There was a time when hair graying happened to only older people. But in our present day, due to high-stress levels and pollution, we see this even among girls as young as 16. It has become an important concern and thousands of people, men and women alike, are seeking medication.
So how do we stop graying of hair? Lets us first look at why hair grays occur.
We all have that moment – when we spot our first gray hair. While some people may find it okay to spot the gray, for most, it is a time of much contemplation over what could have suddenly happened to bring about that much-dreaded sign of aging. There was a time when gray hair was related directly to one’s age and treated as a sign of aging. These would appear typically around the 40s, and in some cases, even later. But today, the picture is quite different. While most people spot their first gray around their late 20s or early 30s, there are some cases where white hair is seen as early as in the teens. Going by the trend, you’re lucky if you have hit the mid-30s and still have only one or two grays. Your hair follicles contain pigmentation cells. These pigmentation cells are called melanin; that’s responsible for giving our hair the color it naturally has. The higher melanin content your hair follicles will generate, the darker your hair color will be. And similarly, the lower the melanin content generated by your hair follicles, the lighter your hair will be. As we grow older, there is a loss in these cells, which results in lessening the intensity of the color and eventually loss of color. When the melanin count decreases significantly at an early age, premature graying of hair is experienced. Before we start looking at ways to prevent it and home remedies, let’s first peek into the causes.
What Are The Causes?
We say that too much stress tolls on our hair. True, but there are many other reasons:
Yes, this is one thing you can certainly blame on your parents, and they, in turn, can most likely blame it on theirs. It is scientifically proven that premature graying of hair is mostly genetic in nature. So if your parents experienced the same issues and spotted their grays early, chances are, you will do the same as well.
2. Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Another important reason that leads to premature gray hair is the deficiency of Vitamin B12. The absence or lack of this vitamin allows the graying process to happen faster and earlier. Because of this, the gray hair begins showing up at a much younger age than would otherwise have happened.
[ Read: Vitamin B12 Rich Food Sources ]
3. Thyroid Problems And Health Issues
If you have been diagnosed with any major illness or are suffering from some health issue over a prolonged period, then you can expect to see some premature grays. Also, people who suffer from thyroid tend to gray earlier.
[ Read: Ramdev Yoga Asanas To Cure Thyroid ]
4. Lack Of Nutrition
Being healthy is all about eating healthy and right. What you eat is what you will see, on your skin, on your hair, and on your overall health. The right kind of diet will give you all the nutrients that your body needs to function properly. If you are fit and healthy, your hair too will show the signs. And this will also help in postponing the advent of the grays.
5. Stress/Hectic Lifestyle
This is not something that is entirely backed by science, but it is a known fact that the more amount of stress you have, the higher the chances of your health getting affected. Those who are prone to getting stressed or take unnecessary stress show signs of premature hair graying earlier than others of their age.
If you have not been able to kick the butt yet, time to start thinking. Studies have proven that those who smoke stand four times higher chance of facing premature graying than those who don’t. Each time we see a new hair it’s equally frustrating, isn’t it? Of course, you can’t help it if it’s happening due to genetics, or some medical issues. But for all the other causes, you can surely try and postpone the appearance of grays. Take care of yourself, stay fit and stay happy.
[ Read: Hair colour ]
Now that you know the reasons let us take a look at some home remedies for graying of hair.
So what are the steps in preventing the premature graying of hair?
1. Reduce Stress
This is the first culprit if you are suddenly undergoing a massive change in your hair color. Learn to manage stress and handle your time. Take short vacations frequently to keep your stress in check.
2. Eat Right
There is an absolute need for us to eat right – pack in a lot of proteins as your hair and nails are made up of a protein called Keratin. Include spinach, dairy products like cheese, milk, butter, etc., if you don’t like dairy products, try low-fat ice-cream or better yet, protein supplements.
3. Quit Smoking
If you have the habit of smoking, quit it right away. Cigarettes are known to contain carcinogens or cancer causing elements that affect your hair follicles too.
4. Check Your Thyroid Levels
People with thyroid malfunctions – hyper or low secretions, also are prone graying of hair. Get your thyroid level checked.
5. Quit Harsher Shampoos
Switch to mild shampoos and better yet, organic shampoos. The harsh chemicals in the shampoos and conditioner are known to affect the product of the pigment and cause hair fall too.
6. Oil Your Hair
Sometimes, the dry, dehydrated hair gives way to graying of hair as there is a loss of moisture too. Oil your hair regularly or treat yourself to hair spas to see a better hair condition.
