15 Home Remedies for Grey Hair (and Natural Hair Colours) - hair buddha

15 Home Remedies for Grey Hair (and Natural Hair Colours)

 

home remedies for grey hair

Grey hair is a sign of wisdom and maturity. But the trouble is if greying happens early in life.

While conventional hair dyes can cover the grey hair, they contain many harmful chemicals — which can cause skin and eye irritation, damage hair follicles and even adversely affect your health.

Fortunately, nature provides us with simple and safe natural remedies that have been used since ancient times.

Looking young and stylish is not a new thing. Even in olden times, people did care about their appearance. So they took help of various plants and cleverly found ways to keep their hair healthy and vibrant looking.

You will be surprised how some common ingredients can work to reduce or even reverse the growth of grey hair. Besides, there are natural hair dyes to tint your grey strands and create beautiful shades of auburn, red, mahogany, black and blonde.

I have written about the causes of grey hair. Research indicates that genetics plays a vital role in greying of hair. But so does stress, poor nutrition and vitamin deficiencies. Even if you can’t change your genes, you can postpone greying by eating the right foods and looking after yourself.

In this article we will look at:

  • Home remedies to reverse grey hair
  • Supplements to reduce the growth of grey hair
  • Natural hair dyes and tints

15 Home Remedies for Grey Hair

1. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is fantastic to halt the growth of grey hair. I have read on multiple forums, where users have reported that it helped reverse grey hair and brought back their natural colour.

Blackstrap molasses is a thick dark coloured liquid that is obtained during the sugar making process. It is what is left over after the sugar crystals have been taken out.

But this black liquid is abundant in minerals such as iron, manganese, selenium and copper – the first three minerals help to preserve your natural hair colour, while copper helps with the production of hair pigments. It also contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium, which is essential for stronger and healthier hair growth.

Blackstrap molasses has several health benefits too. It helps with arthritis, improves bone health, stabilises blood sugar levels, combat stress and helps you get clear and glowing skin.

How to use: Eat a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses every alternate day for at least a few months to see positive results. When buying blackstrap molasses buy one that comes from sugar cane juice (not beet sugar).

2. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)Home Remedies for Grey Hair

Also called as nectar for hair, amla is a great Indian remedy to reverse grey hair. It is one of the richest sources of vitamin C and contains a range of other powerful antioxidants that help to rejuvenate your hair, and make it darker, thicker and fuller looking. Ayurvedically speaking, amla helps to pacify pitta dosha (or excess body heat), which is a big factor for causing early greying.

How to use:

  • You can eat fresh amla to reverse grey hair, and it’s also good for your skin and overall health.
  • Dried amla powder is equally beneficial and can be consumed with water or added to the smoothies or soups.
  • Massaging your hair with homemade amla oil moisturises and nourishes your scalp and reduces the growth of grey hair.
  • You can also rinse your hair with amla water. It will not only improve the texture and condition of your hair, in a few months you will notice a remarkable decrease in grey hair.

You may also enjoy: How to Use Amla for Thicker, Fuller Hair (and Darken Greys)

4. Eat foods rich in Catalase – a Potent Antioxidant  EnzymeHome Remedies for Grey Hair

Earlier it was thought that hair turns grey due to the loss of hair colouring pigments. However, new research suggests that greying happens due to the build-up of hydrogen peroxide molecules, which literally bleaches the hair inside out.

Hydrogen peroxide is formed in our bodies as a part of regular metabolism. But it gets quickly broken down into harmless oxygen and water molecules. And what breaks it down — a powerful antioxidant enzyme called catalase.

Catalase is your first line of defence from hydrogen peroxide. But as we age, our bodies produce less catalase. Even factors such as stress and poor diet can cause catalase levels to go down. With catalase levels going down, the hydrogen peroxide levels go up. And our hair gets exposed to harmful molecules, which turn it white.

Foods rich in Catalase:

The good news is that several foods contain high levels of catalase. And eating them regularly can help reverse grey hair. Catalase rich foods include: almond, garlic, onion, leek, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cucumber, collard, turnip greens, carrot, radish, potato, sweet potato, banana and pineapple.

4. Onion

You don’t have to eat raw onions, if you can that’s fine, you can use onion in your cooking. Onions are rich in antioxidant enzyme catalase, which we just saw. So it helps preserve our natural hair colour. Onions are also rich in sulphur compounds, and that is what gives onion its strong, pungent smell and flavour. For your hair, sulphur helps in the creation of glutathione, another important antioxidant enzyme that works to reduce the build-up of hydrogen peroxide — which is responsible for turning hair white.

