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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Top Tips to Delay Graying of Hair

The human body indicates aging through various signs, and graying of hair is the most common sign of aging. The amount of melanin secreted from pigment cells reduces with age, leading to graying of hair. Of course we expect these changes to happen in the late 40s.
Unfortunately some people in their early 20s notice premature change in hair color causing extreme stress and disappointment. It is very disturbing to look into the mirror and see strands of gray instead of attractive dark hair. I say, it’s disturbing because the process of graying cannot be reversed and you are left with no option except to camouflage it with natural or artificial dyes.
I have been asked by many patients to suggest ways to prevent graying of hair, especially premature graying.
I found a few useful pointers which I would like to share with all my readers today.
1.  Most experts believe that the cause of premature graying is already embedded in your genetic framework. We cannot change this inheritance. However, we can significantly reduce the amount of graying by overcoming stress. Stress has been proved to be an important cause for premature graying through numerous scientific studies. Therefore, try avoiding stress to conquer the ill genes within your framework.
Stop worrying about premature hair graying! It is the first and foremost suggestion I give you. A cool shower late in the evening, a walk in the park, or hobbies like gardening, are a few suggestions to de-stress.
2.   Along with managing stress through various activities, you need to add nutrients to your diet that will cultivate thick and healthy hair growth. Vitamins (A, B-complex which includes biotin, folic acid, B5, B6 and B12), minerals particularly copper, iodine, inositol and trace elements are essential requirements.
Following are the dietary additions that can help you prevent premature graying of hair:
  • Lentils, spinach, yam, lima beans, green turnips, black berries, pineapple, almonds, soya, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, carrots, banana and most meats.
  • Make sure you also include enough proteins, for example: milk and dairy products, egg, meat, fish, whole grain cereals etc.
  • Choose colorful vegetables and fruits for salads.
  • Plan your meals regularly. Never skip a meal or fast.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration drains all the moisture from the hair, resulting in dry and lusterless hair which is more prone to graying. This leads to hair loss as well.
3.   Massage your scalp regularly to improve blood circulation and reduce dandruff. Simple coconut oil massage for 10 – 20 minutes before sleeping, twice or thrice a week, is recommended. Alternatively, for additional benefits you can try massaging with a mixture prepared with this recipe:
  • Soak a handful of curry leaves and few pieces of dried ribbed gourd in about 100ml of coconut oil for 3 days. Heat this concoction on low flame along with 2 tsp of amla (Indian gooseberry) powder and 1 tsp of fenugreek seeds/powder until oil turns brown and the curry leaves turn black. Allow it to cool. Strain the mixture and store the oil in an airtight glass container, preferably under sunlight.
  • If you have an oily scalp, you can prepare a mixture of ½ cup of amla juice, ½ cup of curry leaves juice, ½ cup of carrot juice or aloe vera juice and ½ cup of butter milk or coconut milk. Apply this mixture to your hair and scalp and let it remain overnight before washing your hair with a good anti-dandruff shampoo. Use of hair conditioner after hair wash will be helpful.
4.   Quit smoking. Besides causing various cancers and health damages, smoking also blocks the blood supply to the hair, leading to graying. You can find information on quitting smoking on this website. You can also ask experts and specialists if you are looking for a personalized means to quit smoking.
5.   Cut down on caffeine and alcohol. Instead of sipping coffee or tea, use green tea or tea prepared using curry leaves.
6.   Polygonum multiflorum, a Chinese herb also known as ‘He Sho We’ is believed to stop graying. If you are unable to find this locally, eat dishes prepared with curry leaves regularly.
7.   Lastly, a good amount of exercise is a must. Walking barefoot on wet grass early in the morning can be rejuvenating and is also known to prevent graying of hair.


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