Having gray hair is inevitable as a person gets older. However, due to various reason, a lot of people notice their strands turning gray even at a young age. This process is typically referred as "premature graying hair". So, why does a person's strands turn gray? Are there some ways to reverse this atypical process? Lastly, how can you treat or prevent premature gray hair?
Causes of Premature Gray Hair
How will you manage premature graying hair? Before, you can fully answer this query, one should have an idea on how their tresses turn from blond or black to gray. Aside from that, you should also know the common causes of this phenomenon. Through this, you will be able to restore the natural color of your hair and at the same time prevent premature aging.
The graying process of your tresses starts when your body's melanin production ends. Typically, melanin production begins to slowly deplete between the age of 30 to 35. However, there are numerous factors that alter or hasten this normal process.
One of the most common causes premature graying hair is malnutrition. Basically, melanin is a derivative of tyrosine, an amino acid. Thus, a diet low in proteins may result in the growth of gray hair strands. Furthermore, in a study conducted in Sweden, they found out that melanin production also needs other nutrients, such as vitamin B12, folic acid, and vitamin D. Hence, a deficiency of these nutrients may also lead to premature gray hair.
Certain medical conditions can also cause this atypical process. Thyroid-related diseases, for example, can cause gray hairs. In some cases, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by certain ailments, like anemia, vitiligo and tuberculosis. Thus, most people with these medical conditions have a higher risk of developing gray strands.
Other factors that may cause premature gray strands are constant stress, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and the presence of free radicals in the environment.
Ways to Prevent Premature Gray HairCredit: Laura Tiitto
Clearly, the best regime to prevent the appearance of gray hair is to live a healthy lifestyle. To be more specific, eating a highly nutritious diet rich in proteins, vitamin B and antioxidants is highly recommended. If you prefer plant-based products, you can take oral supplements to get your daily dose of essential nutrients. Including protein rich vegetables in your daily menu is also imperative.
Aside from that, including relaxing activities, like yoga and meditation, in your weekly routine may help combat constant stress. Getting enough quality sleep is also essential for a strong and healthy hair.
Lastly, if you have a medical condition that can trigger premature graying hair, you should first ask your doctor for suitable dietary changes or supplements. As you know, some medications may contraindicate with some foods or supplements. Your physician will know the best course of action you can take. For example, people who are anemic can take vitamin B12 and folic acid to resolve their gray hair problems.
Treatments for Premature Gray HairCredit: Image courtesy of Stux - Pixabay.com
Is premature graying hair reversible? The answer to that is yes. There are several methods you can do to reverse this atypical process.
First, is by increasing your vitamin B12 and folic acid intake. You can obtain these nutrients naturally by eating meat, beans, spinach and other products rich in vitamin B. You can also take oral supplements if you feel that food alone is not enough. However, always keep in mind that the daily recommended dose for vitamin B12 is 2.4 microgram (mcg) and 400 to 800 microgram (mcg) for folic acid.
Another recognized nutrient that can help resolve your gray hair problems is para—aminobenzoic acid (PABA). Studies have shown that this specific nutrient can aid in folic acid production. Hence, it can help darken your strands. However, in these studies, researchers have found that its effects are more evident in older people. You can obtain this nutrient naturally by including liver, eggs, brown rice, and bran in your diet. You can also take PABA supplements. But, remember, the daily recommended dose for this nutrient should not exceed 400 milligrams (mg). As always always consult your doctor before taking any supplements for premature gray hair.
Lastly, you can also use essential oils to manage and restore the natural color of your strands. Coconut oil is one of the most commonly used hair treatment. You can also use a mixture of castor oil (2 tbsp), jojoba oil (2 tbsp) and mustard seed oil (1tbsp). You can gently massage these oils every day provided that it does not cause irritation to your scalp.
Premature graying hair can be embarrassing for some. But, as you can see above, you can treat and prevent it from appearing through a nutritious diet plan and living a less stressful lifestyle.
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