Graying of hair is a part of the natural aging process. It is common and inevitable, but people often employ various methods to hide their gray hair. Most commonly, synthetic hair dyes are used to hide graying of hair.
While hair dyeing is not limited to gray hair and is popular among people of all ages, (1) using it for hiding gray hair means that you get the treatment done very often. The purpose of covering graying is certainly met using synthetic hair dyes, but these products are chemical based, which can damage your hair severely.
The chemicals present in synthetic dyes used in salons or at home can not only cause hair breakage and loss in the long run, but they can also increase the risk of medical problems such as cancer. (2)(3)
To eliminate the risk of harming your hair, it is best to accept your natural hair and even flaunt your graying hair with style. However, if you are not yet ready for this, you can try different temporary, nondamaging ways to fix your gray roots.
How to Conceal Gray Hair Without Dyes
Here are cost-friendly, safe, temporary methods and tools that can help hide your gray hair without the use of synthetic dyes.
1. Use temporary powders
You can purchase different temporary powders manufactured specifically to hide gray roots. Using temporary powders gives you a quick, non-messy solution to gray roots. They come in a variety of colors, so you can easily find the shade closest to your hair.
These powders are water resistant and sweat proof and can generally last until you shampoo your hair. You can carry these powders with you in your purse or the car, and touch up whenever required.
How to use:
- Style your hair.
- Apply the powder to your scalp while holding the hair taut from the roots. Start at the center, dabbing the powder on visible roots, and work your way outward. You can also spray some hairspray of a similar color over your bald patches, and apply the powder over that to help it stick on to your scalp for longer.
- Repeat if necessary, until the roots disappear.
- Brush your hair after a minute of application.
- Remove the excess product by either blow-drying your hair lightly or by using the wide end of the applicator brush.
2. Spray a root concealer
Aside from temporary powders, you can use root concealer sprays. These are also known as touch-up sprays and can be found easily in drugstores and beauty stores.
Root concealer sprays come in a variety of shades; select the one similar to your hair tone. These sprays can hide your gray hair until your next hair wash and shampoo.
How to use:
Follow the instructions given on the product. In general, shake the bottle well and spray the product on your hair from a distance of 6–12 inches. Avoid using too much product as it can make the hair look damp and thus odd.
3. Try the airbrush approach
Airbrush is a popular technique used for painting, makeup, and even root touch-ups. Using this advanced technique, you can achieve a smooth, flawless look with minimal product, something that other products might not deliver.
Airbrushing involves loading an air gun with a liquid product and spraying it on the desired area. It is suggested to use water-based airbrushes for your hair, as silicone-based brushes can damage the hair.
How to use:
This procedure requires some amount of precision. Go through the instructions carefully and seek the expertise of a professional or a friend if required.
- Choose an airbrush hair product in a shade similar to your hair.
- Hold the airbrush 2 inches from your scalp and spray the product on your roots. Do this on dry hair.
- Perform airbrushing in light, even strokes, and maintain continuous movement to cover the whole scalp with a single layer of product.
4. Change your hairstyle
It may seem that you need to color or cover your hair to hide gray roots, but you can easily do so by altering your hairstyle. This not only eliminates the need for hair products, therefore being harmless, but also adds to your overall look.
You can try these hairstyles:
- Tie your hair in a topknot or a high ponytail to shift the focus to the high point of your hair, letting your gray roots go unnoticed.
- Braid your hair to cover gray strands.
- Change your hair part position. For example, if you part your hair in the middle, and it reveals gray roots, you can try a side part.
- Use hair accessories such as bobby pins, headbands, or tiara to hide gray hair.
- You can also go for a voluminous hairstyle such as a perm.
5. Use makeup to cover the roots
If you are a makeup lover or have a lot of eye makeup tools, you may not need to purchase other products to temporarily hide your graying hair.
You can simply use an eye shadow, eye powder, liquid liner, or mascara that matches your hair shade to cover gray roots. It is best to use a high-quality product that won’t stick to your hair but will only come out when you wash it.
You can also use magnetic powders that contain zinc stearate and tin oxide, which help bind the powder to each strand of the hair, ensuring long wear time. However, make sure to buy powders devoid of added fragrances or gluten.
