Young people nowadays face a host of health issues due to hectic lifestyles entailing work stress, junk diets, lack of sleep and personal conflicts, with not only diabetes and high blood pressure becoming commonplace among the youth, but also premature greying, along with thinning of hair. While the mane tends to lose its natural colour due to ageing, as the production of melanin – the protein that imparts pigment to tresses – decreases and eventually ceases, this usually happens only in middle-aged adults over 40 years. However, when grey hairs begin to crop up in youngsters before the age of 32, it is termed premature greying and is a major health problem, as it not only indicates hormonal imbalances and/or nutrient deficiencies but is also a cosmetic concern, making youngsters face undue worry and even affecting their self-confidence.
According to Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine that originated thousands of years ago, premature greying is termed as “Akalapalitya” which translates to hair turning grey at a young age, usually before 32 years. The primary reason is the excessive heat or “ushna” guna of Pitta dosha which becomes agitated owing to numerous causes. These include high intake of salty (Lavana), acidic (Kshara Dravya) foods, excessive exposure to direct sunlight (Atap Sevana), disturbed sleep with waking up often during the night (Ratri Jagarana), intake of vitiated, polluted air (Dushita Vayu Sevana), mental stress (Maansika Shrama), as well as unknown or inherited genetic traits (Adibalapravritta). Nutritional deficiencies of vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin D, copper and vitamin E can also lead to hair turning grey.
If genetic factors trigger premature greying, it is mostly irreversible. When loss of pigmentation in hair is due to exacerbated Pitta dosha from an unhealthy diet, sleep disorders like insomnia, pollution, stress and inadequate nutrition, it still cannot be cured completely but can be effectively treated and managed. Yes indeed, for Ayurveda offers a plethora of natural solutions to remedy premature greying, restore the original colour of hair and acquire smooth, long and lustrous tresses.
Splendid Herbal Remedies To Banish Grey Hair:
Amla or Indian Gooseberry is imbued with antibacterial and antifungal components, that thwart dirt, grime, and excess oil from the scalp and strengthen the hair roots.
Massaging the scalp deeply, as well as the hair strands from root to tip with amla oil and washing it off in lukewarm water after 1 hour imparts a natural shine to damaged hair and promotes the growth of pigmented tresses.
Known widely as Holy Basil, Tulsi is a time-tested ayurvedic remedy to resolve umpteen hair-related concerns, including premature greying. Tulsi leaves possess an inherently Sheeta or cooling potency, that reduces breakage, and thinning of hair strands.
Crush a bunch of tulsi leaves, and mix them with some water to obtain a homogenous paste. Apply this concoction onto hair daily and rinse off with lukewarm water to deliver ample nutrition to tresses and foster healthy hair growth.
Coconut oil is an excellent source of hair-fortifying vitamins such as vitamin E, and B vitamins, besides powerful antioxidants that banish toxins from hair, stimulate blood circulation to the scalp and boost the growth of pigmented, nourished strands from hair roots.
Heat 5 tbsp of coconut oil and thoroughly massage the scalp and strands with this tincture. Applying coconut oil daily to hair is known to help gradually reverse premature greying, in addition to keeping hair moisturised, silky and thick.
Curry leaves, known as Kadi Patta in Hindi, are bestowed with vast reserves of iron and copper, which are key nutrients for melanin production and the growth of thick, vibrant hair from the follicles.
Prepare a paste of curry leaves, apply it on the hair and scalp, then rinse off with lukewarm water for strong, dense and silky hair sans grey strands and dryness.
Sesame Seed Oil
Commonly known in Hindi as Til, sesame seeds are a storehouse of antioxidants and B vitamins that nourish hair strands and avert patches of grey strands from emerging on the scalp.
Mix 5 tbsp sesame seed oil with 2 tbsp almond oil, apply on hair and scalp and leave it on overnight. Rinse with a gentle shampoo the next morning. Doing this simple hair care routine once a week helps reduce greying in hair.
Bhringraj, also known as "king of herbs," is used in Ayurvedic hair oils and hair packs. It nourishes the scalp, strengthens hair roots, and helps maintain hair colour. You can prepare a hair mask by mixing bhringraj powder with yoghurt and applying it to your hair and scalp.
Shikakai and Reetha:
Shikakai and reetha are natural cleansers and conditioners for hair. They can make a gentle, chemical-free shampoo that promotes healthy hair.
Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb, can help reduce stress and balance hormones, which may slow the greying process.
Henna is well-known for its natural dyeing properties. It can cover grey hair while also strengthening and conditioning your locks.
Hibiscus flowers and leaves are rich in vitamins and amino acids that can strengthen hair, prevent greying, and promote growth.