The occurrence of white hair with old age is obvious. But when you notice them in your early 30s and sometimes, even 20s, it’s absolutely disheartening. Both gray and white hair are the result of your hair losing its pigment. When there is a significant reduction in the pigment, the hair turns gray. When there is absolutely no pigment present, it turns white.
What Causes White Hair?
Genes are the predominant factor in determining at what age your hair loses pigment. For some people, it can happen even before they turn 20. For others, the first strands of white appear rather late.
Deficiency Of Melanin
In most of the cases, a deficiency of melanin is the leading cause of hair whitening. The production of melanin depends on appropriate nutrition and protein supplements. The lack of these nutrients causes melanin to fall below acceptable levels.
When you talk about the causes of premature white hair, you have to consider few medical conditions as contributing factors. Autoimmune disease and thyroid disorder can trigger grey hair. In autoimmune disease, your own immune system destroys your cells instead of protecting, which can affect your hair pigmentation too. Your thyroid gland also influences your hair colour. In the case of a thyroid disorder, it causes hormonal imbalance and reduces melanin production in your body. Naturally, your hair turns grey.
Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency
Deficiency in iron, vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12, and selenium may also cause the whitening of hair follicles. Deficiencies of Vitamin B12 and folic acid with lower levels of biotin were found in people having premature graying of hair.
Stress can lead to a flood of problems like anxiety, high blood pressure, sleeping issues, skin disorders and so on. Adding to this list is premature greying of hair. Yes, stress can turn your hair grey.
An imbalanced diet can speed up greying of hair. Processed foods, cold drinks, excess intake of salt and sugar increase the risk of free radical generation in the body that can cause grey hair.
Pollutants in the air generate free radicals and oxidative stress. This can in turn cause damage to the melanin cells, speeding up hair graying.
Smoking not only increases the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, but also puts your hair at risk. Smoking constricts blood vessels, reduces blood flow to hair follicles and leads to hair loss. The toxins in cigarette smoke can affect hair follicles causing grey hair earlier than expected.
Chemical Hair Products
Hair care products like shampoos and conditioners can lead to premature greying of hair, due to the presence of chemicals which decrease your melanin content. Hair dyes containing hydrogen peroxide and bleaching agents can leave the hair white when used for prolonged periods.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) – Every day, eat a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey.
Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) – Drink six ounces of fresh amla juice every day or massage your hair with amla oil one time each week. Amla is also known as Indian gooseberry.
Black sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum) – Two to three times a week, eat a tablespoon of black sesame seeds to slow down and possibly reverse the graying process.
Ghee –Twice a week, massage your hair and scalp with pure ghee.
Wheatgrass juice (Thinopyrum intermedium) – Drink one to two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice every day or add 1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder daily to your soups and smoothies.
Onion (Allium cepa) – Blend an onion in a blender and then use a strainer so that you’re left with the juice. Twice a week, rub this juice into your scalp, leaving it in place for 30 minutes and then shampooing as usual.
Carrot juice (Daucus carota subsp. sativus) – Drink 8 ounces of carrot juice every day.
Catalase – Eat foods rich in the enzyme catalase such as: o garlic o cabbage o sweet potato o kale o broccoli o almonds
Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii) – Make a paste of ¼ cup of curry leaves and ½ cup of yogurt. Apply it to your hair and scalp and then wash it off after 30 minutes. Repeat two to three times a week.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) – Take an ashwagandha supplement with food. Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng.
Foods To Eat To Reduce White Hair
• Berries – They are rich in vitamin C.
• Meat liver – Combats anemia and iron deficiencies.
• Carrots – Rich in vitamin A.
• Curry leaves – Rich in the B vitamins and minerals such as selenium, iodine, zinc, and iron.
• Spinach – Helps in the production of melanin.
• Eggs – Rich in vitamin B12.
• Beans – Rich source of protein.
• Sunflower seeds – Rich in antioxidants and minerals.
• Walnuts – Rich source of copper, which helps in melanin production.
If you prefer your hair to have color, there are a number of solutions. Many natural home remedies for gray hair are promoted by advocates of natural healing.
These approaches have not been clinically studied to see how well they work. It’s also possible to be allergic to many of these remedies. So, if you decide to try out a home remedy to change your hair color, consider discussing the remedy with your doctor first.