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How to Cover Grey Hair Naturally

Updated on August 20, 2013

Color those Stubborn Greys with Natural Remedies!

Throughout centuries, women have been using natural remedies to cover or blend grey hair. Natural remedies continue to be popular because they do not contain toxic ingredients, commonly found in most commercial hair dyes. However, grey hair is coarse and can be difficult to dye. Because of the low porosity of grey hair, many women experiment with different natural remedies until they find the one that suits their hair. Popular remedies include using tea, coffee, turmeric, cocoa, cassia obovata, and henna.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Two Cups of Tea by Jomphong
Two Cups of Tea by Jomphong

Color Grey Hair With Tea

Dying grey hair with tea is a popular remedy because it is inexpensive and relatively easy. You will need: tea bags (chamomile for blond hair; hibiscus for red; and black for brunette or black hair), a pot to boil water, a hair clip, and a spray bottle. You may also need some old towels or newspaper in case any tea spills. Black tea, in particular, may stain counter-tops, floors, clothing, etc...

Directions:

1. Boil one cup of water to 3 tea bags. If you have long hair, you may need to double this recipe.

2. Allow tea to steep 24 hours. After 24 hours have passed, strain tea and pour liquid into a spray bottle.

3. Shampoo hair; squeeze excess water out of hair. Bring the spray bottle into the shower, and saturate hair with the tea mixture. Use a hair clip to pile hair on top of head, but do not use a towel (because a towel will absorb the tea). Leave mixture on hair for one hour.

4. Rinse hair with cold water; do not shampoo. This hair treatment can be repeated until desired shade is achieved.

Coffee Beans in Spoon by adamr
Coffee Beans in Spoon by adamr

Color Grey Hair with Coffee

Coffee is another popular natural dye because it smells good and is affordable to use. You will need dark coffee, a coffee maker, a plastic bowl, and apple cider vinegar. Coffee, like tea, has staining power, so be sure to have some old towels handy.

Directions:

1. Brew one gallon of strong coffee. Allow coffee to cool completely.

2. Wash hair. Pour coffee into a plastic bowl; add 2 or 3 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. Mix well.

3. Rinse hair with coffee 15 or more times. Rinse until hair feels saturated with mixture. Use a hair clip to secure your wet hair; do not use a towel or it will absorb the coffee.

4. Leave this mixture on your hair at least 15 minutes. Rinse hair with cool water. This process can be repeated until desired shade is achieved.

Recommended Organic Tea and Coffee Blends

Organic tea and organic coffee are best to color hair with because they are less processed.

Color Grey Hair with Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular hair dye for blonds.

Directions:

1. Boil one cup of water; add one tablespoon of turmeric. Allow mixture to cool.

2. Saturate hair with dye. Leave dye on hair for 10-15 minutes.

3. Shampoo hair.

Caution: it is important to watch hair during the turmeric dye process because if the dye is left on too long, the hair can turn an unnatural shade of yellow.

Below, Metta88 shares her results with turmeric dye in her youtube video.

Color Grey Hair with Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Cocoa is an excellent gray hair remedy for brunettes because it serves two purposes: a temporary hair dye and a dry shampoo. As a dry shampoo, cocoa can be rubbed over gray hairs to blend them into the rest of the hair. In addition, cocoa absorbs excess oils on the roots and makes the hair appear full and clean. (And it smells nice!)

To use cocoa as a hair dye, you will need a shampoo bottle filled halfway with shampoo. Fill the other half of the bottle with cocoa. Shake the bottle well to mix ingredients. Use this shampoo on your hair in the shower. The cocoa will tint the hair a chocolate brown color.

Below, a young lady explains how she uses cocoa powder on her hair.

Color Grey Hair with Cassia Obovata

Cassia Obovata is a popular plant dye. It releases a golden or yellow dye and is great for blond or strawberry-blond hair. Cassia is commonly purchased in whole food stores and on the internet; it is often called "neutral henna."

When purchasing cassia, it is best to buy it in a powder form, as opposed to a premixed liquid. Liquid dyes may contain harmful chemicals. After purchasing cassia, follow the instructions carefully on the box.

Fashion Lady with Flying Hair by sattva
Fashion Lady with Flying Hair by sattva

Color Grey Hair with Henna

Henna is an extremely popular plant dye. Henna is easily accessible to purchase, and henna delivers excellent results. True henna will dye gray hairs red. However, many companies sell premixed powder hennas that are mixed with other herbs and are available in a variety of shades. Henna powder will come with specific instructions to give you the results that you desire.

Typically, henna is mixed with an acidic liquid, such as lemon juice, or warm water. The mixture will need to sit for a specified amount of time. Once the mixture has set, you will apply it to your hair (mixture will be very thick). You will leave the mixture on your hair for a specified amount of time and then rinse and shampoo as usual.

Review of Colora Henna Powder - Light Brown - My Shade!

I have been using this particular shade of henna for three years, and I love it. I am allergic to PPD in commercial hair dye, and henna provides the results that I need. My natural hair color is ash brown (now with premature gray), and I chose the light brown henna because I want my greys to look like highlights.

My hair looks full and feels silky after using henna. I recommend it to anyone, grey or not.

Colora Light Brown Henna Powder 16 oz FS0205
Colora Light Brown Henna Powder 16 oz FS0205

This product works wonders for my grays!

 

More Colora Henna Powder Shades

"Fresh Spinach Leaves Rosette Isolated On White Background" by smarnad
"Fresh Spinach Leaves Rosette Isolated On White Background" by smarnad

Grey Hair and Your Diet

Does poor nutrition cause gray hair? Some say yes. A diet low in B vitamins and iron has been linked to gray hair. In addition, other factors such as cigarette smoking or free radical damage may contribute to premature graying.

