Hair dyes can be harmful.
Henna can be messy and time-consuming.
So what’s a grey hair person to do?
There is one quick fix which is not harmful, neither messy nor time-consuming.
And it will darken your greys.
It’s not going to happen overnight, but it won’t even take years. In the natural world, even quick fixes take a couple of months to work. Which is not a lot. And the bonus is stronger and shinier hair.
By using an amla hair rinse. In traditional Indian medicine, amla is considered as one of the best rejuvenating herbs. It’s excellent for preventing hair greying – in Ayurvedic terms, a classic sign of excess pitta dosha (excess body heat). Plus it contains tons of antioxidants which is great to neutralise free radicals – another cause of greying and hair loss.
Along with amla, I also add a few other herbs to make the rinse more potent that will not just help darken hair, but also improve hair growth and get rid of dandruff.
Black tea: It darkens hair, plus it offers amazing antioxidants which help prevent grey hair. Black tea contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that soothe irritated scalp condition and help with dandruff.
Henna: Henna is a fantastic natural alternative to synthetic hair dyes. It gives hair a warm reddish-brown colour. And when mixed with other herbs such as amla, coffee and clove, it can create a variety of beautiful shades. Henna is also hair conditioning; it coats the hair with a fine film and adds body, shine, and brilliant highlights.
Fenugreek: Fenugreek is hair softening and conditioning. The natural proteins and vitamins in the fenugreek provide nourishment to the hair roots and stimulate growth. Fenugreek also conditions hair, helps reduce dandruff, is also useful in hair loss and thinning.
To make hair darkening rinse you will need:
Dry scalp Tip: Those of you with dry scalp/hair, add a teaspoon of almond oil or olive oil to the strained liquid. And stir before use.
How to Use
Apply this rinse to freshly washed hair and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse lightly.
You can also leave the rinse on and let your hair dry naturally. Or you can alternate between leave on and rinse off. I have read that sun drying helps to set the colour, so you may want to give it a try.
I have done this colour treatment thrice, out of which two times I rinsed out and one time I left it on. I can already see a noticeable difference in my hair colour. (As you can see in the picture below.)
Note: I made the darkening rinse using all the herbs – amla, black tea, henna, fenugreek and clove. It gives a reddish tint to my hair.
If you plan to leave the rinse on, here are few things you must take care of: this hair rinse will stain your towel, so keep a separate one for drying your hair. Also, wear a dark/old top when drying your hair. Once it dries, it won’t stain. Although I haven’t tried it in the rain 🙂
The effect is gradual, and you probably won’t see any difference in the colour for first few applications. But the more you apply, the deeper the colour will become over time. Repeat 2 to 3 times a week to get desired shade and then you can reduce the frequency to say once a week to maintain. The good thing about this rinse is that you can apply it as often as you like without risking hair damage.
But before you get the darkening effect, I can assure you that your hair will feel and look great – it will have more body and bounce, look shiny, and feel silky smooth.
Grey Coverage: This rinse tints your hair and builds up gradually, so it will work best for people with less than 50% grey coverage. Having said that I would still encourage you to use it or at least give it a try even if you have more grey hair. And there are other herbs that you can incorporate into the rinse to get a darker effect. I have listed them below.
If you are up for some experimenting then below are few other herbs that you can use to get your desired colour. If you do not like the reddish tinge of henna, you can substitute it with black walnut-shell to get a darker shade. Also, many people use sage tea to cover their greys with great success. Play around with the ratios/amounts and see what works for you.
Here are a few ideas:
Bhringraj: good for premature greying, stimulates growth
Indigo: a natural hair dye that can create really dark shade. But always combine with henna as it doesn’t seem to work on its own.
Sage: darkens grey hair, tonic, natural treatment for scalp dryness
Rosemary: darkens grey hair, stimulates new growth, great remedy for oily hair
Black walnut-shell: natural hair dye that can create dark tones – more towards blackish. You can combine it with henna to get brown colour.