You can include onion in your diet. But, you can also apply onion juice on your scalp. In fact, onion juice hair mask has been used since ancient time to remedy grey hair. It even helps with hair loss and makes your hair grow faster, healthier and shinier.

How to use:

  1. Just blend a small onion in a blender and strain the juice with a sieve or muslin cloth. Mix 2 tablespoons onion juice with 1 teaspoon honey. Apply this mixture to your scalp and let it sit for about 30 minutes, then wash as usual. Repeat twice a week.
  2. You can also mix onion juice with equal amounts of coconut oil and follow above instructions.

You may also like: How to Use Onion Juice to Stop Hair Loss

5. Wheatgrass 

Wheatgrass is regarded as a superfood. And that’s because of its high content of vitamin A, C and E as well as chlorophyll and flavonoids. All of these work as natural antioxidants and keep grey hair away. Besides, the amazing chlorophyll in wheatgrass increases oxygen-carrying cells in the blood, reduce fatigue, boost immune function and promote overall well-being and health.

How to use: You can either grow your own wheatgrass from wheat and juice it or buy ready-made wheatgrass powder and have it with water, or add it to your smoothie or soups.

6. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil can do wonders for hair – from conditioning to hair growth to dandruff – it can tackle most of your hair issues. Coconut oil is also quite effective at keeping grey hair at bay.

How does coconut oil work on grey hair? Coconut oil is cooling in nature and helps to pacify pitta dosha, one of the causes of greying in ayurvedic terms. Moreover, coconut is rich micronutrients such as iron, selenium and copper— all of these have a direct or indirect role in maintaining our natural hair colour.

How to use:

7. Curry Leaves

Curry leaves is an age-old remedy for grey hair. Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who eat these dark green aromatic leaves daily or apply its oil do not get grey hair early.

How does curry leaves help? Well, by boosting the levels of antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione — both help to get rid of hydrogen peroxide that turns hair white. Plus, curry leaves also contain a range of phytochemicals that might play an important role in maintaining our natural hair colour. 

How to use:

  1. Curry leaves together with coconut oil works as a great hair tonic. Here’s how to make curry leaves hair oil to reduce greying.
  2. You can also include fresh or dried curry leaves in your diet. Eating curry leaves also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and is good for eyesight.

8. Bhringrajbhringraj for grey hair

Bhringraj or Eclipta Alba is another fantastic ayurvedic herb for premature greying of hair. In Indian tradition, it is considered as the “king of herbs” because of its ability to rejuvenate and nourish hair.

Bhringraj contains two flavonoid compounds: apigenin and luteolin. They impart it dyeing property. If you were to crush fresh leaves of bhringraj, your hands will turn blackish. It will not have such a dramatic effect on the hair, but if you were to use bhringraj with henna, it will give a darkish tint to hair. Also, putting bhringraj oil will darken your hair over time.

How to use:

  • You can use bhringraj in a hair mask. Mix 1 teaspoon each of bhringraj powder, fenugreek powder and hibiscus powder with coconut milk or yogurt as the base of the mask. Let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, then wash as usual.
  • Make bhringraj hair oil: Mix 1 teaspoon bhringraj powder with 2 tablespoons coconut oil, warm slightly in a pan and apply to your scalp and hair. Let it sit for an hour and wash off.
  • You can also add bhringraj powder to henna paste to dye your hair.
  • Bhringraj is a great liver tonic, and a healthy liver equals healthy hair. You can take half teaspoon bhringraj powder with ghee or honey or drink it with warm water.

9. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a well-known rejuvenating and anti-ageing herb. It has been traditionally used to increase strength, energy and overall health.  

For your hair, particularly to reverse or prevent greying, ashwagandha works two ways. As you may know, stress is one of the contributors of early greying. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb, meaning it works to restore the balance of hormones, calm and strengthen the nerves and help the body handle stress better. So if your greying is stress or exhaustion related, ashwagandha can come to rescue. 

Also, ashwagandha helps stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair colour.

How to use:

Note: Do not take ashwagandha if you are pregnant or have hyperthyroidism. 

You may also like: 10 Amazing Hair and Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

10. Vitamin B12Vitamin B12 Grey Hair Remedy

If you see grey hair number increasing and you also feel tired all the time, along with shortness of breath, confusion and brain fog, a vitamin B12 deficiency may be the culprit.

Vitamin B12 is present in animal sources of food– meat, fish, eggs, milk and other dairy products. So if you are a vegan, you are likely to be deficient. Also, certain medicines or medical condition can affect the absorption of vitamin B12 (read here).

