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7 Causes And 12 Ways To Reduce White Hair Naturally

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7 Causes And 12 Ways To Reduce White Hair Naturally November 27, 2017

One of the most vexing outcomes of modern lifestyle is white hair. Nothing matches the dread you feel at the appearance of your first white strand. You know that there will be more to follow, and you look for remedies and treatments that might stop the inevitable. And here, we are talking about premature graying.

The occurrence of white hair with old age is obvious. But, when you notice them in your early 30s and sometimes, even 20s, it’s absolutely disheartening. Both gray and white hair are the result of your hair losing its pigment. When there is a significant reduction in the pigment, the hair turns gray. When there is absolutely no pigment present, it turns white. The exact cause of this is yet to be discovered, but following I’ve put together the factors that lead to white hair and remedies for reversing white hair growth.

 

What Causes White Hair?

Hair growth happens when old cells are pushed out by the hair follicles due to the production of new cells. It occurs in three stages—growth (anagen), cessation (catagen), and rest (telogen). During the rest period, your hair reaches its lifespan and falls out, and a new strand grows in its place. When your hair grows, it is injected with pigments that give it color. With age, the amount of pigment that is injected into each strand of hair gets reduced, which is why it turns gray and eventually white.

The occurrence of white hair is determined by the following factors.

1. Genetics

It is the predominant factor in determining at what age your hair loses pigment. For some people, it can happen even before they turn 20. For others, the first strands of white appear rather late (1).

2. Deficiency Of Melanin

In most of the cases, a deficiency of melanin is the leading cause of hair whitening. The production of melanin depends upon appropriate nutrition and protein supplements. The lack of these nutrients causes melanin to fall below acceptable levels.

3. Hormones

Your hormones have a huge impact on the pigmentation of your hair. An imbalance can cause your hair to turn white (2).

4. Medical Conditions

Certain underlying medical conditions can trigger a loss of pigment in your hair. They include a deficiency of vitamin B12 or problems with the thyroid and pituitary glands (3).

5. Stress

Stress caused by hectic schedules is a major cause of premature graying, along with excessive intake of alcohol and junk food.

6. Chemicals

Sometimes, usage of chemical-based shampoos, soaps, hair dyes, etc. may directly cause this problem. However, it can result from some allergic infections as well.

7. Extrinsic Factors

Changes to your hair color can occur due to external factors such as the climate, pollution, and exposure to certain chemicals. These factors speed up the process of aging (4).

There has been a recent breakthrough regarding the loss of pigment in hair. It was discovered that hair follicles release a small amount of hydrogen peroxide, which gets accumulated over time. It bleaches the hair and causes it to turn gray, and eventually white. By removing this accumulation, it is possible for your hair to regain its natural color (5).

Can White Hair Be Prevented?

Whether or not hair graying can be reversed to help white hair turn black is largely dependent on the cause of the graying. If genetics are responsible, there is not much one can do to reverse the change.

If the cause is an underlying health problem, consulting a doctor to see what can be done is the best course of action. Once the problem is treated, it may help restore pigment to your hair. However, this cannot be guaranteed.

Re-pigmentation is sometimes possible after hormone therapy treatment. Another way to promote pigmentation is by taking shots or pills of vitamin B-12.

How To Stop Graying And Reduce White Hair

1. Amla Powder/Oil For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 3-4 Dried Indian Gooseberries (Amla)
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil

Prep Time

10 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes/Overnight

Process

  1. Boil the berries with coconut oil to prepare an oil solution.
  2. Store this oil in a jar and take about 2 tablespoons for each use.
  3. Massage the two tablespoons of oil into your scalp and work it through the length of your hair.
  4. After massaging for about 15 minutes, leave the oil on for an additional 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can leave the oil in overnight.
  5. Wash off with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-4 times a week.

Why This Works

Gooseberry repairs damaged hair. It also works as a hair tonic which helps give your dark hair a lustrous shine. It has a rich reserve of vitamin C, which is an antioxidant, which has anti-aging benefits and revitalizes the pigment in your hair follicles. You can also soak dried amla in water overnight and rinse your hair the next morning with this water. Alternatively, mix dried gooseberry powder with lemon and almond oil to prepare a smooth mixture that can be applied regularly on the scalp.

2. Black Tea For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 tbsp Black Tea
  • 1 cup Water

Prep Time

20 minutes

Processing Time

1 hour

Process

  1. Boil the black tea in a cup of water until it is well brewed.
  2. Set the brew aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, strain the liquid and apply it to your hair and scalp.
  4. Massage your scalp for a couple of minutes and wait for about an hour with the tea in your hair.
  5. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Black tea replenishes hair with antioxidants and helps inhibit the growth of white hair. It also helps darken hair color while adding shine.

