Black is one of the most common natural hair colors. Black hair is often seen as a sign of healthy and strong hair. Prevalent issues like pollution, heat, UV rays, and improper hair care and maintenance can cause premature aging of hair. When that happens, the hair loses its natural color and becomes white or gray.
In this article, we break down what makes hair black and how you can keep it dark. Read on to know more.
Table Of Contents
What Makes Hair Black?
Your hair color is determined by the melanin content in your hair. There are two types of melanin that determine your natural hair color: eumelanin and pheomelanin (1). The more the eumelanin, the darker the hair.
The biggest issue with black hair is that graying is spotted easily. Parameters like premature aging of hair, extensive use of chemicals, stress, heat, and hair damage can cause hair to lose its natural pigmentation and become white (2).
Adding natural ingredients to your hair care routine can help preserve your hair’s natural pigment. Here are some ingredients that help keep hair dark.
Natural Hair Dyes To Keep Hair Black
- Coffee: The caffeine in coffee was found to stimulate hair growth in androgenetic alopecia (3). It also elongates the hair shaft, prolongs anagen duration, and stimulates the proliferation of keratinocytes (4). Coffee is often used to color hair red or black (5).
- False Daisy: Bhringraj or false daisy has been used for centuries in Ayurveda to help keep hair black. It helps enhance hair’s natural color. It helped stimulate hair growth in animals (6).
- It contains alkaloids, flavonoids¸ polyacetylenes, triterpenes, and glycosides, which make this plant a good hair dye (7). It not only darkens hair but also reduces hair loss and stimulates hair growth.
- Tea: Black tea has been used as a natural hair dye for centuries in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine. It contains tannins that increase the color intensity of hair (8).
- Henna: Henna is one of the most popular natural hair dyes. It contains lawsone, a red-orange compound that makes hair dark (9). Henna is known to prevent premature graying of hair.
- Amla: The Indian gooseberry is known to help enhance hair’s natural color. It is often used as a natural ingredient in dyes to keep the hair color dark (10). It contains a high content of vitamin C, which helps reduce hair loss.
- Indigo: Although indigo gives off a natural blue color, it is often used in pair with henna to keep hair black (11).
Here are some oils to use in combination with the above ingredients.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil can penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen it from within (12). It prevents hair damage and premature graying of hair.
- Olive Oil: Olive oil can penetrate the hair cortex and moisturize the hair from within (13). This strengthens hair color and keeps it black. It also reduces hair damage and hair loss.
- Jojoba Oil: Jojoba oil moisturizes and conditions the hair and promotes healthy scalp and hair (14).
- Argan oil: Argan oil helps stimulate hair growth. It also keeps the hair moisturized (15).
Maintenance is key to enhancing the hair’s natural color and preventing hair damage. Here are some hair care tips to help keep your hair black.
Tips To Keep Hair Black
- Be gentle with your hair. Whether you are combing, massaging, or styling your hair, it is important to be gentle with your hair.
- Oil your hair regularly. Some oils, like coconut oil, can nourish your hair from within and prevent hair damage.
- Heating some oils, like olive oil, can help them penetrate the cortex and nourish the hair from within.
- Massage your hair regularly. Research shows that massaging the scalp stimulates blood circulation and increases hair thickness (16).
- Hair treatments, like keratin treatment, may enhance the natural color of hair. The aim is to enhance the protein content of hair and reduce hair damage.
- Use combs and brushes suitable for your hair. If you have kinky hair, use a bristle brush. If you have straight or wavy hair, use a wide-toothed comb. Brush your hair gently to avoid breakage or damage.
- Do not comb your hair when it is wet. Wet hair tends to stretch up to 70%. This may cause it to break or damage.
- Another tip is to use your towel the right way. Dry your hair gently with a soft towel. A great tip is to pat or scrunch dry your hair.
- Avoid shampoos that have sulfates and parabens. They load your scalp and hair with harsh chemicals that cause damage, making your hair brittle and more prone to breakage.
- Make sure your scalp and hair are clean. Wash your hair at least once every three days. Massage the shampoo on your hair and scalp to remove accumulated dust, oil build-up, and dirt.
- Deep condition your hair at least once a week. The concentrated nutrients nourish the hair and keep it healthy.
- Don’t use too many chemical products or treatments on your hair. These products and treatments contain chemicals that may infiltrate hair and damage it, causing hair fall.
- Avoid hairstyles like tight ponytails, pigtails, or braids on a daily basis. Using hair elastics to pull back hair tightly can cause hair fall.
- Consider taking nutrient supplements to balance deficiencies that cause hair loss (17). This can prevent hair loss and may promote hair growth.
- Exercise and yoga are known to relieve stress. This, in turn, may inhibit hair loss.
Now you know how hair maintenance can keep your hair black. Caring for hair regularly keeps it healthy, reduces hair damage, and strengthens the melanin content. Follow the maintenance tips discussed above to keep your hair black.
- Sehrawat, Manu, et al. “Biology of hair pigmentation and its role in premature canities.” Pigment International 4.1 (2017): 7.
- Peters, Eva & Imfeld, Dominik & Campiche, Remo. (2011). “Graying of the human hair follicle.” Journal of cosmetic science. 62. 121-125.
- Fischer, T W et al. “Effect of caffeine and testosterone on the proliferation of human hair follicles in vitro.” International journal of dermatology vol. 46,1 (2007): 27-35.
- Dhurat, Rachita et al. “An Open-Label Randomized Multicenter Study Assessing the Noninferiority of a Caffeine-Based Topical Liquid 0.2% versus Minoxidil 5% Solution in Male Androgenetic Alopecia.” Skin pharmacology and physiology vol. 30,6 (2017): 298-305.
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- Jain, PUSHPENDRA KUMAR, et al. “Traditional Indian herb Emblica officinalis and its medicinal importance.” Innov J Ayurvedic Sci 4.4 (2016): 1-15.
- Pal, Rashmi Saxena, et al. “Synthesis and Evaluation of Herbal Based Hair Dye.” The Open Dermatology Journal 12.1 (2018).
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- Koyama, Taro et al. “Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue.” Eplasty vol. 16 e8. 25 Jan. 2016
- Almohanna, Hind M et al. “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review.” Dermatology and therapy vol. 9,1 (2019): 51-70.