32 Home Remedies for Grey Hair
Almost all of us will experience having grey hair as we age. This can make some people feel uncomfortable about their appearance, especially if their hair turns grey at a young age.
While many commercially produced hair dyes will help to cover grey hairs, not all of them will. Many of them also contain chemicals which could damage your hair and affect its strength and health.
Thankfully there are a number of natural home remedies to help bring some color back to your hair and lift your appearance. Many of these remedies have been around for centuries and you could be surprised by how common many of the remedy ingredients are!
Home Remedies for Grey Hair
Blackstrap molasses is a great home remedy which can help to slow down the growth of grey hairs. There are claims out there that it has even brought back people’s natural color in some cases! Blackstrap molasses is a dark colored, thick liquid which is created as part of the sugar making process. It’s full of minerals such as iron, manganese, selenium and copper, three minerals that are key to maintaining your hair color. It also contains large amounts of copper and magnesium which helps your hair grow stronger and healthier. Try eating a spoonful every other day for around two months and you should start to notice a difference in the number of grey hairs you notice.
Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
The Indian gooseberry is so good for your hair that sometimes it’s called the nectar for hair. One of its main hair benefits is its ability to reduce grey hairs. It has a rich vitamin C content, as well as lots of antioxidants. These help to renew hair, making it look fuller, thicker and darker.
You can drink fresh juice from Indian gooseberries, but this can be a bit sour. You can also add dried gooseberry powder to water, smoothies or soups. Another great way to make use of amla is to massage amla oil into your scalp to nourish your hair follicles and decrease the growth of grey hair. Rinsing with amla water can also help to improve the condition of your hair.
Onions are rich in antioxidants and contain an enzyme called catalase. Catalase is key to keeping your hair it’s natural color and so can reduce the risk of greying hair. It’s also packed full of vitamin C which further delays the greying of hair.
Massaging onion juice into your scalp can prevent the build-up of hydrogen peroxide which might otherwise lead to the bleaching of your hair follicles, turning them grey from the inside out. You can also mix the onion juice with a little coconut oil to mask the onion smell and enhance the hair care benefits.
Foods That Are Rich in Catalase
Onions aren’t the only source of catalase. With recent studies suggesting that grey hair isn’t just caused by the loss of hair pigments, the role of catalase is becoming more apparent. Studies imply that the greying of hair could also be linked to a natural build-up of hydrogen peroxide which causes a bleaching effect on your hair. Hydrogen peroxide is created as a natural byproduct of your metabolism doing its job. It’s also created as a response to stress, pollution, and second-hand smoke.
As we age we also start to produce less catalase, which would usually break down this hydrogen peroxide and prevent it from building up. You can look to foods like almonds, leeks, broccoli, cabbage and cucumber for rich sources of catalase.
Wheatgrass juice is another great home remedy for grey hair. It has a high content of vitamins A, B, and E which are all key to strengthening hair. It’s also high in amino acids, copper, and our good friend catalase. This means that drinking plenty of wheatgrass juice can help to break down hydrogen peroxide and reduce the rate of greying hair.
Coconut oil – is there anything it can’t do? Amongst its many benefits, it also has the ability to slow down the greying of hair. There is some evidence to suggest that hair greying can be caused by high body heat, which is where coconut oil comes in. Coconut oil can help to bring down your body heat and prevents your hair from turning grey as a result. It also has a high concentration of antioxidants which can prevent the loss of hair pigmentation. You can massage the oil right into your scalp or add a little to your hair masks.
Curry leaves have been used since ancient times to tackle greying hair. Historical evidence seems to indicate that people would eat the dark green leaves and apply the oils from them to their hair. This would then stop premature greying of their hair. Curry leaves also contain high levels of vitamin A, C and E, calcium, copper and antioxidants.
Not only can all of these elements help to slow down the greying of hair, but it also helps to nourish the follicles, strengthening them for healthy growth. They can also be made into a hair mask to give your hair extra luster and make it softer. Try mixing the leaves with a little coconut oil and yogurt and apply the mixture to your hair. Leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing with warm (not hot) water.
