How To Cheat Grey Hair: Darken Your Hair With This Herbal Rinse - hair buddha
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How To Cheat Grey Hair: Darken Your Hair With This Herbal Rinse

how to cheat grey hair

how to cheat grey hair


Hair dyes can be harmful.

Henna can be messy and time-consuming.

And eating black sesame seeds and amla may take a long time to work and produce any visible results.

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 added bonus is stronger and shinier hair.

How to cheat grey hair?

Using amla hair rinse. In traditional Indian medicine, amla is considered as one of the best rejuvenating herbs. It is 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.

This wonderful berry nourishes and strengthens hair follicles, to promote healthy hair growth. Amla is also a natural conditioner and works to increases thickness and texture of your hair.

Hair Darkening Rinse

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 darken hair, plus it offers some great antioxidants which help prevent more grey hair. Black tea contains anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties that soothe irritated scalp condition and may help with dandruff.

Clove: It works synergistically to enhance and retain the hair colour. It also increases scalp circulation and promotes hair growth.

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, clove, 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:


  1. Amla is a must for this hair darkening rinse. You can choose to add the other ingredients, but they are not compulsory.
  2. Combine amla and water (and other herbs) and let them soak overnight or for at least 6 to 8 hours. If you desire darker colour (more blackish), soak the herbs in an iron pot. I have tried this, and it does works. Iron acts as a mordant and helps the dye stick to hair fibers.
  3. Strain the liquid – use a cheese or muslin cloth that will help strain the powdered herbs better.
  4. If you are not using immediately, then store it in the fridge. It will stay good for a week. (Always store in an airtight glass bottle to preserve maximum goodness.)

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.

my with rinse left on

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 🙂

Rinse tip: Use a colour applicator bottle to allow even distribution of the rinse through the hair. You can find them at a beauty store or online.

How long will it take to see any difference

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.

More herbs to darken hair

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 have used a 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.

Happy Creating!!

  • Yogi says:

    I like the simplicity of the idea. And applicator bottle tip is genius. Will post the results soon. Thanks.

  • Dottie says:

    What about those of us with blond hair?

    • Hi Dottie, I am working on recipe for blond hair, you will hear soon.

    • Dottie says:

      Hi again, Minaz.
      Any update on something for us blonds?

    • Hi Dottie,

      Use german chamomile flower tea rinse.
      You can also add pinch of amla powder to it.

  • Amanda Frank says:

    Wow your hair is so gorgeous

    • Thank you Amanda 🙂

    • Erin says:

      Hi there! i have really naturally blonde eyebrows but my hair is dark brown! if I put this rinse on my eyebrows will it make that hair darker too? thanks!

    • Hi Erin, give it a try…it should help.
      And do let us know how it works.

  • Sudha says:

    This seems to be a very useful and a practical tip especially because my hair has simply become dry due to chemical hair dyes. Thanks a ton Minaz for this wonderful post.
    I was also going through other posts where in one of the post you’ve mentioned that blending of 3 or 4 oils for the hair is also possible. I am having a hairfall problem lately and was thinking of blending Almond oil and Olive oil to my homemade hair oil in which the carrier oil is Sesame oil with other herbs like curry leaves, amla, brahmi and so on. Will this harm my hair in any way? Please guide me regarding this as I have not started using this oil yet. Thanks once again.

    • Hi Sudha, thanks for your kind words.
      Yes that oil blend sounds good. I would suggest that you also add castor oil. Let me know if you have any more questions.

    • Samantha Perkins says:

      Hi sudha can u plz let me know whether u r buying the oil mix or preparing at home.I don’t get much time to prepare DIY home remedies. So it will be very helpful if u can let me know if we can buy these mix of oil and herbs. I live in India,west Bengal Kolkata.

  • Sudha says:

    Thanks a lot for that suggestion Minaz. I shall positively try this oil blend with Castor oil as suggested by you. Is it ok to take these oils in equal quantity or is there any specific proportion for these oils?

    Also kindly let me know if I need to warm the oil before applying on hair or whether it can be used as it is?

