Causes of Grey Hair and Natural Ways Prevent & Treat It.
White hair is one of the most common medical conditions people face today. It is surprising most people don’t even know the causes and keep wondering why their hair turns white at relatively young ages.
The human body has millions of hair follicles or small sacs lining the skin. The follicles generate hair and color or pigment cells that contain melanin. Over time, hair follicles lose pigment cells, resulting in white hair color.
In this article, we look at some common causes of white hair, along with ways to slow the graying process down or prevent it, in some instances.
Causes of Grey Hair and Natural Ways Prevent & Treat It
There can be many causes besides age that result in a person’s hair turning white.
1. Vitamin deficiencies
Any deficiencies of vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, or vitamin E can contribute to premature graying.
One 2015 report in the journal Development notes various deficiency studies on vitamin D-3, vitamin B-12, and copper and their connection to graying hair. It finds nutritional deficiencies affect pigmentation, suggesting color can return with vitamin supplementation.
Premature graying of a person’s hair is largely connected to genetics. Race and ethnicity play roles, as well. Premature graying in white people can start as early as 20 years old, while a person can be as young as 25 years old among Asians, and 30 years in African-Americans populations.
3. Oxidative stress
While graying is mostly genetic, oxidative stress in the body may play a part when the process happens prematurely.
Oxidative stress causes imbalances when antioxidants are not enough to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, contributing to aging and disease.
A study from 2013 shows that smokers are 2 1/2 times more likely to start graying before age 30 than non-smokers. Smoking is also linked to premature white hair in young men.
Prevention and reversing premature white hair
If genetics or aging is the cause, nothing can prevent or reverse the process. However, treating graying hair could allow color pigmentation to return if the loss is due to a medical condition.
When diet and vitamin deficiencies are the cause of prematurely white hair, correcting these may reverse the problem or stop it from worsening.
1. Eating more antioxidants
A person’s diet plays a part in preventing white hair. A diet rich in antioxidants can reduce oxidative stress.
Antioxidant-rich foods include:
· fresh fruits and vegetables
· green tea
· olive oil
2. Quitting smoking
Smoking has adverse effects on the body and contributes to white hair. And researchers have found a link between the habit and loss of hair pigmentation.
3. Addressing deficiencies
Anyone who has white hair resulting from a vitamin deficiency should consume more foods loaded with those vitamins.
For example, seafood, eggs, and meats are good sources of vitamin B-12, and milk, salmon, and cheese are excellent sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin supplements that are available over the counter can also correct deficiencies.
4. Natural remedies
There are plenty of hair dyes on the market that covers white hair, but many of these contribute to premature graying and may cause allergic and adverse reactions.
Natural remedies offer an alternative to slow down hair-whitening without harming the body or causing further hair pigment damage.
An excellent example of these are:
– Curry leaves. The medicinal use of curry leaves goes back centuries. When combined with hair oil and applied to the scalp, curry leaves can slow premature graying.
– Black tea. Black tea can make hair darker, shinier, and softer. It can be used by steeping 3 to 5 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water, cooling and adding to clean, wet hair. Tea can also be mixed with conditioner, left in the hair for 1 hour, and then rinsed out.
– Copper. Low copper levels can lead to premature graying, according to one 2012 study. Good food sources of copper are beef liver, lentils, almonds, dark chocolate, and asparagus.
With the right diagnosis and treatments, white hair progression can be stopped and reversed in some instances. A balanced diet and good hair care can also help. In some cases, however, the process is irreversible.
Regular use of natural remedies may slow down and possibly reverse white hair. But everyone’s hair eventually starts to turn white, and the individual has to decide whether they are comfortable with the white or if they prefer to try and hold back what is a natural aging process.
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