White or grey hair growth is a natural process that depicts aging. As a result of your hair follicles losing the melanin pigment, it gives them the shiny black color as you age. But asides from aging, there are several occurrences of prematurely white hair in people, making them worry and seek ways to prevent it. We have also researched and listed how to prevent white hair in this article.
One of the social effects of premature whitening or greying of hair is low self-esteem, as many people often see white hair growth as a stigma by attributing the wrong age to the person involved. Sometimes, more ladies end up with dyed hair to cover up the grey strands and be more confident without answering uncomfortable questions related to their hair colors.
While some men seem sure enough to rock their greying hairs, others, especially younger men, don’t find this episode funny. It ends up interfering with their day-to-day activities and social relationships.
It is essential to understand that black hair indicates abundant melanin pigment in the hair follicles as it should be. While white hair suggests a total lack of this pigment in the hair follicle, greying of the hair shows the gradual loss of melanin in the hair.
Before I delve into the ten ways to prevent white hair, it is essential to understand what causes your hair to turn grey or white, whether prematurely or as you age. This will help you identify the solution that works better for you in several ways that will be discussed.
Causes of white hair
As much as white hair is related to aging, several factors can trigger the growth of white hair among the young and old. Such factors include:
This is one of the major causes of premature greying of hair, more peculiar to teens and youths. It is no longer strange to see a young girl or boy with strands of white hair and wonder how they came about it.
Like other genetically related issues in humans, there is a high likelihood of having grey hair at a young age if either of your parents had premature grey hair.
In other cases, it is more about confident descents or race; it’s been observed that Asians are likely to grow white hair in their 20s while most Africans don’t see a grey strand of hair until they are 30 or above [link]
In simple terms, this refers to an uneven balancing of free radicals and antioxidants in the body. This, in turn, leads to cell damage which results in aging. Oxidative stress is the main culprit behind aging signs seen on people.
The antioxidants are well suited for fighting and protecting the body against free radicals. Still, when they are outnumbered, they cannot counter the damages caused by the free radicals.
When the oxidative stress becomes too much, it can encourage the development of disorders such as Vitiligo- which causes melanin cells to lose their function, thereby turning the hair white in the process.
Premature greying of hair can also occur when the body is deficient in significant vitamins such as Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Biotin, and some B-vitamins such as B6 and B12.
This vitamin deficiency affects hair pigmentation, especially when there is a low serum ferritin level, which stores iron in the body. Research studies also revealed that hair color could be restored if vitamin supplements are taken.
Smokers have about two times the likelihood of growing grey or white hair before 30 than non –smokers.
Hair dyes and bleach
Frequent use of chemical hair dyes, bleach, and some hair shampoos can cause premature hair greying because most of these products contain ingredients that erode the melanin pigment of the hair. One of such harmful ingredients is hydrogen peroxide which is present in many hair dyes and relaxers, and when used excessively, the hair will gradually fade and turn to white.
This is a natural phenomenon that occurs as you age. Everybody at specific points in life begins to experience graying of hair from a strand too many until total whitening of the hair as age sets in.
Ten ways to prevent white hair
Preventing white hair depends on the cause- whether it is a natural cause as in aging or genetics, or other reasons. In the case of aging or genetics, there is no known method to prevent or reverse the occurrence of white hair; on the other hand, if the color loss is due to a medical condition, specific treatments could be prescribed to return the hair to its usual glow. Other ways to prevent white hair include:
In hair color change due to diet or vitamin deficiency, preventing this lies in taking the correct vitamin supplements and diet combination to stop the occurrence. Vitamin supplements are available as capsules in fresh fruits and vegetables, powders, smoothies, or fortified meals.
Consumption of foods loaded with these vitamins helps to correct the deficiency. Foods like eggs, meats, seafood, and green vegetables are sources of Vitamin B. At the same time, milk, cheese, omega-3 oil, nuts, salmon, and the likes are excellent sources of vitamin D.
Vitamin B are very important for healthy hair and skin, with vitamin B7 and B12 being the most essential for healthy hair maintenance. Its lack or deficiency could lead to sudden hair color change.
Asides from vitamins, another most essential mineral for hair protection is copper, as its deficiency has been linked to causing premature white hair in young people. An adequate supply of copper to the body helps maintain the production of melanin in the hair as much as it helps eliminate oxidation or radical damage in the hair cells.
Oxidative stress triggers are countered by consuming more antioxidants as food or drinks. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants contributes a lot to preventing hair graying. Diet rich in antioxidants are very common and available around us; they may include fresh fruits and vegetables such as spinach, eggplant, avocado, and so on, green tea, spice tea, fish, and olives.
Since smoking has been linked to causing premature graying of the hair, one way to change it is total abstinence from tobacco. If greying occurs due to smoking, quitting is not an unconditional guarantee that the hair color will be restored, but it is a positive start towards a change.
Protection from sun
More often than not, exposing your hair directly to the sun may cause premature greying of the hair caused by the impact of harmful ultraviolet rays. You can protect your hair from direct sunlight by wearing scarves or hats while outside.
Using essential oils
The use of essential oil can help maintain your hair’s black lushness and maintain the melanin level. Essential oils of lavender, rosemary, fenugreek, sandalwood, and so on are great for use.
Reduce or avoid stress
Getting adequate rest and calm will help reduce stress and avoid stress; you need to take conscious steps to keep a free and peaceful mind. Practicing yoga, meditation, or other hobbies helps you stay relaxed, an excellent way to keep your body in a state of calm as stress triggers the production of grey hair.
Use of natural home remedies.
These natural remedies aim to restoring the color of the hair and slowing down the greying or whitening of hair. Unlike chemical dyes which may act as a temporary cover-up, natural hair treatments are more lasting, has no side effect and are very safe to use. Some of the natural home remedies for grey hair include:
- The mixture of curry leaves in pure coconut oil.
- Black tea: Black tea contains tannic acid, which can make your hair black and shiny. You can mix some with your hair oil or lotion and apply them regularly.
- Gooseberry: Gooseberry is an herb that is used for almost all hair conditions. It is high in antioxidants and has anti-aging properties, so it is a perfect natural herbal remedy for graying hair. You can use its extractor in its powdered form with a mix of pure coconut, olive, or jojoba oil to combine it well into the hair.
- Medical prescriptions: Sometimes, once a doctor has determined the cause of greying of hair, whether it is a natural or premature cause, the doctor may prescribe medicines, supplements, hair treatments such as shampoos, serums, or oils that are well suited to your hair type or texture. In addition to this is a regular check-up or monitoring to observe the changes and response to prescribed treatment.
Proper hair care and treatment
Your hair routine speaks a lot about the condition of your hair. To prevent premature white hair, you must ensure that you keep your hair in good condition, treat it with the right hair treatments, preferably natural or organic hair care products.
Avoid repeated use of bleach or chemicals, heat treatment should be done minimally so as not to cause damage to the hair cells, and most importantly, for every hair care product you use on the hair, be sure to wash and rinse them off properly without leaving any residue that may cause damage to the hair.
How to prevent white hair can be challenging to many people. While it is normal for every person to experience grey or white hair as they grow, the average age to start seeing gray or white hair strands is usually around 40years. Except for other natural causes, premature hair whitening or graying is not typically comfortable and comes with bags of worries and self-consciousness.
Once you have identified the underlying cause of your premature white hair, any of the ten ways to prevent white hair listed above should work for you as you begin to enjoy the glow and shine of your black hair.