Although more and more of us are embracing the beauty of silver hair strands, many of us still love to add some color to those locks. Hair coloring is a great way to add a new dimension to our look but it does pose a lot of health hazards.
Scientific studies have found that most of the synthetic hair-coloring agents in stores are laden with potent carcinogens.1
On prolonged exposure, they can increase your chances of leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and bladder cancer. But what’s life without some color? That’s when we have to take a good look into our pantry for safe ways to get maximum gray coverage.
Not just world’s favorite drink, coffee is also an effective and safe natural colorant to turn grey hairs brown. Apply a mixture of the following ingredients onto hair that’s washed and dried.
- 1 cup of strong coffee decoction or espresso
- Half cup of conditioner like vitamin-E rich almond or olive oil
- 2 tbsp of coffee grounds
Wash it off with apple cider vinegar to ensure that the rich brown color stays longer. Coffee will turn gray hairs into an earthy brown hue. Repeat the process once a week to allow more color to deposit on the grays.
Tea although not as strong when compared with coffee decoction is a fair choice for giving your roots a touch-up. All you have to do is mix the following ingredients in a cup.
- 1 cup of strong tea (brewed with 3-5 tea bags or a similar amount of loose-leaf tea)
- Half cup of conditioner like vitamin-E rich
Apply it on your hair and leave it for an hour. Repeat application on the gray strands if you need a deeper color.
If you want to darken your hair color, you can opt for certain herbs that can help you achieve that.
- To turn gray hair red: Wash your hair with boiled and cooled calendula, marigold, rosehips, and hibiscus. Leave it to dry and then rinse off
- To turn gray hair brown: Boil a handful of dried sage to 1 liter of water and boil for 3o-45 minutes. Cool, strain and pour the infusion onto clean hair. Repeat once in a week until your hair has darkened
For centuries dried and powdered henna has been used as a natural hair dye. Henna usually turns gray hair into a
- 2 cups of henna powder
- The juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons of yogurt for conditioning
- 1 tbsp of amla powder or crushed hibiscus powder
Mix them all in an iron vessel and leave it covered for 2 hours. Using a brush apply it all over your hair with gloved hands as henna can stain anything it comes in touch with. Cover your head with a shower cap. Leave it on for 6 hours at least or until the henna starts to flake. Wash your hair properly.2
Indigo has a similar texture and consistency like henna. It’s the best for people who want to make their grays shades of
- 1 cup of organic henna powder
- 1 cup of indigo powder
- Half cup of water with lemon squeezed in it
- 2 tbsps of almond or olive oil
Apply the mixture onto your hair and leave it for 2-6 hours. Wahs it off to reveal hair that has got a healthy dark sheen.3
Caring For Colored Hair
Colored hair needs adequate hair that prevents color from getting washed out. Here are some simple tips to help retain color for a longer period.
- Wash your hair not more than twice a week with a sulfate-free shampoo
- Avoid curling or flat irons
- Use a natural conditioner like coconut oil or shea butter to nourish the scalp
There are many other home remedies like beet juice and walnut shell concentrate that can be used for getting gray coverage. However, they don’t have enough scientific evidence to back their efficacy as natural hair dyes. Keep in mind that nonsynthetic hair dyes act slower than chemical ones. The fact that
|↑1||Saitta, Peter, Christopher E. Cook, Jane L. Messina, Ronald Brancaccio, Benedict C. Wu, Steven K. Grekin, and Jean Holland. “Is There a true concern regarding the use of hair dye and malignancy development?: A review of the epidemiological evidence relating personal hair dye use to the risk of malignancy.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology 6, no. 1 (2013): 39.|
|↑2||Singh, Vijender, Mohammed Ali, and Sukirti Upadhyay. “Study of colouring effect of herbal hair formulations on graying hair.” Pharmacognosy research 7, no. 3 (2015): 259.|
|↑3||Rao, Y. Madhusudan, and P. Sujatha. “Formulation and evaluation of commonly used natural hair colorants.” (2008).|