Bhringraj, or Eclipta Alba, is a herb which makes a fantastic home remedy for slowing down the growth of grey hair. In India, it is sometimes referred to as ‘the king of herbs’ because of its ability to give new life to tired and dull looking hair. Using this herb can help your hair to grow thicker and darker.
Mix the herb with a little coconut oil and amla into a hair mask, apply and leave for 25 minutes. Rinse your hair in warm water and repeat once every two weeks. Over time you should see a significant difference in the amount of grey in your hair.
Ashwagandha is a herb known for its anti-aging properties. It’s not only great for reducing the growth of grey hairs, but it can also help to keep your skin soft! It also has the ability to balance out your hormone levels, calm your mood and enhance your immune system.
You can take it as a supplement with meals or use it in its powdered form. As a powder, mix it with some milk of ghee to make a mask and cover your hair with it. Leave the mixture on for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Black Sesame Seeds
Black sesame seeds have been used in traditional Chinese medicine as a remedy for grey hair for centuries. This is largely because they can help to nourish the scalp and promote healthy hair growth. They also contain elements which promote the production of melanin, which is needed for hair pigmentation. Try eating a tablespoon of the seeds two or three times a week to really give your hair a boost and slow down the growth of grey hairs.
Henna is a natural alternative to more commercially available, synthetic hair dyes. It leaves a reddish-brown color on the hair and can be mixed with coffee, cloves, and indigo to create your preferred shade. It’s also great for conditioning hair which can prevent it from going grey.
Mix your henna with some black tea or coffee to form a yogurt type consistency. Let your mixture sit for three hours and then add a tablespoon of olive oil. Rub this mixture onto your hair and leave for three hours before rinsing.
Rosemary isn’t just a great way to add flavor to your food, it also helps to darken grey hairs. The herb has elements which stimulate the growth of new hair. It also has high levels of antioxidants which help to reduce the impact of free radicals which may otherwise damage hair pigmentation.
A rosemary-based shampoo or hair mask can also help remove leftover products to leave your hair softer and shinier. It’s also effective at tackling dandruff to prevent itching and irritation.
If you have dark hair you can also try sage as a herbal home remedy for grey hair. You won’t notice an instant change in the number of grey hairs, but if you keep using it over a period of time it’ll all build up.
This is another great remedy for dark hair. You can find shampoos and masks that contain black walnut which you can use. You can also add ground black walnut to some coconut milk and massage into your scalp.
You can also try drinking nettle tea or using it to create a hair mask to help improve the pigmentation of dark hair. It may take a while, but with the regular usage, you should see an improvement in your grey hair.
If you have black or brown hair coffee can help improve its tone. Brew a strong pot and leave it to cool. Once it has, mix a cup with two cups of your regular hair conditioner. You can also throw in some fresh coffee granules for added power. Leave the conditioner mix in your hair for at least an hour and then rinse. The difference will only be subtle but will build up over time.
If you have red hair, or hair with a reddish hue, rooibos tea could be a great home remedy for your grey hair. Other black teas work best for darker hair and chamomile teas are better for blondes. Stew three to five tea bags in boiling water and allow it to cool. Once it has, apply it to clean, wet hair. You can mix it with your conditioner as was suggested with coffee if this makes it easier.
Remember, the longer you leave the tea on your hair, the more impact it will have. The color of the tea will be absorbed by your grey hairs which will help the color to stick once you rinse your hair. Always rinse your hair in warm and not hot water. Hot water will cause the colors to leak from your hair and stop it sticking.
This is another great remedy for redheads. You can use it much the same way as the teas and coffee. Add a little to your usual conditioner and leave it to sit for an hour before rinsing.
Chamomile for Blonde Hair
The pale color of chamomile makes its tea a great natural colorant for blonde hair. It contains the pigment apigenin which has a golden tint that’s great for blondes. It can also be used in hair tonics to soothe irritated scalps that suffer from dandruff.
Smoking can increase the signs of aging – including the greying of hair. The smoke and chemicals can damage your hair follicles and cause them to shrink. This reduces the amount of pigment and new hair they can produce which will turn your hair grey over time.
Protect Your Hair from the Sun
The sun’s UV rays can have a natural bleaching effect on hair. This can drain its pigments and cause it to become grey. To protect it, keep it covered on especially sunny days with a headscarf or hat.
