It is always believed that stressful life leads to gray or white hair color. However, it’s generally your genes that dictate how early and quickly it takes place. As per research, Asians in their mid-30’s start graying and African Americans start graying in their mid-40’s.
Hair color is produced via pigment cells referred to as melanocytes inside hair follicles. As you grow, those cells start to die. In the absence of pigment cells, new hair strands develop in lighter and tackle diverse shades of gray and at last white.
Apart from natural graying of your hair, there are certain reasons why graying starts at an early age also:
- LACK OF VITAMINS: Deficiency of vitamins in our body can lead to premature graying of our hair. The absence of Vitamins such as Vitamin B-12, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E in the body is the prime reason for white or gray hair. Fewer levels of serum ferritin, iron retention, vitamin B-12, and good HDL-C cholesterol are common participants which lead to gray or white hair.
- SMOKING: As we all know smoking cigarettes leads to lung cancer and heart disease, but there is also a direct connection between smoking and white hair. As per the 2013 report of the Italian Dermatology Online Journal smokers starts graying 2.5 times more than non-smokers before the age of 30. Smoking tightens the arteries, which leads to a reduction of blood flow to the hair follicles which results in hair loss. Additionally, toxins present in the smoke also harm your body, including your hair follicles, which in the end lead to early gray or white hair.
- STRESS: Stress is also the reason for white hair, but not solely. In the current lifestyle every individual at every age level dealing with their level of stress. These stresses adversely affect their daily activities and cause Sleep problems, Anxiety, Appetite disorder, and high blood pressure. The 2013 Study Trusted Source discovered a direct link between the stress and depletion of stem cells in the hair follicles of mice.
- HAIR PRODUCTS AND DYES: While your parents may scare you into thinking that overindulgence of hair color will turn your hair gray. But we use these products for our satisfaction and also in the name of fashion. These chemical hair dyes and hair products, even some shampoos, can contribute to premature hair losses because many of these products have ingredients that are harmful which leads to a reduction of melanin.
Hair dyes contain Hydrogen peroxide, which is one of the most dangerous chemicals used in dyes. Excessive use of these products for bleaching or coloring hair eventually causes hair to turn white.
- GENETICS: There are many reasons for people to have gray or white hair, but most of the time it is just a result of natural aging and a genetic predisposition. This means that it just happens because it is normal within your family’s genetics. You need to check when your relatives or parents started graying, and see if they match your timeline.
The gene has been given the task of regulating and producing melanin, a pigment that is responsible for giving hair its color. (Melanin plays an important role in the creation of eye color and skin color). When the body begins to produce less melanin gray hair started growing, in part. But when and how much melanin is produced by the body is determined by genetics.
- THYROID DISORDER: A Person suffering from hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism might also suffer from hormonal changes which leads to premature white or gray hair. The thyroid is a gland in butterfly shape located in your neck, which helps in producing hormones. Thyroid problem has a direct impact on skin, hair, and nails. The thyroid controls many body functions like metabolism.
Soon your body will start producing less melanin due to underactive or overactive thyroid, and the production of less melanin in your body leads to the graying of your hair.
REVERSAL OR PREVENTION OF WHITE HAIR:
You can reverse or prevent your hair from turning into gray or white color. Sometimes you cannot do anything to prevent or permanently reverse the color change If the reason is your genes. But for other reasons, you can consult your doctor.
There are other things that you need to implement into your daily routine for healthy hair:
- ANTIOXIDANTS: Human nutrition plays an important role in preventing white hair. A diet rich in antioxidants helps in preventing oxidative stress and gray hair.
Antioxidant-rich food like:
- Involving fresh vegetables and fruits in your daily diet will give you all nutrients your body requires.
- Consumption of Olive oil is good for your hair. It keeps your hair moist and makes it strong.
- Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which help in growing hair and prevent it from changing hair color.
- It is always advisable to eat fish twice a week. It is high in fatty acid omega-3 and proteins, which helps hair in retaining its natural color.
- RECOVERING DEFICIENCIES: Vitamins are vital for the human body. Lack of these can cause a lot of the major problems related to health. These vitamins are also important for your hair. Anyone with white or gray hair color due to vitamin deficiencies should eat more foods loaded with these vitamins.
Foods like seafood, eggs, and meats are rich sources of vitamin B-12, and milk, salmon, and cheese are excellent sources of vitamin D. Involving these types of food in your daily diet will help you in recovering daily need of vitamins in your body. You can also take vitamin supplements that are available over the counter to overcome these deficiencies.
- STOP SMOKING: Smoking is never considered as good for your health. It damages the function of internal parts of the body. Cigarette smoke contains toxins that accelerate the process by damaging the hair follicles and affect the growth hormone.
Studies have also shown an important and direct relationship between smokers and early grayer. In excess, quitting smoking stops rapid loss and can reduce graying.
- USE NATURAL PRODUCTS: Using natural products makes your hair healthy. And choose wisely the products you use to wash, dye, and style your hair. Bleaching and harsh shampoos can lead to damage to the original white hair.
You can also try the home remedies for retaining your natural hair color, like:
- Coconut Oil has always been treated as a natural conditioner that helps in the re-growth of damaged hair as it provides the essential proteins required for nourishing damaged hair and retaining the shine of hair.
- The ribbed gourd is widely used to recover premature greying.
- Onion juice contains antioxidants, which help in preventing hair aging and thereby whitening.
- Ground almonds in addition to containing catalase such as onion juice, which rejuvenates the hair follicles to restore black hair, almonds also contain a moderate amount of copper, which offers the same benefits.
- Both black tea and coffee, when applied to the hair regularly can be a natural darker shade.
- Eat foods rich in copper, and B vitamins, to ensure that your mane stays young, without white hair.
- FIGHT WITH OXIDATIVE STRESS: Oxidative stress is a condition that occurs when there are too many free radicals in the body’s cells. The body produces free radicals during the normal physiological process.
Lifestyles and dietary interventions that can help you in reducing oxidative stress from your body include:
- Eating nutritious, healthy foods rich in fruits and vegetables.
- You have to reduce the consumption of processed foods, especially those high in sugar and fat.
- Regular exercise.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce oxidative stress. According to the 2015 systematic review of the Reliable Source, many fat cells produce flammable substances that cause increased inflammation and free radical production in immune cells.
With proper diagnosis and treatment, the progression of white hair can be stopped and reversed in some cases. Good nutrition and good hair care can also help. In some cases, however, the process cannot be reversed.
Regular use of natural remedies can reduce and possibly reverse white or gray hair. But everyone’s hair eventually begins to turn white after some age, you must decide whether you are comfortable with white or gray hair, as graying can also be beautiful.