Gray hair is regarded as a natural sign of aging. But what if your crowning glory gets streaks of gray when you are in your twenties or thirties? Of course, you would be devastated and would want the issue to be identified and resolved at the earliest.
While genetics are responsible for premature graying in a majority of cases, there can be a multitude of other reasons too. From nutritional deficiencies to environmental pollution, use of substandard hair care products, and more, the reasons could vary from person to person.
But beyond finding the cause that is leading to the gray streaks, you would want to know what you can do to reverse it. Before moving to that, you need to understand the science of gray hair first.
The Science Of Gray Hair
You hair gets its natural color from pigment cells called melanocytes that are lodged in the follicles. The hair starts turning grey when these cells stop producing the coloring pigment called melanin. Age is the single most prevalent reason that causes graying but there are other reasons that your body slows down the melanin production.
A research study conducted in 2009 discovered that graying is accelerated by the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the hair, which bleaches it from inside. Interestingly, this is the same chemical that is used for bleaching the hair artificially.
Going deeper into this theory, there is an antioxidants enzyme called catalase, which causes the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water. As one grows older, the catalase production in the body slows down and hydrogen peroxide starts getting accumulated in the body.
Gradually, it bleaches the hair for within and this manifests in the form of graying. Besides catalase, another antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase, plays the same role and its reduced production with aging has a similar impact on the hair color. Now that the science of gray hair has been unraveled to some extent, the next question would probably be about gray hair reversal.
Is grey hair reversal possible?
Perhaps the most baffling questions for the human race have always been related to age reversal. For decades, scientists have been conducting extensive research to find out ways to stop humans from getting older.
Once of the key concerns is to find out whether gray hair reversal is possible and if it can be done naturally. The good news is that several measures have shown efficacy for treating gray hair naturally- by at least slowing down and in some cases, even reversing hair graying to a significant extent. Let us check them out.
Load up on Antioxidants
As said before, graying is attributed to the drop of levels of antioxidants such as catalase and glutathione peroxidase with aging.
Considering this, the remedy to reverse your gray hair naturally seems as simple as increasing the intake of these antioxidants in the form of food and supplements.
Foods high in vitamin E, such as nuts, seeds, leafy greens and vegetables oil, can do a great job at replenishing the antioxidant levels in your body.
Include foods high in catalase such as celery, radish, cucumbers, kale and broccoli in your diet. Alternatively, herbal remedies such as curcumin (a potent antioxidant found in turmeric) and ashwagandha can be equally helpful for this purpose.
Try a Pseudocatalase Cream
A pseudocatalase topical product is recommended as a treatment option of vitiligo, a condition when the skin loses colors and forms patches.
Like gray hair, this pigmentation is also attributed to hydrogen peroxide buildup in the body. Pseudocatalase offers remedial benefits as it replicates the effect of catalase and resolves the problem by preventing hydrogen peroxide production in the body.
As studies have shown the efficacy of the product for vitiligo, it is suggested that it can be helpful for gray hair reversal as well. Even though there are no established studies that prove its efficacy for hair graying, the product still holds great promise.
Rely on Simple Home Remedies
Despite revolutionary hair care products and medicinal supplements that have been developed over the years, nothing works as well as natural remedies. Coconut oil, for example, has been revered for ages for nourishing the hair from within.
Consistent use strengthens your hair from within and prevents color loss till a later age. Ayurveda has proved that it is even effective for resolving pitta dosha, a condition that leads to premature graying.
Besides coconut oil, you can try onion juice to reverse hair graying. Juice up an onion and apply the extract to your scalp for half an hour at least once a week. This simple remedy is said to increase the catalase levels and prevent hair graying.
Another effective herb for addressing this problem is Indian gooseberry (amla), which can be boiled with water and applied to the scalp for good results. Try using natural hair colorants like henna instead of chemical laden dyes to color your hair as the latter may actually aggravate the graying problem.
Don’t Fret Over Gray Hair
Besides looking for medicinal and herbal remedies to reverse graying, driving away stress is another thing that you should focus on. Stress and anxiety will only make things worse and aggravate it even further.
It can disrupt your hormonal balance and throw anti-oxidant production off track. Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation and deep breathing to make you calm and peaceful from within.
Consider graying as a normal part of aging and embrace it as it comes. Try to style your looks in a way that they suit you. Excessive use of coloring products should be avoided because the chemicals in them may cause more harm than good. Focus on a healthy lifestyle rather than medicinal remedies.
Over the years, efforts have been made to enable gray hair reversal and they have been fruitful to a considerable extent. Still, there is a scope of improvement and lot more can be done in future too. Meanwhile, the best approach would be to eat well, take good care of your tresses and try to resolve the problem with natural remedies.