As a kid I used to wonder as to why my grandpa had a full head of gray hair when he had thick black hair in his older pictures and why did he have to color her strands of gray hair? Now I know it. As one tends to grow older, the hair starts getting gray, silver or white. And then starts the search for gray hair treatment as well as for all the related things like cure for hair loss, baldness treatment etc.
So what is it that causes the hair to go gray, causing so much anguish in its wake?
Under the scalp, the root of the hair is surrounded by a thick layer of tissue called the hair follicles. Hair follicles contain certain number of pigment cells, melanocytes, which continuously produce a chemical called melanin that is responsible for giving natural color to the hair. The dark or light color of hair depends on how much melanin each hair contains.
With age, hair follicles gradually die, leading to reduction in the number of hair follicles as well as the melanin pigment content. Fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle means that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent color – like gray, silver, or white. Continuous loss of hair follicles leads to complete graying of hairs.
Graying of hair is not always related to age, however. It has often been noticed that some people have gray hair at a very young age. The reason for it may be attributed to genes in which the number of hair follicles in the root is less. Here, melanin pigment is produced in a lesser amount. Added to it there are some conditions in which premature graying of hair takes place- thyroid disorders, deficiency of vitamin B12 or lack of absorption of it by the body due to stomach disorders, vitiligo; a condition in which skin starts losing melanocytes early. Even smoking is known to cause premature hair loss and graying of hair.
Although there are no concrete proofs to suggest any hair loss remedy or gray hair treatment, it is widely believed that herbal products are very effective in restricting graying of hair by increasing the life of hair follicles and promoting melanocytes to secret melanin for a longer duration. Also, numerous hair loss doctors have been advocating the use of herbal products for gray hair treatment.
Brahmi, a north Indian herb for hair grows in the Brahmi plateau some 14000 feet above sea level. It takes around five years for the herb to mature and is known to promote hair growth and retain hair follicles and pigment cells. It encourages natural oil production in the scalp, thus preventing premature graying of hair.
Shikakai, another powerful herb for hair is found in south India and is also termed as the south Brahmi. It contains 100 times more vitamin C than a grapefruit. It detoxifies the blood in the scalp and stimulates hair growth while enriching the thickness of the hair. Also, it contains numerous anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, D, E and K that encourage healthy hair growth and prevent graying of hair.
The advocates of Ayurveda in India also advise a herb called Bringaraja or 'The King Of Hair', to prevent gray hair. It is taken by mouth to strengthen the liver and kidneys and overall, to improve the blood circulation in the hair. It also forms part of the ayurvedic tonics which are applied to the scalp.
If you want to reduce graying of your hair or to prevent it completely, opt for the herbal products and follow them regularly to allow your hair to grow back in its natural color.