An expert guide to reverse grey hair with natural remedies

24 May,2023 09:32 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Ainie Rizvi

For ages, pure and natural dyes have been used to reverse the greying of hair. To learn about other natural remedies that can prevent so from happening, Midday Online spoke to a city based beautician Radhika Iyer Talati. Here is what she recommends

Apart from these proven techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation, you must include nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet to reverse grey hair. Image Courtesy: iStock

Spotting grey hair can be a stark reminder of ageing. Throughout the lifespan of a human, hair strands go through a natural cycle of regeneration and death. As we age, hair follicles become weak and begin to produce less colour. Thus, appears the inescapable greyness of hair. The question arises, what causes grey hair? The answer is the pigment melanin in the hair follicle, which is responsible for hair colour. As we age, this pigment depletes, turning our hair grey or white.

The sight of grey hair is often dreaded as people conceal it with artificial hair colours. While they manage to cover it up with blazing shades, the chemicals in artificial colour can be detrimental to hair growth. These chemicals weaken the hair follicles causing hair breakage, split ends, frizzy hair, itchy scalp and hair loss.

For ages, pure and natural dyes have been used to reverse the greying of hair. To learn about other natural remedies that can prevent the greying of hair, Midday Online spoke to the beautician Radhika Iyer Talatiwho is also the founder of Anahata Organic. Here is what she recommends:

"Today, the market is flooded with diverse varieties of hair colour products. These products contain a host of chemicals and questionable ingredients which the ordinary consumer is left to use. Not only does it confuse them but also stresses them about what works and what does not. It is vital for us to also know that ageing, vitamin deficiency, oxidative stress, chain-smoking, regular exposure to chemical dyes and mental stress are among the main reasons for greying of hair", says Talati. She adds that genetics is also known to be a contributor to premature grey hair.

Identifying the causes of grey hair
Reversal of greying hair is fairly simple if you can narrow down the factors causing the greyness. For example, you could be developing grey hair due to vitamin deficiency. In this case, increasing the intake of a certain vitamin can help reverse grey hair almost instantly. Similarly, if it's apparent stress that is leading to grey hair, then meditating and including antioxidant-rich foods in your diet can restore your original hair colour faster than you think.

Research also shows that cutting down on smoking and drinking also reduces anxiety and oxidative stress. Avoiding the use of harsh chemicals or blow-drying your hair too often will also help reverse grey hair. Even though grey hair due to genetics cannot be reversed, there are ways to reduce that effect to a large extent.

Here are five ways you can practice reversing grey hair naturally. These tips are also effective in strengthening your hair:

1. Traditional oil decoction formula to regrow hair and reverse greying
This age-old tradition from Ayurveda recommends massaging your hair with a mixture of 4 tablespoons of almond oil, 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and 1 tablespoon of castor oil. All you need to do is warm this combination over a medium flame, let it cool and add to it 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of amla juice.

To this mixture, add 1 tbsp of fenugreek powder. Cool, strain and apply generously all over the scalp at night. Use a natural shampoo to wash it off in the morning. When used at least three times a week and left for about 4 to 5 hours, one can observe noticeable results. Practicing this regularly will reduce grey hair, strengthen hair follicles and add plenty of vital nutrition to the scalp.

2. Rubbing onion juice onto the scalp
Our grandmothers would always use onion juice on their scalps for great hair. Red onions are an effective way to control grey hair and boost hair growth. The juice of an onion raises catalase, an enzyme that is responsible for darkening hair. Not only that, onion juice is a great source of hydration for the scalp and is known to add shine and glow to the hair.

Simply mix 3 tablespoons of onion juice, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a bowl. Massage your scalp with this combination and wash after 30 minutes with a natural shampoo. You will notice visible results within a month.

3. Using Curry Leaves
Curry leaves contain precious Vitamin B that restores the pigment melanin in the hair follicles. Using Curry leaves in many forms is known to reverse and prevent further greying. Beta-Keratin present in curry leaves prevents hair fall and helps keep the scalp hydrated. Prepare a paste by grinding 20 grams of fresh curry leaves with some water.

A. Mix this with 2 tablespoons of curd and apply this all over your head and hair. Leave it on for 25 minutes or more and wash off with a natural shampoo.

B. Boil 20 grams of curry leaves, 1/2 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds and 1 tablespoon of nigella seeds in about 5 tablespoons of coconut oil until the leaves turn black. Strain and use this oil on your hair.

Boil a cupful of curry leaves in a cup of oil till they turn black. Cool, strain and store. Massage into hair 2-3 times a week. Leave overnight and repeat at least 3 times a week. The results will amaze you.

4. Coffee or Tea with Castor Oil and Henna leaves
We all know that henna is a natural colorant and conditioner. It has been used traditionally as a scalp cleanser and hair conditioner. It is also used as a natural pigment for reversing grey hair. The tannic acid and many other antioxidants present in coffee and tea, when combined with henna are known to give excellent results turning grey hair back to its natural colour. All you need to do is add 1 tablespoon of coffee powder or 1 tablespoon of tea to boiling hot water.

Let this infuse for about 5 minutes on a medium flame. Strain, cool and make a paste by adding an appropriate amount of henna powder to this liquid. Let it rest for about 3 to 4 hours. Mix in a tablespoon of castor oil in this paste and apply liberally all over your hair as well as the scalp. Leave this on for an hour and wash off using a natural shampoo. Adding a natural dark hue to the hair, stimulates hair growth and strengthens it, giving it a shine. This remedy not only reverses grey hair but also leaves your hair feeling stronger and shinier than before.

5. Shikakai, Brahmi, Black Pepper and Lemon hair pack
Another ancient technique to reverse grey hair and induce vital nutrients into the hair follicles is the use of shikakai, pepper and lemon. Black pepper is known to have numerous benefits for the hair and apart from just helping maintain the natural colour of your hair it also promotes hair growth. Shikakai helps reverse grey hair effectively while strengthening hair follicles and lemon keeps harmful bacteria and dandruff away.

Together, they provide vitamins A, B12, D, E and biotin. Important minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium and copper are also present in this concoction that can help keep your hair healthy and long. All you need to do is mix 1 tablespoon each of shikakai powder, brahmi powder, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice with half a cup of homemade curd. Mix these well and massage them into hair and scalp. Leave the paste on for about an hour and wash it off with lukewarm water. Do this at least three times a week for incredible results.

Nutritional tips to avoid greying of hair

Apart from these proven techniques that have been passed on from generation to generation, you must include nutrient-rich foods in your daily diet that can help reverse grey hair. Consume amla juice when in season and have dried amlas when they are not in season. Remember to avoid preservative-laden foods and stay away from fast food as much as you can.

Avoid consuming Maida or fine flour, you will be surprised how clean your body will start to feel. High sugar, saturated fats and too much salt or sodium are also disruptors of hair health. Stick to simple living, turn back to your roots and keep yourself active both mentally and physically. These simple yet extremely effective tips will help you discover the long-lost dark, healthy and bouncy mane that you deserve to sport every single day.

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