7 Ways to Get Rid of Gray Hair Now
There is only one cure for gray hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine. – P.G. Wodehouse
Okay … so P.G. Wodehouse might have been cracking a joke, but clearly he was a bit of a pessimist. He was also wrong—there are cures for gray hair. Well, maybe not cures—but definitely workarounds!
Some people develop a few gray hairs when they are quite young. I had a friend who had exactly two gray hairs through the entirety of high school, and seemed to find them quite noteworthy. If that was you, you might not have been that shocked when you started developing more. But if you didn’t get your first gray hairs until you were older, you might have been quite astounded to see the first one come in.
Some people “go gray with grace” without a problem—but other people can’t stand their gray hair, and may even launch into a total panic at the sight of it. Whether it is a reminder of mortality or you simply do not like gray hair aesthetically, you don’t have to live with it. There are always ways to either slow down the graying or cover it up. Here are a few ideas to try—as you will see, thankfully none of them involve a guillotine!
1. Make sure your hormones are in balance.
If you think you may be going gray prematurely, you may want to check into what is going on with your hormones. If you do not have any other symptoms, your hormones probably are fine, but if you have symptoms of pituitary or thyroid gland problems, you could have a chance at reversing your premature grayness.
Schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as you can if you believe that a hormonal imbalance could be at the root of your gray hair (yes, pun very much intended). Not only will you get your color back, but you also will be able to alleviate your other symptoms and prevent your health from going downhill!
2. Get your antioxidants.
Did you know that oxidative stress has been linked to gray hair? Here is the research. This is good news actually, because you can do something about it! Think about your diet. Are you getting all the healthy antioxidants that you need for optimum hair health? Maybe not.
Here are some powerful super foods which are packed full of antioxidants:
- Grapes, particularly the purple, blue and red varieties
- Strawberries and raspberries (as well as other red berries)
- Dark leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and collard greens
- Carrots and sweet potatoes
- Whole grains
As a bonus, these foods are also jam-packed with other key nutrients your hair needs, like omega-3 fatty acids, iron, protein, selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, D, and E. Looking for more foods to add to your healthy hair diet? Check out this blog post.
Note that improving your diet probably won’t reverse gray hair, but it will at least prevent gray hair. You may be able to significantly slow down the process—and that is worth something!
Another thing you can do to fend off gray hair is to apply antioxidants to your scalp and hair topically. You can do this by treating your hair with olive oil, black seed oil, rosemary oil, egg oil, or coconut oil on a regular basis.
3. Stop smoking.
If you buy cigarettes by the carton, you aren’t going to like this … but you really, really should try to quit.
There is plenty of scientific evidence linking smoking with premature graying. Take this research for example, which concluded there is “a significant relation between onset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking.” To make matters even worse, smoking can cause you to lose hair too.
Basically, smoking is bad for you. Let’s not even get started on the myriad other terrible health effects which go way beyond what you see in the mirror each day. If you want to stop your gray hairs from accumulating (or worse, falling out altogether), then it is time to quit.
4. Dye your hair with henna.
As you have likely gathered by now, there really is no way to reverse gray hair except in cases where a health problem is causing the grayness and the hair follicles will resume producing pigmented strands once the underlying issue is treated.
So aside from preventing gray hairs (as I have just discussed), you are really left with only one other alternative, and that is to hide them.
It can be a challenge to cover up your gray, as you will discover when you start experimenting with dyes (in particular, it is a pain to hide your roots—then again, that is always the case). But there are a number of options out there, and one of them is henna.
Here is why I love henna:
- It gives you a beautiful rich coppery color.
- It is super long-lasting, about as permanent as anything in existence.
- It is 100% natural.
- It is actually healthy for your hair and scalp—it even has antimicrobial properties.
- It gives your hair a beautiful silky sheen. The deep conditioning effect is phenomenal!
- Henna can even strengthen your hair and make it more manageable.
I have actually written a really comprehensive guide on dying your hair with henna, which you will find here.
Here are a few quick notes which I think you will find useful before you dive in:
- Henna is not as expensive as you think. I only have to use a single package to cover my hip-length hair.
- You must get body-art-quality henna. There are a lot of imposter products out there. The two genuine brands I highly recommend are Mehandi and Raj Red.
- You can layer henna with other dyes if you want.
Henna may seem daunting at first, but I promise you it is 10x easier than it sounds. So give it a go, and cover up your grays!
5. Use another natural colorant.
There are a number of other natural dye recipes which I have seen online for covering up gray hairs. I haven’t tried any of these other recipes, so I cannot vouch for them (and I have some doubts as to their effectiveness—most natural dyes are better for tinting than they are for actually coloring hair).
Anyway, I have found a list with recipes here. Some of the methods include coffee, sage rinse, Indian gooseberry, and rosemary oil.
6. Use a commercial permanent or semi-permanent dye.
Don’t forget that you also always have the option of trying out another commercial dye. Pretty much every dye on the market outside of henna has some chemical ingredients acting as preservatives. The most healthy and harmless dyes are probably the vegetable-based ones, but even these are not 100% natural.
Anyway, you can try to look at the bright side here. Technically, “gray” hairs are all white—actual gray is not a natural hair color. There are a lot of dyes which are actually designed to go over bleached hair, so think of your “gray” hairs as hairs you do not have to bleach. If you dye over unbleached hair, the gray strands should actually show the new color with a particularly bold, vivid glow. And that is a good thing, right?
7. Go Bald.
So there is one more solution for “getting rid of gray hair” which is worth mentioning … and that is to go bald! Seriously, who needs all that hair? A lot of people look great bald—and that includes women as well as men. So some of you may cringe reading this suggestion, but others may realize it is actually a very fashionable choice. If you like the bald look, be bold and go for it.
Go Gray With Grace … Or Not—It’s Up To You!
We live in a society which is pretty judgmental of gray hair (and aging overall). That can subject you to a lot of pressure to cover up your grays. On the other hand, you often will find yourself getting judged for doing that too! There is a huge backlash in the culture against hiding your grays these days.
So you know what? Ignore everyone else’s expectations—which ultimately have nothing to do with you. The first step in developing fashionable taste of your own is to let go of worrying about what other people think. If you are okay with gray hair, then be proud of your grays. If you hate gray hair, then cover them up, but don’t be ashamed of them. Whether you are young or old, whether your hair is “natural” or dyed, be proud of sporting the look that you enjoy!
Read Next: Why Does Your Hair Turn Gray?