Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Gray hair - Causes and Home remedies

Grey hair usually comes around middle age but early graying is hereditary or genetic and you may inherit it from your grandparents or parents. So, if your mother or father had premature graying of hair, there is a likelihood that your hair may turn gray too. Stress, worry, tension, shock, prolonged misery, usage of harsh shampoos and malnutrition may be other causes of gray hair. However, it may be possible to slow down or delay graying with a good, nutritious, balanced diet and a stress free life through meditation and yoga.

Gray hair occurs when the production of a pigment called ‘melanin’ that gives the dark color to your hair and which is present in the hair follicles, reduces or stops. As a young person, melanin is produced in plenty but as you age, the production of melanin is reduced considerably, with the result that your hair starts showing more grey hair. However, scientists have still not been able to fully discover the exact reason for hair turning gray.

The belief that pulling one hair causes two or three other grey hair to grow in its place is a myth. I admit I used to think the same too and would be afraid to find out if it was a myth or not. Chances are that coincidently, the neighboring hair may have started turning grey too around the same time, leading you to believe that it has happened because you pulled out one hair.

Heavy smokers are more prone to graying faster than non-smokers. Smoking accelerates hair loss and gray hair about 4 times more than non-smoking. So, it would be a good idea to stop smoking for good healthy dark hair and to maintain good body health as well.

Deficiency in vitamin B12 has been associated with premature graying. Meat, eggs and milk are rich in vitamin B12. Irregularity in thyroid can also cause grey hair. Start on medication to regulate it. Early menopause which causes hormonal imbalances in the body may also be attributed to gray hair.

Homemade remedies for gray hair

Gray hair is a condition of a low protein diet. So, have a protein enriched diet of lean meats, whole grains, eggs, soy, cereals and lentils. Iron is also necessary for healthy hair. Dark green veggies, dry nuts, liver, yogurt, beets and fruits should be included in your diets.

Iodine that is found in salt is necessary for producing melanin. Kosher salt and sea salt should be replaced with iodized table salt. Bananas, fish, carrots and radishes are rich sources of iodine.

Butter made out of cow’s milk may be massaged into your hair roots to arrest further graying. Use melted butter for easy application, twice a week and rinse well after ½ an hour.

Juice of amaranth (found in Indian stores) is a good source of folic acid, vitamins and essential minerals. Consumption of amaranth juice of its leaves or seeds is good for retaining the natural color of your hair. Application of juice of amaranth leaves on the hair will keep your hair soft and retain its dark color.

Eating chutney made out of curry leaves is excellent for gray hair. Alternatively, add the curry leaves to your dishes like stews, soups, curries, sauces or yogurt. Eating it raw is also good. Boil a few curry leaves in coconut oil, cool it, store it and apply the oil in your hair for an hour, before shampooing, whenever you wash your hair.

Take 6 tbsp of henna powder / paste, 1 egg, juice of ½ a lemon and 1 tbsp of instant coffee powder. Mix them all together and apply it on your hair. Wash with a gentle shampoo after an hour.

Make a paste of 6 tbsp henna powder, 1 tbsp yogurt, 1 tsp fenugreek powder, 1 tsp coffee powder, 1 tsp each of basil and mint juice and apply it to your hair for three hours and shampoo.

Boil 1 cup of amla (dried gooseberry) in 4 cups of water, until the quantity is reduced to 1 cup. After it is cooled down, add 2 cups of henna powder, 1 egg, juice of 1 lemon and mix well. Apply the paste to your hair and rinse off after a couple of hours.

Henna, egg white, yogurt, beer and diluted vinegar are good natural conditioners that will give your hair bounce and volume.

Consume 1 tsp fresh grated ginger with ½ tsp honey every day. It is very good for controlling grey hair.

Try these remedies to arrest gray hair. Don’t forget to fortify yourself with a good diet too.

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