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How Effective Are Supplements Against Gray Hair?

Growing white hair as you age is a natural part of life. In fact, a study found that about 52% of people grew grey hair by their thirties, 81% in their forties, and 95% in their fifties. There are multiple factors that go into premature graying and white hair such as your genetics, age, and even nutrition. While a method for reversing genetic or inherited hair graying, your nutrition may help slow down the process. 

So how effective are supplements against gray hair? The best chance that most have is to delay premature hair graying for as long as possible, not only with supplements but with lifestyle and dietary chances as well. Supplements don’t really guarantee bringing back your original hair color, but they can be helpful to you in other ways.

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Bringing Back The Color: Is It Possible?

Your body’s biological makeup plays a major role in how accessible it may be to “reverse” the graying of hair. 

In order to understand how to maintain the color in your hair for as long as possible, it’s important to first know the cause of premature hair graying. There are more reasons than simply aging; in fact, anyone at any age has the potential of spotting lone gray strands in their hair. 

What Makes Hair Gray?

There are both intrinsic and extrinsic factors that can cause gray hair, or premature graying.

To understand how to go about potentially slowing down the greying of hair, it would be helpful to know what exactly makes hair gray in the first place.

Hair color is made possible by pigment cells within each hair follicle called melanocytes or melanin. There are 2 kinds, namely: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin is what determines how dark our hair is; pheomelanin is what determines how red it is. Every natural hair color that humans have depends on the ratio between eumelanin and pheomelanin.

The melanocytes or melanin pigments begin to wear out and degrade over time for different reasons.

1. Aging

In the normal aging process, gray hair happens when the amount of melanin pigment distributed to the hair follicle is insufficient. This can be caused by the melanocytes, the cells essentially in charge of passing along the pigment to the hair, starts getting worn down. When it gets worn down, it no longer performs its tasks as efficiently or as successfully as before. 

When a hair gets only a little melanin pigment, it will come out as gray; when there’s no pigment at all, it comes out as white. 

While the normal aging process can cause white hairs, human studies haven’t yet shown an exact age when someone may experience this.

2. Lack of Nutrients

Lifestyle factors, like your diet, affect and play a major role in the quality of your hair. Healthy hair needs the right nutrients in order to maintain its usual glow and strength. Nutritional deficiencies would therefore affect your hair. Usually, a lack of nutrients such as vitamin B, biotin, and iron can affect the quality of your hair. 

Poor nutrition can easily be treated through dietary supplements. 

3. Genetics

Your natural hair and original color is determined largely by your parents. The hair on your parents’ head can tell you valuable information about your own hair graying journey. If you come from a line of naturally dark haired people, then it’s likely that some of those genetics will be with you as well. Likewise, if you come from a line of people who experience premature graying, then it’s likely that you’ll experience it too.

4. Lifestyle

Although a direct link between stress and graying hair has yet to be found, too much stress can lead to a medical condition called telogen effluvium. This is when hair begins to shed much faster than normal. Unlike other causes for hair damage, this is the one that is most in your control. 

How to Delay the Gray

A beautiful white-haired Mexican woman in nature

Since natural gray hair can be almost impossible to truly reverse, what you can do is to make changes in your life to slow its appearance instead. While these might not be a permanent answer to your hair graying problems, it may slow down the process enough for you to gracefully age into your new look. 

Lifestyle Changes

Since stress is one of the extrinsic factors for gray hair, it may be helpful for you to create space for relaxation in your daily life. Meditation is one of the most popular methods of stress management. Not only does meditation help counteract the stress that you might be feeling at home or at the workplace, it also has emotional benefits too. Human studies have found that meditation has helped people feel happier and less anxious. 

Nutritious Diets

Your hair depends on nutrients. And those nutrients come from the food that you eat. Having a deficiency in vitamin intake can lead not only to hair loss, but to a negative health condition as well. 

A nutritious diet containing red meats and nuts, for instance, can help your body balance iron levels while also having a good amount of zinc, boosting your immune system as well. Another nutrient to look out for is calcium. While it can help with bone health, a study found a link between calcium and premature graying. Calcium can be found in dairy products such as milk.

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Take Supplements

If you aren’t able to modify your lifestyle or change your diet, doctors may recommend supplements for you.

1. Biotin

The water-soluble vitamin Biotin is a member of the powerful vitamin B family, which is why another name for the vitamin is vitamin H. 

Biotin supplements help produce the much needed protein, keratin, that encourages the growth of strong and enduring hair. This is why a biotin deficiency tends to be linked to hair fall for people. 

You should be careful with taking too much biotin as a biotin overdose may lead to your skin breaking out. Only take what your doctor will recommend.

2. Vitamin B

There are different members of the vitamin B family that helps repigment hair. Vitamin B-9, for instance, or also known as folic acid, has an effect on the pigment of not just your hair but your skin and nails as well. That’s because they help in delivering nutrients to your hair follicles. Non-supplement sources of B-9 are beans, leafy greens, and citrus fruits.

Another is vitamin B-12. When you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, it may cause anemia, similar to what happens when you lack iron. This isn’t naturally produced by your body, so it may be helpful for you to take supplements for this.

Another is vitamin B-5, or pantothenic acid. A study has shown that this vitamin has been able to 

3. Iron

The cells that enable hair growth rely on a number of nutrients — one of which is iron. Iron helps hemoglobin production in your body, which are the cells that transport much needed oxygen around your body, one of which is responsible for hair growth.

Iron is an essential nutrient that helps hair not only grow, but make it less brittle too. An iron deficiency will tend to lead to a condition called Anemia, which has potentially been linked to hair loss, among other negative physical effects.

4. Zinc

A study has found that a lack of zinc has been linked to premature graying of the hair. To combat this, zinc can be found in foods such as nuts, sesame seeds, oysters, beans, and red meats.

5. Protein

When there is sufficient keratin, a type of protein, within the hair strands or follicles, it saps the color from the hair. Ensuring that you consume enough protein will have an effect on not only the color of your hair but of its quality as well.

How PEP Factor Fights the Signs of Aging

The signs of aging don’t only stop at graying hairs. There also tends to be unwanted wrinkles and sagging skin. A trusted supplement that has an effect on both hair and skin is Pep Factor. It’s made up of 146 amino-acid polypeptide chains which is the only bioidentical mature protein in the market. 

It stimulates fibroblast cells in the body which then create much needed collagen and elastin, not only rejuvenating the hair but the skin as well. 

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