While most millennials consider the salt and pepper look an iconic hair style, are you worried about your grey locks? Your concerns are certainly worth it if you are still very young for grey hair.
We understand how you feel every time you have to hide your untimely wisdom by soaking your hair with temporary coloring agents made of harmful chemicals . Or, when you have to work your scissors to cut down those 3-4 strands of grey hair every time they grow back.
This is why we have to tell you the good news - you can save your dyeing skills for your old age, because getting rid of your premature grey hair naturally is possible with the help of Ayurveda. We tell you how, with the help of Dr. Zeel Gandhi, chief Ayurvedic doctor at Vedix.
What Causes Premature Greying As Per Ayurveda?
According to traditional Ayurveda, the three doshas (bodily forces) - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha regulate your body activity.
Based upon nature, geography, environment and genetics, each individual has a unique mixture of the three doshas, whose balance is called as the innate ‘Prakriti’ of that individual. Any imbalance occurring in these three dosha levels results in diseases.
Premature greying, referred to as ‘Akala Palitya’ in Ayurveda, is the result of aggravation in Pitta dosha or Pitta-Vata doshas. It is categorized under Kshudra Rogas.
"The Bhrajaka pitta, a sub-type of Pitta, is responsible for the color and complexion of your skin and hair. It is attributed to melanocytes that produce melanin pigment, which is responsible for the natural color of your hair. Imbalance in Bhrajaka Pitta causes insufficient melanin production, which in turn results in premature greying" says Dr. Zeel.
Factors Responsible For Premature Greying
1. Nutritional (Aharaja)
Dr. Zeel suggests that a balanced diet is key to healthy hair. "Ayurveda recommends making your meals a proper balance of all the six tastes. Salt and spices should be consumed in moderation," she says.
She further adds, "Foods like mustard, linseed, fish, mutton, lamb and curds are rich in nutrients. But excess use can cause vitiation of Pitta. Ayurveda thus advises moderation. Also, lack of adequate amounts of iron, calcium, vitamins B12 and D3 in your diet can cause greyness in your hair strands." 
2. Environmental And Behavior (Viharaja)
"When you put yourself in extreme conditions like excessive physical exercise or overexertion (ativyayama), overexposure to sunlight (atiatapasevan), awakening during nights at Pitta Kala (11.00 pm - 2.00 am, raatrijagarana), excessive smoking (dhumasevan), intake of polluted air (dushitvayusevan) and fasting (Upavasa), etc. an abnormal spike in your Pitta-Vata dosha levels occurs, which results in Akala Palitya or premature greying," says Dr. Zeel.
3. Psychological (Mansik)
Pitta governs certain psychological factors like grief (shoka), anger (Krodha), mental stress (maansika shrama) and fear (bhaya) in your body. Conditions like uncontrollable anger, stress, etc. can easily provoke Pitta dosha to aggravate, resulting in premature greying. Even scientific researches suggest that both chronic and acute stress can potentially induce Achromotrichia (absence or loss of pigmentation) in your hair.
4. Basic Prakriti / Genetics
The basic Prakriti of an individual is genetic. One who has Pitta-dominant innate Prakriti has a default tendency of excess heat accumulation and is more likely to undergo premature greying than others. To prevent premature greying of your hair, you need to be aware of the dominant doshas in your Prakriti. If you are Pitta dominant in nature, you need to stay away from the foods and lifestyle habits that aggravates Pitta.
Major hormonal changes in women during conditions like pregnancy and menopause can cause premature greying. Also, the derangement of all the three doshas cause disturbed thyroid glands, which may result in conditions like Hyperthyroidism or Hypothyroidism. The changes in thyroid hormone levels  reduce melanin production in the body and thus, turn your hair grey.
Usage of chemical hair dyes and products like shampoos may contribute to your premature greying as they contain harmful chemicals like Hydrogen Peroxide . Your hair may undergo bleaching and turn white on excessive use of these chemical products.
7. Medical Conditions
In some medical conditions like Albinism, Pernicious anemia, and other autoimmune disorders like Alopecia areata and Vitiligo, the body undergoes melanin deficiency and thus, the hair grows white.
Did You Know?
The hair of a French Queen called Marie Antoinette supposedly turned completely grey on the night before her execution. It was due to immense stress and since then, the condition of rapid premature greying caused by stress is often coined as 'Marie Antoinette syndrome'.
Can Ayurveda Reverse Grey Hair?
Generally, the production of melanin in the follicles decreases with growing age and the hair starts turning grey from mid-thirties (Kala Janya Palitya). In some cases, the early occurrence of grey hair is caused by the genetics of an individual. In such cases, it is not possible to reverse the process of hair greying.
However, when your melanin production is ceased at a younger age by interim Pitta aggravation in the body, you can absolutely reverse your premature grey hair through natural Ayurvedic techniques and lifestyle changes that pacify excess Pitta and bring your body into a balanced state.
