Getting gray hair is a natural part of life. Wrinkles, fine lines, loose skin, and brittle bones are all signs of aging that we will get eventually and along with these comes gray hair. Of course, it’s completely normal to get these as you get older and there shouldn’t be any shame if you want to wear them loud and proud!
However, it’s no secret that the ultimate goal for most people is to prevent these signs of aging from manifesting for as long as possible. And there’s no shame in that either! Gray hair is one of the first and most obvious signs of aging that people want to get rid of.
People can spend up to $65,000 on hair dye alone just to cover up grays. Aside from not being the most practical solution, it’s also quite damaging to the hair to have to dye it so often. This can turn into a vicious cycle because damage = more gray hair. The more you dye, the more damaged your hair gets, and the more grays start growing.
So, is there a natural and healthier way to prevent and reverse gray hair? Why, yes, there is! Here are things you need to know about fixing gray hair naturally.
How Does Hair Go Gray?
It’s nice to know how things work to know exactly the ways you can fix it. Let’s first talk about how hair turns gray, shall we? Whatever natural hair color you might have, no matter if it’s light blonde or dark brown, your hair shaft produces a type of pigment called “melanin” that gives your hair it’s natural hue. The more melanin your hair produces, the darker your color is. When melanin production in the hair shaft stops, that’s when the hair loses pigment and turns into a gray or white color.
What Causes Gray Hair?
So, what exactly causes melanin production to stop? There can be a number of reasons why hair can start to lose its pigmentation. Some are easily preventable and avoidable while some can be a bit harder to combat. Either way, it’s helpful to know what can cause it so that you are able to better understand how you can keep your hair pigmented and healthy.
Studies have confirmed that smokers have 2 ½ times increased chances of going gray much earlier in their lives. Compared to non-smokers who typically get gray hair in their 40s or 50s, smokers have a bigger chance of going gray before their 30s.
This is one of those unavoidable causes that we talked about earlier. There are just some people who get blessed with the gene that keeps hair pigmented well into their senior years. Some get the gray hair gene and hair loses its pigment in their older age. And finally, there are those that have a premature gray hair gene that causes gray hair to appear earlier in life. Such are the mysterious ways of genetics!
Poor Stress Management
Stress is one of the most notorious reasons why people get gray hair earlier on. I’m sure we’ve all used the phrase, “This is gonna give me gray hair!” Well, there is some basis to that! It’s been proven that pigment-producing cells decrease when your body is under a lot of stress.
We’ve come to the second cause of gray hair that can be considered as unavoidable but thankfully, can be delayed. It’s a well-known fact that gray hair just comes with old age and that’s always going to be true. And it’s something you should be proud of! Gray hair and old age means that you’ve made it! You’ve gotten through this topsy-turvy existence and are ready for the next phase of your life. Of course, some of us have a natural instinct to want to get rid of or cover up the platinum locks that start appearing and that’s okay too! Just remember though that it’s nothing to get stressed about. It’s a normal part of life and you should never hide it if you don’t want to.
Lack of Nutrition
Healthy hair is pigmented hair. To have healthy hair doesn’t just mean tons of hair products and treatments, most of the nutrition your hair absorbs also comes from your diet and lifestyle. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet is the first way you can keep your hair nourished and healthy.Studies show that vitamin and nutritional deficiencies are often the cause of premature graying for those younger in age. This can be prevented by putting in more whole and nutritious foods in your diet and taking the appropriate supplements.
Sun and Heat Damage
Have you ever noticed how your hair gets lighter in the summer or even when you heat style a little too often? UV rays and heat damage can cause pigments in the hair to lighten. Now, this might sound fun. Some natural highlights, right? Well, not exactly. Heat and sun damage are very bad for your hair and the lightening of the pigments on your hair shaft can lead to premature graying as well as a number of other problems such as brittleness, dryness, and dandruff.
Typically, the first thing people want to do when they start seeing gray hair is to cover it up with some good, old hair dye. But did you know that the number of gray hairs just increases as you try and cover it up with more dye? That’s because permanent hair dye contains harsh chemicals that damage the hair and makes it lose its pigmentation even more. It also affects otherwise healthy, pigmented hair, damages them, and causes them to lose pigmentation. Hair dye isn’t the only hair product that contains harsh chemicals. They can also be found in your shampoos, conditioners, and styling agents.
How Can You Fix Gray Hair Naturally?
Now that you know what causes gray hair, you can now have an idea on how to go about fixing things naturally. Some require lifestyle changes and there are also some ancient natural remedies that can help reverse gray hair.
Ditch the Bad Habit
If premature graying hasn’t started yet, now is the best time to quit smoking. There is still time for your body to heal from the damage that smoking has done and if you pair that with a nutritious diet and exercise, your hair will start recovering and this will prevent premature gray hair.
Prioritize Your Mental Wellness
We often forget to take care of our mental health but it is just as important as our physical health. Make sure to always manage your stress accordingly and practice self-care when things get a little bit too overwhelming. Take breaks and do things that you enjoy to have some time to unwind and destress and the gray hairs will also take a break.
A Balanced and Healthy Lifestyle
An overall healthy lifestyle will generally be a good thing for your hair. Being physically and mentally fit will transfer over to the nutrition that your hair absorbs and keep it strong and pigmented.
Pack Your Diet with Antioxidants
A little extra nutrition in your diet can never hurt. Including more antioxidants in your diet is the best way to stave off the aging process. When you don’t get enough antioxidants, free radicals stay in your system and will not be cleansed out. This is a condition called oxidative stress and this causes the body to age faster. Wrinkles, gray hair, and health issues can be caused by oxidative stress. Ensure that you pack your diet with antioxidants to prevent this from happening.
Protect Your Hair and Take Care of It
Hair is just naturally prone to damage. It gets damaged every day just by you living your life. It’s important to always take an extra step to protect your hair from the everyday obstacles it faces. Switch from your regular products to natural hair products with gentle, organic ingredients that won’t cause any damage to your hair. Lessen heat styling, always put heat and sun protectant on, and finally, pamper your hair with regular nourishing treatments.
Other Natural Remedies
A report from International Journal of Farmtech Research states how curry leaves have been used as a traditional remedy for premature gray hair. Curry leaves are also generally high in antioxidants, protein, and beta-carotene which are all nutrients that hair needs.
Indian gooseberry extract, more well-known as amla oil in Indian culture, is used as a traditional remedy for gray hair. Studies show that it does help with faster and healthier hair growth which can contribute to preventing and reversing gray hair.
Polygonum multiflorum is pretty famous in traditional Chinese medicine as the ultimate anti-aging hair ingredient. Studies have proven that polygonum multiflorum has properties that reverse the graying process of hair and stimulates pigment production in the hair shaft. It effectively brings back the natural color of the hair upon regrowth. Mayraki Professional harnesses these hair anti-aging benefits and combines them with other powerhouse ingredients that promotes healthy hair growth and reverses gray hair naturally with the Anti-Gray Restoring Treatment.