Disclaimer: The material on this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult your physician before beginning any therapy program or treatment plan.
When we think of gray hair, what comes to mind are usually images depicting the elderly or the idea of growing old which is just a fact of life. But this idea excludes those who may suffer from premature graying of the hair. Naturally, this can negatively impact one’s self esteem and cause tons of stress. In the following article, we will explain the causes and science of gray hair, as well as suggest 5 tips on preventing premature gray hair.
Premature graying occurs when the hair loses its natural pigmentation at an early age. This can happen to a person who may be as young as in their 20s or even late teen years. The causes for this issue can range from bad diet and heavy stress levels, to an inadequate intake of essential vitamins and minerals. This can also be a hereditary trait in one’s family. Other daily habits that can also play a role in promoting premature graying include (but may not be limited to):
-Not cleaning one’s scalp regularly
-Using very hot water to wash hair
-Excessive blow drying
-Regular use of hair dyes
Like most things, it’s best to act on this as early as possible, when the first signs become apparent. Aside from the tips listed above that you can already start to work on, we’d like to share some other tips on mitigating gray hair. Even if you may not suffer from premature gray hair, these can still be beneficial for the health of your hair and overall health. These tips are not in any specific order, yet each one can play a vital role in reducing the risk of premature graying.
So let’s begin!
1. Smoking’s Gotta Go…
Now, it’s no secret that quitting a habit like smoking is no easy task. It is absolutely easier said than done. However, it goes without saying that the negative side effects of smoking greatly outweigh any potential positives. It’s probably safe to assume that if you are reading this, then you most likely care about your health and image in some way. Thus, quitting smoking is a must if you want to not only prevent premature graying, but also maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Smoking not only increases the risk for lung cancer and heart disease but can go far beyond that. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to hair follicles and cause hair loss. If that isn’t enough, this ties into premature graying because the toxins in cigarettes can damage parts of your body including your hair follicles, causing early white hair.
In a study in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal of more than 200 people, smokers were 2.5 times more likely to experience premature graying (before age 30) than nonsmokers. Another study, in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, linked smoking to premature graying in young men. The mechanism, similar to one proposed for stress, is that free radicals (produced by smoking) may damage the cells that produce melanin.
2. Vitamin B is What You Need!
In last week’s article, we covered the best five vitamins for healthy hair, which you can read here. Out of all the five vitamins we listed, Vitamin B played the most important role when it comes to healthy hair. Specifically, two types of vitamin B: Biotin and B12
In general, B-vitamins help carry oxygen and nutrients to your scalp, which aids in hair growth. Specifically, these vitamins help create red blood cells, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the scalp and hair follicles.
Biotin (also known as vitamin H, vitamin B₇ or vitamin B₈) is one of the most important vitamins in terms of hair growth.
Additionally, animal foods are the main sources of Vitamin B12 . This vitamin plays an essential role in the production of your red blood cells and DNA, as well as the proper function. A deficiency in this essential nutrient can lead to an array of health problems, ranging from fatigue to permanent neurological changes. However, we understand for those who have diet restrictions that prohibit them from including those foods in their diet, it can be difficult to get one’s proper intake of B12. Here at Maxim Medical, we offer B12 Shots at your request. We offer to administer the B12 shot by itself, or as part of an IV Therapy session.
If you are interested or have any questions about our B12 shots or our other services, feel free to contact us!
3. Home Remedies
Advocates of natural healing suggest a number of natural remedies for gray hair. These include:
- Coconut oil: Every other day, before bed, massage coconut oil onto your hair and scalp. The next morning, wash your hair as usual.
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Every day, eat a teaspoon of fresh grated ginger mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey.
- Blackstrap molasses: Every other day, eat a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses (from sugarcane juice, not from beet sugar); it’s believed to reverse the graying process.
- Amla (Phyllanthus emblica): Drink six ounces of fresh amla juice every day or massage your hair with amla oil one time each week. Amla is also known as Indian gooseberry.
