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


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’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.

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. (I like to store it in a glass bottle rather than plastic.)

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!!

15 Home Remedies for Grey Hair

How to Use Henna to Colour Your Hair (Ditch the Hair Dyes)

How to do a Henna Gloss: Make your Hair Shiny Instantly

Leave a Comment:

Mihika Warrier says

Hi Minaz,

I used to apply color for my hair, now have started with the amla/ reetha, fenugreek powder. Infact by hair which is growing now is all grey, so need to touch up everytime. Saw your post about Hair darkening rinse. Where can i find those ingredients for darkening of hair like sage/ indigo etc. as i llive in singapore.

Kindly advise.

Bharathi says

Can fresh amla or frozen amla be used

    Minaz says

    You can use fresh/frozen amla juice. Make the rinse as suggested and add the amla juice.

Marsha Castle says

Wonderful recipe! I know henna coats hair, but does this rinse penetrate into the hair deeply? I left the conditioner on a few times and am wondering when the henna will “wash off”. It’s mostly to try something else and they stated no henna. Thank you for any insight!

Poonam gera says

helo mam i have really bad grey hair.please have me which medically test help me to know. i’m 25 years old

    Minaz says

    Hello Poonam, get your vitamin B12, vitamin D and zinc tested, work with your doctor. You can use the above hair rinse, it’s very effective.

    Prash says

    I have vitamin D ,B12 deficiency. And more than half of my hair is grey and I’m 25. I tri d Amla nice but it’s not working to cover up . I used Amla and water to grind paste in mixer and used .will this work .? Or should I do it differently

    Minaz says

    Correct your deficiencies and continue the above rinse.

Vani says

Iam unable to find black walnut powder as either its too expensive (RS.3000 +) or not available. I need a darker tint as I have naturally back hair with lots of grey now. Can I use regular walnut shell or powder? Will it give the same result? What is the alternative? Please help!!!

Rohitha says

Mam I have 50 grey strands I am using Amla in how many months can I see the change my age is just 15

    Minaz says

    It can take 3-4 months. Be happy and relaxed and you will get result faster 🙂

Suhani says

Hi Minaz,
I am 26 yeras old and I am noticing an increase in the number of gray hair that I have. I have had gray since past 3-4 years but now the number is just increasing rapidly. This hair graying issue is hereditary in my case but is there anything that I can do to slow the hair graying process?

Kr says

Can something be added to regular shampoo/conditioner where I don’t have to worry about an extra step or leave something on my hair for a long amount of time? I’d like to find something that is part of my daily routine. 2-3 min is okay. 10-15 is too much. Also, my curly hair looks best when I don’t comb it threw after washing it. I wish it was the opposite but it’s not. 1-2x a week is fine because I can wear it up thst day but everyday is too much.

Tiffany T. says

Hi, Minaz!
I love all of your natural hair tips! So far I’ve been using the darkening herbal rinse for about 1-1 & 1/2 months with reasonable results. As you said, the results won’t be instantaneous, but over the course of months. I’ve adjusted the amount of a few of the ingredients to get a darker color, as well as, adding indigo powder, sage, & rosemary to it. I also took your advice & only make it in a cast iron pan & leave it to sit for 24 hrs. instead of just 6-8hrs. I plan to continue using this rinse, its pretty awesome.

Your rice water tips are helpful as well. I use it on my face & hair. I will comment on the shampoo after I receive all the ingredients from Amazon & make it.

    Mihika Warrier says

    Hi Tiffany,

    This is Mihika. I need to know how much Indigo, Rosemary and Sage did you add ? And whether does it help? As I also need to try this and have grey hair.

vaidehi says

does it really works?

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?

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.

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.

shweta karanje says

Can we use coffee instead of black tea?

    Minaz @hairbuddha says

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

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