Wondering how to prevent white hair? The bad news is there’s no way to reverse the problem once strands of white hair start to grow. But there are several things you can do to prevent premature growth of white hair. Today, we will go over several of solutions that help you to prevent white hair.
- 1 White hair causes
- 2 How to prevent white hair naturally
White hair causes
Experts believe that your tendency to grow white or gray hair highly depends on your genes. It may also be caused by vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, smoking, poor nutrition, thyroid or pituitary gland problems, HIV, and AIDS.
According to WebMD, African-Americans start growing white hair in their mid-forties, Asians in their late thirties, and Caucasians in their mid-thirties.
The reason why hair starts to turn white is because color-producing cells (melanocytes) start to become inactive. That’s why fewer pigments are being dumped in your hair, so it starts to appear lighter in color. Eventually, these color-producing cells will begin to die until there’s insufficient number of cells to produce hair color.
How to prevent white hair naturally
Eat foods rich in vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Graying of hair may be a sign that you’re deficient of vitamin B12. You may also experience fatigue, poor appetite, lightheadedness, poor nail health, weight loss, upset stomach, easy bruising or bleeding, soreness of the tongue or mouth, tingling sensations in the feet and hands, poor nail health, and constipation or diarrhea.
Of course, it’s only through blood testing that you could confirm this. If the vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by pernicious anemia, your doctor will most likely prescribe you with medicines or give you a cyanocobalamin injection. Otherwise, diet modification and supplements will do.
Some great food sources of vitamin B12 are salmon, low-fat milk, clams, chicken breast meat, liver, beef, sardines, low-fat fruit yogurt, and shrimp.
Are you a smoker?
If yes, this may be a great time to decide to quit smoking. As you may have already observed, cigarette smokers tend to look older than their age. They develop premature graying of hair, wrinkles, and other health issues that normally develop in the later years of life.
Interestingly, a study was conducted in 2010 to determine whether there’s really a significant relationship between cigarette smoking and premature graying of hair. Out of 207 participants, 104 of them were assigned in the “premature hair graying” group and the rest of them were assigned in the “normal hair graying” group.
The results revealed that smokers were 2 ½ times at risk for premature hair graying. What’s more, they developed gray hair at an earlier age versus nonsmokers (31 years old and 34 years old, respectively).
Quitting smoking is difficult. That’s for sure. After all, it’s both a physical and mental addiction, which requires time, willpower, and professional help to overcome. It could also cause withdrawal symptoms once you cut off your regular fix of nicotine.
The good news is this is not impossible to defeat. There’s plenty of help out there. But for starters, you must make a firm decision to quit. Don’t forget to set a date. Then call a smoking “quit line” and learn more about quitting smoking through local and national organizations, such as Smokefree.gov.
Tip: Don’t go cold turkey.
You don’t go cold turkey because it’s the least effective way to quit. The sudden withdrawal of nicotine could cause heart rate fluctuations, irritability, jitters, depression, suicidal thoughts, falling blood pressure, cold sweats, fatigue, headache, cravings for sweets or tobacco, nausea, and so many more.
If it’s a friend or family member who’s a chain smoker, make sure you avoid the following:
- Giving them quitting smoking guidelines without them asking.
- Never nag or keep repeating their past mistakes.
- And don’t blame them for their cigarette addiction.
The polyherbal oil I’m talking about was made from curry leaves, amla (Indian gooseberry) fruits, methi seeds, banyan root, bringaraj leaves, vetiver roots, henna leaves, and hibiscus leaves. This specially formulated oil was used in a research study, which results revealed that using this oil could promote hair growth, dandruff prevention, shiny hair, and changing of gray hair into black.
Here’s a quick overview of each plant:
Curry leaves are taken from, well, the curry tree or Curry-leaf tree (Murraya koenigii) that’s native to Sri Lanka and India. Curry leaves are used as a natural hair grower by boiling them in raw coconut oil.
Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
Banyan is widely used by women in India and Nepal to strengthen their hair and prevent hair loss. Its prop root is usually pressed to make a paste.
Eclipta: White (Eclipta prostrata/Eclipta alba)
This plant belongs to the sunflower family. It’s commonly used as a topical treatment for hair loss and premature graying of hair. It’s probably because it promotes better blood circulation to hair follicles.
Eclipta: Yellow (Widelia calendulaceae)
Just like Eclipta prostrata, this is also used for preventing gray hair and hair loss.
Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)
The fruits of amla or Indian gooseberry are used for growing hair, healing different scalp issues, and to condition hair.
Henna (Lawsonia inermis)
Henna doesn’t only serve as a temporary hair colorant, but it also promotes hair growth and keeps your hair strong and shiny.
Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosasinensis)
Hibiscus is believed to help prevent and treat split ends, hair fall, and dandruff.
Vetiver (Vetiveria zizanioides)
Vetiver is actually a type of grass that belongs in the same family as lemongrass and citronella. The essential oil extracted from its roots is a common ingredient in perfumes.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Like Indian gooseberry, fenugreek is used to treat a variety of scalp problems and for conditioning the hair.
