What Causes Greying of Hair

If you are genetically prone to early balding or greying of hair, blame your ancestors. But largely, hair health depends on your blood circulation and nutrition. Hair colour is the result of pigmentation attributed to the presence of certain specific chemicals known as eumelanin and pheomelanin (broadly referred to as melanin).

The stem cells at the base of hair follicles are responsible for producing melanocytes, the cells that produce and store pigment in hair and skin. In general, the more melanin present, the darker the hair colour; the less melanin, the lighter the hair colour.

What Causes Greying of Hair

Grey hair is usually associated with aging, but this is not always the case. The change in hair colour is caused by the gradual decrease of pigmentation that occurs when melanin ceases to be produced in the hair root and new hair grows in without pigment. The death of the melanocyte stem cells causes the onset of greying.

Early greying of the hair is basically hereditary. Since hair is made up of protein, low protein intake can result in a change of hair colour, change its texture making it look dull and lifeless, and cause unnecessary thinning.

Stress can also influence greying of hair. A person experiencing a prolonged period of stress, worry and anxiety may notice premature greying of hair, over a period of time. This is because prolonged stress brings about biochemical changes within the body and may cause premature greying of hair.

Excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, refined flour and sugar, red meat, and fried, spicy, and acidic foods can reduce the moisture, oxygen, and nutrients reaching the hair follicles, subsequently leading to premature greying.

A drop-in melanin can be due to vital minerals like copper, selenium, iron and calcium and vitamins like B12 and folic acid. Chronic illness such as diabetes, pernicious anemia, albinism or thyroid malfunction too can stop or affect the production of melanin.

Treatment for greying of hair

Greying of hair at an early age is primarily due to hereditary reasons or due to intense stress, but lack of a balanced and wholesome diet, rich in nutrients plays a pivotal role in early greying of hair.

Tips to maintain healthy hair:

  • Take enough antioxidants both in the natural form as in vegetable and fruit juices. Raw nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, and supplements of vitamin E, selenium, zinc, folic acid, and the B-vitamins are beneficial.
  • Consume good quality of protein (approximately 40-50 grams daily) to give your hair a natural shine. Include more of sprouted whole grains, cereals, eggs and soy.
  • Include dark green vegetables and orange & yellow fruits & vegetables in your diet as they are rich in vitamin A, which aids in promoting a healthy scalp and glow to your hair.
  • Including minerals like zinc (present in chicken and eggs), iron (green leafy vegetables, sesame seeds) & copper (whole grains and fish) also promote healthy hair.
  • Avoid foods loaded with artificial colours and preservatives, as they put a strain on your digestive system. They can to dull and brittle hair along with a dehydrated scalp.

Read more: Home remedies for hair fall

  • Nourishment and proper grooming are important to keep the hair texture, growth, shine and luster in good condition. So, use a shampoo & conditioner that suits your hair type. Choose products that are gentle, preferably without any harsh detergent like sodium lauryl sulfate. For daily washes, use a mild shampoo that is gentle & moisturizing.
  • Daily massage your hair with your fingertips; it helps proper blood circulation in the scalp. Regular massage of hair scalp with “amla” paste along with warm coconut oil and lemon works wonders.
  • Boiling soaked rithas and shikakai pods and using this liquid as the shampoo improves hair health. Soak dried amla (10-12) overnight and apply the strained water on hair as a natural conditioner. This will leave your hair smooth and shiny and stop premature greying of your hair.
  • Exercising regularly for about 30-40 minutes promotes proper blood circulation to hair follicles.

Many hair problems are due to faulty genes or too much of the male hormone testosterone. But you can improve your hair health by changing your diet and taking vitamin supplements. For a personalised hair care plan, call our toll-free 1800-266-0607 to book your appointment.

August 30, 2019

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