20+ Natural Ways to Have Great Hair for Less

Skip the salon and add body to your wallet: Here are over 20 hair tips for natural ways to get lovely locks for less.

From Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things (Reader's Digest Association Books)

Aluminum Foil You want to catch up on your reading during the time it takes to color your hair. But you can’t read without your specs, and if you put them on, hair dye can stain them. Solution: Wrap the temples of your glasses with aluminum foil.

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Aspirin Swimming in a chlorinated pool can have a noticeable, and often unpleasing, effect on your hair coloring if you have light-colored hair. But you can usually return your hair to its former shade by dissolving six to eight aspirins in a glass of warm water. Rub the solution thoroughly into your hair, and let it set for 10-15 minutes.

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Club Soda If your blond hair turns green when you swim in a pool with too much chlorine, don’t panic. Rinse your hair with club soda and it will change back to its original color.

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Ketchup More chlorine-in-pools problems: If your hair goes green or absorbs a strong, unwanted scent, eliminate the problem with a ketchup shampoo. To avoid a mess, do it in the shower. Massage ketchup generously into your hair and leave it for fifteen minutes, then wash it out, using baby shampoo. The odor and color should be gone.

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Lemons For blond highlights worthy of the finest beauty salon, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then sit in the sun until your hair dries. Lemon juice is a natural bleach. Don’t forget to put on plenty of sunscreen before you sit out in the sun. To maximize the effect, repeat once daily for up to a week.

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Petroleum Jelly There’s nothing more embarrassing than a home hair color job gone awry. Imagine finishing applying that new auburn shade to your tresses when you notice that you’ve dyed your hairline and part of your forehead too. Next time, run a bit of petroleum jelly across your hairline. If dye seeps off your hair, the petroleum jelly will catch it.

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Spices You can spice up your hair care regimen with a homemade tonic that will enhance your natural color and impart shine. For dark hair, use 1 tablespoon crumbled sage or 1 sprig chopped fresh rosemary or a mixture of 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves. For blond hair, use 1 tablespoon chamomile. Pour 1 cup boiling water over the herb or spice mix, let it steep for 30 minutes, strain it through a coffee filter, and let it cool. Pour it repeatedly over your hair as a final rinse after shampooing.

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Tea Turn gray hair dark again without an expensive trip to the salon or the use of chemical hair dyes. Make your own natural dye using brewed tea and herbs: Steep 3 tea bags in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 tablespoon each of rosemary and sage (either fresh or dried) and let it stand overnight before straining. To use, shampoo as usual, and then pour or spray the mixture on your hair, making sure to saturate it thoroughly. Take care not to stain clothes. Blot with a towel and do not rinse. It may take several treatments to achieve desired results.

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Tomato Juice To restore the blond color to your hair after swimming in chlorine, saturate it with undiluted tomato juice, cover it with a shower cap, and wait 10-15 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly, shampoo, and soon you’ll be ready to have more fun.

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Toothbrushes Dyeing your hair at home? Use an old toothbrush as an applicator. It’s the perfect size.

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Vinegar Keep golden locks from turning green in chlorine by rubbing 1/4 cup cider vinegar into your hair and letting it set for 15 minutes before diving in.

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