Healthy Hair Begins with a Healthy Lifestyle

      October 25, 2011 07:16

      Clothes and make up may allow middle-aged women to look like they're still in their 20s, but one of the most effective ways is to cover up graying hair. Here are some of the best ways to prevent premature graying and keep your hair looking healthy and young.

      ◆ Graying Hair

      For men, graying begins between 30 and 34 and for women between 35 and 39. It is just a natural part of aging. Hair color is determined by pigment produced by melanin cells inside hair follicles. When melanin cells lose their ability to produce pigment, hair turns gray.

      Graying is hereditary. If both parents had gray hair early, then the children are likely to have received that genetic trait. It remains unclear, however, whether it is more likely to be passed down from the mother's side or the father's side. Generally, graying begins on the sides and spreads to the pate and back of the head. Stress and a lack of proper nutrition can also cause premature graying.

      ◆ Prevention

      Excluding hereditary factors, the greatest cause of graying hair is stress. Stress causes peripheral blood vessels to contract, leading to decreased blood circulation. This in turn hinders the ability of melanin cells to produce pigment and causes hair to gray. Excessive worrying and nervousness also cause your body to produce extra levels of adrenalin, which contracts blood vessels, making it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to reach hair follicles. Drinking or smoking does not help. Instead, try exercise, yoga, listening to music or any other hobby.

      It's also important to eat enough protein, which forms the building blocks of hair. Black beans and sesame seeds not only soothe your eyes but also help prevent graying. The vitamin E and unsaturated fatty acids found in black beans promote blood circulation and supply necessary nutrients to hair follicles. Seaweed and kelp also contain lots of iodine that helps hair grow and prevents graying.

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