Grey Hair Causes and Treatments; Home Remedies for Grey Hair

Some say that grey hair on the head is a sign of wisdom. While others say it just means that one is getting old. It is a fact of life that as a person ages, many changes in the body will be experienced. These transformations are due to various causes, although some changes naturally happen such as grey hair. The onset of hair color change typically starts beyond 50. But there are others that develop changes in hair color in their early twenties or thirties. This case is called premature graying and the color will stay the same as they grow older.

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Understanding Grey Hair

You need not worry about grey hair since everyone experiences it although at different times in their lives. First is to understand the color of the hair. The melanocytes are the ones responsible for providing color to the hair which is located at the stratum basale or the bottom layer of the epidermis of the skin. Through the process melanogenesis the melanocytes produce the melanin, the pigment responsible for providing color to the skin which also gives color to the eyes and the hair. As the person grows older, the melanogenesis process grows weaker until the production of pigment is stopped. The new hairs that grow out of the skin are without pigment, thus resulting to grey hair.

Causes of Grey Hair

Each person is genetically certain to grow grey hair. Although it is normal to have these as people grow older, there are some cases that people grow out grey hair earlier than usual. This could be due to lifestyle or hereditary factors. Some conditions of the body result in turning the hair grey.

• Thyroid diseases such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, Hashimoto’s disease and Grave’s disease have been connected with premature graying of the hair.

• Vitamin B12 deficiency, also called as Anemia. This may be a result of poor diet or a kind of diet that does not have enough vitamin B12 which are naturally found in milk, eggs and meat. This condition also happens with stomach that has poor ability to absorb vitamin B12 because of previous surgery which involves the small intestines and stomach like the gastric bypass. Other diseases that affect the poor absorption of vitamin B12 are celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and fish tapeworms.

• Smoking

• Early menopause

• Vitiligo – it is a condition where the skin loses its melanocytes which results to light patches of the skin and possibly grey hair.

• Extreme prolonged tension, anxiety and stress.

• Extreme ingestion of acidic and sour foods

• Extreme ingestion of spices

• Extreme ingestion of oily and fried foods

• Extreme ingestion of alcohol, coffee and tea.

The difference is the time of onset. There are others that have early development of grey hair while others experience it after they reach 50 years old.

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Grey Hair Facts

If your parents developed gray hair at a very early age then the possibility of you developing gray hair at a young age is possible too although it is not always this way. Age is the largest factor that affects the graying of hair.

If you pluck one of these grey hairs then it will grow back twice which is not true. It will also be harder to dye these grey hairs with color since the amount of melanin present has decreased. The development of grey hairs does not happen overnight but grows gradually over time.

Treatments for Grey Hair

The development of gray hair is unavoidable and should be expected at any time but there are certain treatments that could help delay its development to a later time.

• Eat healthy foods that are rich in vitamin A, B, iodine, minerals, iron and protein.

o Sources of vitamin A: yellow fruits and dark green vegetables like apricots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, spinach and broccoli.

o Sources of vitamin B: green leafy vegetables that are fresh, wheat germ, yeast, yogurt, kidney, liver, cereals, cauliflower, tomatoes and bananas.

o Sources of protein: whole grains that are sprouted, soy, meat and cereals.

o Minerals: copper, iron and zinc. Sources: dried apricot, fish, banana, carrots, whole grains, egg yolk, oysters, crabs, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, eggs, red meat, green vegetables, chicken and beef.

• Apply onion paste on your scalp for a few days in advance when taking bath as it helps the gray hair grow back to its black color gradually.

• Drink carrot juice day by day to help maintain and keep your black hair and overcome the problem of grey hair.

• Eat Iodine-rich food such as fish, carrots and bananas.

• Apply lemon juice and coconut oil to hair daily.

• Drink a concoction of buttermilk, wheat germ and yeast.

• Eat a teaspoon of grated ginger and honey mixture everyday.

• Mix a tablespoon of salt to 1 cup of black tea and massage on scalp. Let it stay for an hour then wash.

• Apply butter from cow’s milk on scalp and hair and massage. Do this twice a week.

These are just some of tips to help delay or remedy graying hair. There is no harm in trying to turn your grey hair back to its original color.

How to prevent grey hair

Here is information on how to prevent gray hair, premature hair greying

1. Stop smoking; it can accelerate graying of hair.

2. Reduce stress, overwork and lack of sleep has been connecting with premature graying of hair.

3. Check your diet. If your diet does not contain sufficient vitamins, it can cause gray hair. Eat fruits and nuts particularly, pineapples, blackberry, almonds, pomegranates, pumpkin seeds. You should eat copper rich foods like spinach, lima beans, turnip greens, yams and meats. You can also pop in a multivitamin; they contain copper.

4. Drink lot of water; this goes without saying.

5. There is a herb in Chinese Medicine called Fo-Ti or He Shou We, which is quite effective for preventing graying of hair.

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