No amount of plucking will make it go away.

No amount of brushing will completely hide it.

A windy day makes you conscious and tense.

You can only look in the mirror once you’ve dyed it!

Welcome to the growing number of people with early attainment of wisdom, i.e. premature grey hair. Breakneck speed lifestyles, fast food, pollution, and stress have played their role in the early greying of your hair. However, the predominant reason is still genetics. If one of your parents or grandparents had premature grey hair, the chances are that you will too.

Grey hair is caused by the absence of a pigment called melanin in the hair follicle. As we grow older, this pigment dies, turning hair grey or white.

So this is contrary to the belief that grey hair is a new phenomenon that today’s generation has to deal with. Dyes and colors have been in use for a long time now. The difference lies in the ingredients our ancestors used – they were pure and natural. Today, a host of chemicals with questionable ingredients have flooded the market, beguiling the embarrassed consumer.

So, we thought it would be a good idea to take a few ‘leaves’ from the good ol’ days and help you keep those odious grey hairs at bay!

Ayurveda says that those with Pitta prakruti (constitution) are more likely to get grey hair early on than others. This is because this constitution is characterized by excessive heat. So, it will help to avoid foods that aggravate pitta such as spicy, sour and salty dishes.

Home remedies for grey hair

1. Bringamalakadi Taila:

Massage your head with this Ayurvedic oil to nourish your roots and scalp. This will prevent excessive heating up of the scalp, which, in turn, helps in preventing the growth of grey hair. Massaging with this oil also enhances blood circulation to your nerve ends, which keeps your hair strong. 

2. Brahmi Bringaraj Taila:

Massage your hair with this herbal oil to prevent a dry scalp. It nourishes the root of your hair, reducing hair fall. It also helps destress you and helps prevent premature greying. 

3. Coconut Oil:

This oil is commonly used in South India for its cooling properties. You may use it along with 
(a)Aloe vera gel – Mix the gel with coconut oil and apply on the hair. 
(b)Amla (Indian gooseberry) powder – Heat 2 tsp of amla powder in 3 tbsp. of coconut oil till it becomes black. Apply on your hair after the mix cools a bit. 
(c)Curry leaves – Heat a handful of curry leaves with coconut oil till it turns black. Cool and apply on the scalp. You may also consume curry leaves as part of your diet. It contains multivitamins and irons that help prevent greying.


  • Gently massage the oil all over your scalp with your fingers. 
  • Leave the oil on your head for at least an hour or overnight, if possible, so the oil penetrates. 
  • Repeat the procedure 3-4 times a week for a few months for best results.

Myths surrounding grey hair

  1. Greying of hair can be reversed. Once hair turns grey, there is no permanent solution to reverse the process. You can color it, but it will turn grey again sooner or later.  Grey hair prevention is better than grey hair cure in hair care.
  2. Plucking grey hairs will result in many more in its place. Plucking grey hair will neither make the hair more or less grey since the hair follicle is intact. Plucking might make you lose hair though!
  3.  Grey hair means, ‘I am old’! Grey hair is a statement of the absence of melanin in your hair rather than an estimate of your age.

4. Til or sesame seed oil:

Til or sesame seeds are a rich source of anti-oxidants and vitamins that help prevent greying. You may include it as a part of your diet in the form of salad, sandwich or dals (lentils). You can also apply the oil extracted from sesame seed directly on your head and massage it. You could also combine it with olive, mustard seed or almond oil for more benefits.

5. Hibiscus:

You can soak the leaves and flowers of the hibiscus in water overnight and then rinse your hair with this water the next morning. The nutrients in hibiscus can help darken your hair. Alternatively, you can also use hibiscus powder as part of your henna mix (See below).

6. Henna:

Henna or mehndi is a better hair tonic than permanent dyes and colors. You may mix coffee or tea powder in organic henna powder, along with some lime juice and hot water. Apply the mix on your hair and leave it on for at least an hour.


  • The color you get will depend on the original hair color. The more coffee and tea powder you add, the darker the color will be.
  • Ensure you do not apply oil before applying henna as it won’t stick to your hair. You may apply oil after the treatment to keep the hair well-moisturized.
  • Use a shower cap after application, as henna tends to stain easily.

7. Walnut powder:

Like henna or mehndi, the hull or shell of black walnut is also used to make a natural dye to color your hair. Mix the powder with hot water and leave it for a few hours. Black walnuts are, however, not very widely grown. (The walnut that we usually eat are English walnuts.) You can also consume either walnuts or almonds to stop greying hair. 

Tip: With any hair dye or color, it is always best to check for allergies or skin reactions. So, before you apply it on your entire scalp, do a test run. Apply a little bit on a few strands of your hair and wait for a day to ensure you are not allergic.

8. Sahadevi (Veronica cineria) hair oil:

This Ayurvedic oil acts as a medicine to help prevent grey hair. It also helps prevent dandruff and promotes hair growth. This is not a very common herb, but you can find it as a weed.…

9. Dashapushpam oil:

As the name suggests, it is an oil that contains ten different herbs – 

  1. Vishnukranthi (Slender dwarf morning-glory)
  2. Karuka (Bahama grass)
  3. Muyal cheviyan (Lilac tassel flower)
  4. Thiruthaali (Morning glory)
  5. Cheroola (Mountain knotgrass)
  6. Nilappana (Golden eye-grass)
  7. Kayyonni (False daisy)
  8. Poovaamkurunnila (Little ironweed)
  9. Mukkutti (Biophytum sensitivum)
  10. Uzhinja (Balloon plant)

Traditionally, in Kerala, where these herbs are abundantly found, women wear these flowers or herbs in their hair. It is because the herbs influence your emotions and hormones. You can also apply this oil to your head; it helps prevent further greying. 

Helpful tips to prevent premature grey hair

  • Don’t indulge in harmful practices such as smoking and drugs.
  • Reduce, or altogether avoid, caffeinated drinks.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. 
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm (not hot) water. 
  • Protect your hair from the harsh rays of the sun and chlorinated swimming pools by wearing a cap.
  • Avoid using chemicals for curling, straightening or coloring your hair. The side effects can be unpredictable. 
  • Lead a stress-free life.
  • Include healthy and wholesome practices such as yoga, pranayama or breathing exercises and meditation in your daily life.

Note: Usually, home remedies take a long time with consistent usage to show results. This is, particularly, true with hair color. So, be patient and regular in your efforts. The health of your hair will be the best testament to your sensible choice.

Growing old is a fact we cannot avoid; however, there is no need to allow hair fall, dandruff or premature grey hair ruin the fun of aging gracefully. So, consider using one or more of these home remedies for grey hair.

You can also learn which remedy suits your constitution and tendencies with the Ayur Jagruti program. To know more about the program, write to

Another Ayur Jagruti initiative that promotes holistic wellness for women is the Ayur Saundarya program. Through this workshop, you can learn the role of eating and breathing right, along with skin and hair care, in maintaining a healthy mind and body.

(Written with inputs from Dr. Sharika Menon, Vaidya, Art of Living)