New Delhi:When you are youthful from within, it shows from the outside as well, through your skin, body and hair. Hair that is healthy and shiny is a manifestation of good overall health as well as youthfulness. However, some of us often tend to battle premature graying. We are told it's hormonal and all attempts to prevent it would be futile? Is it really so? The answer is definitely not. There are a lot many ways with which we can treat or nourish our strands and scalp so that premature graying is prevented.
Before we get into the ways to prevent such conditions, it is very important to understand the causes behind the same. When strands suffer premature graying, they often appear to lose growth speed, become brittle, lose their natural colour and get drier. When we talk about premature graying we are essentially referring to the ageing of capillaries, which might occur anytime in the anagen or capillary growth phase, thereby shortening the period of the respective phase. With growing age, collagen-producing fibroblasts suffer a significant decrease. The double whammy at this point is the changes in the soft tissues like muscle, skin or fascia, referred to as trophic changes, which cause damage to the hair follicle cells. In a process called apoptosis, the cells that produce melanin die, causing graying prior to expected age.
Our hairs thrive on nutrients and moisture obtained from within the body, and scalp in particular, but they turn gray, there is no mechanism to prevent its loss owing to the open cuticles. Therefore, it becomes imperative that added nutrients are ensured for the hair and the scalp. It is advisable that you maintain a healthy lifestyle and consume foods and vegetables rich in anti-oxidants. Also required is to protect the strands and scalp from excessive exposure to strong sunlight. If it is unavoidable, do so with protection in place. If these two are adhered to, the issue can be tackled to a great extent.
The other most important thing to do to avoid premature graying is to stop being aggressive on the hair. The need of the hour is to ensure gentle cleansing and hydration. When going for hair care products for the purpose, do remember to strictly avoid aggressive ingredients like sodium chloride, sulfates etc. Investing in ones with anti-oxidant action would further ease the task to prevent the early greying of strands.
Instead, herbs and extracts of plants or fruits must be banked on while checking the ingredient list of products. Amla, Malva and guarana like ingredients, which are rich in vitamin C, and babassu oil - rich in fatty acid essence aiding lipid replacement - ensure the required nutrition and restore natural elasticity, making the strands soft, strong and dry, without the fears of premature ageing.
(Clelia Cecilia Angelon, CEO & Founder of Surya Brasil)