Coconut oil (Cocus nucifera)
Coconut oil contains lauric acid that’s considered anti-fungal, antibacterial, and antiviral. It also helps to nourish the hair and scalp. Some believe it stimulates hair growth by unclogging the pores on your scalp.
Prevent premature graying of hair by de-stressing and limiting UV exposure
There aren’t many scientific evidences to prove it, but stress may contribute to the gradual whitening or graying of your hair. According to a 2013 animal study published in Nature Medicine, a possible explanation why people experience premature hair graying after skin damage or being stressed is due to depletion of stems cells found at the bottom of hair follicles.
Melanocytes, which are melanin-producing cells, are produced by stem cells that are concentrated at the base of your hair follicle (the bulge). This is where melanocyte stem cells hang out and multiply to produce daughter cells that’ll color your hair.
Here’s the problem: After your skin’s injured or after exposure to ultraviolet light, as what happened in the clinical study, these stem cells transfer without replicating. The absence of replication means there wouldn’t be any stem cells to give hair its color.
What’s the culprit?
Researchers found out that the Mc1r gene, which is activated by stress hormones (melanin-stimulating hormone and adrenocorticotropic hormone), could be the reason for the appearance of gray or white hair after being stressed. It causes melanocyte stem cells to be depleted a lot faster. However, further studies still need to be done to show the cause-and-effect relationship of the hair graying process and stress.
1.) Breathe in with your nose and breathe out slowly with your mouth. This helps release muscle tension, remove body toxins, and clear up your brain.
2.) A good belly laugh is also an effective stress reliever. So, whenever you’re feeling angry, tired, and hopeless, find time to laugh. Experiment show that smiling, even if you’re just faking it, is the fastest way to make yourself feel better.
3.) Meditate in the early mornings before you start your day. This will help calm your emotions and silence your inner critics.
4.) Make exercising part of your stress management plan. You don’t really have to spend hours in the gym. Around 10 minutes of daily exercise would do.
Ask your doctor about para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), also known as vitamin Bx, is actually not a vitamin. It’s a kind of amino acid that’s found in folic acid and foods, such as egg, meat, and milk.
Interestingly, a few case reports suggest that prolonged intake of para-aminobenzoic acid may cause darkening of gray hair. The subjects of these cases were given between 6 and 24 milligrams of this amino acid daily due to their primary health problems.
In the fourth case report, the hair-darkening effect of para-aminobenzoic acid was first noticed six weeks after therapy. Generally, however, more time was needed to produce the change. As for its mechanism of action, it’s yet to be determined.
But before you go to the nearest pharmacy, take note of these things first: the subjects took large doses of para-aminobenzoic acid because they were sick. Thus, I don’t recommend you to take it for the sole purpose of darkening white hair. Make sure to consult your doctor first to get expert advice.
Try using Indian gooseberry
Gooseberries can be found in many parts of the world, like Europe, Middle East, and India. But we’re only interested with the ones that are native to India called Indian gooseberry or amla.
What’s good with Indian gooseberry?
Indian gooseberry is able to penetrate the deep layers of your hair to make it shinier, softer, and have more volume. Its fruit, juice, and essential oil are used to stimulate hair growth and prevent excessive hair fall and premature graying of hair.
How to stop white hair with Indian gooseberry
First, cut one Indian gooseberry fruit into pieces, which you’ll have to dry in the shade. The second step of the process is to soak these dried pieces in water the whole night.
The next day boil them in raw coconut oil until they’re well-cooked. After it has cooled, apply to your hair in the same manner you would with conditioners. Let it sit for an hour. Use Indian gooseberry juice or the water you used for soaking the dried fruit pieces for the final rinse.
Pour enough water on 4 ounces or ½ cup of pure Indian gooseberry powder. Mix until a paste-like texture is achieved. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
Apply the mixture to your clean hair. Start from the roots then move toward the tips. Leave it for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing your hair with warm water. Make sure to wear gloves the whole time. Please refrain from using other hair products for a couple of hours.
I’m sure you’ve encountered a lot of products claiming to reverse premature growth of white or gray hair. The truth is there’s currently no treatment available to get rid of this problem. Once white hair start to appear, there’s no turning back, unless you could change your genes.
As for preventing white hair, there’s no single surefire way to do it. Solid scientific studies are still lacking to establish the efficacy and safety of different natural and man-made treatments for preventing premature lightening of hair.
What to do? Determine the root cause of the problem. If it’s caused by a health condition, like vitamin deficiency, pay your doctor a visit to get the proper treatment.
If none of these tips work, rest assured that there’s still one thing you could do: embrace your white hairs. Just look at famous Hollywood celebrities who rock white hair. You have Steve Martin, Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Kate Moss, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Storm. Okay, that last example doesn’t really count because she’s a fictional character, but you do get my point, right?
Check out our other detailed article on how to get super soft and smooth hair naturally.
If you have other tips and tricks for preventing white hair, be sure to share them by leaving your comments below.