3. Curry Leaves For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • A handful of Curry Leaves
  • 3 tbsp Coconut Oil

Prep Time

15 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Boil the curry leaves with coconut oil to prepare an oil solution.
  2. Set the oil aside to cool.
  3. Once it has cooled, strain the oil and massage it into your scalp and work it through the length of your hair.
  4. After massaging for about 15 minutes, leave the oil on for an additional 30 minutes. Alternatively, you can leave the oil in overnight.
  5. Wash off with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Curry leaves help restore the melanin pigment in your hair follicles. It is also a rich source of vitamin B which is a vital hair growth and pigmentation vitamin.

4. Coconut Oil And Lemon Juice For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil

Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes

Process

  1. Pour the lemon juice into the coconut oil and heat the mixture for a couple of seconds until it is slightly warm.
  2. Massage this mixture into your scalp and work it down to the tips of your hair.
  3. Leave it on for about 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

Twice a week.

Why This Works

Lemon contains vitamins B and C, and is also a rich source of the mineral phosphorus. These are vital for the maintenance of the pigment cells in your hair follicles.

5. Castor Oil With Mustard Oil For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 tbsp Castor Oil (You can also use Jojoba, Kalonji, or Blackseed oils)
  • 2 tbsp Mustard Oil

Prep Time

5 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Combine the oils and heat the blend for a couple of minutes until it is slightly warm.
  2. Massage this oil mixture onto your scalp and work it down to the tips of your hair.
  3. After massaging your scalp for about 15 minutes, leave it on for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Mustard oil is an excellent source of essential minerals that help maintain the health and color of your hair. This mix helps keep your follicles nourished and healthy to curb graying.

6. Fenugreek Seeds For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 tbsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Water

Prep Time

Overnight

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Soak the fenugreek seeds in water overnight.
  2. In the morning grind the seeds with enough water to get a smooth, consistent paste.
  3. Apply this mixture to your hair and scalp and leave it on for about 45 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

1-2 times a week.

Why This Works

Fenugreek is rich in nutrients like vitamin C, iron, potassium, and lysine. These nutrients not only prevent premature graying but also help in hair growth and preventing scalp dryness.

7. Onion Juice For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1 Medium Sized Onion
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Cheesecloth

Prep Time

10 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes

Process

  1. Chop an onion into small pieces and blend it with about a tablespoon of Olive Oil.
  2. Squeeze the juice out of the pulp using a cheesecloth.
  3. Apply this juice onto your scalp and massage for about 10 minutes.
  4. Leave the juice on for an additional 30-35 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and condition.

How Often?

Twice a week.

Why This Works

Onion juice has been scientifically proven to reduce hair fall. It also helps reverse graying and improve the health of your hair. However, the only drawback to using this remedy is that it is hard to get the onion smell out of your hair.

8. Henna For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 5 tbsp Henna Powder
  • 1 tbsp Instant Coffee
  • 1 cup Water

Prep Time

20 minutes

Processing Time

3-4 hours

Process

  1. Brew the coffee in a cup of water.
  2. Slowly pour the brew into the henna powder, stirring as you do to avoid lumps.
  3. Apply this mixture onto your scalp and hair and leave it on for about 3-4 hours.
  4. Rinse with warm water and a mild sulfate-free shampoo.

How Often?

Once every three weeks.

Why This Works

While the henna powder does not help reverse graying, it helps cover up the appearance of white hair by adding rich reddish tones to your hair. Ensure that you are using pure henna powder as some powders contain chemicals.

9. Sage Leaves For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • A bunch of Sage Leaves
  • 1 cup Water
  • Spray Bottle

Prep Time

15 minutes

Processing Time

2 hours

Process

  1. Boil the sage leaves in water until it is well brewed.
  2. Let the concoction cool and then collect the liquid in a spray bottle.
  3. Spritz your hair until all of your hair is saturated with the sage tea.
  4. Leave the tea on for about 2 hours.
  5. Wash the sage solution out of your hair with a mild shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Sage leaves are a natural color preservative that keeps your hair from graying. In some cases, it also helps restore pigment to white hair strands.

10. Ridge Gourd For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup Chopped And Dried Ridge Gourd
  • 1 cup Coconut Oil

Prep Time

3-4 days

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Soak the ridge gourd in coconut oil in an air-tight jar for about 3-4 days.
  2. After 4 days, take about 2 tbsp of the oil and heat it until it is slightly warm.
  3. Massage the oil into your scalp and then work it down to the tips of your hair.
  4. After massaging your hair for about 15 minutes, leave the oil on for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

This remedy works as a tonic which helps provide your follicles with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and pigmented hair. It helps revitalize your roots and restore the natural pigment that gives your hair its color.

