Growing old should be bliss. This includes accepting your wrinkles, fine lines, shrinking skin, and gray hair.
However, when you notice one of these a little too soon, it can be vexing. That is why some of us try to prevent and reduce the aging effects, at least until we are ready to accept them.
Gray hair is simply hair without pigment. That is, there is no color, and the hair that grows is white. There is nothing wrong with seeing white hair. In fact, it is natural. However, it can be destabilizing.
I noticed my first white hair in my early twenties. It felt like my world was crashing down, and I was beginning my aging. Soon I realized that there was nothing to worry about, and it was just my body experiencing stress.
Few strands did pop up after my first gray hair. But once I knew the cause and solved it properly, it was able to stop at two to three strands.
Although I still see the transparent strand once in a while, I am not entirely bothered by it. That is the sad part about gray hair. Once it appears, the assurance your follicles will pigment again is a slim chance. Also, this depends on the cause of your gray hair.
If you are reading this hoping to know how to prevent gray hair, you are in the right place. I have been there before, and I know how nerve-wracking it can be not knowing what to do. These solutions should be a guide on how to prevent gray hair.
Ways to Prevent Gray Hair
You can prevent graying hair, especially when premature, by practicing some lifestyle changes. Also, you would have to put yourself under strict conditions if you want to prevent the further growth of graying hair.
1. Treating nutritional deficiencies
Vitamin B12 is important for hair health. When you have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, it tells on your hair. They may begin to lose pigments. This is why you need to increase the vitamins and minerals like B12, B5, D, zinc, folic acid, and iron in your body.
You need to consume more foods with more vitamins and minerals. Poultry products like eggs and poultry meat have vitamin B12 and minerals in them. Also, milk and fish are nutrient-packed foods you need in your diet.
And foods like whole grains, mushrooms, and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin B5, iron, and calcium. You should add them to your diet to help prevent gray hair from growing prematurely.
2. Managing stress
This is very essential in keeping a healthy lifestyle in general. Stress not only ruins your hair but also scrambles your whole body. If you manage your stress level, your body will continue the natural system, including melanin production.
You can see a psychiatrist or therapist to help manage your emotional and mental state. You should sleep more at night. At least maintain between 7 to 8 hours. Start exercising to keep your body and mind on alert and in shape. Also, practicing eating a balanced diet would help contain your stress level.
3. Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the causes of graying hair. Smoking leads to reactive oxygen species damage, which causes the melanocytes in the hair follicles to be damaged. If you are a chronic smoker, you need to stop and get yourself treated.
It could be difficult to quit smoking. However, if you want to prevent gray hair from growing further, you need to. You can see a doctor for a possible cessation plan that would help you in your journey.
You would need supplements from medications, especially when you have a severe case of premature gray hair. Consulting your doctor and prescribing medications to help graying hair is very important.
If you are nutrient deficient, you would need enough supplements to complement your diet. You can take vitamin supplements like biotin, vitamin B12, B9, and B6.
5. Natural remedies
There are natural remedies you can use to prevent gray hair. There is no standard or conclusive research to show that some natural remedies work, but you can use others to prevent gray hair. Some of these natural remedies are very well known in countries with deep roots in herbs and spices.
For instance, coconut oil is said to help with protein loss. Also, black tea is rich in antioxidants and can be used to relieve stress. Lemon contains vitamin C and antioxidants also. It can be used to reverse graying hair.
Furthermore, you can apply onion juice mixed with olive oil. Onion juice contains catalase which can reduce chemical buildup in the body.
Coffee and henna can also be applied to your hair. It can be used to color the hair in a deeper shade without using dyes. These are some of the natural remedies you can use in preventing or restoring your gray hair.
6. Be careful with your hair care
You should treat your hair with great care to prevent gray hair. This is true, especially if you have unhealthy hair. The more your hair falls out, the more it keeps losing pigment as the follicles grow new hair. Therefore, you have to grow healthy hair.
You can change your hair routine and products if they are not working for you. Use products that would help maintain and retain hair length. Also, style your hair with safety tools. Using straighteners, hairdryers, and curling irons too often could damage your hair.
And if you are to use hot tools, be sure to use heat protectants to support your strands. Also, use color treatments with care. If you are to color your hair, apply it safely to your hair. These are simple ways to keep your hair growing healthy and strong.
