How to Cover Grey Hair - 10 Natural Gray Hair Remedies
Use natural methods to cover those grey hairs
I've researched and tried many grey hair home remedies since I found my first grey hair at 17. I love natural home remedies, and there are many easy and effective ones for grey hair.
On this page, I'll introduce you to my favourite 10 ways to cover grey hair naturally. Most of the methods use items you probably have at home or in the garden, and the rest are available online at a low price.
No need to start an expensive monthly visit to the hair salon to cover up those first greys!
I've tried most of these remedies myself, and find that they're pretty effective in covering, or at least fading grey hairs. Under each one, I've included the pros and cons so you can choose the best natural grey hair remedy for your situation.
Photo credit: Emma P. on morgueFile
Inspiring books about going grey
Grey hair - a debate
How do you feel about grey hair?
1. Coffee and tea
Here's how I've used coffee to darken my grey hairs:
- 2 cups of natural conditioner
- 2 tbs of ground coffee
- 1 cup of cold brewed coffee
Mix all ingredients, massage through your hair using fingers or a comb. Leave in for around an hour before rinsing.
To dye your hair with tea, follow these simple instructions:
Make some strong black tea, and leave to infuse until very dark. Strain out the leaves, or remove the teabag and let cool.
Use the cooled tea as a hair rinse after shampooing.
- Nearly everyone has these ingredients at home, making it a cheap and easy method
- Your hair will smell great
- I found this treatment gave me very soft and shiny hair
- While there was a significant darkening of the grey hairs, I wouldn't say this method is the most effective
2. Black pepper
Those little peppercorns you've got on your spice rack are surprisngly effective at covering grey hairs.
To make a black pepper cream to cover your grey hairs, follow these steps:
- Grind 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns into a fine powder. I use my mortar and pestle, but any coffee or spice grinder will work.
- Mix the pepper powder into one cup of plain yogurt.
- Apply this cream to your hair, combing through to coat all the hairs.
- Leave on for at least 45 minutes, before rinsing out
- Repeat the treatment 2-3 times a week
Please be extra careful when using the treatment, as the pepper paste can irritate your skin or eyes if it comes in contact with them.
- This is one of the most effective natural grey hair treatments I tried out
- It really does cover and darken grey hairs
- It also gives you really soft and shiny hair
- Black pepper is affordable and easy to find
- It can be annoying having to apply the treatment several times a week and wait to rinse it out
- Black pepper can be irritating to some people and cause sneezing
Here in France, I'm lucky enough to be able to buy homeopathic medicines easily at any pharmacy. My Doctor prescribes them and the costs are reimbursed.
However, many countries around the world have only just started to discover how effective homeopathic remedies can be. There's quite a lot of research showing that they are safe and just as healing as conventional medicines. I'm a huge fan of homeopathy so it's little wonder I've started using the following medicines to reduce my grey hairs.
Acid phos 30
The above two medicines are recommended for patients suffering from premature grey hair. They are to be taken on alternate days one each. That is, on the first day take acid phos, on the second day take lycopodium, and on the third day acid phos again. My doctor suggests taking the treatment for around 3 months.
Please check with your own homeopathy practitioner for a personalised treatment - these therapies are quite effective but are tailored to a person's age, weight, lifestyle and many more factors.
- Homeopathy is safe for everyone, and it's impossible to overdose
- The treatment targets the root cause of premature grey hairs, rather than just the symptoms
- You might notice positive improvement of other areas of your health, as well as reduced greys. I slept better and felt more energetic while using this remedy
- Homeopathic medicines are not easily available everywhere
- Can be a bit costly (although you only need a tiny bit, so each medicine lasts a long time
Homeopathy available online
The two medicines I've used for grey hair are acid phos and lycopodium. The second is easily available on Amazon ( buy in bulk to save money), while the first doesn't seem to be.
You can try to find acid phos on other websites, or ask your pharmacist to order it in, depending on what country you're in.
4. Blackstrap molasses
This is one ingredient that you don't want to rinse or cover your hair with. Instead, use blackstrap molasses in your daily cooking or take a spoonful each morning.
Premature grey hair is very often due to mineral deficiencies, especially copper and magnesium. Well, molasses is very rich in these two minerals, making it a great choice to reverse grey hair.
The wonderful thing about this natural grey hair treatment is that it tastes good and doesn't take any preparation.
Simply buy a jar of molasses and take a spoonful each day as is or in a cup of tea. You can also, of course use it in baking or cooking for some extra variety and fun.
- Molasses is easy to find and affordable
- It really does work
- Tastes great and can be used in baking to make this treatment even more fun
- If you're avoiding sugar, this is not the method for you
- Works well because it increases mineral levels, so if your greys are not the result of mineral deficiencies it might not work for you
Blackstrap molasses - why I buy organic
Living in a place where sugar cane is the most important crop, I've seen how conventional sugar cane - and molasses - is produced. The smell of the pesticides makes me cough and gives me a headache, so I only ever buy organic molasses.
If in doubt, buy the bigger bottle. Once you've used some for your daily grey hair treatment, you can use up the rest in cookies, cakes, drinks and sauces. Plus, molasses has many health benefits (for example, did you know it helps stop acid reflux?)
5. Sage and rosemary infusion
Sage and rosemary have been used for centuries to nourish and clean hair. They smell great, are easy to grow and very easy to find.
