“The salt and pepper look are a good look, don’t you think and I for one am very attracted to it.
But of course, when we start greying at an earlier age, it can cause a dampener on how we feel about ourselves and it’s certainly a cause for concern. The good news is that mostly, premature graying can be reversed. Whilst dyeing your hair is one easy and quick fix, you really want to get to the root cause of the problem to have a permanent solution. This is where Ayurveda can help as Ayurveda is about identifying the root causes and addressing the issues happening at a cellular level whilst also treating the issue at a symptomatic level.
There is a lot of Western based research on premature graying and reasons cited are genealogy, stress, issues with one’s thyroid gland, B12 deficiency, alopecia and even vitiligo or even the immune system incorrectly attacking the scalp
From an Ayurevdic perspective, premature graying or for that matter any diseases are seen as a Dosha imbalance. An aggravated Pitta dosha is the main dosha responsible for Premature graying. Imbalance in this dosha affects the melanocytes that are responsible for the production of the melanin pigment, thus resulting in the loss of colour or premature graying.
So, factors relating to Premature Graying from an Aurvedic perspective are
– Overindulgence in pungent, sharp tasting, fermented foods and acidic / sour foods
– Diet lacking in iron, Vitamins B12 and D3
– Excessive and strenuous long-term exercising, smoking,
– Stress and mental thoughts preoccupied with anger, hate, competitiveness
– Long term usage of chemical products on your head
Can Ayurveda help in premature greying
The answer is yes, in the cases where the graying happens at a young age due to Pitta aggravation in the body. An Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and herbal medications will help in bringing the Pitta Dosha into balance and thus reverse premature graying
So, let’s start with food
Firstly, one needs to cut down perhaps completely avoid at least for the first 3 months any sharp, pungent foods, sour/ acidic and fermented foods, leftover foods, and processed foods
Salt increases Pitta Dosha, so be mindful of your salt intake
Include more foods that have a bitter taste (green leafy vegetable, bitter gourd/ karela), sweet taste (rice, millets, unhomogenised cow’s milk, ghee, ripened fruits etc) and astringent taste (beans and legumes)
Greying is an indication of iron deficiency, so eat iron rich foods and what would also help here is to cook in iron or cast-iron utensils/ cook ware
Did you know that the humble curry leaf is a very rich source of iron? Chew 8-10 curry leaves in the morning on an empty stomach. This will help reverse premature graying, as well as is very good for overall hair health
A Pitta balancing tea – whilst all the ingredients that go into it might not be readily available in a typical kitchen, you can use 3 ingredients to get the benefits. Boil 1 tablespoon of whole cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in 3 cups of water. Boil it down to ¾ and sip on this tea (warm) all throughout the day
In terms of lifestyle, avoid things that increase heat in your body, so for example if you like to exercise, be gentle in your paces and moves. Gardening and walking at a moderate pace are excellent. Yoga and meditation will be very beneficial.
Similarly, thoughts can also overheat the body. Aggression, Extreme competitiveness, over thinking and analysing, criticising and judging are emotions that will aggravate the Pitta Dosha. So be mindful of what’s going on in your head and change that kind of thought processing,
Hair and Scalp Treatments
This is an excellent technique to not only reverse premature graying but plays an important role in promoting the health of your hair.
A weekly head massage with oils such as Indian Gooseberry oil, Brahmi and Bhringraja Oil or even Coconut oil with Curry leaves are some oils suggested to reverse premature graying.
Simply explained this is the process of putting medicated oil drops in each nostril. This should be done daily just before going to bed. Nasya is an excellent treatment for graying hair, as well as helps with the respiratory system and helps clear out mental ama (toxins).
Hair Masks Hair Shampoos and Hair conditioners
Always read the label. There are many products out there claiming to be organic, natural but are not so. Our Skin (including our scalp) is the largest organ of our body, so you want to make sure you are not feeding it with chemicals and toxic products. It is also the organ that is not able to synthesize anything that you feed it with, meaning that whatever you apply on your skin and scalp will enter the bloodstream without any filter.
I have a wonderful hair mask that I prepare myself. I’ve used this myself and so have my family and friends who swear that it’s the best prewash conditioner by far.
Shampoos and conditioners
Now we all know what shampoos do – simply put, they are a hair wash and function in the same way that you would use a body wash for.
But what do Conditioners do – the function of the conditioner is to close off all the pores in the hair that are opened up during shampooing, in doing so the conditioner helps with detangling and making the hair feel / look smoother and shinier. Given this you could achieve the same effect by running some cold water through your hair after your hair wash. Personally, I use an Ayurvedic conditioner after a hair wash, but every now and then will simply use a vinegar and cold water spritz to condition my hair
Ayurvedic Herbal Formulations
We have a few polyherbal formulations that can directly help with reversing Premature graying. They are designed for your body type and an Ayurvedic practitioner like me would be able to guide you as to which herbs suit you best
There are several Yoga asanas that are designed to energising the scalp by directing the flow of oxygen to the scalp. Forward bends, downward dog resting pose m camel pose (forward and backward) and the head stand pose to name a few are excellent to lubricate the scalp and thus very good for overall hair health and premature graying.
Embrace your Gray
One last thing that I d like to add here is that is that no matter how bad you think your hair is it greying, thinning, falling, frizzy etc, learn to accept it and love it. Work on improving it for sure but Embrace your body including every bit of it in the now!
- If you want to know more on Ayurvedic Shampoos, Conditioners and hairmasks, treatment for premature grayingm alopecia, hair loss , please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org