Waterproof touch-up pens or wands that hide gray hair roots are also great investments.
How to use:
- Take a bit of eye shadow on a small makeup brush and apply it to your roots. You can go over the same area multiple times until the roots are completely concealed.
- When using a magnetic powder, take the product on a sponge applicator and apply it to the center of the scalp, working your way outward. Keep in mind that too much or frequent application of makeup on the scalp can cause dryness of hair.
- When using root touch-up color wands to draw on gray hair, start from the exposed roots at your hair part and then go through the whole scalp. Note that root touch-up sprays usually contain harsher dyes (check brands and chemicals), and if sprayed too close, they can cause cold burns on the scalp.
6. Use herbs on your hair
The most common way to hide gray hair is to dye them. However, synthetic dyes are laden with chemicals that can be harmful to your hair in the long run.
There are various natural dyes that you can instead use to cover your gray hair. While these dyes may not be as effective as their synthetic counterparts, they do provide a harmless temporary solution.
Moreover, natural hair dyes made from herbs can improve your hair health, boost hair growth, and even stimulate hair repigmentation in the long run.
The herbs that you can use on your hair include:
Jatamansi is a highly potent herb used for darkening or blackening of hair. (4) If you have dark hair that has started to turn gray, you can use jatamansi powder.
- Simply mix the powder with water, olive oil, or Moroccan argan oil to form a paste.
- Apply the paste to shampooed damp hair.
- Rinse it off and condition your hair after an hour.
Henna is a highly popular natural dye, (4) which not only colors hair but also conditions and strengthens it, preventing frizziness, dullness, and hair breakage.
- Mix organic henna powder with water or coconut oil and 1–2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to form a paste. You can also mix henna powder with other herbs such as amla, brahmi, shikakai, and bhringraj for added benefits.
- Cover the mixture and let it sit for a few hours, preferably overnight.
- Apply the paste on washed, detangled hair and wrap your hair in a plastic or shower cap. Use gloves when applying the dye to prevent staining your nails or fingers.
- Rinse the hair with plain water after 5–6 hours. Avoid shampooing the hair for up to 32 hours.
c. Hibiscus flowers
If you have red or crimson hair, you can use hibiscus flowers to dye your hair. These flowers also add shine to your hair. (4)
- Add the petals of hibiscus flowers in boiling water.
- After the water turns into a deep color, take it off the heat, and allow the mixture to steep for 10–15 minutes.
- Strain the liquid after it cools and transfer it into a spray bottle.
- Shampoo your hair and spray the solution on slightly damp hair. Comb your hair to ensure even spreading.
- Rinse your hair and condition after about 1 hour.
ALSO READ: DIY Hibiscus Hair Mask for Beautiful and Silky Hair
Sage can be used by brunettes to color graying hair.
- Add about 1 cup of dried sage in 1 L of boiling water, and allow the mixture to steep for half an hour. If you want a deeper color, you can boil it for more time.
- Wash your hair and rinse it with the cooled sage water. Cover your hair with a shower cap or plastic bag.
- After 40 minutes, rinse and condition your hair.
ALSO READ: 5 Benefits of Sage for Hair and Ways to Use It
e. Black tea
Dark hair can also be treated with black tea. However, this may not be as effective as other herbs. Nevertheless, using black tea can make your hair shine and revitalized.
- Steep 1 cup of black tea and allow it to cool.
- Apply the tea to your hair.
- Rinse your hair with water after 1 hour.
f. Beetroot juice
You can use beetroot juice to add a reddish tint to your hair.
- Mix concentrated beetroot juice and argan oil, coconut oil, or olive oil.
- Apply the mixture to your strands and cover your hair with a shower cap.
- Rinse and condition your hair after 1½ hours.
Graying of hair, while unavoidable, is often unwanted. To hide graying roots, people often visit salons or color their hair at home, which not only takes time but also increases expenditure.
Moreover, coloring a full head of hair to just cover up some roots may not sound feasible. In addition, the long-term damage caused by frequent use of hair dyes is not unknown. You can opt for simple, temporary, at-home methods to cover your gray hair, including make-up, herbal rinses, and temporary powders.
These hacks not only help increase the gap between your salon sessions but are also generally not damaging to your hair. It is also important to embrace the natural process of aging and gain the confidence to wear your graying hair.
