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Let's be real: It's doubtful you'll get a Marilyn-like platinum from a simple chamomile rinse. On the other hand, using botanicals can considerably lighten those locks without lightening your wallet. To bring out the blonde, your choices of herbs are extensive. Traditional botanicals for blond hair include chamomile, marigold, quassia, rhubarb, yarrow and mullein. It takes some practice, but chances are you'll hit on one or two formulas that chase the mousiness from dirty blond hair or add even more of a glow to flaxen tresses.
Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Towel dry until your hair is slightly damp.
Place 2 to 4 ounces of dried herbs in the top part of a double boiler, or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan. The exact amount of herbs you'll need depends on the thickness and length of your hair.
Add enough water to the herbs to form a thick paste. Turn the heat to high and wait for the water to boil. Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes, then remove the double boiler from heat.
Begin working the herbal paste through your hair once it is lukewarm. Using rubber gloves, take up one section of hair at a time and apply a small amount of the dye pack to the section, then move on to the next.
Cover your hair with a shower cap or large plastic bag. Tuck some cotton wadding or tissue around your hairline to prevent drips. Over the plastic and tissue, add a knit cap or a towel tied turban-style.
Leave the herbal pack on your head for at least 20 minutes. The length of time -- some people even sleep with their packs on -- depends on the difference between your original color and that hoped-for hue.
Rinse your hair with warm water until the water runs clear. Follow with a cold rinse to close your scalp's pores. Towel dry and style.
Follow Steps 1 to 3 of the Herbal Dye section, but use 2 tablespoons of herbs rather than the larger amount.
Strain the herbs from the water once the water cools.
Gently pour the infused herbal mixture over your hair until it is saturated.
Rinse with cool water and towel dry.
Health food stores carry bulk dried herbs, as well as both loose and dried herbal teas. In a pinch, buy chamomile tea bags. Cut open the bags for dye packs or simply brew a pot for maintenance rinses.
Use a nonmetal bowl to mix your herbs. Metals can react with some herbs, causing an unflattering tint.
Don't keep herbal dyes on for more than 20 minutes your first time, suggests herbal beauty author Jeanne Rose. All dyes, natural or artificial, can have unpredictable effects, and it's better to start with a subtle effect than risk an unflattering brassy hue from overdoing it.