You can use either fresh or dried herbs, but make sure to use the best quality herbs you can find.
There are many ways to make this herbal infusion, but this is how I make it:
For 1 litre of water, use a large handful of dried and chopped herbs (half sage, half rosemary or more of the one you prefer). For fresh herbs, use a normal handful.
Either boil the water, pour over the herbs and leave covered to infuse...or add the herbs to room temperature water and leave out in the sun for a few hours. The water will take on a dark green to grey colour, and you will know it is ready.
Use the infusion at room temperature as an after shampoo rinse.
- This treatment smells amazing
- Can be used as a herbal tea as well as hair rinse
- Super easy to make
- Darkens greys, rather than completely covering them
Buy quality dried herbs online
You can use fresh herbs from the market or your garden for this hair rinse. I prefer to use dried, as I can use less while getting a more concentrated infusion. It also lasts ages and I use these herbs to make herbal tea when I have a sore throat.
6. Potato peels
I love discovering new uses for food scraps and things that will otherwise be thrown away. Potato peels are actually very useful, and many people swear by them to cover grey hair.
You can restore your natural hair colour by peeling 2 large potatoes and boiling the skins in 3/4 cup water. Make sure to keep the lid on tightly so no steam (with all the potato peels' goodness) escapes.
Use the cooled liquid as a hair rinse every time you wash your hair.
- You get to use up something that would otherwise be thrown away
- How cool would it be to tell your friends you covered grey hair with potato peels?!
- The method is very easy and straightforward
- The effects are not as strong as henna or hair dye
Here are some more great ideas to use up potato peels. Open the link in a new tab to enjoy later.
Henna is a plant that is dried and powdered to make a permanent hair dye. It's a completely natural way to colour your hair and cover greys, and the bonus is your hair becomes very soft and strong.
I used to think that henna was only for those that wanted red hair, but you can find many brands now that are a mix of henna and indigo - they range from blonde to jet black so everyone can use them.
- Completely covers grey hair
- Makes hair shiny, soft and manageable
- Comes in many different colours
- Can be messy and time consuming
- Can take a bit of experimenting to find the right colour for you
Using henna to cover grey hair
8. Avocado seed shampoo
When I first found out that I could make a frugal and easy shampoo at home using avocado seeds, I was shocked. But after I made it and discovered how great it was for covering grey hair, I was really excited.
This shampoo has been traditionally used in parts of South America, and it is great at softening, cleaning and covering grey hairs. Here's how I make it:
- Take an avocado seed, and grate it into a saucepan using a vegetable grater or the grater attachment of a food processor. Dry it first to prevent slipping.
- Add a couple of cups of water to the grated seed, and bring to a simmer.
- Let simmer about 20 minutes. The water will become pink.
- Let cool, strain the liquid into a bottle and mix in about a teaspoon of natural shampoo.
- Shake well, and enjoy your home-made shampoo!
- Darkens grey hairs pretty effectively
- Soften hair and makes it shiny
- Uses up something that would otherwise be thrown away
- Takes a bit of effort to prepare
- Doesn't last long once made, needs to be refrigerated
Psssst, I've written more about avocado seed uses here. Open up the article in another tab to read later, you won't regret it.
20 Ways to Use Avocado Seeds
You won't believe the amazing ways that avocado seeds can be used. You can create jewellery, dye fabric and make shampoo using avocado pits, as well as many...
9. Natural hair dye
The majority of natural grey hair remedies will darken greys pretty well for most people. But there are some people who don't see effects fast enough, well enough or at all. Everybody is different.
If you've run out of patience for making infusions and hair rinses that aren't guaranteed to cover your greys, natural hair dye is the answer. It will cover every single grey, and you can choose the precise end colour you want.
- This is the most effective natural remedy, as it completely covers greys almost instantly.
- You can choose the colour of your hair, unlike other natural methods.
- Once it's done, you don't have to continue treatment every day. Just repeat the process in a few weeks once the colour has faded.
- Not as cheap as some natural remedies.
- Some people might find it tricky to apply to their own hair.
The best natural hair dye on the market
Ok, this is the only natural hair dye I would recommend. The ingredients list is a bit of a tongue twister but all those crazy sounding ingredients are vegetable based and totally safe.
This hair colour contains no parabens or ammonia and is not tested on animals. The packaging is biodegradable, which I love and the company makes an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible.
But, most importantly this product is great! It completely covers grey hair, and there are dozens of very nice looking shades to look for. I used to get this at a little health food shop many years ago and am happy to see that this brand has become more popular and is now available all around the world.
10. Curry leaves
A common plant that is often overlooked yet has great health properties. Infuse a small handful of curry leaves in a litre of water, let cool and rinse your hair with the liquid.
Be prepared that the smell is quite strong!
- Once you've bought curry leaves, you can use them in many delicious recipes
- A cheap and easy method
- The effects are gentle, I've found. I noticed a slight fading of greys, but not anything significant.
- It's annoying to have to use the method at every single rinse
Buy fresh curry leaves
Curry leaves grow best in hot, humid places so you might not be able to find any locally. Don't despair, this incredibly useful and fragrant leaf can be bought online. You can find it dried but I think fresh is much better.
If you think you won't use up the leaves quickly, just freeze them in a plastic bag. They'll last for months and can go straight from the freezer to the saucepan.