- Rollison DE, Helzlsouer KJ, Pinney SM. Personal hair dye use and cancer: a systematic literature review and evaluation of exposure assessment in studies published since 1992. Journal of toxicology and environmental health. Part B, Critical reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17492526/. Published 2006.
- Patel D, Narayana S, Krishnaswamy B. Trends in use of hair dye: a cross-sectional study. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927172/. Published July 2013.
- Saitta P, Cook CE, Messina JL, et al. Is there a true concern regarding the use of hair dye and malignancy development?: a review of the epidemiological evidence relating personal hair dye use to the risk of malignancy. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543291/. Published January 2013.
- Singh V, Ali M, Upadhyay S. Study of colouring effect of herbal hair formulations on graying hair. Pharmacognosy research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4471652/. Published 2015.
- Was this article helpful?
- YES, THANKS!NOT REALLY
Spread the Love❤️
How can I reverse GREY hair naturally without coloring it? ›
So far, there are no natural remedies that can slow down the hair-graying process. The best thing you can do is to stay healthy, eat a well-rounded diet, and lower your stress levels as much as possible.What does baking soda do to gray hair? ›
Since baking soda is a scrubbing agent, washing your hair with it can gradually strip the dye from your locks. Baking soda can lighten all hair colors, but it might take a few washes to get your hair to the desired color.How do you make grey hair not look old? ›
- Keep colour soft. "The key to keeping colour fresh as we age is softness," says John Spanton, master colourist at Urban Retreat. ...
- Avoid severe cuts. ...
- Ask for toner. ...
- Embrace long hair. ...
- Don't assume that grey hair makes you look older. ...
- Adjust your haircare.
- Blend grey hair with highlights and lowlights.
- Embrace your roots with grey balayage hair.
- Use hair products that enhance your naturally silver grey hair.
- 8 superfoods that slowdown premature greying:
- Green leafy vegetables. Green leafy vegetables refer to the cruciferous vegetable group. ...
- Dark chocolate. ...
- Dairy products. ...
- Eggs. ...
- Soybeans. ...
- Lentils. ...
Copper. Low copper levels can lead to premature graying, according to one 2012 study. Good food sources of copper are beef liver, lentils, almonds, dark chocolate, and asparagus. These are superfoods for white hair, helping in its reversal.How do you cover grey hair with coffee? ›
Step 1: Brew a cup of strong dark-roast coffee and let it cool down sufficiently. Step 2: Now add 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds and 1 cup conditioner. Step 3: Wash your hair with your regular shampoo and squeeze out the excess water with your hands. Step 4: Apply the mixture to your damp hair evenly.Is coconut oil good for grey hair? ›
Coconut oil massage not only improves the blood circulation of the scalp but also gradually restores hair color & prevents further greying of hair, and thus, delays the greying process and strengthens the hair and promotes growth.What does vinegar do for gray hair? ›
Another option is to mix a bit of apple cider vinegar into a dollop of shampoo. This clears build up from environmental toxins and hair products. It also seals the hair cuticle, making your grays silky, shiny and frizz-free.What does hydrogen peroxide do to gray hair? ›
Hydrogen peroxide attacks the enzyme tyrosinase by oxidizing an amino acid, methionine, at the active site. As a consequence, this key enzyme, which normally starts the synthesizing pathway of the coloring pigment melanin, does not function anymore.
Does grey hair need special shampoo? ›
Graying hair doesn't mean your hair will fall out, but you do need to start using specialized shampoos to help protect your strands. These include purple shampoos that prevent your gray strands from turning yellowish in tone and those that keep your hair from becoming brittle.What color hair makes you look younger? ›
Caramel, honey, gold, copper, and strawberry give a healthy brightness that makes us look and feel younger. (Framing your face with lighter shades draws the eye away from any complexion concerns, as well.)How do you make grey hair shiny silver? ›
- Use a hydrating shampoo regularly. ...
- Swap in a clarifying shampoo. ...
- Use a purple shampoo and conditioner. ...
- Use a serum for shine. ...
- Use hairspray the right way. ...
- See a hair stylist for a keratin treatment. ...
- Do weekly deep conditioning masks. ...
- Get a gloss treatment.
