioner in small bottle. Shake well. Put the Kool-aid mix on the sponge or brush. Apply to hair as desired (either whole head or highlighted sections). Leave on at least one hour and rinse.

Tips and tricks:

Wear old clothes or use an old towel so you don’t ruin or damage your pretty clothes. The color will show more with light hair color than dark hair. Use gloves with any hair dye to protect your hands from stains.

Skin Tattooing with Henna

What you will need:

Pre-mixed Henna paste in applicator bottle OR Henna kit with ingredients and instructions to mix paste.

Where to buy:

Henna powder and additional ingredients to make your own paste can be purchased at Rani’s World Foods at 4505 West Sahara Avenue. Purchase pre-made paste & kits through local online vendor, Redwood Henna, www.redwoodhenna.etsy.com.

Process:

If you are mixing your own henna paste, combine your ingredients as instructed in your kit to a toothpaste-like consistency. Once you have your paste, you can either used premade stencil designs and apply to skin using a fine tip applicator, or, for even more fun, make your own designs and doddle it the way you want it! Once paste has dried on skin, scrape it off.

Tips and tricks:

Ask anybody that you are applying a Henna tattoo to if they are allergic to any ingredients. Color starts out red after paste is removed and will deepen to a dark brown in 48 hours. Color will be deeper on hands and feet, and lighter on areas of the body that have more fatty tissues.