Graying of hair is a natural process. Hair turns gradually grey due to a reduction in the production of melanin pigment in the hair bulb as the age increases. You will observe the first grey hairs usually near the temples, then to the crown and then at the back of your head. Premature greying is due to a rapid decline in melanin.
Greying of hair is sign of maturity and old age. When a person gets grey hair before the age of thirty five, it is the case of premature greying of hair. Improper protein synthesis is the cause of greying of hair. The hair pigment is called melanin. When production of melanin stops and air spaces fill the hair follicle, hair becomes grey.
Actually hairs are made up of cuticles which are outer layer of overlapping flat cells. Below this layer, lies thick cortex which has horn-like keratin as its building material. Innermost cells of hair are very soft and rectangular. Pigment cells, melanocytes, are placed in the cortex. Concentration and depth of pigment melanin in these cells determines the color of hairs. There is whole range of hair color from blond to black. Production of melanin stops when melanocytes die.
So young and yet so gray? It’s a fact that many men and women grow gray hair prematurely, making them appear older (and perhaps wiser!) than their years. For some, this is a gift but for many, it’s a trend they want to stop. Graying hair is a natural process, which typically happens gradually, beginning near your temples and then on the crown of your head.
But premature graying is due to a rapid decline in melanin, as the molecules separate from each other and the hair takes on a gray appearance. This can be a result of heredity, excessive or prolonged periods of stress, and other factors such as illness or deficiency of nutrients that reduce the production of melanin.
Cause of Graying Hair:
The cause of graying hair is due to a substance called melanin which is responsible for bringing color to your hair. Sometimes your body does not produce enough melanin or produces less as you age. Melanin is made from the amino acid tyrosine so if a lack of melanin is the cause this could improve your situation. There is usually no need to supplement with Tyrosine as you body will produce it from protein food sources.
Premature Graying of Hair:
Premature graying of hair is attributed to various factors such as smoking, consumption of alcohol. As per research, the hair of smokers is prone to graying four times earlier than that of non-smokers.
The process of graying is slow and gradual. The first streaks of gray hair normally appear at the sides or the temples. This grey streak is the most unwelcome sign and is often the cause of worry for most individuals, particularly, if they are young. Hair types, genetics, textures and even stress lead to premature graying of hair. Gray hair indicates a deficiency in some part of the body.
Gray hair projects an ageing look. Plucking out gray hair does not deter the growth. It is better to cut the gray strands rather than pluck them. Alternatively, you may use one of these great cover-ups to hide the gray strands.
The process of graying can be halted with proper treatment and intake of a well balanced and nutritious diet. Supplements of copper, folic acid, and B complex can restore color and hair loss in some individuals.
Balanced Diet for Hair:
Include orange and yellow fruits like mango, papaya, in your diet. Also eat fresh green vegetables in your daily food. These food products contain vitamin A which is essential for promoting glow of hairs and healthy scalp.
Vitamin B is another essential vitamin you need for the regulating secretion of oil and keeping hair moisturised and healthy. You can get vitamin B from tomato, banana, cereals, cauliflower, green leafy vegetables, yogurt and kidney beans. Also have foods containing minerals like zinc, copper and iron for health of hairs. Zinc can be obtained from chicken, red meat and green vegetables.
Remedies to Prevent Grey Hair:
•Eat protein rich foods. Proteins – Sources: sprouted whole grains, cereals, meat and soy in your diet.
•Eat foods rich in iron, minerals and vitamin A and B. Vitamin A – Sources: dark green vegetables & yellow fruits. Vitamin B – Sources: fresh green leafy vegetables, bananas, tomatoes, cauliflower, cereals, liver kidney, yogurt, yeast and wheat germ. Minerals like zinc, iron and copper Sources: zinc red meat, chicken & green vegetable iron beef, dried apricots, red meat, parsley, eggs, wheat & sunflower seeds (Iron Rich Foods copper sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, crabs and oysters, egg yolk & whole grains.
•Eat foods rich in iodine such as banana, carrots and fish.
•Drink butter milk with a 2 teaspoons each of yeast and wheat germ will prevent and cure premature greying of hair.
•Rub Indian gooseberry (Amla) mixed in coconut oil into the scalp regularly. It can show wonderful results, your gray hair will turn black. Boil some dried amla pieces in coconut oil till it turns black. Apply this oil to prevent hair greying.
•Grate some fresh ginger. Mix with honey and place it in a jar. Eat 1 teaspoon everyday.
•Massage your hairs with coconut oil and lemon juice everyday.
•Boil some dried ribbed gourd torai in coconut oil till it turns black. Massage this oil in scalp and hair roots should be massaged into the scalp.
•Mix 1 tablespoon of table salt to a cup of strong black tea without milk. Massage this water on the scalp. Wash your hair after an hour.
•Boil some curry leaves in coconut oil and apply in scalp and hair roots.
•Make a paste of 2 tspn henna powder, 1 tspn yogurt, 1 tsp fenugreek (methi seed powder, 3 tspn coffee, 2 tspn basil juice and 3 tspn mint juice and apply to the hair. Wash hair with shampoo after 3 hours.
•Massage your scalp and hair with butter made from cow milk twice a week.