What was the first thing you did on spotting your first grey hair? Did you pluck it, ignore it or just discreetly hide it? And when the onset of grey hair seemed rather fast and furious, did you dye your hair or simply throw up your hands in the air in a fit of sheer frustration?
So, why are we greying earlier?
When the melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) in the hair get damaged or start dying progressively, the hair gets devoid of the pigment melanin and hence loses colour, looking grey.t of the. This happens naturally as we get older.
While identifying the causes of grey hair won’t help you put a full stop to them, there’s always a possibility of treating them. In the past, this grey day may have arrived in their late 30s or early 40s. But the alarming news today is that we are losing our natural hair colour much earlier. And almost 60% of them are likely to have a full head of grey hair by the time they reach their 50s – if left untreated of course. I saw my first signs at 28. Come to think of it, it’s not an uncommon site to spot youngsters as early in their 20s sporting grey hair, but it isn’t because they’ve been through too much trauma or stress. In fact, there is absolutely no evidence to support that stress is a strong factor in grey hair color.
The truth is that grey hair is determined by genetics. Talk to your parents and grandparents to find out when their hair went grey, and you’ll know what to expect when it comes to your own hair.
While science has still not found the exact causes, links between greying hair and factors like malnutrition, worry, shock, deep sorrow, tension and other similar conditions have been found. It is hypothesized that these factors slow down the production of melanin resulting in grey hair.
Greying can be slowed down to a certain extent with diet
There are various vitamins (A & B), proteins and minerals like copper, iodine and iron that give a healthy balance to the hair and if your diet is deficient in these important minerals then it is very likely that your hair starts fading and losing health. Include dark green vegetables, orange & yellow fruits & vegetables in your regular diet. Eat more of fresh green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cauliflower, cereals, yogurt, bananas, eggs, seafood, soy and whole grains.
If you’re really concerned, hair dyeing is always an option
There are many hair dyes and colours available in the market though the ones that are more popular these days are the ammonia-free variety. However, if you want to avoid chemicals, there are many natural dye brands available too. For centuries, Indians have been using certain home remedies for grey hair based on Ayurveda. From a paste of dried amla (gooseberry) to coconut oil mixed with lemon or boiled with curry leaves, there are umpteen options you could try.
Black, brown or grey, take good care of your hair!
Nourishment and proper grooming is very important to keep the hair texture, growth, shine and luster in a good condition. Hence use a shampoo & conditioner that suits your hair type. Make it a habit to massage your hair with your fingertips as often as you can, with or without oil; it helps improve blood circulation.
Often when strands of grey hair appear, women are forced to make an immediate choice – colour it or just let it be? Whatever your choice, just remember that it’s your attitude ultimately that will play the biggest part in how others feel about you and your hair.
First Published: May 10, 2012 at 12:20 AM