Shannon's Edit

Reverse Gray Hair Naturally

June 22, 2011

If you’re over 40—or even under—there’s a good chance you’ve noticed a gray hair or three. Besides colour, the question is, is it possible to reverse gray hair naturally?

The answer is, apparently, yes.

My Attempts to Reverse Gray Hair…

I noticed the beginnings of gray hair when I was about 26. Spindly little critters that had a mind of their own, sticking upwards and outwards as a silvery sign of early aging. I’d been coloring my hair for goodness knows how many years, so only realised I’d joined the gray hair ranks when I decided it was time to stop— cold turkey.

I had a big urge to let my true color shine, whatever that was, I couldn’t quite recall. What I didn’t expect when I laid off the L’Oreal was a crop of anemic newcomers. But rather than rejoice my natural locks with their smattering of wiry strands, I retreated in defeat back to bottle and covered my head, once again, in a cocktail of chemicals all in the name of the big V (vanity, that is).

My last attempt at covering my tresses’ true identity involved stripping any evidence of grays—or color— joining the much-revered blond brigade. Not only did it fail miserably, I ruined my hair. The upkeep was horrendous.

Now, as an eco beauty editor, my addiction to hair colour definitely had to stop, especially when I realised how detrimental it was to not only my health, but the environment in general. I started to crave healthy hair, no matter its hue. So it was back to brunette, which turned a sickly shade of khaki at the hands of my former hairdresser, despite her best intentions. Grays were starting to look good, sexy even.

Another hairdresser and I hatched a plan. Chop it off. Start again. After a little bit of soul searching and contemplating, I did it. It was a move to herald in new energy and a new outlook on beauty. I’d been through hair hell and wasn’t willing to succumb to the bottle again — unless it was pure and natural.

Living foods pioneer Dr Ann Wigmore is well known for reversing her grays by drinking rejuvelac, a probiotic drink made from sprouted wheat berries. This alone tells me there’s definitely something more than hereditary at play — and I’m willing to experiment with Dr Wigmore as my inspiration.

Fast forward a couple of months and I still hadn’t found a colour I was willing to dump onto my hair, scalp and into the waterways. No matter what the labels promised, the ingredients told a different story.

Is hair dye the ONLY way to reverse gray hair? Perhaps not, depending on various factors.

Gray Hair More than Hereditary

All of this hair hoo-ha got me to thinking about why we go gray. Is it hereditary? Is it to do with nutritional deficiencies? My gut instinct and some research told me it was possible, for some of us, it could be the latter. Sure, I believe we can inherit certain things, but I’m not yet convinced going gray like your mother is a certainty.

What I do know is that so many of us live on dead food, devoid of nutrients and energy. How could we possibly retain any hint of youth when what we put into our bodies doesn’t promote good health and longevity? Not so many years ago (as much as I don’t like to admit it) I smoked, I drank in excess, I ate takeaway chicken that was no doubt pumped up on hormones and antibiotics, I worked in stressful jobs that sent my heart rate into a tail spin every day. It’s little wonder my skin didn’t glow and my hair started its early descent into old age.

Vitamins, Minerals and Good Fats

Still, I wanted to know first hand if it was indeed possible to reverse gray hair. I now understand that gray hair is caused by a B vitamin deficiency and lack of raw fatty acids and trace minerals including copper, silicon and sulfur. I was, only just a few years ago, no doubt deficient in all of these and more. The best thing to do was to clean out (cleanse) and top up (start eating food rich in these vitamins, fatty acids and minerals). And so I did.

Since eating a plant-based, organic diet that’s plentiful in all sorts of nutrients, I’ve noticed a curious occurrence. My grays are becoming less and my hair is shinier than ever. It has got me wondering if its a combination of giving my hair a chemical reprieve and treating my body with respect by only fueling it with good-for-me foods has something to do with it. Time will literally tell.

Reverse Gray Hair, Really

Living foods pioneer Dr Ann Wigmore was able to reverse gray hair by drinking rejuvelac, a probiotic drink made from sprouted wheat berries (see video below). This alone tells me there’s definitely something more than hereditary at play — and I’m willing to experiment with Dr Wigmore as my inspiration.

I regularly drink cabbage rejuvelac and eat an approximately 80 per cent raw foods diet (depending on the season). I sprout seeds and blend them in my morning smoothies. I’m going to be my own experiment and see if I too, like Ann Wigmore, can reverse my grays and reach even better health in the process.

I plan to blog about my experiences and the outcome of my ongoing experiment. So far, so good.

Have you reversed your grays naturally? Do you believe you can reverse gray hair?

  • Jessica
    June 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    The greys in my hair are slowly disappering. A year ago I stopped eating all animal products and gluten products. I spent 2 weeks on a Living Food center here in Sweden in september last year. The owner of the place, Anita Svensson, were taught by Ann Wigmore ( what an amazing woman by the way!).

    I also stopped using schampoo at the time. I tried lots of other stuff, like eggs for example. I ended up using honey. Now I just rinse my hair with water in the morning shower and use honey very rarely. My hair just never get greasy anymore.

    Good luck with reversing your greys =))

    • Eco Beauty Editor
      June 24, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Hi Jessica, that’s awesome! Thanks for sharing. I definitely think laying off chemicals (color, shampoo, conditioner, styling products etc) helps the health of your hair so much. I know it has mine. It’s so exciting to know there is a fix for gray hair – and it’s about being truly healthy! I’ll keep you updated on my progress 🙂

      • Mira
        April 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

        Hi Shannon,

        Just following up to your story.. Any success in reversing your grey hair with Rejuvelac? I’ve been drinking black strap molasses the past few months but haven’t really seen any results, wondering if I should try drinking rejuvelac.


        • Shannon
          May 27, 2014 at 12:16 pm

          Hi Mira,

          Well since that article I had a baby and moved countries, which meant I didn’t keep up with my rejuvelac as often as I needed to! However, I’m getting back to it and have been taking a good vitamin and mineral supplement, which has helped reverse some of the greys. I was reading that kidney health can also determine whether we grey early or not. I’m always researching it and I still believe stress is a big contributor. As with most things, I think it takes an holistic approach. I’ll certainly keep you updated.

  • Simone
    January 26, 2015 at 1:58 am

    Hi Shannon, I’m curious to know how you’re going with your grey hairs…I am also greying and am now on day 75 of what will probably be a 120 day citrus juice fast to restore myself to optimum health. So far I don’t think I see any changes in my grey although I’m hoping I will have healed enough to restore my ability to absorb nutrients and bring back the color!


    • Shannon
      April 28, 2015 at 6:29 am

      Hi Simone, thanks so much for checking in. Well, I’ve had a few stressy events the past few years, so my greys are still persisting unfortunately! However, I have seen a reduction thanks to some nutrition. I’ll do a follow up post for you (and others who are interested) and speak with some of my health practitioners who have some great insights as to why we get grey hairs, why we can get them prematurely and what we can potentially do about them. Stay tuned! x

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