Spotting the very first strand of white hair can be a moment of pride for some, especially for those who want to embrace the grey. But for others, it can be an intimidating sight, especially if they are in the 20s. In other words, while you might expect greying to occur in the late 30s or the 40s, getting a salt-and-pepper mop when you are just a twenty-something can mean that you are a victim of premature greying. To be sure, it can be a veritable Cruella De Vil moment when you’d want to know why it’s all happening to you and how you could possibly stop it. Experts say that premature greying is a problem that is increasingly becoming as common as cough and cold.
Home remedies to stop premature greying
You can find several ingredients in your kitchen that can come in handy. Here are some combinations that can help in slowing down greying:
Here are a few tips to prevent early greying of hair
Curry leaves and coconut oil
We all more or less know about the wonderful benefits of coconut oil — it can be an excellent conditioner and can help in re-growth of damaged hair. It provides the essential proteins needed for nourishing damaged hair. Now add to it curry leaves. The result: a highly beneficial concoction. Massage your scalp with coconut oil infused with curry leaves, which is said to be a foolproof way of maintaining dark tresses.
1. Take a handful of curry leaves and boil it in 1 cup of coconut oil for six to eight minutes.
2. Allow it to cool and massage your scalp with this mixture regularly.
Ribbed gourd and olive oil
Ribbed gourd is widely used to arrest premature greying.
1. Dice the gourd in small pieces and dry them out before soaking them in olive oil for three to four days.
2. Next, boil the mixture till it turns a dark black in colour.
3. Use this to massage your scalp at least twice a week.
Onion and lemon juice hair pack
Incorporate onion into your hair care regimen as it’s one of the oldest remedies to prevent premature greying.
1. Mix onion and lemon juice and apply this on your scalp and hair.
2. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.
Henna and egg hair pack
Apart from being a natural hair colourant, henna can curb premature greying too. A henna and egg hair pack, fortified by curd, can check premature greying while nourishing the hair from its roots.
2. Break open an egg in 2 tablespoon of henna powder.
2. Add 1 tablespoon of plain yoghurt and mix well.
3. Apply this paste to cover the hair strands and roots.
4. Wash off after 30 minutes.
Black seed oil
A common condiment found in Indian kitchens, black seed or kalonji, has been found to be quite effective when it comes to preventing greying of hair before time. Black seed oil can also help in curbing hair fall and hair thinning.
1. Warm up some black seed oil and massage the hair and scalp thoroughly with it.
2. Keep it overnight and wash with shampoo.
3. Do this thrice a week.
Known for its unique flavor, mustard seed oil not only helps in preparing great food but is also great for hair. Rich in antioxidants, selenium and healthy fats, mustard oil nourishes the hair giving it a natural shine and strength. The oil also helps darken the hair, hence helping to conceal the signs of premature greying of hair.
1. Mildly heat 2-3 tablespoon of organic mustard oil and massage your hair and scalp thoroughly.
2. Cover with a shower cap as it can get very sticky.
3. Wash after leaving it overnight.
4. Including mustard oil in the diet is also a good idea.
Salt and Black Tea
There’s another effective home remedy.
1. Take one tablespoon of iodised table salt and mix it in a cup of strong black tea (after cooling).
2. Massage on to the scalp and hair.
3. Rest your hair for an hour or so and then wash it.
Amla juice, almond oil and lemon juice
There are myriad benefits to amla. And combined with the goodness of almond and lemon, it can stop greying to some extent. Massage your scalp every night with a tablespoon of amla juice, a bit of almond oil and a few drops of lemon juice. This can prevent greying.
Cleansing with Shikakai
Shikakai has always been considered a brilliant hair cleanser. Experts say that it can also prevent premature greying.
1. Take 4-5 Shikakai pods, grind them finely.
2. Add them to half cup of sour curd. Mix well.
3. Apply on your hair and keep it for about 15 minutes.
4. Wash thoroughly.
Rosemary and Sage
Rosemary and sage are known for treating skin and hair conditions. And together they can fight greying too.