In order to reverse the graying process, the individual must consume foods that contain B vitamins, copper, and selenium. In addition, foods with antioxidants will help destroy free radicals. Also, regular exercise will help improve circulation throughout the entire body, including the scalp.

For more information, please read Nutrition and Grey Hair

More Info on Nutrition and Grey Hair

Natural Remedies for Reversing Gray Hair: Nutrition and Herbs for Anti-aging and Optimum Health
Natural Remedies for Reversing Gray Hair: Nutrition and Herbs for Anti-aging and Optimum Health

Excellent choice! This book explores the relationship between diet and grey hair.

 

What's Your Favorite Natural Remedy for Grey Hair?

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    • profile image

      Claudia 2 years ago

      You have to be careful with henna. Not all colors of henna are natural. They add chemicals to make the different shades. Check ingredients before purchasing. :)

    • EzLoanLookUp LM profile image

      EzLoanLookUp LM 4 years ago

      Awesome lens! You are solving a problem so many people face everyday!

    • socialcx1 profile image

      socialcx1 4 years ago

      My wife enjoyed your lens, thanks

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      Exactly! Thank you for visiting.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      Great info and this makes great sense. Coffee and tea will stain your teeth, so why not stain your hair with them.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Good information and tips for not using chemicals on your hair.

    • profile image

      adiehltwin 4 years ago

      I look forward to trying some of these. Especially the cocoa!

    • trying2Bhealthy profile image

      trying2Bhealthy 4 years ago

      Wow. A lot of new information I had never heard of before. Great lens.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      That is one way of getting rid of grey hair!

    • Digory LM profile image

      Digory LM 4 years ago

      I'm glad to announce all my grey hair is gone - I shaved it all off!

    • lisln profile image

      LorLinda 4 years ago from Denver Colorado

      Very interesting I am pinning this one :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Really enjoyed this lens and thanks for all the tips and the videos. Featured this on Health Matters. Good work. :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 4 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      some useful info on grey hair problem. thanks for the tips

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      These tips are absolutely great! Though I don't have any problem with grey hair since I have black hair and it is natural :)

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @ConvenientCalendar: Thank you so much for visiting.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @goldenrulecomics: Thank you. Everyone has to experiment before finding the right natural dye.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      This is very nicely done with a lot of information. I'm tempted to try a variety of the methods!

    • profile image

      ConvenientCalendar 4 years ago

      Great lens! Great information!

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @michaelchristine: The coffee will turn the grey hairs brown.

    • profile image

      michaelchristine 4 years ago

      my friends got grey hair, will the coffee make it brown or black? he's super cheap I'm going to ask him to try it

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @mary-beth lm: You're welcome. Let me know which remedies you like.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      Thank you for commenting.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 4 years ago

      I'll have to let some of friends know about this! They wouldn't work on my hair since it's blonde - but I definitely like these ideas.

    • mary-beth lm profile image

      mary-beth lm 4 years ago

      This article is great, I want to try some of these ideas, thanks so much!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      Using coffee and cocoa to color the hair seems interesting :)

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @lionmom100: Thanks for commenting. I love the smell of coffee too.

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      I don't. My grey hair is a nice color of grey, so I leave it as is. When I was younger I used enna to make it auburn though.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @hmommers: I think it would be strawberry-blond. But what I would do is collect the loose hairs from your hairbrush, and use those hairs to experiment on. I would mix the two teas and put the test hair in the mixture and wait and see what color it turns.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: Thank you for commenting.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @Elsie Hagley: Thank you for commenting.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @hovirag: I love the smell of cocoa. Let me know if it works for you!

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @hovirag: I love the smell of cocoa. Let me know if it works for you!

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @ItayaLightbourne: Thanks for commenting. The website mehandi.com tells you everything you need to know about coloring hair with henna. Also, the website http://www.rubber-ducky.com/ has a color chart that tells you what color your grays will turn with a specific shade of henna.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @Girlwiththorns: I started graying prematurely too (thanks to my dad).

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @Rhonda Lytle: Thanks for commenting! Let me know what works for you.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @CraftyStaci: Thank you for your comment. I am glad that there are natural remedies out there that work.

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @DebW07: Thank you for your comment. Let me know if you like using cocoa powder!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      PS the coffee would smell really nice.

    • profile image

      hmommers 4 years ago

      I used chamomille when I was young but thought the color was very unnatural. Do you have any idea what will happen if I mix it with hibiscus?

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Nice to see options for natural remedies to cover grey hair, but I have been grey for good 30 years, so I will resist the temptation to do this.

      Thanks for a great article.

    • hovirag profile image

      hovirag 4 years ago

      Wow, I haven't known about most of them!!! I want to try cocoa - it sounds fascinating and can't wait to see the results :)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I thought henna would turn predominantly gray hair pink. Maybe I need to research this further. Great options for natural hair dying. :)

    • Girlwiththorns profile image

      Girlwiththorns 4 years ago

      My hair has been graying since the age of 18 - genetic predisposition I think. I've used henna for ages but never tried any of these others. Look forward to experimenting!

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Sweet. I'm sick of dyes that damage my hair. Thanks bunches for some realistic, natural alternatives.

    • CraftyStaci profile image

      CraftyStaci 4 years ago

      I didn't realize there were so many options for covering the grey naturally. Great info!

    • profile image

      DebW07 4 years ago

      I've never heard of these natural hair dye remedies, they are all very interesting. I like the idea of using cocoa powder. Good advice!

    • shana273 profile image
      Author

      shana273 4 years ago

      @cocomoonbeams: You're welcome. I really like henna the best for grey coverage. Thank you for the comment.

    • cocomoonbeams profile image

      cocomoonbeams 4 years ago

      I hate dying my hair, but I hate all the grays that have been popping up. Never thought about natural hair coloring... thanks for the info!