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How to Turn Grey or White Hair Black Naturally: 16 Remedies

My great-grandmother practiced traditional Ayurvedic medicine, and the remedies collected here are from her. They worked wonders for my son.

Skip the chemical dyes with these home remedies for black hair.

Skip the chemical dyes with these home remedies for black hair.

Natural Home Remedies Without Chemical Dyes

Grey hair is normally associated with old age, though it can also be seen in young people. My son began finding his first grey hairs at the age of 19, while my great-grandmother did not have a single white hair when she died at the age of 85.

My great-grandmother practiced traditional Indian, or Ayurvedic, medicine, and the remedies collected here are from her. They worked wonders on my son, especially those that focus on diet. As for me, a 50-year-old man, the results are evident but not as prominent, as I am irregular and careless with the remedies.

What Is Ayurvedic Medicine?

For those who are not familiar with Ayurvedic medicine, it uses nature to supplement the body's deficiencies and strengthen the immune system.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is always best to turn to nature for remedies before going to a doctor, because modern medicines generally cure one problem but, like a metastasis, cause other, sometimes graver, side effects. It is my endeavor to provide all-natural resources so that you can avoid such adverse effects.

These natural remedies are far better than the chemical dyes that leech into the skin and may cause cancer.

In This Article

  • What causes grey or white hair?
  • Natural dyes that impart color to white hair and need repeated applications.
  • Remedies that boost the production of melanin pigment and keratin protein in the hair, which causes the color of the hair.
  • Diet and massage tips to further boost the production of melanin and keratin.

There are many options, but many include rare ingredients that may be difficult for many people to find fresh in the store—for these, I have included information about where you can find them online. I recommend reading through them and finding the one that works best for you.

Cross section of hair follicle. The cortex is the part of the hair that stores the melanin, which is what makes up the color of your hair. The rest of the hair is largely made up of keratin.

Cross section of hair follicle. The cortex is the part of the hair that stores the melanin, which is what makes up the color of your hair. The rest of the hair is largely made up of keratin.

What Causes Grey or White Hair?

Before we get into the natural remedies, let's talk about what causes hair to turn grey or white in the first place.

This is a universal and widespread phenomenon that occurs when melanocytes around the hair follicle reduce the amount of melanin it produces (or stops completely). Hair is mainly made from a protein called keratin, and as the hair grows the melanocytes around the hair follicle inject melanin into the cortex of the hair shaft, which results in its dark color. Keratin without melanin is a yellowish-grey color, so when the melanocytes slow down, the hair begins to lose its color.

There are several causes for this decrease in melanin production.

Natural Causes

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Natural chemical changes in the body

Extrinsic Causes

Other causes are due to extrinsic factors, meaning factors that are external to your body.

  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Chemical hair colors containing ammonia (an industrial bleaching agent that severely harms the hair in the long run)
  • Pollution

Note that three of the four extrinsic factors listed above are malleable. You can change your diet, reduce your stress, and use herbal hair products instead of chemical-based products. On the other hand, the last factor (pollution), is harder to avoid.

My son began finding grey hairs very early, during his teenage years. Now, his hair is healthy and black after a few Ayurvedic diet changes.

My son began finding grey hairs very early, during his teenage years. Now, his hair is healthy and black after a few Ayurvedic diet changes.

16 Natural Remedies for Grey or White Hair

Scroll down for a detailed description of each remedy

IngredientsType of RemedyBest for

Black tea

Natural dye, melanin and keratin boost

All ages, but especially young people who are only covering a few greys

Sage

Natural dye, melanin and keratin boost

All ages

Coconut oil, lemon

Melanin and keratin boost

Premature greying (young people)

Curry leaves, coconut oil

Melanin and keratin boost

Premature greying (young people)

Ribbed gourd, coconut oil

Melanin boost

All ages, but especially young people

Henna, coffee, curd, lemon juice, catechu, brahmi, Indian gooseberry, mint powder, vinegar, indigo powder

Natural dye

All ages

Earth

Massage to boost melanin and keratin production

Best for grey hairs caused by old age

Henna, coconut oil, curd, shikakai, soap nut, Indian gooseberry, lemon juice, vinegar

Natural dye

All ages

Sesame seeds

Massage to boost melanin and keratin production

Premature greying (young people)

Bahera

Melanin and keratin boost

All ages

Indian gooseberry, hibiscus

Natural dye

All ages

Coconut oil, fenugreek

Melanin and keratin boost

All ages

Mango kernel oil, Indian gooseberry

Natural dye

All ages

Indian gooseberry, bhringraj

Diet

Premature greying (young people)

Triphla, bhringraj

Diet

Premature greying (young people)

Oil

Massage to boost melanin and keratin

All ages

Black tea is a natural dye that will make hair darker.