How To Treat Premature Greying With Ayurveda?
Ayurveda, the holistic and natural health science of ancient India, advises therapies ranging from an external application, internal medications, lifestyle and diet controls to maintain your Pitta dosha levels in balance, thus helping you prevent and reverse premature graying.
1. Ayurvedic Hair Oils
A. Bringamalakadi Taila
Bringamalakadi Taila acts as an effective coolant for your scalp, relieving it from excessive heat. Massaging your scalp regularly with Bringamalakadi Taila nourishes the hair roots and enhances blood circulation to the nerve ends. In turn, this prevents the growth of premature grey hair while strengthening your hair.
B. Brahmi Bringaraj Taila
Brahmi Bringaraj Taila is an impeccable choice when it comes to dealing with stress. This herbal oil treats the dryness of your scalp and prevents your hair from premature greying. Also, it reduces hair fall by providing comprehensive nourishment to the roots.
C. Sahadevi Hair Oil (Veronica Cineria/Purple Fleabane)
Sahadevi is the herb which is used in Ayurvedic proprietary medicines for treating premature greying, hair fall and hair loss. Besides curing grey hairs, the hair oil made of Sahadevi herb is also very useful in controlling dandruff. Though Sahadevi is not a very common herb, it can be found in the form of weed.
D. Dasapushpam Oil
Dasapushpam, an Ayurvedic formulation of ten different herbs, is well known for its qualities to control emotions and hormones. While mitigating stress in your head, massaging your scalp with Dasapushpam oil prevents premature greying. It is found in abundance in the Kerala region.
The Ayurvedic formulation of Dasapushpam oil contains the following ten herbs:
- Cheroola (Mountain knotgrass)
- Karuka (Bahama grass)
- Kayyonni (False daisy)
- Mukkutti (Biophytum sensitivum)
- Muyal cheviyan (Lilac tassel flower)
- Nilappana (Golden eye-grass)
- Poovamkurunnila (Little ironweed)
- Thiruthaali (Morning glory)
- Uzhinja (Balloon plant)
- Vishnukranthi (Slender dwarf morning-glory)
E. Curry Leaves With Coconut Oil
Curry leaves act extraordinarily in revitalizing your hair roots. The vitamin B present in curry leaves helps your hair follicles in restoring the natural color pigment and thus, prevents premature greying. Coconut oil, being a natural coolant for your scalp, becomes the perfect combination with curry leaves to pacify excessive Pitta dosha and control grey hairs.
F. Amla Oil (Indian Gooseberry)
Amla is known to be an exceptional Ayurvedic herb to treat premature greying. You can prepare Amla oil by boiling dried Amla pieces along with a bunch of curry leaves in coconut oil. Make sure you store the oil in a glass bottle after cooling and massage your scalp twice a week for better results.
G. Castor Oil
Castor oil is also one of the best solutions that help your follicles from rapid pigment loss. You need to regularly massage points on your scalp from where the grey hairs are shooting out with castor oil. Its cooling nature effectively controls the excess Pitta on your scalp.
You can also use Ayurvedic hair oils which are personalized based on your current dosha levels to treat premature greying without unwanted side effects.
2. Ayurvedic Shampoos / Cleansers
The nutrients present in Hibiscus aid in hair darkening, while also delaying premature greying. You can soak the flowers and leaves of hibiscus in water overnight and wash your hair with this water in the morning.
B. Amla (Indian Gooseberry)
You can mix Amla with Reetha (soapnut) and Shikakai (acacia concinna) in equal parts and use the mixture as a herbal shampoo. As discussed above, Amla, which is an exceptional Ayurvedic herb in treating premature greying, is also the best Ayurvedic alternative for chemical-loaded shampoos in the market.
Ayurveda suggests Triphala as one of the very effective ingredients to fight premature greying of hair. You can use the Triphala churna mixed with warm water as a natural hair cleanser. The iron and potassium present in Triphala balances the deficiency of minerals required for adequate melanin production, thus preventing premature greying of hair.
3. Ayurvedic Hair Masks
A. Mandoor Churna Mask
Mandoor churna (iron oxide) is suggested for combating premature greying in the ancient Ayurvedic text, Bhaishajya Ratnavali. Mix ½ a tablespoon of Mandoor churna with 5-7 hibiscus flowers and 4 tablespoons of Amla powder to form a paste. Apply this as a hair mask regularly for effective results.
B. Fenugreek Mask
The rich Amino acids present in Fenugreek seeds help your hair follicles fight premature greying. A hair mask with fenugreek paste also provides nourishment and strengthens your hair roots.
Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight and grind it into a fine paste. Apply it throughout your scalp and hair, and wash it off with Ayurvedic shampoo after a few minutes. You can also apply and leave the mask overnight for better results.