Hair greying due to B12 deficiency can be reversed by including B12 rich foods into your diet. If you are a vegan, you can boost B12 in the body by taking a B12 supplement.

Tip: Buy natural form of B12, also known as methylcobalamin, as it is easier to absorb and is generally better for your body.

Other beneficial Vitamins to Stop Greying:

Vitamin D

Zinc

Ghee

11. Black Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seeds are one of the top foods for hair in Traditional Chinese Medicine. And why not. Black sesame seeds are chock full of micronutrients such as iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and B vitamins. They are also a good source of healthy fats and amino acids. Eating sesame seeds is like eating a multivitamin pill and that too nature-derived vs synthetic derived. 

Along with nourishing the scalp and stimulating hair growth, black sesame seeds can promote melanocyte activity to produce melanin and bring back your natural hair colour.

They also have great anti-ageing benefits and help to make your skin soft and supple, improve bone health, relieve arthritis pain, boost eye health and promote peaceful sleep.

How to use:

Eat a tablespoon of black sesame seeds 2 to 3 times a week. 

You may also like: Black Sesame Seeds: A Natural Remedy for Grey Hair

12.  Natural Hair Dye: Henna

Home Remedies for Grey Hair

If you are looking for a natural way to colour your hair, henna is your best bet. It contains lovely red-orange dye molecules. After you apply it on your hair, the colour looks brighter and little brassy at first. Give it 2-3 days for it to get darker and richer.

And the colour will intensify every time you reapply, which you can do every 3 to 4 week. The shade that you can expect is reddish to auburn.

But you can play with henna and get beautiful shades for red, brown, mahogany and black. And you can achieve that by mixing other herbs such as coffee, indigo, clove, hibiscus, beetroot, bhringraj, amla etc.

If you have never used henna, here’s a step by step guide on using henna.

13. Indigo for Brown to Black Colour

Henna gives hair reddish, auburn colour, but if you want blackish, brownish shade, use it along with a blue dye called indigo. It is obtained from Indigofera tinctoria leaves and was used to colour fabrics such as cotton and silk in olden times.

The thing with indigo is that you need to use it along with henna. It will not work without henna. 

How to use:

  • For blackish colour, first henna dye your hair. Next mix indigo powder with some warm water and a pinch of salt, let it sit for 15-20 minutes for the dye to release. Then apply on your hair and let it sit for 1-2 hours before washing it off. This is a two-step process, takes a little while, but the outcome is superb.
  • There is a shortcut to get a brownish colour. First, prepare the henna and let it rest for a few hours. Next, prepare the indigo just 10-15 minutes before applying (see above). Mix the henna and indigo together and apply on your hair, leave it on for 2-3 hours and wash thoroughly.

You can buy indigo powder online or at a health store.

14. Rosemary to Tint Your Greys

Home Remedies for Grey Hair

Rosemary not just adds flavour to your dishes; this aromatic herb has been a European favourite to darken grey and also slow the appearance of grey hairs. Plus, if you have greying along with hair loss, then rosemary is a must-try herb for you. The stimulating properties of rosemary encourage new growth, while its high antioxidant content gets rid of free radicals that damage hair pigments.

Rosemary also revitalizes hair, removes product build-up to leave your hair shiny and soft. Plus, it is super-effective against dandruff, scalp irritation and itching.

How to use:

  • You can apply rosemary hair rinse to darken your hair. Add sage leaves for extra effect, here’s how to do it.
  • You can also apply rosemary-infused hair oil. To make this oil, take a glass jar, fill 1/3 of it with dried rosemary. Then fill it completely with extra virgin olive oil. Place the jar in a sunny location and let it steep for 3 weeks. Gently shake the jar every 4 days or so. Once the oil is done infusing, strain and store in a cool, dry place.

You may also like: Why Use Rosemary Oil for Hair Growth (and Reduce Hair Loss)

15. Cassia Dye for Blonde Hair

Also known as neutral henna, cassia is a lovely colouring option for those with blonde hair. It boosts blonde colours and can slightly tint greys. Cassia also works as a conditioner. It adds strength, shine and definition to your hair.

One disadvantage of using cassia is that it may or may not bring colour change for all grey hair. But with a slight tweak, you can get beautiful strawberry blonde tint. 

How to Use Cassia:

  • Condition your blonde hair: Mix cassia obovata powder with water to form a smooth paste. You can replace water with chamomile tea for added moisture and nourishment. To use, apply the paste on your scalp and hair and let it sit for 30 minutes. Wash it out and your hair will be healthy and fuller-looking. 
  • Get strawberry blonde highlights: Combine 4 tablespoons of cassia obovata powder and 1 tablespoon henna powder with enough water to make a smooth paste. You can also add a teaspoon of vinegar or lime juice for extra shine. Add a tablespoon of olive oil or almond oil if your hair is on the dry side. To use, apply the paste on your scalp and hair and let it sit for an hour. Wash it out for beautiful strawberry blonde highlights. 

