It’s a fact of life that it’s only a matter of time before you’ll go gray. Once you’ve reached your 30th birthday, you have a 10 to 20 percent chance of graying hair with every passing decade, according to renowned holistic physician Dr. Mercola.
Going grey is a natural part of life, as the color of your hair comes from melanin. Each strand may contain light melanin and dark melanin, which come together, forming the many different hues of hair color. When you’re young, special pigment stem cells called melanocytes inject pigment into keratin-containing cells. This keratin, a protein, makes up your hair and is responsible for giving it its color. As you age, there is a decrease in melanin, which is why your hair turns gray and, ultimately, white, which means there is no melanin left at all.
In addition to age, there are other factors that play a part in going gray, including genetics, obesity, environment, and stress. Researchers have also found a significant association between tobacco use and gray hair. Smoking cigarettes have been linked to premature graying, including the onset of gray hair before the age of 30.
Oxidative stress, which comes from an unhealthy diet, pollution and stress, has a role in graying hair too – research has also shown that those with premature graying had a higher level of pro-oxidants and lower levels of antioxidants than those with normal hair. A vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with prematurely grey hair – in fact, there have been some reports of hair returning it its original color after resolving the problem.
The search for resolving gray hair has been endless, but of course, that search also assumes that gray hair is a problem that actually needs to be fixed. In fact, today, it’s become an increasingly popular trend which is far better than coloring your hair with a toxic dye. Many people are paying good money to “go gray” but perhaps you can enjoy that look for free.
If you don’t want to join the trend, fortunately, you do have more options than toxic dyes – there are a number of ways to fix your gray hair naturally.
This gorgeous auburn dye made from the Lawsonia inermis tree has been used for cosmetic purposes since ancient times. Most henna comes in powder form and can be blended with a variety of other natural substances like vinegar, cloves or aromatic oils before it is applied to your hair. If you’re looking for a darker color, you can mix in some indigo to achieve that effect. It should be used on a regular basis in order to maintain the brilliant color and mask any grey, which means as frequent as once each week or just once a month, depending on the depth of color you desire.
For locks that are brunette, dark brown or black, or to add some tonal variation to dark hair, simply brew up a pot of strong coffee. Once it’s cooled, mix one cup of the brew with two cups of hair conditioner. Add three heaping teaspoons of used coffee grounds into the mixture for added effect.
Leave this mixture in your hair for a least one hour before rinsing. The effects will be subtle, but by repeating these steps you can achieve your desired color.
Another popular beverage is great for covering gray hair and restoring your natural hair color is tea. Redheads can use rooibos, blondes should go for chamomile and for darker hues, black tea.
Once each week, steep three to five tea bags in two cups of boiling water and allow the tea to cool before applying it to clean, wet hair. To make it easier to apply, mix in with a little conditioner and then leave the solution on for at least an hour. The longer you leave it on, the more intense the color will be. Once your gray hair has absorbed the color of the tea, you can rinse it out, just for sure to rinse with cool water as hot water leaches the color from your hair.
Indian gooseberry, also known as amia, is great for premature grays as well as revitalizing dull hair. Place some coconut oil in a pan and then boil it with a few dried Indian gooseberry pieces or Indian gooseberry powder. Apply the oil/gooseberry mix onto your hair and scalp once or twice each week, leaving it on for at least an hour, or as long as overnight, before rinsing.
In addition to getting rid of those grays, the coconut oil helps to enrich and moisturize the scalp to enhance the health and appearance of your hair.
Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice
Combining coconut oil and lemon juice is said to be particularly beneficial for graying hair as coconut oil is packed with healthy lauric acid and antimicrobial properties that can treat and condition the hair while lemon juice contains lots of vitamin C along with phosphorus to nourish, prevent and treat gray hair.
Combine three teaspoons organic lemon juice with enough virgin organic coconut oil to create a sufficient mixture for covering your hair and scalp. Massage it in and then leave it for at least an hour before washing with a mild shampoo. Repeat once a week.
Using curry leaves helps to increase the darker pigmentation of your hair to get rid of grays. It’s best applied when combined with coconut oil. Boil a handful of fresh curry leaves in a tablespoon of coconut oil and then massage the mixture into your hair and scalp. Leave it on for 45 to 60 minutes before rinsing, following the treatment at least once per week.
Beet, Carrot or Lemon Juice
Depending on the type of juice, it can be used to restore red or blonde hues. Choose beet juice if you want to achieve a darker red, carrots for a soft orange hue and lemon for golden blonde. You can use all three together to add vibrant highlights to the color you already have too.
To use this method, mix a cup of juice with one to two tablespoons of coconut oil or hair conditioner and then massage it into your hair, working from the scalp to the ends. Allow it to sit for about an hour before rinsing with cool water. If you want extra lightening, use the lemon juice application and while it’s in your hair, lie out in the sun.
As mentioned, a vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to premature grey hair. This vitamin not only has an important role in keeping the nervous system and brain functioning properly, it aids in producing RNA and DNA, the genetic code necessary for the growth and development of everything living thing. By reversing a deficiency through taking a supplement or eating more foods that contain B12 like tuna, salmon, grass-fed beef and eggs, you can help reverse the graying of your hair.