Have you ever watched someone try to cover up gray hair by dyeing it? Or maybe you wonder why your granddad has a full head of silver hair when in old pictures it used to be dark brown? Getting gray, silver, or white hair is a natural part of growing older, and here’s why.
Each hair on our heads is made up of two parts:
a shaft :- the colored part we see growing out of our heads
a root : – the bottom part, which keeps the hair anchored under the scalp .
The root of every strand of hair is surrounded by a tube of tissue under the skin that is called the hair follicle (say: fah-lih-kul). Each hair follicle contains a certain number of pigment cells. These pigment cells continuously produce a chemical called melanin (say: meh-luh-nin) that gives the growing shaft of hair its color of brown, blonde, red, and anything in between.
Melanin is the same stuff that makes our skin’s color fair or darker. It also helps determine whether a person will burn or tan in the sun. The dark or light color of someone’s hair depends on how much melanin each hair contains.
As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die. When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become a more transparent color – like gray, silver, or white – as it grows. As people continue to get older, fewer pigment cells will be around to produce melanin. Eventually, the hair will look completely gray.
People can get gray hair at any age. Some people go gray at a young age – as early as when they are in high school or college – whereas others may be in their 30s or 40s before they see that first gray hair. How early we get gray hair is determined by our genes. This means that most of us will start having gray hairs around the same age that our parents or grandparents first did.
Gray hair is more noticeable in people with darker hair because it stands out, but people with naturally lighter hair are just as likely to go gray. From the time a person notices a few gray hairs, it may take more than 10 years for all of that person’s hair to turn gray.
The other big reason for graying hair is the environment. A recent study
indicates that smokers are 4 times more likely to become prematurely gray (or
bald). The mechanism is not clear but may have to do with vessel constriction
caused from the chemical (such as nicotine) absorption . In youngters, vitamin
B-12 deficiency, thyroid imbalance, anemia or viruses can cause gray hair to
appear as well. There is a phenomenon of “going gray” due to a shock or
fright but is not well documented and is hard to explain physiologically.
According to Ayurveda excessive passion, anger and phychic strain results in graying of hair .Persons suffering from chronic cold and sinusitis and those who use warm water for washing there hair are more likely to be victims of this condition.
Bhringraja and amalaki are popularly used for the treatment of this condition .Medicated oil prepared by boiling these two drugs, viz ,Mahabhringraj taila is used extremely for massaging the head, The powder of these two drugs is also used internally in a dose of one teaspoonful three times daily with milk. The oil prepared from the seeds of the Neem tree is used for inhalation twice a day for about a month. along with this ,the patient should be advised to take only milk as his diet.
Ayurvedic Suppliments: 1. Mahabhringaraj oil 2.Bhringarajsava 3.Amalaki Rasayan Lauha Rasayan
Diet : These therapies will be effective only when the patient observes diet restrictions. As far as possible, he should take only milk and sugar. Salt should be avoided. Sour things like yogurt are not useful. Pungent, hot and spicy food should be avoided.
Lifestyle: The patient should not remain awake for along time at night and should be kept free from worry, anxiety and passion. If suffering from cold and sinusitis, prompt and careful treatment should be given. Hot water should never be used for washing the hair. Cold water should always be used for bathing.
Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.
Help taken from: www.kidshealth.org and Allayurveda.com