Useful Tips to Prevent Grey Hair

  • Increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables — they are high in antioxidants and help prevent grey hair.
  • Reduce your intake of caffeine and junk food.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid washing your hair with hot water. Use lukewarm.
  • Stay away from harsh chemical and avoid treatments such as permanent straightening.
  • Cover your hair with a scarf or hat while going out in the hot sun.
  • Massage the scalp of hair with fingertips to increase blood flow to the hair follicles.
  • Wear shower caps when swimming in a chlorinated pool.

Word of Advice: Before taking any supplements internally, please consult your doctor or health practitioner, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication or have a medical condition.

 Have you tried any of the above remedies? How did it work? I would love to hear…let me know in the comment box below.

Leave a Comment:

48 comments
Karen says

Hi Minaz,

Your website is a treasure trove of information for healthy hair and I keep coming back to it, especially since I’ve started to use henna. I am a brunette and want to stay a brunette (without getting too dark) whilst covering the greys at the temples and increase shine. However, even a mix of more indigo than henna will leave a red tinge on my hair which I don’t like. To cancel the red out I was considering using amla oil and read all the recipes you suggest. However, I just saw your easy bhringraj oil recipe and wondered if I could follow the same principle for amla oil, i.e. just mix 1 tsp amla with 2 tbsp coconut oil and warm it.

Thank you for sharing all your hair knowledge and tips.

Karen

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Yung says

Black molasses, I’ve used for several years; along with other herbs, spices, minerals and a nuts, seeds and water; I have noticed, at age fifty-nine, the delay of white hairs growing in.

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    Minaz says

    That’s awesome. Thanks for letting me know.

    Reply
Pinki says

Hi Minaz,

I am big fan of your page.

I have been using henna to color my grey hair for last 4 years. Before that I used hair dye. For a few months I was fine then suddenly I had very bad allergic reaction and my doctor told me not to use any dye ever again. Since then I am using henna and I like it. The only problem is it takes so long to make it ready and the color is not really very dark.

I would like it to be black or a bit darker. I am wondering if indigo is safe to add in my henna. Will it cause any kind of reaction? What type of indigo should I look for at the Indian grocery store? Does it come in powder form only? Do you have a specific brand in mind?

Thank you.

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Mercy says

What about combining coconut milk, lemon juice and aloe vera? I am eager to know if this method would prevent my hair or delay my hair from greying. Thanks!

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    Minaz says

    Both coconut milk and aloe vera are good. Not sure if lemon juice helps prevent greying.

    Reply
Zulpha Esau says

Thank you so much, this was very insightful and inspiring..I tried writing everything down..lol..as I prefer natural products above others. Now just looking for wooden comb..but I will get one. Gosh I wish, I knew all this. Before hand. It is hard finding these products in South Africa. If you do you pay,such a lot of money. Thank you so much. Namaste.

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Grace Abisona says

thanks a lot I thought with these explanation I’m convince to believe that all your resersh are OK thank
s

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aamir says

Hi,My hair is getting thin day by day and hairfall issue as well.I’m using forest sentials shampoo not working,appying shampoo everyday ,is it good to use shampoo eeryday,suppos,if i use your shikhakai amla reetha shampoo,could i use it everyday.Please help me with something to thickenning my hair and making my hair more stronger.

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Salma says

Hi, is it safe to get enzymes Catalase supplements for reversing greys. If yes then would you recommend me website to buy

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Marek says

Hello,
Is it better to apply an onion juice or a coconut oil to restore gray hair to natural color. Which remedy is better?
Marek

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Tariq Hossenbux says

The only bad thing about the black strap molasses is that it’s very messy! I never knew the benefits that you write about black sesame seeds though. I keep a lot of different spices in my cupboard but so far this one has been uncommon. Shouldn’t be too hard to add this one and see if there really could be increased melanocyte activity. I wonder if sesame seed paste could do the sme thing too!

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    Minaz says

    The sesame paste will carry the same benefits.

    Reply
Collo collins says

Can i use this remedy for beards?

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    Minaz says

    Yes you can.

    Reply
Mathabo says

How can someone prevent gray hair?

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Sahil nerkar says

Can onion juice turn grey hair black

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    Minaz says

    Give it a try. I have seen it work for some people, especially the combination onion juice and honey.

