As we grow older and the black tresses adorning the crown begin to turn grey, many individuals will start to look for ways on how to stop or reverse the greying process.
Greying of hair is generally a part of the ageing process, and genes play a major role in it, since hereditary factors determine the timing and extent of graying.
Hair is rooted in the scalp and surrounded by tissue just under the scalp called the follicle. The pigment cells in the follicle produce a chemical called melanin, which gives the hair their color, be it brown, blond, red or black. Higher amounts of melanin signify darker color of hair. As age increases, the production of melanin decreases and this leads to grey hair. As melanin levels get lower, the hair shaft becomes transparent and this appears grey against the dark background of hair.
According to the FASEB Journal, published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology grey hair appears due to the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the hair. Reduced melanin levels can be attributed to four enzymes in the hair follicle cells. The hair sees a buildup of hydrogen peroxide due to a fall in the level of the enzyme catalase that eliminates hydrogen peroxide from the body by splitting it into oxygen and water. Repair enzymes A and B also become low and this also prevents the hair follicle’s ability to repair the damage caused by hydrogen peroxide which explains the cause of grey hair. The process becomes even more complex since the low levels of repair enzymes and the existence of hydrogen peroxide combine to prevent the production of one more enzyme called tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is the enzyme that produces melanin in the hair follicles and becomes essential to stop white hair from increasing in number.
Grey hair are not generally accepted and many chose to color them artificially to retain their younger looks. However, it is now possible to stop grey hair by taking corrective action and using numerous natural ways to stop this graying of hair and perhaps even reversing the process.
Proven Ways To Slow Down or Stop Grey Hair Growth
FOOD AND DIET
Proper nutrition is critical for hair color and prevention of graying, and a natural solution is preferable to medication. Good food promotes good health and proper functioning of the body besides ensuring good hair health. Recommendations to slow down or reverse the process of grey hair are also based on this principle of good nutrition.
Foods like meat, eggs, poultry, green leafy vegetables, dairy products and whole grain foods all provide the essential nutrients needed for hair health. Foods rich in copper like organ meats especially beef liver, mushrooms, shellfish like oysters and clams, nuts like almonds and cashews, all help to provide copper needed for production of melanin in the follicles. This will prevent premature graying and also delay the graying process. Deficiencies of these diet nutrients manifest slowly in the form of grey hair or even hair loss. It is widely believed now that eating one spoonful of blackstrap molasses everyday for two weeks will help in getting rid of grey hair.
VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
Medical research reveals that graying of hair is linked to deficiency of folic acid and biotin. Folic acid is the water soluble member of the vitamin B family, and grey hair is one of the numerous effects of a folic acid deficiency. This necessitates the intake of PABA or para-aminobenzoic acid which is important for the body to produce folic acid. PABA also protects hair follicles and prevents graying. Vitamin B12 needed for making red blood cells is also linked the graying of hair and hence suggested as a supplement. Other supplements needed to stop grey hair growth include biotin, Vitamin A and E, Zinc, Choline and pantothenic acid. Used as supplements, these will not only prevent further graying of hair but also reverse the process.
SHAMPOOS AND OILS
Most of the grey hair reversing shampoos have dye added in them; therefore, they cannot be considered as natural solutions for getting your colored hair back. Yet, if grey hair is occurring too fast, you must choose a shampoo that has AMLA, blackstrap molasses, honey, black walnuts, sesame seeds or apple cedar in it. These natural solutions have no side effects and they have been very effective in reversing premature graying hair.
Additionally, oiling can also help to prevent white hair; a combination of lemon juice and coconut oil, rosemary oil, almond and olive oil and black tea with mustard oil have all been tried and tested formula to reverse grey hair. While using a shampoo or oil, it is important that you use it on regular bases. Set a routine i.e. oiling or shampooing your hair every alternate days or three days in a week and follow the routine for at least one month or so in order to see lasting results.