Hair turns gray when it loses natural melanin. There are ways to restore or stimulate melanin production in the hair without using pricey dyes or harsh ingredients. Changing your diet and using topical oils and herbs can help replace the loss of pigment.
A copper-rich diet can help your body naturally restore melanin in your hair. Some foods include almonds and cashews, chickpeas, liver and oysters. Cereals, meat and fish generally contain up to 50 percent of the required copper intake for a balanced diet; add nuts or seeds like poppy or sunflower to make up the rest.
Eating foods rich in iron can help, too. Dark green vegetables like spinach and kale or yellow fruits like bananas and tomatoes are excellent sources of iron.
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils for your scalp. Not only does it help prevent lice and dandruff, it also promotes the regrowth of damaged or graying hair. Massaging this oil into the hair roots and scalp can stimulate natural melanin production. You can also combine this oil with lemon juice or Indian gooseberry (also known as amla) for an additional melanin boost to your scalp.
Brittany McComas has been writing since 2000. She has served as a scriptwriter, freelance writer, editor, dramaturg and producer for theater, television, radio and film. She wrote for a television series that won a Royal Television Society Award. McComas holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theater from West Virginia University and a Master of Arts in scriptwriting from Bath Spa University.