The loss of hair pigmentation is, unfortunately, a fact of life. When new hair replaces old, it is infused with melanin pigmentation. As we age, the amount of color given to each strand of hair is reduced, so our hair turns gray or white.
There is little that can be done to prevent this happening because the rate of discoloration is mainly dependent upon our genes. However, the graying can be hidden by coloring hair. In addition to disguising grey hair, many claim that the nutrients in these natural ingredients are beneficial to hair health.
There are a number of colorants you can make at home. One is made from henna powder, to which instant coffee and boiled water are added. After thorough stirring, the henna mixture is applied and allowed to remain in the hair for at least three hours – four for a stronger effect. Then rinse the hair with shampoo and warm water.
Instead of coffee, a mixture of yogurt, mint juice, basil, and fenugreek may be added to the henna. In this case, the concoction should not remain in the hair for more than three hours, though no less than two. One teaspoon each of mint powder, gooseberry powder, vinegar, lemon juice, coffee, curd, and catechu may also be substituted. For this application, one hour is sufficient before rinsing the hair.
A paste of fenugreek seeds hides graying, additionally it may be used to treat dandruff and to strengthen damaged hair. Fenugreek seeds should be soaked overnight then ground to a paste which can be mixed into coconut milk or yoghurt. The mixture is massaged into the scalp for 20-25 minutes and washed off with a mild shampoo.
A dye can also be prepared from Indian gooseberries boiled in coconut oil. Rinse hair the morning after application with water that has been infused with Indian gooseberries. Dried gooseberry powder may also be mixed with almond oil and lemon then applied to the hair.
A coloring agent for dark or black hair may be made from fresh curry leaves. The leaves are added to warm coconut oil and tempered for about ten minutes. Allow the oil to cool then strain the fluid and keep it for application later. The infused oil is rubbed into the scalp and hair.
Ribbed gourd soaked in coconut oil for 3 to 4 days is said to be effective in maintaining natural hair color by promoting melanin production, but the mixture must be boiled until it’s black and the gourd is liquified before massaging it into the scalp.
A mixture of sesame oil and almond oil, or carrot seed oil and sesame oil, may also be applied for 30 minutes.
An infusion of (cool) black tea is effective for dark hair. Leave for 30 minutes but rinse with water only, do not wash with shampoo afterward. Water infused with sage leaves can be applied over several weeks. Camomile tea or lemon juice can be used for lightening or disguising gray in light colored hair.
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