Grey hair is commonly and usually associated with old age, and rightly so. It’s usually a sign of maturity and wisdom. It however becomes a problem for most people if it happens earlier than usual. Although some people graciously accept the new look it brings and move on with their lives, others are not ready to make the transition just yet. When this happens, lots of people resort to hair dyes to fix their problems. Unfortunately, the dyes contain chemicals that could be harmful to the hair and cause even more grey hair. The good news however is that there’s so much in nature that can fix this problem safely and without side effects. Why resort to costly side-effect-prone hair dyes when you can go for cost effective side-effect-free stuff instead? These remedies have been used for decades to handle same greying issues. They’re wonderfully effective in the halting, slowing, reversal and reduction of grey hair growth. There are also hair dyes that are natural, which could mask the hair’s greyness and create other beautiful colours like black, blonde, red and auburn without affecting the body system.
Causes of Grey Hair
When the hair is produced, it actually is produced as grey. It however eventually goes through the dying process by melanin and the regeneration process. The melanocytes are cells responsible for melanin production. The melanin produced is transferred to the hair follicles to get them coloured. With time though, the melanocyte activity decreases and stops, causing the hair to remain grey. Aging is the major reason why this happens even though there are lots of other reasons we’re going to look at.
Genes are the major reason for the greying of the hair. As mentioned before hair is naturally produced as grey or white. With aging, the melanocytes stop producing melanin, which is responsible for the coloring of the hair. Without the pigmentation of the hair, its colour is presented as white, silver or gray. The melanin pigment also moisturizes the hair, so the hair becomes dry and brittle and loses its shine without melanin. The catch here is that melanin could stop being produced depending on your genes. If your father or grandfather began greying early, then chances are you will too.
2. Race and ethnicity
Different races and ethnic groups have varying greying timelines. For example, African–Americans tend to begin greying at around 40 while white people typically begin noticing strands of greys by 35. By the time they’re 50 years old, half the population of people usually have half their hair grey.
3. Poor nutrition
Nutrition could affect the production of melanin. Nutrients such as vitamin B12, amino acid phenylalanine and protein affect melanin production. Healthy eating keeps the hair lustrous.
4. A medical condition
Medical conditions could sometimes be the cause of premature greying. These conditions could sometimes be genetic or autoimmune. An example is vitiligo, a thyroid disorder that whitens the hair. Anemia could also cause hair greying or whitening.
In this case, it is not that stress directly causes greying. What stress does is lead to hair loss. So when the hair grows back, it could grow back a different color.
7. Environmental Pollutants
Natural Remedies For Grey Hair
An onion is one of the most effective preventive and curative technique for grey hair. It contains antioxidant enzyme catalase which has the ability to restore the hair’s colour. Other nutrients contained in the onion that help slow down the greying process include phyto-nutrients, copper, Vitamin C and folic acid. You could also use the onion juice if you’re not excited about having to eat onions. The juice contains catalase which reverses greying. Along with this, it boosts hair growth and improves hair sheen.
To use :
• Blend some onion and have it strained with a clean cloth or sieve.
• Apply onto your scalp and leave for thirty minutes before washing and shampooing.
• You simply have to use at least twice a week for the best results.
• You could also try onion juice and coconut oil, egg or olive oil.
The benefits of coconut oil for the hair cannot be overemphasized. It has been used to treat dandruff, dry hair and frizzy hair. When it comes to greying, it’s no different. One of the reasons hair turns grey is as a result of excess body heat (pitta dosha). Coconut oil works to reduce this and thus prevents hair greying. It also rich in other nutrients and of course, antioxidants. To use, you could take the meat, milk or oil of coconut or you could massage into the hair with aloe vera and wash off the next day.
The use of tea is another method of reversing hair greying. Black tea, chamomile and rooibs are examples of teas that work. Chamomile is most effective with blondes, rooibs with redheads and black tea with dark hair. Black tea especially brings the colour of your hair to life and darkens hair. All you need are 5 tea bags and boiling water in two cups. The tea bags should be steeped into the water and left to cool before application. When applied, make sure your hair is wet and clean and mix the liquid with conditioner. Let it stay on for an hour or more before rinsing. Use cold water to rinse as hot water would cause the hair to lose the newly acquired colour. Also don’t shampoo, so as to not also lose the colour. Use this technique once in two weeks.
For centuries, curry leaves have been a grey hair natural remedy. Anecdotally, evidence from people who claim that the aromatic leaves when chewed daily or when the oil is applied, help delay greying. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin A, C, E and minerals such as copper, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. The leaves also provide nourishment and strength for the hair. It also increases volume and shine of the hair. You could use the leaves together with coconut oil. You could make a hair mask of curry leaves with yoghurt. Apply to your scalp and hair and then leave for about thirty minutes before washing.
Other things you could do to slow down the greying of your hair or prevent premature greying include :
• Take more fruits and veggies, they are rich in antioxidants.
• Exercise more
• Avoid smoking
• Reduce consumption of alcohol, junk food and caffeine.
• Avoid stress
• Wash your hair with lukewarm water, not hot water.
• Protect your hair from excessive sun exposure.
• Massage the hair often to improve blood flow
• Avoid harsh chemicals and treatments
• If you’re going to swim in a chlorinated pool, cover your hair with a shower cap