Greying of hair is the progressive loss of the pigment, melanin, from the hair follicles. Melanin gives the hair its colour. Once the follicles lose the pigmentation, it causes hair to turn grey or white.
Greying of hair could occur as a result of the following
- Genetics are the leading cause for greying of hair.
- Stress causes problems with loss of hair or premature greying of hair.
- Thyroid disorder causes hormonal changes leading to greying of hair as it may affect the production of melanin in the hair follicles.
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency can hamper hair growth and hair colour.
- Autoimmune diseases – where the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells – may also cause premature greying of hair.
- Smoking also causes greying of hair.
- Excessive use of chemical hair dyes and hair products.
It may be possible to delay the onset of grey hair or in a few cases reverse it depending on the underlying medical condition that’s causing it. If the leading cause is genetics, then using hair colour or other hair products may be the only solution. However, conditions like thyroid or autoimmune diseases if managed may prevent further greying of hair or even restore it to their original colour.
Supplements that promote hair growth is suggested like, protein, multivitamins and minerals, vitamin – D and omega 3. Alternatively medications that manage medical conditions can bring about a reversal in pigmentation.
A few home remedies may help manage grey hair. Healthy diet, lifestyle changes and application of nourishing oils to the scalp could help.
- Consuming a nutritious diet that includes protein, multivitamins and minerals and omega-3 helps the hair follicles produce the pigment melanin.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid or manage stress that contributes to the problem.
- Application of oils to the scalp that promote pigmentation like amla oil or amla powder mixed with coconut oil, bhringraj and curry leaves mixed with coconut oil; applying black tea decoction to the hair.
A good diet and hair care is recommended to prevent greying of hair.