Premature Graying Of Hair: What’s The Impact Of Ayurveda On It?
Balance a healthy lifestyle with ayurvedic secrets to manage the early onset of gray hair.
When you are old, having gray hair is normal. But if your hair turns gray in your youth, it might be a cause for concern. Having premature gray hair may impact your social life and even lead to psychological stress.
We go to great lengths to cover our grays, constantly coloring our hair to keep it looking vibrant and healthy. But hair dyes contain harsh chemicals that may be doing more damage to your tresses than just adding a pop of color (1). A healthier alternative is using Ayurvedic practices to treat premature gray hair.
Explore the different causes that lead to premature graying of hair and the various Ayurvedic treatments that can help (2). Keep reading.
In This Article
What Is Premature Graying Of Hair?
Graying of hair is inevitable and often associated with old age. Your hair gets its color from melanin, which is produced by pigment cells in the hair follicle. With age, these cells start dying, and as a result, your hair starts losing color (3).
While it is bound to happen at an older age, when the discoloration occurs before the age of 20 in Caucasians or the age of 30 in Africans, it is termed as premature graying of hair (4).
Ayurveda, the world’s oldest holistic medicine system, explains premature graying and also suggests cures for it (2). Let us learn more about gray hair treatment in Ayurveda in detail.
What Does Ayurveda Say About Premature Graying Of Hair?
Ayurveda believes there are three main Doshas (biological energies) that govern the physical body and mind Vata, Pitta, and Kapha (5).
Each Dosha is responsible for specific functions within the human body. When these three Dos has are in balance, it leads to good health and well-being.
Every person has a set of these Doshas, called Prakriti. Your Prakriti is governed by several factors like genetics, environment, and nature. Any imbalance in these Dos has can cause medical illnesses and disorders.
The Ayurvedic remedy for gray hair is based on the belief that premature graying, also known as Akala Palitya, happens when the Pitta dosha or Pitta-Vata doshas are aggravated. When this imbalance occurs in an individual, it leads to a reduction in melanin pigment, which then causes premature graying.
Now, the obvious question for you to ask is if Ayurvedic treatment for white hair can reverse this graying. Let us see what Ayurveda has to say about it!
Can You Reverse The Graying Of Hair Through Ayurveda?
If premature graying runs in your family, no Ayurvedic medicine for gray hair treatment can reverse it. In such situations, coloring your hair is your only option.
However, if you feel your hair has started losing color before time, you may consider Ayurvedic treatment for gray hair. Visit a certified Ayurveda doctor to diagnose a Pitta aggravation in your body. If it is found early, reversing gray hair through Ayurveda is a possibility. You may have to change your lifestyle and take Ayurvedic medicines to balance the Pitta in your body.
Ayurveda, which studies the body’s anatomy in detail, identifies several factors that may be causing this aggravation of Pitta. Once the cause is diagnosed, the cure becomes easier too. Given below are a few of these causes.
What Are The Main Reasons For Premature Hair Graying As Per Ayurveda?
1. Nutritional Deficiencies
As per Ayurveda, there are six tastes sweet, sour, salty, pungent (spicy), bitter, and astringent. These tastes encompass all the nutrients that are needed by your body. Your meals qualify as a balanced meal only when there is a balance of these six tastes.
Your hair reflects the well-being of your body. When your body is imbalanced in these six tastes, it causes a deficiency of essential nutrients. This can lead to premature graying of hair (6).
Ayurvedic states that stress, whether physical or mental, can aggravate your Pitta. It includes excessive physical exercise, overexposure to the sun, sleeping late in the night, fasting, and overworking. Air pollution or fasting can also disrupt the balance of your Pitta and cause premature graying of the hair. Similarly, stress at work or home can cause premature graying.
Every individual has a unique genetic disposition that defines their Prakriti. When a person is genetically predisposed to accumulate heat in the body, their Pitta will be imbalanced by default. In such cases, premature graying of hair is almost unavoidable (7).
Women’s bodies go through a sea-change of hormones during pregnancy, which can disturb melanin production. An imbalance of thyroid hormone levels can also cause premature graying of hair (8). When you opt for gray hair treatment through Ayurveda, the doctor may do some tests to check your hormone levels.
5. Excessive Styling
When you use products filled with harsh chemicals, you expose your hair to multiple substances like hydrogen peroxide, which can quicken the graying process. Bleaching your hair can also disrupt the natural melanin levels and lead to gray hair (9).
6. Medical Conditions
Some conditions like albinism, pernicious anemia, and vitiligo can reduce melanin production and cause premature graying.
Now that you understand the causes for premature graying, let us look at the Ayurvedic treatment for gray hair.
What Are The Best Ayurvedic Treatments For Gray Hair?
There are multiple remedies for reversing gray hair in Ayurveda. It includes medications, treatments, external applicators, and diet control.
1. Ayurvedic Treatments
There are three treatments for premature gray hair in Ayurveda.
- Nasya Karma
This is an Ayurvedic remedy for gray hair in which herbal oils are administered through the nasal passage (10). Since it is a delicate process, you should get it done only by skilled professionals.
