When you are youthful from within, it shows on the outside as well, through your skin, body and hair.
Hair that is healthy and shiny is a manifestation of good overall health as well as youthfulness.
However, some of us often tend to battle premature greying. We are told it’s hormonal and all attempts to prevent it would be futile. Is it really so? The answer is no. There are many ways by which we can treat or nourish our strands and scalp so that premature greying is prevented.
Before we get into the ways to prevent such conditions, it is very important to understand the causes behind them.
When strands suffer premature greying, they often appear to lose growth speed, become brittle, lose their natural colour and become drier. When we talk about premature greying we are referring to the ageing of capillaries, which might occur any time in the anagen or capillary growth phase, thereby shortening the period of the respective phase. With growing age, collagen-producing fibroblasts suffer a significant decrease.
The double whammy at this point is the changes in the soft tissues like muscle, skin or fascia, referred to as trophic changes, which damage the hair follicle cells. In a process called apoptosis, the cells that produce melanin die, causing greying prior to expected age.
Our hairs thrive on nutrients and moisture obtained from within the body, and the scalp in particular, but they turn grey, and there is no mechanism to prevent its loss owing to the open cuticles.
Therefore, it becomes imperative that added nutrients are ensured for the hair and the scalp. It is advisable that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and consume foods and vegetables rich in antioxidants.
Also required is to protect the strands and scalp from excessive exposure to strong sunlight. If it is unavoidable, do so with protection in place. If these two are adhered to, the issue can be tackled to a great extent.
The other most important thing to do to avoid premature greying is to stop being aggressive on the hair. The need of the hour is to ensure gentle cleansing and hydration.
When going for hair care products for the purpose, do remember to strictly avoid aggressive ingredients such as sodium chloride and sulphates. Investing in products with antioxidant action would further ease the task to prevent the early greying of strands.
Instead, herbs and extracts of plants or fruits must be banked on while checking the ingredient list of products.
Amla, juá, malva and guarana-like ingredients, which are rich in vitamin C, and babassu oil – rich in fatty acid essence, aiding lipid replacement – ensure the required nutrition and restore natural elasticity, making the strands soft, strong and dry, without the fear of premature ageing.
This article first appeared in Saturday Insider, March 12, 2022