Published: 11/15/2015 - Updated: 11/15/2015
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
Often times people want to cover up their grays. And often times this leads them to using chemical dyes to cover them up. But there are natural ways you can reduce the amount of grays you have, and sometimes you can completely prevent them.
In order to get rid of grays, applying something externally, like some sort of dye, isn’t enough. Natural remedies against grays need to be used internally and externally.
What causes gray hair?
Grays are a natural sign of aging. Often times age is the most common reason that they develop.
Grays are also associated with a lack of certain nutrients, like vitamin A and Complex B vitamins, as well as minerals like iron, copper and zinc. Keep in mind that these deficiencies could also have other serious consequences.
It’s also been linking to thyroid diseases, like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism. Other diseases or conditions that could cause grays to appear include vitiligo and early menopause.
Other genetic factors could influence grays, especially when occurring at an early age. Smoking also seems to increase the appearance of grays.
Supplements against grays
In order to darken your hair, it’s important to address any nutritional deficiencies. Often times people are unaware of these deficiencies.
A few natural products that could be useful include black molasses, it’s a nutritive sweetener that is rich in vitamins and minerals and can generally be used to naturally darken grays.
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Fo-ti tea or the plant is native to China and is used because of its nutritional value to darken hair. You can take it as a supplement or as a tea, but you need to be aware of its contraindications because it also produces a slightly laxative effect.
And lastly, make sure to include enough grains in your diet. Wheat and barley are good examples. They are rich sources of vitamin A and Complex B vitamins, and they also provide copper, silica, and zinc, which are all necessary minerals for good hair health.
Natural Remedies for grays
In addition to your diet, there are also natural remedies that, when applied consistently, can be useful for darkening hair naturally.
Onion juice and lemon juice: Onions have been used for centuries to improve hair conditions. One very simple remedy is to rub a sliced onion on your scalp, which has an enzyme known as catalase, which helps darken hair. We also recommend using lemon juice to rub on your scalp daily. Remember, this remedy can leave quite the characteristic odor.
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Henna for gray hair: Henna is a known natural dye. This is because its pigments have the capacity to dye hair. It can be used as a substitute for dye, and is generally much gentler on hair than commercial dyes. Currently there are lots of different products available on the market that produce different colors.
Rosemary and sage: These two plants are one of the most commonly used remedies for reducing, or removing, grays. For this, simply make a rosemary and sage infusion and wash your hair daily with it, after using your normal shampoo. Allow to act for 10 minutes, then rinse with a bit of warm water. Dry and repeat daily.
Red currant: Drinking red currant juice can help darken hair, but it can also be used externally as well. Prepare a handful of dry red currants with coconut oil, or almond oil, and use the mixture to massage your scalp daily at night. Allow to set for 20 minutes, then rinse. Indian red currant or gooseberries are perfect for a gray hair remedy.
Nigella and olive oil: Black cumin is the seed that is used to extract nigella oil and it has been used for hair health for years. It promotes growth and hair health. One of the most common remedies with this oil consists of mixing equal parts nigella oil and olive oil. Massage in with the fingers, and allow to act for about one hour before rinsing with warm water. We recommend using this remedy daily. You could also drink one teaspoon of nigella oil to strengthen the effects.
Advice for preventing grays
Although you can’t always stop grays from appearing, there are things you can do to slow them down, by following a few simple pieces of advice.
Avoid dyes: Although this sounds like a simple fix, dyes actually do affect the hair. Try to avoid chemical products that could damage your hair.
Control stress levels: Never underestimate the damage that stress can cause. Not only is it harmful for health in general, but it can also cause grays.
Stop smoking: Tobacco is one of the primary causes of gray hair. It’s a good idea to avoid smoking.
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 11/15/2015
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