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Wondering how to reverse grey hair? We have some bad news

If you are here, you may have spotted a white hair and wondered… "What the hell! I am so young. Why am I getting grey hair?" Like, that's what our reaction would have been. Several reasons can cause premature greying of hair, and people as young as 20 can be affected by it. Keep reading to discover what causes premature greying of hair and what special treatment Ayurveda suggests to treat it.


What causes grey hair?


There are many reasons why your hair is turning grey. Some of them are:


Genetic

The most common reason for premature greying of hair is your genetic makeup, according to a 2013 report in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology [1]. Race and ethnicity also play a role. According to the same 2013 study, premature graying can begin as early as 20 in white people, as early as 25 in Asians, and 30 in African-Americans.


Stress

Both modern medicine and AYURVEDA suggest that premature greying hair is caused by fatigue, excessive grief, or anger. 


Autoimmune disease and thyroid

Certain medical conditions, such as alopecia areata and thyroid dysfunction, can lead to premature greying of hair. Alopecia aerate is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss, and when hair returns, they are while in color. 


Vitamin deficiency

Deficiency in vitamin B-6, B-12, Vit D, or Vit E can contribute to premature graying. According to a report published in the International journal of trichology, nutritional deficiencies can affect pigmentations. So, vitamin supplementation may help in returning the color. [2] 


Smoking

Stress and smoking can speed up the natural aging process of hair cells. This is because it increases the concentration of free radicals in our bodies. However, these free radicals can kill melanocytes through oxidative damage. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that can damage healthy cells and tissues. That's what happens with melanocytes and melanocyte stem cells. With increased free radicals in the body, these pigment-producing cells decrease. Thus, leading to premature greying.


Why doesn't all of my hair turns grey?

To answer this question, we must look closely at hair's anatomy. Our scalp has millions of tiny pockets called hair follicles. Hair follicles are hair factories with different cells required to create hair fibers. Two of them like melanocytes and melanocyte stem cells. 

Melanocyte cells produce melanin, a pigment responsible for our hair's color. Our hair, whether brown, blonde, or black, gets its color from melanin.

Each hair follicle houses its own set of hair strands and pigment-producing cells. So dysfunction in one of them will not affect the rest of the bristles or hairs. This is also why plucking out one gray hair will not sprout more grey hairs.

So, if, for some reason, one hair follicle stops producing melanin, the hair coming out of it will be whitish.


Do pulling out grey hair sprouts two or more?

Plucking grey hair does not cause 2-4 more grey hair to sprout. If that happens, nobody will ever go bald. They will just keep plucking hair out. So, what basically happens is when you catch one white hair. Then, you become more vigilant and start searching for more. So, you begin to notice more white hair. 

 

Wait! Before you start pulling that hair, read this. Plucking out hairs can cause bald patches. Pulling hairs can hurt the hair follicles, and persistent pulling will create bald patches.


Is it treatable?

Medically speaking, there is no definite treatment for white hair. You can dye your hair if you want. To promote healthy hair growth, eat food rich in Vit-B and Vit E, like almonds, green vegetables, and sunflower seeds. Consume enough protein.

In Ayurveda, the Nasya treatment or nasal cleaning is stated as one of the best treatments for Pitalya (premature greying of hair). The following oils have been advised to use during Nasya treatments. 

  • Vidarigandha taila  
  • Sahacharadi taila  
  • Bhringaraj taila   
  • Nimba taila 
  • Sheilu taila 

Takeaway

Premature greying of hair is a result of your genetics. If your parents or grandparent turned white earlier, so will you. But there can be other reasons for it, such as vitamin deficiency and other medical conditions. If you think it's because of any ailments, it doesn't hurt to get it checked by a dermatologist. Unfortunately, in most cases, it’s not reversible.

Honestly, embrace it! It does not look bad, and it's trending these days.

References

  1.  Pandhi D, Khanna D. Premature graying of hair. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2013 Sep-Oct;79(5):641-53. doi: 10.4103/0378-6323.116733. PMID: 23974581.
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4830165/#:~:text=Although%20the%20primary%20cause%20of,also%20be%20associated%20with%20PHG.

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