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Supplements for Premature Gray Hair: What are Your Choices?

By Edited May 28, 2014 2 0
Credit: Photo courtesy of photos-public-domain.com

In my previous article about managing premature gray hair, it was clearly discussed that malnutrition is one of the main reasons why one’s tresses turns gray at an early age along with stress and free radicals. With that said, taking supplements is an option you can do to resolve this problem. But, with all the many health products sold in the market, which of them are really effective? As you read further you will learn more about supplements for premature gray hair. 

Vitamin B complex

One of the most commonly prescribed vitamins for gray hair is vitamin B complex. Is this supplement really effective? Before answering this question, let me first explain the connection between vitamin B and graying hair. If you’ve heard about vitamin B deficiency, one of its symptoms is gray hair. How so? Basically, vitamin B specifically B-12 is imperative for producing red blood cells. Without sufficient amounts of red blood cells, oxygen and other essential nutrients may not fully circulate around your body. Remember, gray hair is sometimes due to the insufficient amount of oxygen that reaches one’s hair follicles. 

Another type of vitamin B that plays a vital role in your hair's health is folic acid. Since this specific nutrient is essential in DNA and RNA production, it helps make sure proper cell growth or division of all the cells in your body including those in your hair follicles.

With that, one way to keep a strong and healthy strand of hair is by regularly consuming vitamin B rich foods. If you are not fond of eating fish and other seafood products, liver or dairy products; you can also opt for vitamin B complex supplements. 

Credit: Sardaukar Blackfang at wikimedia Commons (public domain image)

Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)

Another supplement that is widely known to reverse gray hair is the para-aminobenzoic acid or simply known as PABA. Chemically, this supplement is considered a part of folic acid. However, most medical professionals consider this as a “B-complex factor” and not as a specific type of  vitamin. This chemical is typically found in sunscreens. But, it can also be taken orally since it helps improve protein synthesis and usage. Aside from that, it also improves production or formation of both red blood cells and folic acid.

In relation to premature gray hair, scientific studies about this supplement and its effects to your hair started in 1941. As time passes by, it became clear that PABA has the potential to darken graying strands. However, its effects are temporary. Meaning, once you stop taking this supplement, premature gray hair problems will re-occur. It is also highly prescribed to take PABA with vitamin B-12 and folic acid. However, always  keep in mind that high doses of this supplement can bring forth undesirable adverse reactions. For that reason, it is best to consult your physician before taking this supplement or opt for natural sources. 


As you know, there are various factors that can cause gray hair problems. One common culprit is copper deficiency. It is actually noted in one article that the early symptoms of copper deficiency is graying hair. How so? This is primarily because copper plays a vital role in melanin production. Hence, a decrease in melanin production will inevitably result to premature gray hair. If you think, you are experiencing this specific type of nutrient deficiency, taking copper supplements will help. However, including copper-rich foods in your diet is still the best route you can take. Some common examples of these foods are fish, tofu, grain products, nuts, raisins and peaches. 


Proper nutrition is very important. Not only will malnutrition cause graying hair problems, it can also decrease your overall health. For that reason, having a healthy diet is a must. As for the different supplements mentioned above, it can improve your current hair quality. But, special precautions should be taken especially when taking PABA supplements. Hence, before taking these supplements, it would be best to consult a health care professional. 

Garden of Life Vitamin Code - Raw B-Complex, 60 vegan caps Box
Amazon Price: $20.53 Too low to display Buy Now
(price as of Sep 18, 2013)
Copper 2 mg 300 Tabs - Swanson Premium
Amazon Price: $2.75 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 18, 2013)


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  1. "PABA (Para-Amino benzoic Acid):." Vitamin Research Products. 15/07/2013 <Web >

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