    Reply
      Taran says

      Mam I am confused onion juice or coccunut oil ………or…..onion juice or honey….????which one …

      Reply
Nam says

I need to apply onion juice after or before shampooing for treating grey hair?

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    Minaz says

    Before shampooing.

    Reply
Usman Ch says

Hello, I tried your amla and onion remedy and got impressive results. Thanks, hair buddha for providing me these tips.

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Mayuri says

Been following you for quite a long time. Very informative content. Explained in easy manner. Never wanted to go for chemical hair color, found recipe for natural colouring here. Have tried with amazing results. Thanks a lot. Keep it up!! ☺

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    Minaz says

    Thanks for your lovely comment Mayuri, I am so glad you found your solution here.

    Reply
Shraddha shah says

Very informative.enjoyed knowledge shared.thax

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    Minaz says

    Thanks for your kind words Shraddha.

    Reply
OKELLO MARTIN says

where can iget these treatments

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MOONO URGENT says

Want more information on changing gray/white hair to black

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Mihika Warrier says

Hi Diya, Did you try to apply Indigo with Henna or separately? Kindly advise.
Thanks

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Vina says

Hi, I had maybe 4-10 gray hairs until April of this past year. I took some chinese herbs only 2 doses in April prescribed by a trained chinese acupuncturist in the US and I literally got sick from the herbs for 8 weeks-I could not sleep for 8 weeks and my mind was in a deep state of anxiety. I developed two areas of white hair on my temple regions about 20 white hairs on each side I just turned 33 so it was really early. I haven’t gotten new white hairs since then but what can I do to reverse it? It was obviously premature b/c it happened in just 8 weeks. I tried Gaia ashwaghanda but it made me have hot flashes and I had trouble sleeping from it

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jacqueline sindeband says

I appreciate all the advice helping to repair and aid hair growth.

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Chaitra says

Hey Minaz,

Is there any side effects in consuming Black Strap molasses and has have u seen any positive results after consuming?

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suvarnabhumi says

Can I use hair color while trying all these remedies

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    Minaz says

    Yes you can!

    Reply
Prunes Prunes says

Vitamin d foods and supplements…overdosing will cause loss of hair and other things..phyto estrogens and or testosterone deficiency., too much causes hair loss. Calcium rich foods also, 1941 patent

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Alexandra Cuthbert says

Premature Gray Hair is a common problem a lot of people are coping with. Premature Gray Hair Herbal Treatment can reduce or prevent the premature onset of gray hairs. Sage and Rosemary they are one of the best herbal remedies and Herbs for Premature Gray Hair combined with hair loss.

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Deepthi says

Very Interesting article. I am using the henna mask with both tea/coffee and is amazing, i would like to add indigo powder to the mix as well. Can you please mention quantity of indigo powder that needs to go in the henna mix, TIA

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    Minaz says

    Hi Deepthi, I am glad you found this article useful.
    You can add 25 to 40% indigo. Add indigo in the end, just 10 to 15 minutes before applying it. Activate indigo by mixing a pinch or two of salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then mix it with the rest of the henna and apply on your hair. Let me know how it works for you.

    Reply
      Divya says

      will i get medium to dark brown hair with this henna indigo combination 20 -40 % indigo with henna as i have white hair and want to make brown and not red.thanks minaz

      Reply
      Minaz says

      You won’t get it in one go you will have to repeat every week. Or you can do two step process: first apply henna, wash, then apply indigo.

      Reply
      Divya says

      Thanks will try

      Reply
Alice Neel says

Premature Gray Hair Symptoms depend on hair loss. Premature Gray Hair Herbal Treatment is effective, if you want to reverse your grey hair to natural hair colour and prevent cause.

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    Manzur says

    How to effectively prevent pre mature hair greying?

    Reply
RIYA says

hi..i am using khadi amla brahmi oil with coconut oil and vitamin e capsule ? will that work to reverse grey hair..i am in my early 20’s and i have already started spotting grey hair 🙁

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Labdhi Shah says

From my experience the best way to save hair from graying is to apply a mixture of lemon juice and coconut oil, but these home remedies look great and I’m pretty eager to try them out and see the result compared to my standard method.

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Sam says

I have heard it before as well that Amla and wheat grass can reverse grey hair. I will give it a try & report back. anyone else tried it?

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Darshan says

This is very interesting…

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Becky says

I am in my early 30s am tired of synthetic dyes, I have started loosing more hair since I started using them. I knew about heena but that is about. You have give lots of options will definitely try a few and see what works for me. Thanks for sharing

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