Frequently Asked Questions
What causes premature gray hair?
Graying hair occurs when the melanocytes in the follicle no longer produce melanin, which gives our hair color. This occurs naturally over time, as melanin production in the hair does not continue, unlike in the skin.
There are different causes of graying hair or the early appearance of graying hair. The factors include the following:
Our genes play an essential role in determining how fast our pigmentation reduces as we age. This alone could be why some people are already seeing strands of graying hair in their early 20s and 30s.
According to a study, prematurely graying hair can be triggered by hormonal imbalance. It could also increase the rate at which gray hair grows.
Stress can come as oxidative stress or emotional stress. When the oxidative load in the body is too much, it can induce psychological and body stress that could lead to early graying hair.
Also, chronic stress caused by different actions like anxiety, high blood pressure, sudden appetite change, and abnormal sleep patterns can cause premature graying of hair.
Smoking, according to this research, is a prominent factor that causes premature graying. The act causes damages to the hair follicle melanocytes, which produces melanin that colors hair strands.
5. Vitamin deficiency
If the body is not getting enough vitamins like B12, D, folic acid, iron, and selenium, it could lead to graying hair. This is why you need to fortify your body with enough vitamins and minerals in your diet. Biotin is an essential mineral needed for body functions.
6. Medical conditions
When you have underlying medical conditions, some of them could cause premature graying hair. Some autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease, premature aging syndrome, pernicious anemia, and vitiligo can cause the hair strands to lose their pigments faster.
7. Melanin deficiency
Some people are naturally deficient in producing melanin. This could lead to the whitening of hair. However, it can be treated with protein and vitamin supplements because melanin production is largely affected by a lack of nutrients in the body.
Some chemical-based solutions could cause graying hair when they damage the hair follicles. They could also lead to a build at the hair follicles, which increases hydrogen peroxide. Accumulated hydrogen peroxide bleaches the hair and could turn it white over time.
You should use sulfate-free shampoos like PURA D’OR Original Gold Label Anti-Thinning Biotin Shampoo to keep your hair’s natural oils while removing the chemical buildup in your hair shaft.
Can I restore already gray hair?
It depends. Restoring your gray hair is dependent on the factor causing it.
For instance, if your gray hair is caused by genetics, you can’t really do much to reverse the gray hair. Also, graying hair is not easy to change.
Then if your hair is graying due to a health condition, there is a slight chance that with the treatment, you can get your hair pigment back. Also, you should see a specialist or doctor to advise on the best possible solution.
Then there is the fact that some hormonal therapy treatment or taking vitamin shots or pills could help with reversing your pigments. Some natural remedies do work also. However, the best way is to prevent gray hair. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
Do I need to see a doctor for my gray hair?
Yes, you do. But it depends on the cause of your graying hair.
You need to see a dermatologist when you are experiencing premature gray hair. They would prescribe you a medication, mostly vitamins with biotin and calcium pantothenate. These medications will help reverse your graying hair or stop it.
If your graying hair is increasing rapidly due to an effect more than genetics, you should see a dermatologist who will advise on the best cause of action. They would set a plan for treatment based on the severity of the gray hair. Also, they would advise alternative and natural remedies or lifestyle changes.
What products can I use for gray hair?
If you are experiencing graying hair, you have to use friendly products to keep your hair healthy. Gray hair has special needs because it could be coarse and brittle. This is why you need good products like Herbal Glo Gray White Hair Shampoo.
Also, using color-friendly conditioners like Just Nutritive’s Gray Hair Conditioner would keep your strands soft and moisturized. Protein is essential for gray hair. You need enough protein products like Luseta Purple Hair Mask if you want to strengthen your hair.
Moreover, if you want to dye it up, use friendly gray hair dyes like Biotique Bio Henna Fresh Powder Hair Color to keep your hair safe.
They are nothing wrong with graying hair. It is a natural occurrence for our hair pigments to reduce as we age. However, there is sometimes gray hair that might be premature. This is why you have to prevent gray hair from growing early.
You need to know the cause of your graying hair, then you can treat it. But it’s not all the time gray hair reverses its pigment. This is true if your hair is graying up because of your genes. So preventing graying hair with lifestyle changes would help you greatly.
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