Black tea is a natural dye that will make hair darker.

1. Black Tea Remedy

Black tea works best with prematurely grey hair, and is simple to make—you only need two ingredients. You can leave the tea in for up to two hours, or you can leave it in for less time and apply it more frequently. The number of times you use this black tea rinse will have a cumulative effect—the more you do it, the greater the effect.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons black tea leaves
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Boil the tea leaves in water.
  2. Allow the tea to cool down to room temperature.
  3. Strain out the tea leaves, then apply the tea to your hair. If you have long hair, one of the easiest ways to apply the tea is to pour it into a small spray bottle. Spray the tea into your hair and brush to make sure that the tea is spread evenly.
  4. After roughly 1 hour (you can go as long as 2 hours), rinse the tea out with cold water. Do not shampoo.
Sage can also be used to make an effective natural dye to hide grey hair.

Sage can also be used to make an effective natural dye to hide grey hair.

2. Sage Water Treatment

The herb sage is one of the most effective remedies for grey hair. It both stops the growth of grey hair and restores natural hair color.

Ingredients:

  • Sage leaves (preferably black sage)
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Boil the sage leaves in water.
  2. Remove from heat and allow the sage water to cool down.
  3. Spray the room-temperature liquid all over the hair. Allow it to sit for 2 hours.
  4. Wash with mild shampoo or soap.
  5. This will add a bit of color with each application. The results will be visible after a few weeks.
Coconut oil and lemon juice will nourish your hair and leave it dark and shiny.

Coconut oil and lemon juice will nourish your hair and leave it dark and shiny.

3. Coconut Oil and Lemon Remedy

This effective recipe uses ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. It should be used at least twice a week to slow the greying process and make the hair black, soft, and shiny.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil (enough to thoroughly coat your hair)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Combine the coconut oil and fresh lemon juice.
  2. Gently massage it into your scalp, then comb it through the entire length of your hair.
  3. Leave it for 1 hour.
  4. Wash it out with mild shampoo or soap.
Curry leaves and coconut oil can be used to promote the production of melanin and keratin.

Curry leaves and coconut oil can be used to promote the production of melanin and keratin.

4. Coconut Oil and Curry Leaves Remedy

This is the perfect remedy for young people with prematurely grey hair as the curry leaves contain rich amounts of vitamin B.

Ingredients:

  • Coconut oil
  • Curry leaves

Directions:

  1. Boil the curry leaves in coconut oil.
  2. Strain out the leaves, then allow the coconut oil to cool down to a temperature that will be comfortable to apply.
  3. Massage the curry coconut oil into your scalp and allow it to sit for up to 1 hour before washing it out with soap.

5. Ribbed Gourd Remedy

This remedy effectively restores the melanin pigmentation in hair.

Ingredients:

  • Dried ribbed gourd
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Soak the dry pieces of ribbed gourd in coconut oil for 3 days.
  2. Boil the mixture until a black residue is formed.
  3. Massage it into your hair and leave it in for 1 hour.
  4. Rinse it out.
Henna and coffee work together with other ingredients in the recipe to dye your hair a darker color.

Henna and coffee work together with other ingredients in the recipe to dye your hair a darker color.

6. Henna Catechu Remedy

Henna is a classic natural hair dye. This recipe should be used twice a week for soft black hair.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup henna powder
  • Coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon curd
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon catechu (Acacia catechu)
  • 1 tablespoon brahmi (Bacopa monnieri; also known as Indian pennywort of waterhyssop)
  • 1 tablespoon Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica; also known as amla)
  • 1 tablespoon dry mint powder
  • Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Use a plastic, wooden, or stainless steel bowl, because the henna can react to certain metals.
  2. Mix the henna powder with as much coffee powder as desired (the henna will result in a reddish color; the coffee results in a more brownish color). Add the curd, lemon juice, catechu, brahmi, Indian gooseberry, and dry mint powder. Add vinegar until it makes a thick paste.
  3. Let the mixture sit for 2 hours.
  4. Apply the paste onto your hair. Leave it in for 1 hour.
  5. Rinse out the dye completely with water.
The Indian gooseberry, or amla, is an important medicinal food used in many of these hair remedies.

The Indian gooseberry, or amla, is an important medicinal food used in many of these hair remedies.

Alternative: Indian Gooseberry and Henna Pack

This hair pack is one of the most effective home remedies for grey hair, and it's perfect if you don't have all of the ingredients for the recipe above. This pack dyes hair and leaves it soft, silky, and shiny.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh henna paste
  • 3 tablespoons Indian gooseberry powder (Phyllanthus emblica; also known as amla)
  • 1 tablespoon coffee powder
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Prepare a fresh henna paste and add the gooseberry and coffee powder.
  2. Mix until you have a uniform paste. Add water if necessary.
  3. Apply it evenly throughout your hair. A shower cap can be helpful to prevent the dye from dripping. Let it remain for 2 hours.
  4. Wash out the henna completely with a mild soap or shampoo.