- Black sesame seeds (Sesamum indicum): Two to three times a week, eat a tablespoon of black sesame seeds to slow down and possibly reverse the graying process.
- Ghee:Twice a week, massage your hair and scalp with pure ghee (clarified butter).
- Amaranth (Amaranthus): Three times a week, apply fresh amaranth juice to your hair.
- Wheatgrass juice (Thinopyrum intermedium): Drink one to two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice every day or add 1 tablespoon of wheatgrass powder daily to your soups and smoothies.
- Fo-ti (Polygonum multiflorum): In traditional Chinese medicine, fo-ti is taken internally as a supplement — 1,000 milligrams two times per day with food — to reverse the graying hair process.
- Onion (Allium cepa): Blend an onion in a blender and then use a strainer so that you’re left with the juice. Twice a week, rub this juice into your scalp, leaving it in place for 30 minutes and then shampooing as usual.
- Carrot juice (Daucus carota subsp. sativus): Drink 8 ounces of carrot juice every day.
- Catalase Foods: These types of foods are rich in enzymes. They include Garlic, Cabbage, Sweet Potato Kale, Broccoli, and Almonds
- Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii): Make a paste of ¼ cup of curry leaves and ½ cup of yogurt. Apply it to your hair and scalp and then wash it off after 30 minutes. Repeat two to three times a week.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Take an ashwagandha supplement with food. Ashwagandha is also known as Indian ginseng.
- Almond oil: Mix together equal parts of almond oil, lemon juice, and amla juice. Massage the mixture into your hair and scalp. Follow this routine two times a day for three months.
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Fill ⅓ of an 8-ounce jar with dried rosemary and then fill the jar to the top with extra virgin olive oil. Leave the jar in a sunny place for four to six weeks, shaking it every few days. After six weeks, use it as a hair oil.
4. Adopt an “Autoimmune Protocol” (AIP) Diet
An autoimmune disease can also cause premature white hair. This is when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. When you have an autoimmune disorder , your immune system is essentially attacking your body instead of the pathogens it’s designed to strike against. That means that certain skin- and hair-related autoimmune disorders, such as vitiligo, can also cause premature grays because they attack the cells responsible for producing pigment. So you’re left with patches of skin and hair without pigment. Specifically, Alopecia Areata is a condition that causes hair to fall out in small patches, which can be unnoticeable. These patches may connect, however, and then become noticeable. This condition is different from Androgenetic Alopecia, a common form of hair loss in both men and women which impacts more than 3 million people per year. Alopecia areata develops when the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.
If this applies to you, it may be a likely reason why you may be suffering from premature graying. Adopting what is known as an “Autoimmune Protocol” Diet may help to mitigate the effects such diseases may have on hair loss.
The “Autoimmune Protocol” (AIP) diet is a relatively new, food-based approach to eliminating unwanted inflammation in a person’s body. It’s a diet that’s thought to help heal your gut to reduce inflammation created by autoimmune conditions.
According to this diet, foods to avoid include:
-Dairy products (including raw products)
-Industrial seed oils
-Nuts and seeds
-Emulsifiers and food thickeners
If you feel this diet may help a pre-existing condition, it is best to consult your doctor for a professional opinion.
5. Hormone Therapy Treatment
If you suffer from a thyroid problem, hormonal replacement therapy may restore lost pigmentation from premature graying. According to one study, if a thyroid problem causes white hair, re-pigmentation may occur after hormone therapy treatment. One method of this includes BioTe Hormone Replacement Therapy. When it comes to bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) pellets, the BioTE® method of pellet therapy is the preferred choice among physicians. When a patient decides to start the BioTE method of pellet therapy, they may receive as few as two subcutaneous pellet insertions per year—and any needed hormone will be readily available when the body requires it. The BHRT pellets that certified BioTE providers use may allow for the natural administration of the necessary hormones
As we age, it can be frustrating to deal with the loss of some cognitive function, but restoring hormone balance through BHRT may help avoid these cognitive losses and maintain a sharp mind
If this interests you, feel free to contact us regarding our BioTe services or any of our other services.