7 Ways to Prevent and Get Rid of Gray Hair
If you have begun to notice gray hairs springing up around your head, you are not alone. Over 60% of Americans have at least some gray hair by the age of 40. While researchers are hard at work connecting the dots to discover a ‘magic pill’ to restore pigment to gray hair, those of us with the inkling of salt and pepper hair are left to make some life style changes to remedy the situation. I have put together some of the best ways to prevent, diminish and eliminate the gray hair on your head which include diet, supplements and exercise, but first, let us consider why our hair is going grey in the first place.
Why is my hair turning gray?
Gray hair comes as a result of decreased melanin production in the hair follicle. Gray hairs typically start appearing around the age of 30 for men and age 35 for women. There are variations among races as well with Caucasian average being in their late 20’s, Asian people begin in their late 30’s and African American’s begin in their late 40’s. Over 60% of Americans have gray hair by the age of 40.
Hair that has lost most of its melanin is gray; hair that has lost all of this pigment is white. The gradual decrease of melanin production causes the hair to lose its pigment.
There also seems to be a connection between gray hair and an increased build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle. This build up then works to bleach the hair. Dietary changes can work to decrease this buildup, namely the decrease in corn syrup in the diet.
Heredity doesn’t work alone!
Stress hormones disrupt the delivery of melanin pigment to the hair. Tyler Cyment, head of family medicine at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, conducted a retrospective study and found that continued stress leads to rapid increase in gray hair. Therefore while genetics play a large role, you can change the occurrence of gray hair through stress and lifestyle. Decreasing your stress can decrease the volume of gray hair.
A healthy diet, with attention paid to certain vitamins and supplements can put you on the road to preventing gray hair and reviving your hair back to its original color.
There are certain vitamins that will help with the overall health of the hair as well as with allowing hair to produce pigment. When certain vitamins are deficient the melanin doesn’t make its way into the formation of hair. Taken daily, over time, these vitamins will bring the natural color back to your hair.
Biotin will provide both your hair and nails with the building blocks they need to thrive.
Foods with the greatest amount of biotin include:
Mushrooms, Tuna, Turkey, Avocados, eggs, salmon and sunflower seeds.
Biotin can also be taken in supplements.
Copper is a building block in creating antioxidants and is essential in building strong tissue it is also believed to play a pivotal role in the production of hair pigment. Food that contains the largest volume of copper include:
Sesame seeds, cashews, sunflower seeds, lentils, walnuts, lima beans and temph.
Copper can also be taken in supplements or found in Black Strap Molasses.
2. Black Strap Molasses
The secret component to returning gray hair to its former pigment rich self in molasses is copper. Copper is a necessary ingredient for your hair to produce pigment. The lack of copper in the diet has been linked to the increase of gray hair. Conversely, many people find great results in eliminating gray hair by taking black strap molasses.
To use: spoon one tablespoon of black strap molasses into a cup of hot water, tea or milk, stir to dissolve and drink, repeat daily.
3. Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi is a mushroom that originates from China and Japan. Reishi mushrooms work to improve the immune system and effectually turn back the hands of time. There is scientific evidence to prove the healing properties of this mushroom that was once only available to the nobility of China.
To use: Can be purchased in capsules or in a loose powder. It also goes by the name of Ganoderma Lucidum
4. Consider improving your diet
Following a healthy diet, rich in vegetables and proteins will give the body the building blocks it needs to create not only a beautiful head of hair but one with less gray strands. Consuming a diet based primarily on whole foods will help with not only your hair but your overall health as well.
5. Pay attention to your sleep
Sleep reduces stress and is restorative. It is during sleep that body is healing, restoring and resetting. More sleep equals less stress. With less stress blocking your melanin production, the hair follicles can begin growing hair with pigment. Making sure you get the hours of sleep you need will not only to help you in eliminating grays but will benefit your whole body and sense of well being.
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6. Reduce Stress
Stress will bring on premature gray hair or increase the volume of grays in a person that already has gray hair. Reducing stress by finding ways to relax will work to decrease the number of gray hairs by allowing the body to expend the energy it needs to grow healthy colored hair rather than expending energy on stress.
Ways to reduce stress include:
- Listening to music
- Talk to a friend
- Drink tea
- Try yoga, stretching or mediation
- Take a few slow deep breaths whenever you remember, try it now.
Give yourself a scalp massage, or have someone else give you one. This will help you relax, which reduces stress while at the same time increase circulation to the hair follicles which will facilitate a return to your original hair color.
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© 2015 Ariel Laur