This gray hair treatment in Ayurveda involves warm herbal oils being poured over the forehead. These oils have a calming effect and are effective in reducing stress (11). This de-stressing can, in turn, help in treating premature graying.
- Shiro Lepa
Medicated pastes and oils are massaged into the scalp and applied to the hair in this Ayurvedic treatment for premature gray hair (7). The Ayurvedic professional will massage your crown chakra to calm your senses and relieve stress.
2. Ayurvedic Hair Oils
Since premature graying occurs due to excessive heat in the body, Ayurvedic hair oils for gray hair, which have cooling properties, can relieve you of aggravated Pitta and cure your problem.
- Brahmi Bringaraj Oil
This Ayurvedic treatment for gray hair is said to be the perfect choice if you are dealing with excessive stress and other hair problems.
- Sasyakadi Oil
This cooling oil relieves the excess heat in your body and nourishes your hair roots. It not only cures but also prevents premature graying. This gray hair treatment in Ayurveda also enhances the quality of your hair (12).
- Coconut Oil
Indian households have been using this simple Ayurvedic treatment for gray hair for ages to get shiny and soft hair. Apart from being a cooling agent, coconut oil penetrates deep into the hair shaft for improved results (13).
3. Ayurvedic Hair Masks And Shampoos
Herbal hair masks and shampoos with potent natural ingredients can reverse premature graying.
- Amla, Shikakai, And Reetha
To use this premature gray hair treatment in Ayurveda, mix all three ingredients in equal parts and use the mixture to wash your hair. Your hair may take some time to adjust to this new routine. Amla is known for preventing graying hair (14).
- Curry Leaves And Coconut Oil
Boil a bunch of curry leaves in coconut oil. Allow the mixture to cool down and gently massage it on your scalp. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes to get the maximum benefits from this Ayurvedic treatment for premature gray hair.
For ages, henna has been a popular natural hair dyeing agent. Ayurveda suggests mixing henna with water in an iron vessel and leaving it overnight. In the morning, add other ingredients such as eggs, banana, or curd for better results. Apply this henna mixture to your hair and leave it on for a few hours before washing it off with plain water.
Read on to learn more about which Ayurvedic medicines can help you!
Which Ayurvedic Medicine Is The Best For Premature Gray Hair?
You can consult a certified Ayurveda doctor if you would like to explore the world of Ayurvedic medicine for gray hair. Some of the best Ayurvedic medicines for gray hair are Amalaki Rasayana, Bhringarajsava, Lauha Rasayana, Mahabhringaraj Taila, Prawal Panchamrit, Saptamrit Lauh, and Tapyadi Lauh.
Apart from following these Ayurvedic remedies, you can also try making lifestyle changes to combat premature graying. Check out some useful tips below!
Useful Tips To Reduce Premature Graying
- Always wash your hair with lukewarm or cold water as the heat from hot water can dry out and damage your hair.
- Cover your hair with a hat or a scarf when you step out to protect it from the harmful UV rays of the sun that can discolor it.
- Always wear a cap while swimming as the chlorinated water of the pool can add a greenish tinge to your hair.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that has all six Ayurveda tastes.
- Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals and heat to style your hair.
- Lastly, find ways to relax and de-stress every day to not only prevent premature graying but also improve your overall physical and mental health.
According to Ayurveda, premature graying of hair occurs when the pitta dosha is aggravated. The main reasons for this are nutritional deficiencies, stress, genetics, hormones, excessive styling, and certain medical conditions. There are some Ayurvedic treatments that can remedy premature gray hair, like nasya karma, shirodhara, and shiro lipa. You can also try Ayurvedic oils, hair masks, and shampoos to combat early graying of hair and use Ayurvedic medicines like amalaki rasayana. Pair these Ayurvedic treatments with healthy lifestyle changes to fight those grays and see your hair flourish!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should we eat to stop premature graying of hair?
Foods rich in vitamins D, B12, E, and A, like nuts, seeds, salmon, tuna, sunflower oil, spinach, beef liver, carrots, and cantaloupe, can help slow down premature graying of hair.
Does plucking gray hair increase it?
No, plucking gray hair will not make it more prominent. This is because only one hair strand grows from a follicle. However, plucking gray hair may be a painful and time-consuming method to manage gray hair.
Does vitamin B-12 prevent gray hair?
If gray hair is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, then its supplementation may help prevent further hair graying. But if gray hair is caused due to other factors like genetics or zinc deficiency, vitamin B12 supplementation may not help.
Does biotin reduce gray hair?
Yes, biotin helps reduce premature graying of hair.
Does gray hair mean baldness?
No, graying hair may not always necessarily indicate balding or hair loss. Gray hair is often associated with nutritional deficiencies.
- Premature graying is discoloration of hair before the age of 20 in Caucasians or 30 in Africans.
- Ayurvedic remedies for gray hair are based on the belief that premature graying happens when the Pitta dosha or an imbalance in certain energies in the body is aggravated.
- Oil inhalation, oil massage, and specific Ayurvedic hair care products can help treat premature greying if the condition is not hereditary.
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