There was a time when one used to wear the snowy streaks that show up on ones hair with pride and grace. Today, the trend is to cover up the white streaks the same way a culprit covers up his or her tracks.

However, the layers of chemicals that are used on hair in order to cover up the greys are actually your enemies.  Many of these chemical compounds are known to cause irritation, allergies, anaemia and neurological diseases, affect the immune system and cause cancer. Therefore, it is best to avoid the use of artificial hair dyes altogether and use all natural homemade dyes instead. The catch in using natural dyes is that it takes a few applications to get the colour in. But these would not dry or damage your hair. At all times, it would nourish the hair and restore a healthy volume.

Ribbed gourd
Dried ribbed guard is an excellent remedy for premature greys. It restores the melanin pigmentation for even black tresses. Take a ribbed gourd and slice it. Then, dry these slices until all water is evaporated. Next, soak about a handful of ribbed gourd slices in a cup of coconut oil for three days. After three days, place the mixture in a water bath and boil until a black residue is formed. Extract this residue and massage on to your hair. Leave on for an hour and then rinse off. Repeat once a week, until expected results are obtained.

Coconut oil and lemon
This is a remedy for premature greying found in young people. Coconut oil and lemon boosts the keratin and melanin levels in the hair follicles which is essential to darken the hair. Take enough coconut oil to cover your hair thoroughly and pour into a small bowl. Then add three tablespoons of freshly- extracted lemon juice to the oil and mix thoroughly. Apply on hair, gently massaging into the scalp. Comb the entire length of hair. Leave on for an hour and wash off with mild shampoo. Repeat twice a week for black, shiny hair. This would also slow the greying process.

This is best for grey hairs that surface with old age. Earth boosts the melanin production and also increases the level of melanin and keratin in the hair follicle. The only ingredient needed for this remedy is soil from your garden. Dig deep (about a foot) near the roots of a tree. Take about half a cup of earth and add enough water to make a solution. Filter the solution through cheesecloth. Collect the extract and wash your hair with it. Repeat once a week for soft black hair. This boosts melanin and keratin production and slows down the greying of hair. It is also beneficial for headache and sleeplessness.

Hibiscus flower and Indian gooseberry
This is a natural dye that could be used by people of all ages to cover the whites of their hair. Regular application of hibiscus flower extracts leaves hair shiny, healthy and black. First, take red colour hibiscus flowers and pulp them to extract the juice. Then, crush Indian gooseberry (nelli) into a pulp. Mix with the hibiscus flower juice to form a paste with thick consistency. Use this in place of shampoo, when you shower, regularly.

Indian Bahera (Bulu)
Use finely powdered Bulu (found in Ayurvedic drug stores) and mix with coconut oil to make a thick paste. Apply thoroughly on hair, leave on for 10 minutes and wash off with water. This remedy would help turn your hair black within few days of use.