While some people might view gray hair as a sign of maturity and wisdom, others see it as an undesirable sign of old age.
The hair on the head begins as white. It’s then colored by melanin – a natural pigment. As it grows, melanocytes (cells which produce melanin) transfer melanin to every hair follicle. Melanin seamlessly colors every hair strand.
As you age, melanocyte activity slows down and ultimately stops. The stoppage leads to less pigment in your hair.
Although environmental pollutants, hormones, and genetics can speed up the graying process, the sad reality is the fact that your chances of getting gray hair increase 10-20% each decade after you click 30 years.
The market has plenty of dyes formulated to help solve your gray hair issues. However, most of them contain harsh chemicals that make them undesirable to those desiring to maintain optimal health. When choosing for ways to cover gray hair, you should choose your products wisely.
Here are some of the effective ways to cover a few gray hairs on your head:
Tip #1: Use Henna
Henna is prepared from Lawsonia Inermis tree. The beautiful auburn dye has been handy for cosmetic uses since ancient times.
Since henna comes mostly in powder form, you can mix it with an array of other natural substances like fragrant oils, cloves, vinegar or lemon juice before applying it on your hair. Alternatively, you can mix with indigo to achieve a darker color.
To maintain its incredible color, you should use henna regularly. Use it anywhere from one time every week to every month depending on the depth of color you desire. Doing so will mask the gray hair.
Tip #2: Tea
Tea is another effective way of covering a few gray hairs. It’s handy at restoring the natural color of your hair. Black teas, to be precise, work best for the darker hues, rooibos for redheads and chamomile for blonde-haired people.
Once per week, steep 3-5 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water. Allow them to cool before you apply to your clean and wet hair. For the effortless application, try mixing the mixture with a conditioner. Leave the tea for not less than one hour. Actually, the longer it remains in your hair, the more penetrating the color will be. After your gray hair absorbs the tea’s color, you can rinse it out.
While cleaning your hair, ensure you do so with cool water. That’s because hot water leaches color from hair quickly compared to cold water.
Tip #3: Coffee
For brown or black tresses, or to add tonal variation to your dark hair, all you need to do is brew up a mug of strong coffee. Once it has cooled, mix two hair conditioner cups with a single cup of your mixture. For added effect, throw in some spoonfuls of spent coffee ground to the mix.
Before you rinse your hair, leave the dough for roughly one hour. Although the coffee dye might be subtle, it’s prudent to repeat the steps a few tips to achieve the desired color.
Tip #4: Herbs
Herbs and flowers make remarkable natural dyes. Since they’re so gentle, you’ll most likely utilize them frequently to maintain the color. Plenty of herbal options exist. They all depend on the natural color of your hair. Here are some of the herb options you can choose from:
- Red hair – Marigold, carrots, beet, red rose petals, rose hips, red clover, and hibiscus flowers.
- Blond hair – Mullein flowers, sunflower petals, yarrow, marigold, saffron, lemon peel, calendula, and chamomile.
- Dark hair – Comfrey root, black walnut hulls, cinnamon, cloves, nettle, sage, and rosemary.
Note: When you’re using fresh plants, ensure you dry them completely. Additionally, crush them to a fine powder. There’s no harm in matching and mixing different herbs. Doing so adds more dimension to your hair’s natural color.
Mix half a cup of dried herbs with simmer and water. Next, put them on a stove for roughly 30 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool and then add a single tablespoon of carrier oil such as coconut oil. Apply the mixture to hair. Let it rest for 1-2 hours before rinsing.
Tip #5: Spray
If you’re a first-time gray covered, a useful option to consider is spray. This option is also ideal for those between appointments. Color spray is basically like the neon orange hair sprays that people utilize for Halloween. However, it comes with your natural color. One of the most popular spray colors is the Rita Hazan Root Concealer.
Tip #5: Catalase
Catalase is a potent anti-oxidant that’s present in the cells of all animals and plants that reside in an environment that’s oxygen-rich. Catalase is highly effective at combating the growth of gray hair.
Catalase contains hydrogen peroxide which is a naturally occurring by-product of the metabolic process. It’s thought to be the major contributor of the breakdown in hair pigments. As one age, the body produces less catalase thus resulting in the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide inside hair follicles. The compound bleaches your hair follicles from inside out.
By consuming foods that are high catalase such as cabbage, kale, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, onions and garlic, you can be able to introduce the gray hair-fighting enzyme right back into your body. That way, you’ll experience a gradual return of your youthful hair pigmentation via a safe and all-natural process.
While many people opt to put on lightened locks with utmost pride, the fierce battle against gray hair is on. There’s plenty you can do to cover gray hair on your hair. The above are some of the most efficient ways to help you to cover gray hair.
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Justin Bounds is the founder of The Barbr - a Men's Hair Care blog providing tons of honest advice and useful tips on the topic. He is also the author of 'How to choose the best barber clippers' just to help his readers choose the best one to cut their hair at home.You can follow Justin on Twitter to learn more about his work.