Gray hair is no more the symbol of advanced age. Don’t be surprised if the next few generations are familiar to gray hair and only gray hair in all age groups. This is no more an exaggeration as more and more people in the young and middle age group are suffering from premature graying. On one hand, only people beyond forty five are expected to have gray hair, but on the other hand more and more people in young thirties are prone to this sickness.
Before we understand the pros and cons of premature graying, lets understand the hair nourishment aspects which provide normal health.
The hair is nothing but an extension of the skin. It is the outer layer of the skin in form of epidermis which have the hair follicles. The roots of the hair start from the hair follicles and it is through these follicles that the nutrients are supplied to the hair shaft from the blood stream. Iron, zinc, copper and iodine are some of the minerals which are involved in the maintenance of the health of the hair. Moreover the oily secretion called sebum secreted by the hair follicles nourishes the hair and provides natural luster. However in those with oily skin where excessive sebum is secreted, regular washing of hair becomes indispensable to avoid excessive oily look and feel to the hair which could even encourage fungal infections on the scalp.
Causes of Premature Graying of Hair:
· Worries and tension : Mental worries produce extraordinary tension in the skin of the scalp; this interferes with the supply of vital nutrition necessary for the health of the hair.
The use of Indian gooseberry is the foremost among the home remedies found beneficial in the prevention and treatment of premature graying of hair. This is a valuable hair tonic for enriching hair growth and hair pigmentation. The fruit, cut into pieces, should be dried, preferably in shade. These pieces should be boiled in coconut oil till the solid matter becomes like charred dust. This darkish oil is very useful against premature graying. The water in which dried Indian gooseberry pieces have been soaked overnight is also nourishing for the hair. This water should be used for the last rinse while washing the hair. Massaging the scalp every night with a teaspoonful of Indian gooseberry juice, mixed with a teaspoon of almond oil and a few drops of lime juice, also proves beneficial in the prevention and treatment of premature graying of hair.
Amaranth is another effective home remedy for hair disorders. Application of the fresh juice of the leaves of this vegetable helps the hair to retain its black color and prevents it from premature graying. It also helps the growth of the hair and keeps it soft.
Liberal intake of curry leaves is considered beneficial in preventing premature graying of hair. These leaves have the property of providing vitality and strength to hair roots. New hair roots that grow are healthier and contain a normal pigment. The leaves can be used in the form of spicy condiment, or may be squeezed in buttermilk. When the leaves are boiled in coconut oil, the oil forms an excellent hair tonic to stimulate hair growth and bring back hair pigmentation.
Ribbed gourd boiled in coconut oil is also an effective remedy for premature graying of hair. Pieces of this vegetable should be dried in the shade. These dried pieces should be soaked in coconut oil and kept aside for three or four days. The oil should then be boiled till the solid is reduced to a blackened residue. This oil should be massaged into the scalp. It will help enrich the hair roots and restore pigment to the hair.
The butter made from cow’s milk has the property of preventing premature graying of hair. A small roll may be taken internally and a little quantity may be massaged into the hair roots twice a week.
The vitamins considered useful in guarding against premature graying of hair are pantothenic acid, para-aminobenzoic acid (paba), inositol. The minimum daily requirement of these vitamins appears to be 10 mg of pantothenic acid, 100 mg of para-aminobenzoic acid, and 2 gm of inositol. To obtain satisfactory results, all three of these vitamins belonging to the B group should be supplied at one time, preferably in a form which supplies all the B vitamins, such as yeast and liver. The three anti-graying-hair vitamins can also be produced in the intestinal tract by bacteria. Thus, taking a sufficient quantity of yogurt daily and a tablespoonful of yeast before each meal is an excellent remedy for the prevention and treatment of premature graying of hair. If one wishes to take tablets of calcium pantothenate and para-aminobenzoic acid (paba), they should be taken in addition to the yeast and yogurt, and not as a substitute for them.