    • Yes you can take them in equal quantities. And use just one oil (e.g. sesame) for herbal infusion.
      You can apply either ways – warm or cold.

  • Sudha says:

    Thanks Minaz for clearing all my doubts. That was definitely a great help and now I can go ahead and start using the oil implementing all your suggestions. That was so kind of you Minaz. God bless!

  • Samantha Perkins says:

    Hello minaz .I have followed the procedure just as u prescribed and the first day after shampoo and rinse I noticed less hair fall,but oddly on the second day lots of hair fell matter what natural remedy I try the hair fall problem always relapses.I wish I could find a miracle that will stop this incessant hairfall.plz help me.I’m so depressed about this .plz plz help me.

  • Samantha, what do you use to wash your hair?

    Just make a cold infusion using amla powder and green tea, and use that as a final rinse.

    And head massage twice a week with amla oil, also add some castor oil to it.

  • […] amla conditions hair, adds shine and increases volume and thickness of your hair. Regular use of this rinse is also said to darken your […]

  • Shikha Shukla says:

    I used to apply henna for years. 40% hairs are grey.I have applied the hair darkening rinse twice. As of now there is no change. Will it require 10 to 12 times to show its color on hair.

    • Hi Shikha, you will see colour change in 2 to 3 months time. Use it every time you wash your hair. Also include amla, almonds, and fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet – these help to reduce grey hair.

    • Shikha Shukla says:

      Thanks Minaz 🙂

  • harshavardu says:

    Which state of Amla is best to use in the concoction? I have access to raw fresh Amla. If not using henna, do I still need to soak it overnight? Is there any other way to make the hair look black, I don’t like red? Does the henna colour even black hairs? I have premature male grey hair (26).

    • Harshavardu,

      Use dried amla. Yes, you will have to soak it overnight even if not using henna.

      Use any tea – one you use at home.

      And if you don’t like red tinge just skip henna. You can try adding other herbs such as bhringraj. Soak in an iron vessel.

      Let us know how it works for you.

  • harshavardu says:

    Which brand of black tea do u recommend?

  • Natasja King says:

    Hi Minaz. Would you apply this rinse in stead of conditioner? Or is it used after conditioning your hair?

  • Rahul says:

    Should it be in a liquid form or a paste ?

  • Sunshine Boppi says:

    Hi Minaz,

    I have always had grey hair but from the last 6 months I have been seeing a quick increase in my grey hair. I have been using only indigo powder to dye my hair from the last 1.5 years. It gives me a dark almost black tint so I stuck to it.
    But it fades so quickly.

    1. You think I should add something else to indigo powder to control grey?
    2. Does plucking grey hair causes more to come?

    Awaiting your response.


    • Hi Boppi,
      How old are you? have you checked for any deficiencies?

    • Sunshine Boppi says:

      I am 37 year old and have had a baby 2 years back. I have chronic aneamia and my heamoglobin is 10.5 currently and using supplements for a month. I am going for further check ups soon. I have chronic sinus problem too. Some people say that sinus increases grey hair and applying henna increases the problem if you have sinus. Do you think so?

    • I am writing a post on grey hair, will be posting it in a week or so. Hope you will find your answers there.

    • Sunshine Boppi says:

      Thank you so much Minaz!!

    • Sunshine Boppi says:

      Hi Minaz, is this post on grey hair already written. I searched but I could not find anything new. It would be great if you can let me know. Thanks a lot.

    • No, I will be writing it soon.

  • hassan says:

    hello madam..
    few months ago i read one comment on regrowth of hair. but i forgot thar tips given you. little little i remembered (chilli powder mix with oil and use on scalp, tinny tinny hair etc etc) please give me that tips again.

  • Harshitha says:

    Hi Minaz. Hope your doing good. Just a quick clarification. Do I apply this rinse right after my hair wash while it is still wet. Please clarify. Thank You.

    • Hi Harshitha, yes apply after you wash your hair. But you can also apply it anytime.