Stop Damaging your Hair
The more you damage the hair, the more likely you are to go grey quicker. Things that can cause damage to your hair include bleaching it, using too much heat when styling, cleaning it with harsh shampoos and detergents and over-washing it.
Mix a tablespoon of honey with some freshly grated ginger and eat it every day. Ginger has a high antioxidant content. This means that it’s great for breaking down hydrogen peroxide which would otherwise build up and make your hair grey.
Mix a tablespoon of ground black pepper and a teaspoon of lemon juice with half a cup of plain yogurt to make a hair mask. Leave the mask on your hair for an hour before rinsing with cool or warm water. If you repeat the use of this mask three times a week you should start to notice a decline in the number of your grey hairs.
Black Tea for Dark Hair
We’ve already discussed how teas can help reduce the number of greys in blonde and red hair. Black teas can have the same effect for dark and brown hair. The tea’s natural color is absorbed by your hair follicles which helps them produce new, darker hairs.
Applying beet juice to your hair can really help to remedy grey hairs if your hair naturally has a reddish hue. Beets are especially good for deep, vibrant reds as they are much darker than carrots which are good for softer reds.
Mix the juice with your normal conditioner and leave it on your hair for as long as possible – up to one hour is best. The juice colors could stain your skin too so use a little oil or petroleum jelly on the skin around your hairline and ears to stop your skin from becoming stained.
Did you know your potato peelings could be an ideal home remedy for grey hair? Next time, instead of throwing them straight in the bin, put them to good use. The starches in potato peel act as a colorant that has a darkening effect on grey hairs.
Boil your potato skins in some water for 25 minutes. You can add some essential oils to improve the smell if you want. Parting your hair into sections, wash it as normal and then pour your potato skin liquid over it. You could also use a hair dye applicator to apply the liquid directly to your hair if you have one. Afterward, rinse your hair with cool water to get rid of excess starch. Repeat this method as often as you need to, to get the color or shade you are after.
Studies have shown that low levels of copper in our diets and bodies can lead to the premature greying of hair. You can get more copper into your diet by eating foods like sesame seeds, soybeans, asparagus, and spinach.
This climbing vine plant is native to China and has been used in anti-aging remedies for years. Studies have shown that eating the roots of this plant can help to restore the pigmentation of your hair. In doing so, it reduces the number of grey hairs on your head. It’s also known to be effective at reducing the risk of baldness or thinning hair.
Yeast and Wheat Germ
Wheat germ is a rich source of vitamin B, which is known to reduce the likelihood of premature greying. yeast is also rich in copper which mean sit can help to restore hair pigmentation. Together, the two can be used as a hair nourishing drink that will help restore your hair’s pigmentation. To make the mask, mix two teaspoons of yeast and two of wheat germ oil. You’ll then need to add this mixture to a glass of buttermilk and drink daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a number of uses and features in a number of home remedies. It’s ability to tackle grey hairs is just one of these benefits. It also helps to stimulate hair growth to reduce the risk of baldness and hair thinning. It is acidic though, so don’t use it if you’ve been dying your hair as it could affect the chemicals in the dyes you use. Mix some apple cider vinegar with an equal amount of water and rinse it through your hair. You’ll then need to wrap your hair in a towel for half an hour. You can then shampoo your hair as normal. Your hair may feel a little dry after using the vinegar so you should always condition thoroughly too.
This is an ancient Indian remedy for reducing grey hairs. It is likely that ghee helps to tackle grey hair because it stimulates the production of the pigment melanin. Massage some ghee into your scalp two times a week. It can be quite sticky so make sure you shampoo your hair properly afterward in order to clean all the ghee out.
There are plenty of natural ways you can try and reduce the number of grey hairs you have. Remember that it is possible to be allergic to some of these remedies so you should always discuss the remedies with your doctor first. You could also try an allergy test by applying a small amount of your chosen remedy to a small patch of skin. Most allergy patch tests are carried out just behind the ear or on the back of the wrist.
Blackstrap molasses photo courtesy of Badagnani.
Ghee photo courtesy of Neha Sonal.