What causes your hair to turn gray?
Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails. Throughout the years, melanocytes continue to inject pigment into the hair’s keratin, giving it a colorful hue. With age comes a reduction of melanin. The hair turns gray and eventually white.
Vitamin Deficiencies That Cause Gray Hair
- As one of the B-complex of vitamins, vitamin B6, which is found in proteins such as liver, egg yolk, organ meats, vegetables and in whole grain cereals, can help keep your hair from graying. If you don’t eat sufficient amounts of the foods that are rich in vitamin B6, your hair will lose its natural color. This vitamin assists a cell inside the hair follicle to produce melanin, which gives your hair its color.
- If you choose, you can also increase your intake of vitamin B6 by taking 1.6 mg daily. Make sure to get sufficient quantities of this vitamin from natural sources: Look for cereals that contain high amounts of whole grains, eat five servings daily of vegetables rich in B6 and add brewer’s yeast–also high in B6–to your food. The vegetables rich in B6 include spinach, avocado, asparagus, potatoes, peas, cauliflower, red bell pepper, broccoli and carrots.
Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Symptoms: Gray Hair
What Causes Gray Hair
All hair starts off as white and is then colored by melanin, a natural pigment, which determines the color of your hair. Melanocytes, the pigment cells near your hair follicles, inject that melanin into your hair as it grows, coloring it. As you age, melanocyte activity decreases, leading to less pigment in your hair and, gradually, white hair. Genetics plays a large part in when and how quickly your hair turns gray, although your chances of gray hair increase by 10 to 20 percent every decade after you turn 30. Other causes of graying hair including because of hormones and age, as well as external factors, such as exposure to chemicals, your daily climate and environmental toxins, such as pollutants.
Importance of Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin B-12 is vital for producing red blood cells, and it is also important to your metabolism and keeping your central nervous system functioning and healthy. As a water-soluble vitamin, it needs to be replenished regularly although your body can store it in the liver. Your body flushes out unused vitamin B-12 through urination. Low vitamin B-12 levels can result from aging — people over 50 often lose their ability to absorb dietary vitamin B-12 — as well as from gastrointestinal surgery. Certain digestive disorders, such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease, can also cause poor vitamin B-12 absorption. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet are at risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency because most vitamin B-12 is available in animal food sources.
Sources of Vitamin B-12
- The best way to meet your vitamin B-12 needs is to eat a variety of animal products. Vitamin B-12 is found in high quantities in liver and other organ meats and shellfish, especially clams. It can also be found in varying amounts in all red meats, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products. Some foods, such as cereals and grain products, are fortified with vitamin B-12. However, in general, your body absorbs vitamin B-12 from animal sources much better than from plant-based foods. If you choose to take a vitamin B-12 supplement, your body absorbs it better when it is taken along with other B vitamins, such as niacin, vitamin B-6 and riboflavin.
Best Home Remedies to prevent graying hair:
Curry leaves help increase darker pigmentation in your hair. When combined with coconut oil, it works as a great hair tonic.
- Boil a handful of fresh curry leaves in a tablespoon of coconut oil until they become charred. Strain the oil.
- Massage it into your hair. Leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes before rinsing it out.
- Follow this treatment at least once or twice a week.
Henna works as a wonderful natural hair colorant. Besides making your hair darker, it will strengthen and condition your lustrous locks.
- Grind a handful of henna leaves into a paste. Add three teaspoons of Indian gooseberry powder, one teaspoon of coffee powder, and a little plain yogurt.
- Spread it evenly on your hair. After it dries, rinse it out and then shampoo your hair as usual. Repeat the process once every two to four weeks.
- Another alternative is to boil some henna leaves in coconut oil or mustard oil until the leaves become charred, and use this oil on your hair.
- You can also prepare a henna hair mask by mixing hot black coffee and henna powder until you get a yogurt-consistency. Cover the bowl and let it sit for a few hours. Apply it to your hair, leave it on for one to three hours, and then shampoo your hair.
Amla (Indian gooseberry)
- A natural astringent that helps retain hair color.
- Smash the amla, take the seeds out and make a paste. Apply it to your scalp and massage it on hair roots.
Coconut oil and lemon juice
- Helps improve blood circulation in the scalp. Oils contain biotin, moisture and other extracts that help in treating grey hair and making them soft.
- Mix two parts of coconut oil and one part lemon juice. Massage the mix thoroughly on to your scalp and hair.
Tea or coffee
- Keep hair black or brown naturally.
- Add tea or coffee to water and boil for 10 minutes. To retain black hair colour, rinse with tea and for brownish hair, rinse with coffee.
- Nourishes hair.
- Apply and wash after an hour and grey hair will eventually turn black.
Lemon Juice and Almond Oil Massage
- Mix almond oil and lemon juice in a glass bowl and apply thoroughly on scalp and hair, Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off with a mild shampoo.