“To a person whose hair are white, flower wreaths, sandal paste, perfumes smoke, clothes and jewels can give no beauty. It is therefore necessary to blacken and embellish the hair. The same attention shall be paid to it as the collyrium (a medicated eye wash) and jewels.”
The above quote by Varāhamihira captures the essence of a healthy black mane. This finds special significance in today’s day and age where people of all age groups, both male and female grappling with premature greying of hair are perpetually on the lookout for a quick-fix hair colour solution. And the only options available in the market are chemical dyes that are hazardous to one’s health. While they will provide temporary grey coverage, they will also expose your scalp to an unhealthy concoction of chemicals, toxins and severe allergic reactions.
An Ancient Recipe for a Naturally Black Mane
In an iron vessel, take a sour liquid such as vinegar. Add to it kodrava grain (kodo millet) after removing its husk and iron dust. Heat this mixture and then grind it on a stone. Rub this paste over your scalp, while ensuring that the scalp is not oily. Then tie your hair with the moist leaves of aragvadha (amaltas tree also known as Cassia fistula) and let this paste remain on your hair for 6 hours. Then remove this paste from your hair and apply a paste of the fruit of amalaka (Amla or Indian gooseberry). Once again cover your hair with leaves of aragvadha for another 6 hours.
Remove this paste and mix together equal quantities of cinnamon, Kushtha (costus root), Renu, Nalika, Sprikka, Myrrh, Valaka, Tagara, Kesara and Patra and grind them on a stone forming a paste. Apply this paste over the scalp and then bathe. To remove the disagreeable scent of the mixture, rub a fragrant oil on your scalp.
A Simple Recipe inspired by Ancient Wisdom, that Works Wonder
Henna is an excellent natural hair dye, which results in a reddish colour. Adding coffee powder to the mixture will result in a dark brown colour.
Mix 1 cup henna powder, coffee powder, 1 tablespoon curd, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon catechu (extract of Acacia catechu tree), 1 tablespoon brahmi, 1 tablespoon amla or Indian gooseberry, 1 tablespoon dry mint powder and vinegar. Let the mixture sit for two hours. Apply the paste onto your hair and leave it in for an hour before rinsing.
Alternatively, one can also rinse the hair with black sage boiled water. The herb black sage is one of the most effective remedies for grey hair. It prevents the growth of grey hair and restores natural hair color. This rinse will add a bit of colour each time you use it to wash your hair and therefore frequent rinses will be required for the hair colour to be visible.