Another Alternative: Henna and Indigo

When applied over henna-treated hair, the indigo powder gives a lush black color. It gives different shades of brown when both are together used in different proportions.

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams henna powder
  • 1 tablespoon coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Black tea water
  • 100 grams pure, natural and organic indigo powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions:

  1. Prepare the paste of henna powder with coffee, yogurt, and lemon juice in black tea water and leave it overnight.
  2. Apply the paste to clean, product-free hair. Let it sit for 2 hours, then wash without shampoo and let it dry.
  3. Prepare the paste of indigo powder in warm water with salt and cornstarch.
  4. Apply on henna-treated hair and leave for 2 hours to get a rich black color.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with water.
This earth wash grey hair remedy uses ingredients right out of your backyard.

This earth wash grey hair remedy uses ingredients right out of your backyard.

7. Earth Wash Remedy

This natural remedy requires nothing but the earth from outside. It slows the greying process, has no side effects, and is also good for combating headaches and sleeplessness.

Ingredients:

  • Earth dug from deep within the garden or field
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Add some water to your earth to make a solution.
  2. Filter the solution through a sieve, cheesecloth, or coffee filter. Wash your hair with the extract.
  3. Use the remedy once a week for soft, strong, and black hair.
Henna and Indian gooseberry grey hair remedy.

Henna and Indian gooseberry grey hair remedy.

8. Henna, Shikakai, and Soap Nut Remedy

This is another natural herbal henna dye. It's best to use an iron bowl while mixing these ingredients, as the iron oxidizes the contents and makes the dye darker.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup henna
  • 2 tablespoons Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica; also known as amla)
  • 1 tablespoon shikakai (Acacia concinna)
  • 1 tablespoon soap nut (Sapindus mukorossi; also known as reetha powder)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons curd
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Vinegar

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in an iron bowl. Mix until it forms a paste, and leave it in the bowl overnight.
  2. Apply the paste to hair in the morning. Let it sit for 2 hours.
  3. Thoroughly rinse out the hair.

Alternative: Shikakai and Indian Gooseberry Rinse Remedy

If you do not have all of the ingredients for the recipe above, try this alternative. This remedy makes the hair shiny and soft and is best applied in the summer. It slows the process of hair whitening.

Ingredients:

  • 25 grams Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica; also known as amla)
  • 25 grams shikakai (Acacia concinna)
  • 500 grams vinegar
  • Coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the Indian gooseberry, shikakai, and vinegar to form a paste, and let it sit overnight. If the herbs are not powdered, break them into small pieces and soak them in the vinegar overnight. Mash the contents in the morning to form a paste.
  2. Massage the mixture onto your scalp and throughout your hair. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Wash out the rinse, then apply the coconut oil to dry hair. With repeated applications, your hair will become strong and black.
Sesame seeds are full of nutrients necessary for melanin and keratin production.

Sesame seeds are full of nutrients necessary for melanin and keratin production.

9. Sesame Seed Remedy

If available, choose black sesame seeds for these remedies. Because they have not been hulled, they retain more nutrients than white sesame seeds. However, both are rich in trace minerals and vitamin B. This remedy will reduce hair loss and turn white hair black.

Ingredients:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Water

Directions:

  1. Soak the sesame seeds in water to make them soft.
  2. Use a food processor to mash the sesame seeds into a paste. You can also do this with a mortar and pestle, but the food processor will be much easier.
  3. Apply the resulting paste to the scalp and throughout the hair with gentle massaging movements.
The oil from dwarf morning glory (Evolvulus alsinoides) can be used to stimulate hair growth.

The oil from dwarf morning glory (Evolvulus alsinoides) can be used to stimulate hair growth.

Other Sesame Oil and Shankhpushpi Oil Remedies

Both sesame and shankhapushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis; also known as English speed wheel) are excellent for hair. The shankhapushpi plant has white or light-blue flowers and is found 1800 meters above sea level. It is used to cure thyroid problems, epilepsy, and coughs, and it is said to improve memory.

The regular massage of either sesame or shankhapushpi oil helps turn white hair black by stimulating melanin and keratin production. Here are a few other ways of using these plants besides the sesame seed recipe above:

  1. Boil the roots and leaves of sesame plant and wash the hair with the extract to turn white hair black.
  2. Another option is to buy the readily available black sesame oil. Boil it, and, when it returns to a temperature that is warm but not hot, massage it throughout your hair to slow premature greying. This will also keep the hair soft, black, and dense.
  3. Prepare shankhapushpi oil in the same way (by boiling it and allowing it to cool to a comfortable temperature). You can also use oil from the dwarf