  • Preethi says:

    Hi Minaz,

    I dont have dried amla, but have fresh amla. Can i chop up the fresh amla and let it soak in the concoction?


    • Hi Preethi, not sure how it will work, but you can give it a try.
      Drinking a tablespoon of fresh amla juice is also effective.

    • Preethi says:

      Oh ok. In that case, could you tell me the procedure to dry amla? We dont get dry amla or amla powder here.


    • Cut the amla in small pieces, spread them on a plate and dry them under sun/shade for a few days till all moisture goes away.
      Just before storing you can pan roast them slightly to make sure they are completely dry.

  • Priya says:

    Hello mam,
    As u have said I have been using amla rinse to my hair for nearly 2months and the results are amazing for dandruff mam… thank-you sooo much…I m soo surprised with these results…but one more main thing is disturbing me a lot mam., I have severe hairfall now a days, I m taking healthy foods and everything with protein in my diet…I m bit confused about hot oil head massage mam..I’m doing hot oil massage in eve tym and i ll wash my hair on next day mrng mam…I m losing nearly 80 hairs during oil massage and after hairwash on next day mrng I m losing again 60 hairs totally (washing, conditioning and aftr drying ) , is this regular or wt mam….?? On regular days I m losing up to 35 hairs per day…, Pls tel me one solution for this mam….this hair fall is normal or wt mam ??

    • Hi Priya, good to hear amla hair rinse has helped you with dandruff.
      It’s better to apply the oil at room temperature. And it’s okay to lose 100 to 150 hair strands when you oil massage.
      What oil are you using?

    • Priya says:

      Mam I am using a mixture of oils like coconut oil 4tp , almond oil 1tp, olive oil 1tp, 2capsules of vitaminE, castor oil 1tp, rosemary oil 5-8drops…thts all mam..? Is this ok , I m doing right ??? or I have to change anything else mam…???

    • That looks good 🙂

    • Priya says:

      Thankyou mam …:)

    • Priya says:

      Mam one more doubt mam.?? My hair is some wt slight curly and frizzy hair mam….which shampoo and conditioner can I use mam..??? Which is good shampoo without heavy chemicals mam..? And wt u using mam??? Prefer me one good shampoo mam…. currently i m using sunsilk yellow (5natural oils) shampoo and conditioner mam….I need silky hair mam…which one can I use mam.??? And why shampoo and conditioner u are using mam.? Prefer me some gud shampoo and conditioner mam.

    • Hi Priya, go to the resource page, you will find list of shampoo.

  • .... says:

    Do we need to boil water….in the morning before use..and it make my hair rough as I hv rough hair… kindly suggest

  • shweta karanje says:

    Can we use coffee instead of black tea?

    • Yes. But it doesn’t suit everyone, coffee hair rinse gives me headache.
      Let us know how it works for you.

  • Ildiko says:

    Dear Minaz,

    After reading all the natural goodies in your website I would like to stop using any chemicals on my hair. I am really glad that there are naturals ways to darken my hair but I am a little bit worried to use henna(with this recipe) on my hair since so far I used chemical dyes(Casting) on my hair. Somebody told me once that using henna after dye would cause severe hair. Do you have any information about it? I would like to know your opinion.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    • Minaz says:

      Dear Ildiko,
      I don’t think that is true. But if you are so worried then you can do a patch test and see how your scalp reacts.
      Also make sure you buy a good quality henna.
      Let me know how it works for you.

  • Vera V says:

    Hi, will the fenugreek seeds release their benefits if soaked overnight? I have always tried the fenugreek paste on hair after soaking. Just a little doubt, I am so looking forward to try it out. Thanks!!

    • Minaz says:

      This rinse has worked wonders for many people. I hope it makes your hair shiny and gorgeous looking.

  • Bint e Hawwa says:

    Hello! i’m going to try just the black tea rinse for hair fall but i’m afraid it will make my dark brown hair more dark/almost black. i love the brown hue of my hair.
    i wanted to ask if the black tea rinse will just brighten up the natural color of my hair or would it make them very dark?

  • vaidehi says:

    does it really works?

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