Are you feeling helpless about your premature grey hair? Have you been cutting down those 3-4 white hair strands every time they grow back? Your concerns are certainly worth it if you are still young.
We understand that you don’t want to soak your hair with harmful coloring agents . So save your dyeing skills for your old age, because we are going to tell you how to get rid of your premature grey hair naturally. Learn simple Ayurvedic remedies for hair greying in this article.
Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks
‘’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.’’
Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic doctor, Vedix
Reasons/Causes For Premature Grey Hair
According to traditional Ayurveda, the three doshas (bodily forces) - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha regulate your body activity. Any imbalance occurring in these three dosha levels results in diseases, including premature grey hair.
‘’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,’’ says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
The Bhrajaka pitta, a sub-type of Pitta, is attributed to melanocytes that produce the melanin pigment , which gives your hair its unique colour. Imbalance in Bhrajaka Pitta causes insufficient melanin production, which in turn results in white hair.
Here are some of the common causes of premature hair greying:
1. Nutritional deficiencies
As per a medical article named Greying of Hairs/ Canities (Sheeb), hair greying can even start at the early age of 15 due to certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
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 & Lifestyle Factors
"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 Reasons
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.
According to a research named Why Does Hair Turn Gray?, your genes are stated as the primary cause for grey hair at an early age. However, early diagnosis and treatment may prevent further progression of the condition.
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.
6. Chemical Hair Dyes
Usage of chemical hair dyes and products like shampoos may contribute to your premature greying as they may contain harmful chemicals like Hydrogen Peroxide. Your hair may undergo bleaching and turn white on excessive use of these chemical products.
7. Medical Conditions
Canities  is an irreversible condition that can cause grey hair at an early age. It is caused as a response to severe free radical damage to melanocytes located in your hair follicle.
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). As per statistics, worldwide 6 to 23% of people experience about 50% greying of their hair by the age of 50.  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.
How To Treat Premature Grey Hair?
Ayurveda, the holistic and natural health science of ancient India, advises therapies ranging from an external application, internal medications, lifestyle and diet to reverse premature graying. Here are some of the treatments:
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 hair, 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 hair.
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 hair is shooting out. 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.
Vedix Tip: You can use Shadbindu oil for Nasya to treat hair fall and premature greying of your hair. However, remember to use just 2 drops of the oil and not more than that.
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. Home Remedies For Grey Hair
A. Black Tea
Rich in antioxidants known as catechins, black tea helps fight oxidative stress related hair greying.
Moreover, it acts as a natural hair dye (due to the presence of tannic acid) and stains the hair strands with a mild black colour, thereby reducing the appearance of your greys.
Brew about 5-6 tablespoons of tea. Cool it down to room temperature and rinse your hair with it regularly or at least 4-5 times a week.
B. Onion Juice
Onion juice (Allium Cepa) is quite a popular remedy for alopecia and premature grey hair. It helps increase the level of catalase enzyme that is required for melanin synthesis  in the body.
Blend 1-2 onions and extract its juice. Apply it on the areas experiencing premature hair greying. Wash off after 1 hour.
Anecdotal evidence recommends the herb sage as an excellent anti-greying treatment for white hair. Applying a paste of sage on areas experiencing premature greying can darken your hair and also reduce hair fall problems.
D. Nigella Sativa (Kalonji)
The main phyto-component of nigella sativa, thymoquinone, works as a natural melanogenesis stimulator .
Thus adding nigella sativa to your hair oil/ applying a paste of its seeds on your scalp or even rinsing your hair with its tea infusion can help darken grey hair.
E. Piper Nigrum (Black Pepper)
Black pepper is often boiled in water and used to rinse hair as the seeds have the effect of a natural hair dye.
Piperine, which is the main active compound in black pepper, can stimulate melanin production and aid the treatment of premature hair greying.
F. Pomegranate Bark Extract
Unani medicine advocates the use of pomegranate bark extract for preventing canities or premature greying of hair.
Boil a tablespoon of pomegranate bark powder in 250ml of coconut oil for about 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and massage this oil regularly on your scalp. Leave it on for an hour and wash to reverse hair greying.
5. Foods For Premature Grey Hair
According to a study named Medication-Induced Repigmentation of Gray Hair- A Systematic Review, consumption of vitamin B supplements along with calcium pantothenate can help reverse hair greying.
There have been claims that ‘catalase’ (an enzyme whose deficiency leads to premature greying) supplementations or its inclusion in your diet can prevent white hair. However, more research is required on the topic.
Meanwhile you can consume foods like sweet potatoes, potatoes, pineapple, broccoli, kale and others that have a high catalase content.
Other vitamins and minerals that you can include in your diet to prevent premature hair greying are:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
6. Yoga Asanas to Prevent Grey Hair
A. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Known to holistically improve hair health, Ustrasana increases blood flow to the head, which in turn enhances nutrition and oxygen supply to your hair follicles.
- You can do 2-4 repetitions daily and hold the pose for about a minute during each time.
Avoid Ustrasana if you have conditions like high or low blood pressure, back or neck injury and migraine.
B. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
- Matsyasana has the ability to improve digestion which aids your body’s nutrition absorption, thus improving hair health.
- The asana can be performed about 2-3 times a day to manage hair greying.
C. Apanasana (Knees To Chest Pose)
- A perfect asana that detoxifies your body and is known to alleviate various hair problems including premature greying.
- Practise Apanasana regularly for improved hair health.
D. Balayam (Rubbing Nails)
- 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.
- Perform this daily for 5 – 10 minutes at least thrice a day.
Other than these, you can also practice Pranayama to stop your hair from premature graying.
E. Bhramari Pranayama
- This is a pranayama that calms your nerves, improves blood circulation and removes harmful toxins from the body.
- It holistically boosts skin and hair health and is highly recommended for individuals experiencing premature hair greying due to a stressful lifestyle.
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 know 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
- Many factors such as genetics, vitamin deficiencies, oxidative stress and medical conditions can turn your hair grey prematurely.
- Simple lifestyle change, a wholesome meal and Ayurvedic and home remedies mentioned in this article can save your youth from premature greying.
- Also remember to remain stress free and happy to avoid premature grey hair.
1. Study of hair dye poisoning and its outcome in tertiary care rural institute, 2017
2. Role Of Nidana In Akala Palitya (Premature Greying Of Hair), 2017
3. A Conceptual Analysis Of Bhrajaka Pitta, 2015
4. Factors Associated with Premature Hair Graying in a Young Indian Population, 2016 Jan-Mar
5. How stress causes gray hair, 2020
6. Silver Lining and Sage Advise, 2013 Oct-Dec
7. Marie Antoinette Syndrome, 2009 June
8. Premature Graying of Hair: Review with Updates, 2018 Sep-Oct
9. Correlation between melanogenic and catalase activity in in vitro human melanocytes: a synergic strategy against oxidative stress, 2008 Apr
10. Natural melanogenesis stimulator a potential tool for the treatment of hypopigmentation disease, 2017
11. Smoker’s hair: Does smoking cause premature hair graying?, 2013 Apr-Jun
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