Testing Mallow as a Hair Coloring Agent

Admittedly, this one is pretty far out there. Can mallow dye hair - stain grey, or do anything else 'folk tales' claim?

Not long ago, I made a mallow concentrate with the express purpose of experiencing personally whether or not there was any truth to the stories.

Join me as I give this product a whirl as a hair colorant.

The Patch Test

To see if there was any joy to be had at all (and save my bathroom from possible messy clean-up), the initial test consisted of applying a blob of gel onto a modest-sized patch of hair.

It was then allowed to sit.

How long?

Since there was no reason to think this gel would show any kind of instant hair coloring action, I decided to let it sit for as long as I could stand it.

Seeing as it was a small patch of hair and didn't bother me at all, that turned out to be around 5 hours.

The patch of hair stiffened a bit as time passed.

More gel was reapplied.

Here's the patch of hair. If you look carefully, it is possible to see a purplish hue. That's the gel.


Rinsing the product out was both easy and quick. The black water running down the drain indicated that perhaps there was some dyeing power to be had from mallow gel.

After drying and closely inspecting the hair with magnifying mirrors and extra lighting, it was quite clear.

Mallow concentate won't even think of coloring the hair in any way, shape or form.

Inital test: fail.

But I really kind of expected that. Which is why I will probably have to do a repeat test - just to be sure.

Meantime, I made a bonus discovery.

The Bonus Discovery

The mucilage content of mallow makes it quite a lovely hair conditioner. There was a definite extra softness and silkiness to be felt.

I'm therefore still using the gel as a conditioner. It works well with a 2 minute leave-in, then rinse out and doesn't even stain the bathroom (or towels).

Do Tell

Have you ever worked with mallow? What were your experiences?

Make Your Own

Make your own mallow hair gel right here.


Unknown said…
Hi Lisa,

Can you give me the botanical name of the mallow you used please?

I've noticed that common names differ in some countries :-)
LisaLise said…
Hi Riana- the INCI for mallow is Malva Sylvestris :)