7. Avoid Usage Of Perfumed Hair Oils
These hair oils contain perfumes, which might contain strong chemicals. The natural the oil, the better the results and lesser the side effects like graying.
8. Home Remedies: What You Should Eat
- Ridge gourd, boiled in coconut oil, is known to help immensely in the treatment of graying of hair.
- Also, use concentrated tea as a rinse as it helps to prevent hair color loss.
- Consumption of curry leaves is not old wives’ tales. My grandmother, at an age of 70, has lovely long black hair. Even today, she boils curry leaves in coconut oil and applies it to her hair and makes sure I do the same. You can guess, I have jet black hair J here is a picture of me and my hair ;)
- Grate fresh ginger, mix with honey and set aside in a jar. Eat one tsp daily.
- Mix one tbsp of table salt(with iodine) and strong black tea. Massage into scalp and hair. Rest for an hour or so and wash your hair.
- Massage your scalp every night with amla juice, almond oil and a few drops of lemon juice. This prevents premature hair graying.
What You Should Eat
The best way to get the benefits of various nutrients is through the consumption of nutritious foods. Here are the top 6 foods that you can eat to reduce and prevent gray hair:
1. Fresh Greens
Make sure that your diet contains sufficient amount of vegetables. Increase the consumption of spinach, celery, capsicum, cabbage, cucumber, and other green leafy vegetables and fruits. Another important nutrient-rich food is spirulina (it is a blue-green sea alga). A big glass of green smoothie every morning is enough to brighten your mornings as well as keep that gray color away from your hair.
Now, you can stop your hair from graying by eating chocolates. Can there be any other food to prevent gray hair better than this? Chocolate is rich in copper, which boosts melanin production in the body. But make sure to eat pure dark chocolates. It will give maximum benefits and still not overload your system with calories.
[ Read: Fight Away White Hair with 7 Yoga Poses ]
How many times have you heard about the magic effects of Triphala? It has many benefits. Triphala consists of three fruits, such as amalaki, bibhitaki, and hartaki. Each one of them is good for your hair, skin and eyes. Drinking a glass of triphala water prevents graying of hair. It also makes your hair healthy and strong.
Include strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, blackberries, blueberries and mulberries in your diet. Berries are rich in vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in antioxidants. All these help reduce graying of hair. One of the most important berries to include in your diet is Amla and gooseberry. Amla is one of the most important foods for your hair and it keeps your natural hair color intact.
Salmon is rich in selenium, which helps in the production of the hormone. Salmon is also rich in proteins. It helps prevent the graying of hair. So, get some fish for you.
[ Read: Best Shampoos For Grey Hair ]
Almond offers many health benefits. It is rich in vitamin E, proteins, and copper. Include almond and other nuts in your diet to reverse and reduce the graying of your hair. Make a smoothie by including chocolate, banana, and almond. It is a good tonic for your hair and skin.
While these foods help in preventing and reversing the graying of hair, make sure to reduce your intake of alcohol, tea, coffee, fried and oily food. Improve your diet, improve your health with these six foods that prevent gray hair.
Homeopathy Treatment For White Hair
Homeopathy, a holistic system of medicine is a real boon for people suffering due to white hair and the premature graying of hair. Homeopathic medicines are based on dilution. Through this method, the dormant curative power of drugs is increased.
A homeopath treats a patient by taking a detailed case history and based on the findings, he or she prescribes homeopathic medicine for white hairs that is extremely safe and effective.
Here are a few Homeopathic medicines used commonly for eliminating white hair and preventing premature graying:
- Lycopodium Clavatum: It is the chief remedy for pre-senility and is also useful in treating premature graying of hair. It is also useful in treating baldness.
- Phosphoricum Acidum: Used to relieve fatigue and debility, along with nervous exhaustion and gray hair. It is also useful for preventing hair thinning and hair fall.
- Acid Phos: For treating hair graying and hair fall.
- Lycopodium: Early graying, associated with exhaustion, bloating, and other digestive problems.
- Silicea: Cures exhaustion.
- Thyroidinum: Works on the Thyroid problems.
- Psorinum: Useful in treating gray hair, especially when they appear in spots.
Other great homeopathic remedies for white hair are Nat Mur, Graphites, Sulphur, and Thuja.
If there is no way you can control and prevent the graying, switch to henna. Dense and intense dark colors are available in the market these days, and if you are too inclined, hair color is always an option.
Share your tips that you use to fight graying of hair.
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