I date a guy who is in his 40's and he has some gray hair. It's not fully gray, but he is a little paranoid. I am only in my 20's, so I think he is trying to stay young and prove he can keep up with me. I don't think he needs to do anything about the gray, I actually think he looks sexy. Distinguished and masculine unlike most "dudes" my age who look like they don't know what a comb is, or wear the latest haircut that Justin Bieber had on the latest magazine. But I understand, we all have things about ourselves we would change if we could. So I started looking for some natural remedies to help him. I don't dye my hair because I think such harsh chemicals would ruin it over time, so I wouldn't want him to either. After doing some research, I found a few things we tried to bring his hair back to the natural dark brown that he had a few years ago.
Health Conditions Linked With Gray Hair
First we needed to make sure there wasn't any medical reasons for the gray. It didn't seem likely because he is at an age when men go gray, but it doesn't hurt to double check. We had him tested for thyroid issues because things like Grave's disease, Hashimoto's disease, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism can cause gray. He was ok there.
Smoking is linked to gray hair, but he has never been a smoker.
I found a study by the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology where scientists observed that obese people may face an increased risk of early gray hair. He is a bigger guy, but that didn't seem to be it, and I wouldn't say his came early. Of course, the doctor did recommended losing weight.
Some vitamin deficiencies can make hair go gray, so we had some blood work done. It was time for a check up anyway. Among the things we checked for were B12 deficiency. You get this vitamin in things like meat, eggs, and dairy products. Being a steak and potatoes kind of guy, he eats plenty of that so it wasn't the issue. He gets plenty of vitamins by taking a men's multivitamin, and I make a healthy dinner for the two of us every night so I know he is well taken care of in that regards.
Now some medical issues where people have trouble absorbing nutrients will cause a deficiency. Usually, these involve the stomach or small intestine, things like Crohn's disease and celiac disease. Even gastric bypass surgery can reduce vitamin absorption, but none of these things applied.
Stress they say can cause gray hair, and some research backs this up. Its called oxidative stress, and following a diet high in antioxidants can protect against the damaging effects. No evidence shows that it can reverse the graying but it may slow it down. Besides, a healthy diet with a high intake of antioxidant rich foods makes sense for your overall health, so why wouldn't you do it?
Another thing is shampoo. While I doubt it would make hair go gray, cheap shampoo can leave hair fragile and prone to breaking. It can also dry it out and make it look worse. So I made sure we had a good shampoo in the bathroom.
After our doctor visit, and eliminating the possibly health related causes, we determined that his gray was caused by the most common reason most people go gray: Genetics. I guess you cant beat Mother Nature, but you can slow her down. And that's what I set out to do with my natural remedy.
Natural Gray Hair Remedy: Coconut Oil and Lemon Mixture
Now if you do a google search for natural gray hair remedies, a few things will come up over and over again. Coconut Oil and Lemon Juice. I did the work for you to find the right recipe and have created it for you below:
3 teaspoons of lemon juice (fresh squeezed and organic preferred) mixed with enough coconut oil (again, organic preferred) to make an even mixture. That is it. So simple, but it really does work. We will talk about that in a bit.
Massage the mixture into your scalp, and make sure to cover your scalp. Wait for an hour before washing your hair as you normally would with that nice shampoo we talked about ok ;-) Do that at least once a week.
Now if you want to know why it works, I will tell you.
Coconut oil is anti microbial, containing stuff like lauric acid and medium-chain fatty acids, which can improve the condition of your hair. That means coconut oil can also act as a scalp conditioner, fight dandruff and leave your hair smooth and soft to the touch. It also promotes hair growth by strengthening it, while reversing gray hair.
Lemon juice can prevent graying by infusing vitamin B and vitamin C directly into the hair and scalp. So even if you don't have a deficiency, these vitamins might never reach the scalp without applying them. Lemon also has a high phosphorus content which nourishes the hair and treats the cause of gray.
There are some other products which have been really successful for some men, but we didn't have much luck with them. It may be different for you so I would give them a try. Other options include:
Black Tea Massage
black tea is known for fighting cancer and improving heart health, but it also has great benefits for your skin and hair. its filled with antioxidants and caffeine, so black tea is known to stimulate hair growth while improving its strength and elasticity. For gray, it adds a natural dark hue to it, while adding a bit of shine. We tried it and I cant say it didn't add some color, but it seemed to wash right out.
Blackstrap molasses is full of vitamins like a healthy dose of of copper, and other trace minerals like iron, selenium, and magnesium. People often eat a tablespoon of it every morning for at least a few months to see results. We didn't even try this because his mineral levels were good and the idea didn't seem to have anything to do with his scalp or hair. But people swear by this remedy.
Onion and Lemon Juice Pack
Some people will use onion in their recipe instead of coconut oil. This is supposedly an age old remedy for treating hair loss and thinning hair. It is also supposed to be one of the most effective grey hair remedies because research shows that deficiency of an antioxidant called catalase and the build up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair roots are the two chief reasons for hair greying. Onion is full of catalase, and raises the levels thus bringing back the natural color of the hair. We didn't give this a try because the idea of possibly smelling like onions all day didn't seem like a good one. I am sure washing your hair would remove the smell, but then there is the tears, and it running into your eyes as you wash it, so no.
After using the lemon juice and coconut oil recipe for about two months, we definitely started to notice a little less gray. No, its not a cure for gray like dyeing your hair would be, but it's much safer and looks natural because it just tones down the gray rather than dye your whole head. It's kinda silly to see someone who has dark hair when they also have wrinkles or other obvious signs that point to their age.
We applied the treatment to his scalp once a week at first, then we increased it to twice a week. We only did it on weekends and the one day off during the week my boyfriend has due to time constraints. I think the effect was more noticeable with the second treatment added. It did make his thin hair feel a little thicker and made it super soft. If you give this treatment a try be sure to let me know what results you had. I am excited to see if my little recipe helps other guys with their gray.
Brooke Bailey is a personal trainer, masseuse, and student in health and wellness. She currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Follow her on Facebook.