Greying Of Hair


One of the first signs of ageing is the appearance of the grey hair. It is something most people dread and fear. They adopt various ways and means to keep themselves looking young through hair-dyes. Although in the earlier generations the appearance of grey hair was in the age group of forties, today it can be seen in much younger people. Often bodys and girls as young as 25  have grey hair.

Up till now, most people accepted greying as an enevitable part of the ageing process. one can either live with it or cover it with hair dyes. But now some experts are suggesting that certain changes in lifestyle can actually prevent premature greying and delay the entire process.

The greying of hair is known as palitya in Ayurveda. Each hair has a root, a stem or a shaft and sprouts from the base of the scalp. The stem varies greatly in thickness, from person to person. What is strange is that it is rounded in normal straight hair while curly hair has an oval or flattened section. The different color of the hair is caused by pigment scattered in varying amounts throughout the hair. In the absence of pigment in the cortical layer of the hair that majes the hair clear( or grey).What exactly is the reason for the lack of pigment formation is a mystery. About 88% people claim to have some grey hair by the time they are 40. of that some 1% suffer from premature greying.

Causes of Greying

A lot of it depends on the genes of a person. Some people are genetically prone to premature greying, while others may not grey till a later stage. Regional factors like food habits and weather also have a bearing on the greying of hair. High levels of stress and anxiety coupled with a fast pace of life may also accelerate the process. Let us see what ayurveda has to say about the process of greying.

According to Ayurveda excessive passion, anger and psychic strain results in greying of hair. Persons with pittika type of constitution are prone to be affected by this ailment. Person suffering from chronic cold and sinusitis and those who use warm water for washing their hair are more likely to be cictims of this condition.

According to naturopaths, premature greying can be an outward sign that something is wrong with the internal balance of the body, and that a number of lifestyle factors can contribute to the process of greying.

These include factors like stress, alcohol consumption, smoking and recreational drugs because these lead to a build up of acidity in the body tissues, which makes it difficult for the body to process the B vitamins efficiently. These vitamins are directly linked to hair color and the important for the creation of color pigmentation cells.

High levels of stress can contribute to the premature greying of hair sudden shocks can also accelerate the process since people under stress use up more B vitamins.

How to Retard the Greying Process?

This is a question most of us would like to have answeres to. Apart from using hair dyes, there are hardly any other remedies to the greying syndrome. But there are many medicines prescribed in Ayurveda that are said to arrest premature greying of hair.

Here are few of them:-

Take one-teaspoonful of Amrita(giloya), amla and gokhroo mixed in equal parts to which honey is added, thrice a day.

Grind into powder two parts of Bhringaraja, one part of back sesame seeds, and one part of amla.Take a teaspoonful of the powder with milk and sugar. This however has to be continued for some months before the effects are visible.

For the impatient who want faster results, swarnamaklshika Bhasma may be added in 240 mg doses with teh powders.

Use Bhringaraja Taila(Hair oil) regularly.Eladi Taila can also be used for massaging the scalp.

Grind into paste equal quantities of old mandur, amla, and Jaba(Hibiscus rosa sineusis) Flowers and apply it on the head. After the paste dries, wash hair with water in which amla has been soaked overnight.

Grind together into fine powder Amla-2 parts, harada-2 parts bahera-1 part, stone of mango-5 parts, and old mandur-2.1/2 parts. Make a paste of a teaspoonful of this, powder with water in which amla has been soaked overnight.Keep this overnight in an iron vessel and apply it to the hair in the morning. After it dries, apply oil to the hair and then wash throughly.

animal fats and eating a diet rich in alkaline foods such as carrots, celery almonds, figs, endive, fruit, green vegetable and wheat-gras.

One also has to make changes in the lifestyle, whcih include giving up smoking, improving the diet etc. You can slow the greying process and even restore the hair to its natural color through these changes, claim naturopaths. They alsp feel that there is a definite link between the deficiency of B vitamins and greying.

An Anti Greying Diet

Diet has a very important role in preventing and arresting premature greying of hair.

Eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is absolutely essential to facilate the supply of essential vitamins and minerals. Since the link between lack of B vitamins and greyng has been established almost definitely, it is neccessary to consume foods that provide these vitamins.

Foods like wheat germ and pulses, whole grains, brewer’s yeast, nuts, fortifies breakfast cereals, liver, milk, kidney, diary products, wheat bran, wheat germ, eggs, peanuts, legumes, meat and fish, dark green leafy vegetables, avocados, walnuts, pork, poultry, bananas, and potatoes ehich belong to the B vitamin group, should be taken in plenty to retard the greying process.

Where it is not possible to condujme a diet rich in these vitamins, a supplement containing B vitamins can be taken daily. In order to compensate the shortfall.But one has to keep it mind that the supplement should contain all the vitamins in the B group.