Mona Verma, stood in front of the mirror and stared at her reflection. She was stunned to observe a layer of grey hair. Mona got her first grey hair in her late teens. Worried and anxious at that time she tried a few home remedies. Later, she took it in her stride and just chilled. Today, in her late twenties the grey strands were much more noticeable and obvious.
Our body has millions of hair follicles that line the skin. These follicles generate pigment cells (colour) containing melanin. When these hair follicles lose pigment cells due to many reasons our hair turns grey.
According to a study, the primary cause of Premature Hair Greying in a Young Indian Population is genetic. However, environmental factors, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and diseases are also found associated with this issue.
Causes for Premature Greying of Hair
There are many reasons for premature greying of hair. A deficiency of vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin E, vitamin D-3 and minerals like copper contribute towards premature greying.
Other causes are genetics, stress, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disorder, sinusitis, smoking, anxiety, erratic sleep schedule, sun exposure, excessive use of hair dyes/colour and gadgets like dryers and straighteners.
Lifestyle modifications like balanced diet, regular exercise, supplements and relaxation techniques do help but there isn’t any guarantee that the pigmentation may return back to normal.
There is no cure for premature greying. If the condition is due to deficiencies or disease, then it may be controlled and reversed to a certain extent with treatment. Conventional approach relies on hair dye or colour consisting of harmful chemicals.
In Ayurveda premature greying or Akala palitya is mostly due to imbalance of Pitta Dosha. If Pitta is disturbed it affects the hair colour. However, it is best to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for a correct diagnosis.
Panchakarma is a highly recommended Ayurvedic remedy for premature greying. It helps in eliminating toxins and balancing the three doshas.
Remedies like Nasya Karma, Shiro dhara (pouring oil on head), Shiro pichu (cloth dipped in oil kept on head), Shiro basti (oil is kept on head with an apparatus), Shiro lepa (application of medicated paste over the head) and Shiro abhyanga (oil massage to head) are beneficial.
Takradhara, a procedure of pouring buttermilk over the patient's forehead from a dhara vessel in a continuous stream is an effective Ayurvedic remedy for pitta aggravated diseases.
Dhara treatment is known to reduce stress, improve vision and hair health.
- Consume a balanced diet of consisting of fresh vegetables and fruits.
- Eat on time and try to maintain a regular routine.
- Include curry leaves, sesame seeds, amla, bitter gourd, and cow ghee in your diet.
- Don't wash hair with hot water.
- Consult an Ayurvedic physician to prescribe some diet and lifestyle changes according to your constitution.
- Crush 1/2 a cup of tulsi leaves and mix in 2 cups of hot coconut oil. Let it cool. Keep in the sun for 15 days. Massage this oil into the scalp every week.
- Boil some dried leaves of Bhringaraj herb in coconut oil. Keep it for a week. Filter it and store in a dark-coloured bottle. Apply the oil thrice a week.
- Mix 2 tsp of amla powder, 1/2 tsp neem powder and juice of half lemon, massage into scalp. Leave for 1 hour. Wash with tepid water.
- Add 30-50 crushed curry leaves and 2 tsp of dried amla powder to 5 tsp of coconut oil. Boil the mixture for 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Let it cool. Massage this oil into your scalp for 20 minutes and also apply to the length of your hair. Wash with a mild shampoo after 45 minutes.
- Add a paste of a handful of curry leaves to 1 cup of buttermilk and massage the scalp. Wash after 30 minutes with a mild shampoo. Do this twice a week.
- Blend 5 tbsp of black sesame seed oil with 2.5 tsp of carrot seed oil. Massage into scalp for 20 minutes and leave overnight. Wash with a mild shampoo in the morning.
Premature greying of hair can be stressful. Personal appearance is crucial for self-confidence and self-esteem.
Applying hair dyes or colour is easy solution but it doesn’t address the root cause and even worsens the problem.
Ayurveda offers natural solutions to improve your hair and scalp health. These treatments also help to keep hair dark and lustrous for a long time. However, relying on topical application will not resolve the issue. Adhering to healthy lifestyle will make these treatments effective. Ayurvedic solutions take time but are worth the time and effect.
(Nupur Roopa is a freelance writer, and a life coach for mothers. She writes articles on environment, food, history, parenting and travel.)
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