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The sight of grey or white hair with ageing is common, but what if you spot a strand of grey hair during your early 30s or 40s? The first strand of grey that peeks through jet black hair is a dreadful sight, but if you do not take quick action, a lot more of them would sprout out in no time. Hair, whether it is grey or white, results from loss of colour pigment. When it happens as a natural result of ageing, there’s nothing to stop it, but if you are experiencing premature greying of hair? While there is no exact cause that leads to greying of hair, the next inevitable question that comes to mind is, can you reverse grey hair? Can we make white hair black again? These are queries that we will be answering in today’s post.
What Causes Greying of Hair?
- Genetic issues: For some, genetic predisposition could be a cause for loss of black colour from hair. While some people lose their natural dark colour in their 20s and experience premature greying, others can see white hair in their 30s and 40s. This is something that you have inherited from your family DNA and mostly nothing can be done to reverse the effects of such greying.
- Ageing: Ageing or premature ageing is a result of lifestyle changes, diet change, and side effects of external aggressors. Each of our hair follicle contain pigment cells known as melanocytes. Melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin, which is a chemical that gives hair its color. As we get older, activity in melanocytes slows down until the cells stop making pigment. When melanin production stops completely, any new hair that grows out will be grey or white in color.
- Imbalance in melanin levels: This is one of the leading causes of greying of hair. Often due to lack of proper diet, protein, iron, selenium, and zinc supplements, you experience a fall in the level of melanin. This deficiency in melanin level leads to white hair.
- Hormonal imbalance: This particular reason is more prevalent in men than in women. Sometimes, due to certain medications, the hormone cycle in our body gets disrupted which in turn causes premature greying of hair.
- Stress: Stress is a big factor leading to premature greying of hair. If you lead a stressful life, then high level of cortisol can play havoc on your hair and skin.
- Use of wrong hair care products: Prolonged use of products laden with harmful chemicals take a heavy toll on the quality of hair. Sometimes, this can also trigger allergic reactions and turn your hair grey.
- Effect of external aggressors: 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 ageing.
Can Grey Hair be Reversed?
This answer to this question depends largely on a number of factors. Firstly, you need to identify the underlying cause of greying of hair. If the cause is genetic, then you cannot do much to reverse signs of greying hair. However, if this has occurred due to some medical condition or hormonal change, then this problem can be solved partially. You would need to visit a medical practitioner and eliminate the root cause from the grass root level. Only then you can expect the issue of greying hair to be solved.
Other than that, if the causes are due to use of wrong products, smoking, stress or unhealthy lifestyle, the choice depends on you of whether you want to stay away from these temptations. Once you start living a healthy life, it may help restore pigment to your hair. However, this cannot be guaranteed.
Natural Remedies to Treat Grey Hair:
In this section, we will list some natural remedies to reverse the effects of grey hair. Expect this to work only when you are leading a good lifestyle or the underlying cause is not due to genetic or hormonal changes.
- Adding Vitamin B12 to your diet: Greying of hair is often linked to vitamin B12 deficiency. You need to take supplements rich in vitamin B12 or have foods rich that is a rich source of this vitamin. 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. The best way to check whether you are vitamin B12 deficient is to get a blood test and then go for suitable supplements prescribed by the doctor.
- Amla or Indian Gooseberry: Amla is called a superfood for a reason. Its vitamin C rich content takes care of a lot of skin and hair care woes, and greying hair is just one of them. If you are facing grey hair due to ageing, amla being an anti-ageing herb will be an amazing hair care tonic to strengthen hair follicles and ousts free radicals responsible for greying hair. Make your own homemade amla oil – all details in this post here. Also, amla oils have natural staining properties that conceal white hair.
- Apply coconut oil: The goodness of coconut oil is more than you can imagine. Coconut oil can be used to treat a multitude of hair-related issues, including lice, dandruff, balding, and, you guessed it right, greying hair. Its nourishing properties help to reverse ageing. Warm up a bit of coconut oil and apply it through finger tips from scalp to the hair ends. Wrap hair into a high bun and leave overnight two days in a week to see a great effect. Also, use these home remedies to get rid of white hair.
- Using hair-strengthening herbs to stop greying: Other than coconut oil and amla, there are a number traditional ayurvedic solutions to treat grey hair naturally. Some of these are juice of onion, sesame seeds, black tea, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds and castor oil. These herbs help to reverse greying and improve the health of your hair. They also help to restore melanin pigment in your hair follicles.
- Add antioxidants to your diet: Consuming anti-oxidant rich food is necessary in order to prevent the loss caused by oxidative stress. The process of oxidation produces free radicals that interrupt with the production of melanin in hair follicles. Consume antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, grapes, green leafy vegetables, pomegranate, and green tea.
- Intake of balanced diet: Refined or processed food items are not only responsible for increase in body weight but also play a negative role in premature greying. Such food items supply body with free radicals which in turn wreak havoc in the normal functioning of cells. So, make sure that you indulge in a real balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Now, summarizing what we said above. It is possible to reverse the effects of greying of hair but that depends on the root cause of greying. While greying of hair due to genetic problems and ageing cannot be reversed, but if the cause is due to wrong lifestyle or hormonal problems, hair can turn black again with proper diagnosis and following natural remedies alongside leading a healthy life. Greying of hair due to loss of colour defining chemical, melanin is natural but you can always slow down the process with a concerted effort of having a balanced diet and practising a good hair care regime. Also, the consistent use of natural remedies can slowly help to stop the effects of grey hair. They take time to show results but with patience you will surely feel the difference. Hope this article cleared your doubts. Tell us about your experience after trying out these remedies.