Grey hair is inevitable and inescapable. With age, your natural hair colour starts to fade and turns into a shade of grey. But, many people cling to products that promise to reverse the greying of hair and turn them back to its original colour.
Among the most touted products out there, vitamin supplements are marketed the most with claims of reversing grey hair. There are also oils and hair masks that promise to give you back your youthful mane. But, do they really work? Can you truly reverse grey hair naturally without having to dye it?
Is it possible to reverse grey hair?
Vitamins are well-known for their relevance in the proper functioning of biological processes. Also, indications of ageing, such as loose skin, fine lines, and wrinkles, have been found to be slowed by getting enough of the proper types of vitamins through food, supplements, and other ways.
It would seem natural, therefore, that the correct vitamins might be able to help slow or even reverse the onset of grey hair. However, unless you're willing to dye your hair, you won't be able to return grey hair to its previous colour.
Before the age of 50, the majority of people begin to grow grey or silver hair, and what begins as a few loose strands may progressively grow to cover huge portions of the hair over time. But, even as grey hair cannot be reversed, eating the correct nutrients and adopting other preventive actions might help protect current pigmentation and postpone overall greying.
But, what about premature greying?
Answering this question can prove to be complicated because it depends on the causes of premature greying. It will be quite tough to restore hair colour as it begins to fade if it is related to your genetics. It's unlikely that you'll be able to overcome your genes to reverse grey hair, just as you won't be able to change your eye or skin colour naturally.
Menopause is significantly connected to the emergence of grey hair in women, and the age at which most women enter menopause is mostly dictated by heredity. If your hair is becoming grey prematurely due to a medical problem, however, treating that disease may have an impact on your hair colour.
The science behind greying of hair
Melanocytes, the pigment cells in hair follicles, generate less melanin as you get older, and depending on your genes, the quantities generated may diminish gradually or quickly. There is no pigment left in your hair when it changes from grey to complete white. And, because keratin, the protein that makes up our hair, is white, it causes your entire hair to turn white.
Premature ageing occurs for a variety of causes, none of which are fully understood. Immune system problems, other medical diseases, and genetics are all major culprits. If one or both of your parents had grey or white hair when they were young, you are more likely to develop it as well.
Stress or trauma can cause hair to turn grey early, and there have been situations when people who had no family history of premature greying lost all of their hair colours after a very stressful period.
16 nutrients and vitamins for grey hair
In actuality, the research behind using vitamins and other minerals to prevent grey hair is still in its early stages, but many people have found that raising their levels through supplements or diet has helped.
It's crucial to be realistic with your expectations and to get medical advice before making major dietary or vitamin changes, but here are several nutrients that might potentially help.
Vitamins (diet and supplements)
- Vitamin A - Vitamin A is crucial because it aids in the production of sebum, an oil that keeps your hair moisturised. While there are no studies that demonstrate that adding more sebum to your hair would prevent it from greying, it may help to prevent it from drying out, which is a frequent sign of ageing hair. Milk, fish oil, eggs, tomatoes, and mangoes are all good sources.
- Vitamin B-5 - Although research in mice have demonstrated that vitamin B-5 can reverse greying fur, no clinical trials have been done to indicate that these benefits can be replicated in humans. Getting enough vitamin B-5, on the other hand, can help your body turn food into energy effectively. Get it from yoghurt, fish and meat liver and whole grains.
- Vitamin B-6 - You may have symptoms such as dry hair, chapped lips, and exhaustion if you don't receive enough vitamin B-6. It is necessary for the metabolism and immunity of your body. Potatoes, chicken, fish, and non-citrus fruits are good sources of vitamin B-6.
- Biotin - Many individuals feel that biotin helps thicken and strengthen their hair and according to some research articles, biotin deficiency may potentially play a role in premature greying. You can get biotin in your diet from bananas, egg yolk and whole grains. But, if you feel you’re falling short, you should consider the Carmesi 100% Plant-Based Biotin, which is sourced naturally.