Typically, white people start going gray in their mid-30s, Asians in their late 30s, and Blacks in their mid-40s. Half of all people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50.How can I make my gray hair soft and shiny naturally? ›
- 1 - Use The Right Hair Care Products.
- 2 - Comb Your Hair.
- 3 - Shampoo Gray Hair.
- 4 - Protect The Hair.
- 1 - Double Cleanse With Shampoo.
- 2 - Use A Hair Conditioner For Gray Hair.
- 3 - Apply Leave-In Conditioner To The Ends.
- 4 - Never Forget To Heat Protect.
- Option 1: Dying Your Hair to Match Your Roots. For the most part, this approach will be simpler the lighter your hair is. ...
- Option 2: Adding Lowlights or Highlights. ...
- Option 3: Cutting Your Hair Short. ...
- Option 4: Letting the Greys Grow Out.
Silver hair toner is a popular option when it comes to showcasing your grey. Instead, a blue pigment is used to neutralise yellow undertones. Gradually, your hair stylist can reduce the colour pigment at each application, smoothly easing you into an all-grey look thanks to a silver toner for hair.What can I use instead of hair dye? ›
- Carrot Juice. Light Orange Tint. If you're looking for an orangey-red, carrot juice can provide a good tint to your hair or a full-on color depending on how blonde you are. ...
- Beet Juice. Cool Red Tint. ...
- Henna. Orange. ...
- Lemon Juice. Blonde. ...
- Coffee. Brunette.
Coffee works great if you're looking to go darker, cover gray hairs, or add dimension to dark tresses. Simply brew a strong coffee (espresso works well), let it cool, and then mix one cup with a couple cups of leave-in conditioner and 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds.Does coffee cover grey hair? ›
Coffee: Using coffee is one among the conventional and unconditional ways to cover gray hair easily. If you want to get darker hair and prevent gray hair completely, use coffee on regular basis.
Which lack of vitamin causes GREY hair? ›
Although the primary cause of premature hair graying (PHG) is considered to be genetic, certain environmental factors also play a role. Trace element deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, and calcium may also be associated with PHG.What vitamin gets rid of GREY hair? ›
B-6 may help restore hair to its original color following an illness or deficiency. Para-Amino benzoic Acid (PABA) and Pantothenic Acid are part of the family of B-complex vitamins. Both of these vitamins are available at health food stores and pharmacies. Use them to postpone the onset of graying.Can vitamin D reverse GREY hair? ›
One can reduce gray hair by:
Consuming sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals (e.g., B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, copper and zinc). Eating healthy: eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, white meat, and fatty fish. Minimize consumption of red meat and milk.
Graying reversal won't work for everyone
If strands are about to go gray anyway — perhaps near middle age — a stressful event might push hair cells past that threshold earlier, the study noted. Then when the stress ends and the hair is just above the threshold, it could revert back to dark.
Amla is rich in antioxidants and also has anti-ageing properties which can help in reversing premature grey hair. There are several ways in which you may benefit from this fruit. You may immediately wash your hair with amla-infused water.Which food make hair black? ›
- dark chocolate.
- leafy greens.
Colors like butterscotch, light auburn and golden brown, or ash brown for those with a cool skin tone, are all versatile brunette shades that aren't too dark and are some of the best hair colors to hide gray.How do hairdressers cover grey hair? ›
Demi-Permanent or Semi-Permanent Color
While a demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair color can be applied to any level of gray, it's often used to camouflage early grays, giving 30-70% coverage.
Plus, it doesn't last long: Depending on how frequently you wash your hair and whether you use organic conditioners, Davis says coffee coloration typically hangs on for about two to three weeks.What oils darken GREY hair? ›
Applying black seed oil to the scalp in areas where hair has turned grey, can naturally encourage colour pigment cells. In instances where hair strands have already greyed, black seed oil has proven to change this process by stimulating melanin production and turning it dark again.