1. Take half cups of both the herbs.
2. Boil the mixture in two cups of water for half an hour.
3. Set aside for about a couple of hours.
4. Apply the mixture on the scalp and hair and leave till it dries.
5. Wash with a mild shampoo.
6. Apply thrice a week.
What causes greying
1. Vitamin B12 deficiency
Greying of hair is caused when cells at the hair base (melanocytes) stop producing the pigment which is responsible for giving our hair its colour. To continue making the colour-producing pigment, the cells need Vitamin B12. In some cases, premature greying occurs if there’s a deficiency of Vitamin B12. Research says that with the progress of your 30s, the capacity of cells to make the colour-producing pigment can weaken, resulting in greying.
2. Hydrogen peroxide
Studies also indicate that when our hair cells produce too much hydrogen peroxide (which is produced naturally by the cells), our hair can turn grey too.
Experts say that premature greying of hair has a strong link with heredity. Yes, blame it on your parents and your ancestors. If your parents faced it in their early youth, high chances you’d fall prey to premature greying too.
4. Lack of nutrition
You cannot possibly get a healthy skin and shiny hair if you lack nutrition. A diet deficient in vitamins and minerals can lead to early greying. This needs to be your focus area as well.
There have been studies that link smoking with premature greying. Kick the butt to stall greying.
6. Other medical conditions
Premature greying has also been linked to medical conditions such as thyroid disorders and anaemia.
FAQs on grey hair
Q Does plucking cause more white hair?
A In fact, there’s a saying that goes, “Pluck one grey hair, grow back two.” But it’s more of an old wives’ tale than a reality. There seems to be no scientific research that proves the adage. Experts say that we cannot possibly add to the number of follicles we already have. So rest assured plucking one grey hair will not make others strands go white too. Don’t pluck or pull out hair at all – it will only end up damaging follicles which in all probability will lead to balding.
Q Is there grey hair treatment in Ayurveda?
A Experts say that there are various Ayurvedic treatments and medicines available. But one should first consult a professional before trying these out. Go to reputed Ayurveda institutions and opt for a thorough consultation.
Q Can greying be reversed?
A Experts say that greying cannot really be reversed – one can instead take some basic steps to check an exponential growth of grey. In many countries around the world, advanced dermatological treatments or laser technologies are being used to arrest greying. But before one opts for such treatments, a consultation with medical experts and trichologists is advised. Overall, one must accept that greying is inevitable.
Q Foods that can battle greying
A A proper diet can work wonders in fighting premature greying of hair following a healthy diet can in any way ensure a great improvement in your overall well-being. As we have already pointed out, low levels of Vitamin B12 have been linked to grey hair. A Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to thinning and dryness. So include poultry, eggs, milk, walnuts, broccoli and seafood in your diet. Blueberries can also ensure Vitamin B12, and they contain other useful elements such as copper and zinc. If required, consult your doctor and take vitamin B12 supplements to keep the levels up. Some say that a deficiency in folic acid can also contribute to greying. So green, leafy vegetables must be a part of your meals. Spinach, lettuce and cauliflowers are some of the vegetables that are rich in folic acid.
Q Can stress cause greying of hair?
A We all know the Marie Antoinette story, how her hair turned white overnight just before she was guillotined. But we are yet to get a clear confirmation from scientists that stress indeed causes premature greying. In many cases, experts say, grey hair is dictated by genetics, but stress can just impact or aggravate the problem. In any case, reducing stress is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If it’s difficult to cut off stress entirely from your life, you can learn to manage it effectively. To begin with, start exercising. You need not start gymming right away, but begin with small steps – for instance, opt for free hand exercises or brisk walking. Meditation is also a way of tackling stress. Whatever you decide, consult a professional for better results. A stress-managed life can ensure glowing skin and a healthy mop.
Inputs by: Richa Ranjan
Image courtesy: ShutterstockYou can also read on Your Guide To Grey Hair Treatment.
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