Gray Hair: Causes and Remedies

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

As the body ages, the hair follicles also age. They begin producing lower amounts of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color. The result is gray hair. While this is acceptable for someone in their early 50s, tackling gray hair in the mid-20s or early 30s can be bothersome. In this blog, we will discuss some of the key causes and home remedies for grey hair.

What Causes Gray Hair?

According to science, each hair follicle contains melanocytes, the cells that produce either of the two pigments – pheomelanin or eumelanin, based on your DNA. Eumelanin is the one responsible for brown and black hair, whereas pheomelanin is present in people with red and blond hair. But as the person ages, the number of melanocytes decreases, making the hair strands colorless or gray. 

Besides natural aging, other factors that cause the melanocyte numbers to drop are:

  • Genes – As per studies, premature hair graying is linked to specific genes. Studies also indicate that people who carry these genes are at a higher risk of developing allergic conditions like asthma and eczema. 
  • Obesity – A person’s weight is directly linked to the risk of premature hair graying.
  • Smoking – Habitual smokers experience increased oxidative stress that damages melanin-producing cells in the hair follicles. 
  • Stress – The body’s stress hormones speed up the graying process. Constant stress depletes the reserve of stem cells present in hair follicles. These cells are transformed into pigment cells during the hair growth phase.
  • Vitamin Deficiency – Vitamin B12 deficiency is seen as a major risk factor for premature hair graying. 
  • Medical Conditions – Studies show that certain diseases like vitiligo and alopecia areata can lead to overnight/sudden graying of hair. 

Care Tips For Graying Hair

Are you looking for a gray hair remedy that fixes the cause of premature hair graying? The best remedies lie in the following lifestyle changes: 

  • Healthy Eating: Go in for foods that provide you with enough Vitamins B, D, E, and A, and minerals, namely zinc, iron, magnesium, selenium, and copper, that are essential for hair growth and repair. 
  • Quit Smoking: Looking for an effective gray hair remedy? Give up on smoking. 
  • Reduce Sun Exposure: The harmful UV rays of the sun can damage the hair follicles. When stepping out, cover up with a hat or scarf to protect your hair from the sun
  • Minimize Using Chemicals and Styling Products: Frequent hair styling, bleaching, coloring, curling, or hair drying harms hair follicles. 

In addition, here are some of the best ways to care for your gray hair:

  • Always use a moisturizing and nourishing shampoo that keeps your strands hydrated, as gray hair tends to look dry.
  • You can use leave-in conditioners to counter the brittleness of grey hair and to tame the frizz as well. 
  • Gray hair often starts looking pale and yellow. Treat this issue with an occasional use of purple shampoo (which contains violet pigments). Alternatively, give an apple cider rinse to remove the yellowness.

How to Stop Grey Hair Naturally? Is it Even Possible? 

Certain ingredients can naturally stimulate the production of melanin in the hair. Using these remedies can do the trick:

  • Black Sesame Seeds – These seeds are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Eat a handful of black sesame seeds twice a week to slow down the premature graying of hair.
  • Amla Oil – Using amla for gray hair is an age-old secret. Boil dry amla and coconut oil to form amla oil. Use it regularly for hair oil massage.
  • Curry Leaves – Add crushed curry leaves to regular eating habits to slow down the premature graying of hair.
  • Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is an ayurvedic herb that promotes blood circulation. Use ashwagandha root powder in hair masks to reap the best results. 
  • Hibiscus Flower – The flower of the Hibiscus plant is rich in Vitamins A and C along with iron. Add the paste of hibiscus flower to any carrier oil for a nourishing oil massage. 
  • Ginger – Take one teaspoon of freshly grated ginger mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey as an effective gray hair remedy.


Premature graying of hair can be embarrassing, pushing many into an active search for an effective gray hair remedy. But while complete correction of gray hair can be challenging, the process can be slowed down by adopting a healthy lifestyle and some of the important home remedies.


HK Vitals


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