- Vitamin B-9 - Vitamin B-9 (folate or folic acid) aids in the metabolism of amino acids, and a lack of it can cause pigmentation changes in the skin, hair, and nails. Citrus fruits, leafy green vegetables, beans, and asparagus are all good sources of it.
- Vitamin B-12 - One of the most prevalent reasons for premature greying is a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is frequently associated with folic acid and biotin deficiency in those whose hair has begun to grey prematurely, according to researchers. You can get enough of it from meat, fortified cereals and dairy products.
- Vitamin C - Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that may protect hair cells from the air, which may have an effect on ageing. It also helps to build a robust immune system and good overall health. Get it from citrus fruits, potatoes, broccoli and strawberries.
- Vitamin D - Vitamin D is necessary for bone health and aids in the absorption of calcium by the body, and it is seen that people with prematurely greying hair are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency, suggesting that it influences melanin formation in the hair follicles. Get it from daily sun exposure along with a diet consisting of fatty fish, eggs and fortified foods.
PABA - This stands for para-aminobenzoic acid, and it has been shown to delay hair greying in certain people when combined with vitamins B6 and B12, as well as a vitamin called Pantothenic Acid. Eat more mushrooms, whole grains, organ meat and spinach to get enough of it in your diet, but you can also find supplements easily for this.
- Calcium - Calcium is found in fish, dark leafy greens, milk, dairy products, and yoghurt, and it is essential for bone strength and hair colour.
- Iron - Because iron is a crucial mineral that helps form hemoglobin in your blood cells, which is responsible for delivering oxygen throughout your body, it's not unusual to have low iron levels if you have premature greying of hair. Iron-rich foods include lentils, meats and dark leafy green vegetables.
- Copper - Copper deficiency can impact your blood cells and connective tissues, interfering with energy generation throughout your body. This mineral also aids in the metabolization of iron and the production of enough melanin in the body. Get it from white mushrooms, almonds, liver and lentils.
Zinc - Zinc deficiency can impact the health of your hair since it aids in the production of protein in your body. Get it from red meats, whole grains, oysters and beans.
Other dietary supplements
- Fish oil - Participants with prematurely greying hair had higher cholesterol levels, according to one study, and taking fish oil supplements might be one approach to remedy this.
- Protein - Keratin is a kind of protein found on the surface cells of the body. Hair loss and pigmentation changes can occur when keratin proteins break down in the hair follicles, among other things. Having a high-protein diet can allow your body to extract amino acids and convert them to proteins. If you think you’re falling deficient in proteins, try the Carmesi Protein & Herbs for Women, which is derived from a 100% plant source, making it a healthier alternative.
Tread with caution when it comes to herbs
Some people use herbal medicines to boost their hair's general health. Popular herbs like the Chinese Polygonum multiflorum, on the other hand, may cause more damage than good by harming your liver, according to a study.
As a result, herbal treatments for grey hair and other health issues should be used with caution because they may conflict with any medications or supplements you're already taking. When in doubt, consult a doctor to understand if it’ll be a good fit for you.
What other lifestyle changes can you make to prevent premature greying of hair?
Apart from improving your diet and considering supplements, other lifestyle changes can also help prevent premature greying of hair.
- Manage your stress better - According to a research study on mice, physiological and psychological stress was seen to promote melanocyte loss in stem cells, resulting in greying. The sympathetic nervous system produces noradrenaline and stimulates stem cells that transform into melanocytes when people are stressed, according to the study. The hair becomes grey and white when the melanocytes move away from the hair follicles. It is always preferable to have stress management techniques in place to assist you in living a healthy lifestyle.
- Try and quit smoking - Smoking lowers blood supply to the hair follicles, and the chemicals in cigarettes can harm them, resulting in premature greying. If you're ready to quit, speak with a healthcare professional who can guide you through the process and link you to helpful resources.