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Q: I am only 25, but my hair has started greying. Is there any medicine in Ayurveda for blackening grey hair?

In Ayurveda, premature or greying of hair is a pitta imbalanced condition. The reasons can be grouped into:

Dietary causes: Excess use of spicy, sour, salty tastes, sesame oil, horse gram, mustard, fish and curd can cause the vitiation of pitta and lead to premature greying of hairs. Deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D causes the greying of hair as per studies.

Lifestyle causes: Overindulgence in physical exercise, keeping awake during night, excessive exposure to sunlight, smoking and exposure dust, intake of polluted air and fasting for long periods may cause premature greying as per Ayurveda. Smokers are four times more likely to have grey hair than non-smokers.

Psychological causes: Certain psychological factors like anger, grief, fear and mental stress vitiate the pitta dosha and causes greying.

Complication to health problems: Grey hair can also be the result of a medical condition. If you are deficient in B12 or suffer from a thyroid imbalance or anaemia, it can also cause your hair to go grey.

Genetic: Greying of hair is from familial inheritance. Pitta body type people are prone to premature greying of hairs.

The pigment melanin gives our hair its ‘colour’. In general, the more melanin present, the darker the hair colour; the less melanin, the lighter the hair colour. When the melanocytes stop producing the pigment, the result is a transparent hair. The transparent hair against your healthier darker hair gives the appearance of grey hair. In reality the hair is not grey, but transparent. Grey hair is more noticeable in people with darker hair because it stands out. Grey hair can be harder to colour as it is more resistant to hair colour or hair dye due to a decreased amount of melanin. 

Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence that any diet, herb, supplement, or natural product can reverse grey hair. Try this home remedy: make a paste of equal quantities of Triphala powder, seeds of mango fruit, henna powder. Keep that paste in an iron vessel for a day and then use as external application. Massaging the scalp with the juice of beetroot can prevent premature greying.

Fruits and vegetables should be included in your diet to facilitate the supply of essential vitamins and minerals. Usage of curry leaves in plenty in food can be a preventive measure for premature greying. Favour bitter and astringent vegetables and sweet fruits in your diet. Consult an Ayurveda doctor for pitta balancing medicines and hair oils.

Dr VL Shyam is an award-winning Ayurvedic practitioner based in Dubai. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.