C. Buttermilk-Curry Leaves Mask
Add buttermilk to finely crushed curry leaves to prepare a smooth paste. Apply it on your scalp while ensuring the paste covers the hair strands from root to tip. Wash off the hair with Ayurvedic or herbal shampoo after 30 minutes. While the curry leaves help your hair fight premature greying efficiently, the buttermilk gives a soft texture to it.
D. Henna (Lawsonia Inermis) And Neeli (Indigo)
There is no Ayurvedic therapy for premature greying without mentioning the herb Henna. It has natural coloring and conditioning properties, which makes it a best and natural alternative for chemical hair dyes.
For best results, soak the henna leaves in an iron pot overnight and prepare a hair mask by adding curd, eggs, and hibiscus into the paste. You can add Neeli herb, which gives a natural bluish tinge to the hair.
4. Yoga Asanas
A. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Sit on the kneeling position with at least a 6-inch gap between your knees.
- Now reach your right ankle with your right hand and left ankle with your left hand.
- While looking towards the ceiling, lift and push your abdomen in forwarding motion and keep your thighs straight.
- After holding this position for a few breaths, release your hands and return to kneeling position.
Avoid Ustrasana if you have conditions like high or low blood pressure, back or neck injury and migraine.
B. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Lie on your back on the floor and keep your feet together.
- Tuck your hands under your buttocks where your palms face downwards.
- Bring in your elbows as much as possible.
- Then inhale as you lift your upper back from the ground while letting your weight rest on your elbows.
- Slowly, tilt your head backward and let the top of your head touch the floor.
- Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds as per your convenience while breathing deeply.
- Release yourself from the pose by slowly lifting your chest and head up.
- Then, drop your body down slowly while relaxing your arms and legs.
- You can also use a pillow under your back while performing Matyasana in case you need more support.
C. Apanasana (Knees To Chest Pose)
- Lie down flat on the floor and fold your legs at your knees.
- Try to bring your knees close to your chest by holding the knee caps with your palms. Keep in mind that your fingers of palms should face the feet.
- Inhale slowly while straightening your arms and pushing the legs away from you.
- Exhale slowly as you bring the legs close to your chest.
- Repeat the pattern of breathing and knee movement for a minute or two as per your convenience.
- Now, release yourself from the posture and perform a side twist with folded knees at your right and left.
- Then slowly straighten your legs and relax your hands facing downwards by your side to perform Savasana.
D. Balayam (Rubbing Nails)
- Bring your palms with folded fingers together.
- Now rub the surfaces of the nails of both hands against each other in vigorous motion. Spare the thumbs.
- Perform this every day for 5 – 10 minutes at least thrice a day.
- Balayam strengthens the nerve ends of nails that are connected to hair roots. Through rubbing, the blood circulation is stimulated, which in turn prevents premature graying.
- Other than these, you can also practice Pranayama to stop your hair from premature graying.
E. Bhramari Pranayama
- Sit in a comfortable posture on your mat by keeping your spine erect.
- Close the eyes with your index fingers.
- Use your ring and small fingers to close your mouth and place middle fingers on the nose bridge.
- Now, close your ears with respective thumbs. This posture is also called 'Shanmukhi Mudra'.
- Inhale deeply through the nose.
- Now, exhale slowly in a controlled manner while making a deep humming sound.
- Repeat it four times.
Please administer the Yoga Asanas and Pranayama mentioned above under the guidance of an experienced yoga master.
What Ayurvedic Medicine Is Good For Fighting Grey Hair?
Besides formulations for topical application and lifestyle rituals, Ayurveda specifies powerful herbs for oral medication to reduce premature greying of hair as follows:
- Amalaki Rasayana
- Lauha Rasayana
- Mahabhringaraj Taila
- Prawal Panchamrit
- Saptamrit Lauh
- Tapyadi Lauh
Please consult your Ayurvedic doctor to recommend the most suitable Ayurvedic medicines for premature greying based on your body condition. The Ayurvedic supplements or oral medications need to be strictly administered under the guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.
Tips To Prevent Premature Grey Hair
- Ensure you lead a stress-free life.
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet that keeps dosha levels in your body in stable condition.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking as they build up oxidative stress  in the body.
- Always cleanse your hair with lukewarm (not hot) water.
- Avoid the usage of chemical agents for dyeing and styling your hair.
- Avoid heat-styling as it causes long-term damage to your hair.
- Protect your hair from harsh sun rays by wearing a cap.
- Avoid contact of your hair with chlorinated water at swimming pools.
- Address the conditions like poor digestion immediately as it indicates improper functioning of the liver, which is also the sign of Pitta aggravation that may lead to premature graying.
The Last Word
You cannot avoid the process of hair greying with age. However, you can save your youth from premature greying through the above-mentioned natural Ayurvedic solutions. At Vedix, we bring you a personalized Ayurvedic hair care regime that resolves the root cause of your hair problems by bringing the balance in your innate Prakriti.Know Your Dosha Now