Premature Graying of Hair and Their Treatment
Hair is made of a protein called keratin. Hair has important functions in social functioning. The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle and the hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin. Blood vessels nourish the cells and help to modify hair growth and structure. The human body has millions of hair follicles that generate hair and color or pigment cells that contain melanin. But over time, these hair follicles lose pigment cells, resulting in premature graying of hair.
Causes of Premature Graying of Hair
Genetics, Stress, our modern and erratic lifestyle, Poor eating habits, Nutritional and vitamin deficiencies, drop in the production of the melanin pigment in the hair roots, smoking, anemia, malabsorption, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, tapeworms, Gut-related problems, thyroid issues, use of chemical hair dyes and hair products, etc.
Temporal region and the regions just above the ears are the first to show signs of graying of hair, spreading to the sides and the top of the scalp. In men, the facial hair like the beard and mustache starts graying initially and later sooner hairs on the chest and pubic area. Some common symptoms can be -
- Dry, brittle hair
- Frequent headaches
- Acidity, nausea, excessive sweating and intolerance to heat
- Hair loss or thinning of hair
According to Ayurveda, this condition is called Palitya or Akala palitya and it is a pure pitta disorder, occurring due to the vitiation of Pitta doshas. Excessive passion, anger, physical strain, consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee, Intake of spicy, oily, salty, and sour, fermented foods, meat can aggravate Pitta and people of the Pitta constitution are more prone to this condition. Excessive Pitta in the sebaceous glands leads to a condition, called Folliculitis, which means inflammation of the hair follicle and can also result in hair loss and graying prematurely. The sage Vagbhata has classified Palitya according to the doshic dominancy, which is as follows -
1. Pitta Dosha
Hairs have a yellowish tinge, Scalp shows signs of burning.
2. Vata Dosha
Brittle, dry and rough hair, color appears shimmery and transparent like water, hairs develop split ends.
3. Kapha Dosha
Thick, long and exceptionally white hairs
Treatment for Premature Graying of Hair
Treatment mainly involves 4 measures like -
Diet plays an important role in preventing this condition.
- Foods to Eat – Milk, vitamins B9 and B12, copper, selenium and folic acid-rich foods, nuts, seeds, grains, meat, soy, etc.
- Foods to Avoid – Sour things like – Yogurt, salty, pungent, hot and spicy food, white sugar, and white flour, etc.
Certain Lifestyle measures can be -
- “Early to bed and early to rise”
- Keep the hair and scalp clean
- Never wash your hair using Hot water
- Regular massage with sesame oil, castor oil, cow butter twice a week
- Avoid anxiety, worry, and passion.
- Treat cold and sinusitis, if suffering from
Certain Yoga and Pranayamas may also help you this condition, like –
- Rubbing Nails
- Bhramari Pranayama
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Apanasana (Knees to Chest Pose)
4. Some Home Remedies
Certain home remedies can be followed like-
a. Antioxidants rich diet
Antioxidants rich diet helps in decreasing the oxidative stress, thus helps in preventing the premature graying of hair. Antioxidants rich diet includes – fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, fish, green tea, etc.
It is an excellent Ayurvedic treatment for premature graying of hair and has high Vitamin C content.
In Which Forms We Can Use it
It can be used in the following forms -
- Hair Oil - Take dried pieces of Amla and curry leaves in coconut oil and boil them, cool and pour this oil in an amber-colored glass bottle and can use it as a massage oil.
- Amla Fruit - You can eat the fruit daily.
- Amla Juice - You can drink 30ml of fresh Amla juice.
- Amla Powder - It is an excellent addition to hair masks. -
- Amla Shampoo - You can make your own herbal shampoo by mixing equal parts of Amla, Reetha and Shikakai and can use this to wash your hair.
Onion has rich sulfur content. It can be used while cooking, can be applied in the form of juice to your hair and scalp or can be mixed with some oil of your choice.
d. Curry leaves
Curry leaves are rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, iron, and copper. You can use curry leaves by heating them with coconut oil until, leave the black residue and let it cool for a while. You can massage your hair with this oil.
Coffee helps us to stay pumped up due to the presence of Caffeine, which is an excellent psychoactive drug. You can brew a strong pot of coffee, let it cool down and now gently pour the coffee onto your hair and massage with your fingers. Let it soak for approximately 20 minutes. Rinse the coffee off with cold water.
Henna possesses coloring and conditioning properties and is the best treatment for grey hair. You can make a deep conditioning hair mask by soaking henna in an iron pot overnight and by combining it with eggs, curd and other herbs.
g. Sesame Oil
Sesame oil can be used for head massage, seeds can be consumed after dry roasting them or they can be combined with jaggery.
Bhringraj helps to keep the hair healthy and keep them free from becoming white early. It can be used in the form of juice or its leaves can be boiled with coconut oil, sesame oil and can massage into your hair. It is also available in the form of oil.