11. Sesame For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seed Oil
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Hot Towel

Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Combine the two oils and heat the mixture until it is slightly warm.
  2. Apply the oil onto your scalp and then work it through the length of your hair.
  3. After massaging for about 15 minutes, cover your hair with a hot towel and leave the oil in for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

2-3 times a week.

Why This Works

Coconut oil is one of the most penetrative hair oils with a rich source of fatty acids that help condition your hair. In combination with sesame seed oil, it helps promote melanocyte activity, ensuring that each strand is deeply pigmented. Sesame seed oil also helps darken the color of your hair with regular use.

12. Indian Gooseberry And Hibiscus Flower For White Hair

Image: Shutterstock

You Will Need

  • 3 tbsp Crushed Hibiscus Leaves And Flowers
  • 3 tbsp Amla Powder
  • Water

Prep Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Process

  1. Blend the ingredients to get a smooth paste. You can add a little water to the mixture to ensure that the paste is smooth and consistent.
  2. Apply the mixture to your scalp and work it down to the tips of your hair.
  3. Leave the mask on for about 45 minutes.
  4. Wash your hair with a mild sulfate-free shampoo and finish with conditioner.

How Often?

Twice a week.

Why This Works

This mask helps strengthen and nourish your hair follicles to maintain scalp health and boost healthy hair growth. It helps prevent premature graying while also conditioning your hair, making it manageable.

Tips For Getting Rid Of White Hair

1. Increase Intake Of Vitamin B12

Your hair could be turning white due to a deficiency of vitamin B12. If this is the case, reversing the graying process could be as simple as consuming sufficient amounts of the vitamin.

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes pernicious anemia, and your hair losing its pigment is a symptom of the condition. This condition can be reversed by maintaining a balanced diet that is giving you the right amounts of the vitamin.

2. Keep Thyroid Levels In Check

Your thyroid gland has an impact on all the vital functions of your body. An underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can result in premature white hair. It is necessary to monitor your thyroid levels to be aware if it is causing the loss of pigment in your hair.

Hypothyroidism is a serious chronic condition and might require hormone supplementation. Certain foods can interfere with the working of your thyroid gland. To keep your thyroid levels in check, keep tabs on your diet.

3. Quit Smoking

Your lifestyle has a huge influence on the health and color of your hair. Smoking has adverse effects on your body and could be contributing to white hair.

A study determined that smokers have a higher chance of their hair losing pigment than non-smokers (6).

4. Load Up On Antioxidants

Your diet may help prevent the occurrence of white hair. Just make sure that you consume enough antioxidant-rich food.

Loss of pigmentation can be accelerated due to oxidative stress. Oxidation, which is a natural process, produces free radicals, and the amount produced increases as one ages. This imbalance causes hair to lose its pigment and turn white.

5. Foods To Eat To Reduce White Hair

If you are graying due to a vitamin B12 deficiency, you should consume more seafood, eggs, and meat, including pork, beef, and lamb. Dairy products such as milk and cheese are good sources as well. Those following a vegetarian or vegan diet can opt for supplements or products that are enriched with vitamin B12.

Also, consume antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, grapes, green leafy vegetables, and green tea.

Here’s a list of foods that help keep your hair pigmented:

  • Berries – Rich in vitamin C.
  • Shell fish – Contains zinc which helps keep your hair pigmented.
  • Meat liver – Combats anemia and iron deficiencies.
  • Carrots – Rich in vitamin A.
  • Curry leaves – Rich in the B vitamins and minerals such as selenium, iodine, zinc, and iron.
  • Spinach – Helps in the production of melanin.
  • Eggs – Rich in vitamin B12.
  • Beans – Rich source of protein.
  • Sunflower seeds – Rich in antioxidants and minerals.
  • Walnuts – Rich source of copper, which helps in melanin production.

Can White Hair Turn Black Again?

With the right diagnosis and treatments, graying can be reversed, and white hair can turn black. But if the problem is genetic or age-related, it is unlikely to reverse the process. It is possible, however, to slow it down with a balanced diet and a good hair care regime.

It is natural for your hair to lose its pigmentation, and it’s up to you if you want to color it or display it in all of its glory. The consistent use of these remedies can help slow and reverse hair fall and graying of hair. They may work gradually, but with patience, you will see visible results. Have you tried any of these remedies for white hair? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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