Is olive oil good for Grey hair? ›
This kitchen staple is rich in anti-ageing and hydrating properties. People are using olive oil to treat greying of hair and hair fall from a long time now. Massaging your scalp with olive oil is one of the best rated ancient methods to control hair-related problems and make your tresses strong and shiny.What will lemon juice do to grey hair? ›
It deeply nourishes the roots and prevents premature greying. Lemon juice not only adds shine and volume to hair but also promotes healthy hair growth. Almond oil and lemon juice are both easily-available ingredients that can help you get rid of grey hair naturally.How do you soften grey coarse hair? ›
A weekly moisture mask will help soften coarse gray strands. You'll also want to switch to a violet-tinged shampoo to help neutralize yellow tones; even white hair can turn brassy from UV rays and minerals in the water.How does onion get rid of grey hair? ›
- Combine 3 tsp. onion juice with 2 tsp. lemon juice.
- Apply mixture to hair and scalp as evenly as possible.
- Leave on hair and scalp for 30 minutes.
- Rinse and use a mild shampoo to reduce any onion smells.
As we mentioned, gray hair's lack of sebum can make it feel dry. To reduce further dryness, you'll want to wash it as infrequently as possible. "Washing every other day or three to four times a week can help with this," says Mazzei.Is Purple shampoo good for gray hair? ›
Purple shampoo has been used for decades by hairdressers, mostly to help tone and neutralize blonde and gray hair, getting rid of brassy or yellow tones for an overall more cool-toned look.What happens if you put hydrogen peroxide in your hair? ›
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent that helps lighten hair color. To prevent dryness and damage, use a hydrating conditioner before bleaching your hair with hydrogen peroxide. Some side effects of hydrogen peroxide, like hair loss, hair damage, and scalp irritation, have been reported.What does peroxide and baking soda do to your hair? ›
Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can lighten your hair 1-2 shades in 1 treatment. When used in small amounts, 3% hydrogen peroxide and baking soda shouldn't damage your hair. However, your hair may show signs of damage if it's already been dyed or treated with chemicals, or if your hair is naturally dry.Is it OK to dye your hair with peroxide? ›
The safest way to lighten your hair is at a salon. However, you can safely use hydrogen peroxide to lighten your hair at home — you just need to be careful. Make sure you dilute the hydrogen peroxide, protect the skin around your hairline, and go slowly to get the right color without irritating your skin.What moisturizer to use for grey hair? ›
To quench your parched grays, harness the deep moisturizing properties of natural butters and oils, including shea butter, olive oil, or coconut oil. On a cautionary note, applying too much of these intense oils can leave thin or fine hair greasy and weighed down.
What should you not do with gray hair? ›
- 5 Going Gray Don'ts. ...
- Don't use blue or green shampoo. ...
- Don't start until you are ready. ...
- Don't go gray alone. ...
- Don't limit your options. ...
- Don't listen to naysayers.
Gray blending is a subtle hair color application that oscillates between highlights and balayage. Like a game of chiaroscuro, the colorist will first lighten large sections of hair with a light balayage, then accentuate the effect on a few finer strands to blend in the gray hair naturally present.Is it better to go lighter or darker to cover gray hair? ›
For grey hair coverage, we generally recommend that you aim to color slightly lighter than the natural hair color level of your client. In this case we would suggest you go for a color starting in level 6 (Dark Blonde) or 7 (Blonde).What hair color makes you look younger? ›
Caramel, honey, gold, copper, and strawberry give a healthy brightness that makes us look and feel younger. (Framing your face with lighter shades draws the eye away from any complexion concerns, as well.)What are lowlights for gray hair? ›
Lowlights, which, unlike highlights are actually a few shades darker than your hair, bring out the most natural look versus using brighter traditional highlights, says Michael Canalé, Jennifer Aniston's longtime colorist and creator of hair care line Canalé.What is butterscotch hair color? ›
The butterscotch hair color has a base of warm brown with strong hues and tones of gold. The color can also be described as being adjacent to caramel. This hairstyle not only looks great on natural hair but with protective styling options too!Can you dye your grey hair with coffee? ›
If you want to get darker hair and prevent gray hair completely, use coffee on regular basis. Simply take one cup of coffee and mix it with one cup of water. You can also add 2-3 spoons of coffee powder and allow it to dissolve. Let the coffee powder dissolve completely and then apply on your hair.How to make homemade hair dye? ›
All you do is add enough food coloring to a small amount of clear hair gel or conditioner until you get the shade you want. Then, you can paint strands of hair with a small paint brush, or you can use a plastic fork for a streaked effect.