Going Gray Not Just About Aging

      March 06, 2015 08:56

      Gray hair is associated with the elderly, but many young people have naturally gray hair. Hair goes gray in a process that is independent of the aging of the body; it is the result of the aging of pigment cells of certain hair follicles.

      When it comes to graying, the single most important contributing factor is genetics. If you're prematurely gray, it is highly likely that someone in the family had a similar experience. Prolonged stress can also cause hair to turn gray by blocking nutrients from reaching hair or temporarily reducing melanin levels.

      Gray hair is not necessarily an indicator of rapid aging, but it can be a sign that something is wrong with one's health. Prematurely gray hair may be associated with diabetes, pernicious anemia, leukoplakia and thyroid-related diseases. These illnesses can result in dysfunctional production of melanin or hormonal imbalances by disrupting the pituitary gland. Therefore, someone in their 20s who develops an unusually large amount of gray hair, with no history of it in the family, should have a medical checkup.

      Frequent massaging of the scalp using a brush or fingers will stimulate blood circulation and reduce the rate of graying. Black foods or food rich in iron or zinc also help. Walnuts are rich in linolenic acid, which stimulates hair growth, and black sesame seeds have anti-aging qualities such as preventing graying and hair loss. Black beans supply protein needed to produce hair, while kelp is helpful in producing keratin.

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