Are you feeling cheated by Mother Nature because a few too many greys are appearing, and a little too soon for your liking?
It’s considered normal to start seeing grey hairs from around the age of 30, and by age 50 around 50% of your hair is likely to be grey. But, research shows several key reasons for premature greying, which means you can do something about it. Phew!
We’re going to share our top hacks for supporting the cells of your hair follicles to maximise your colour, slow down, and even reverse grey hair:
Causes of Early Grey Hair
Firstly, let’s cover the known causes to better understand what’s going on when hair loses its colour.
- Nutrient deficiencies can mean lack of melanin production and reduced or damaged melanocyte cells, which are required for creating pigment in the hair. Grey hair has been linked to low levels of the B Vitamins, especially B12, folate, B6 and biotin.
- Oxidative stress is a major cause of early grey hair. It occurs when your body is exposed to more free radical damage than you can repair naturally with antioxidants. Sources of free radicals include:
- Pesticides in our food
- Heavy metals
- High intensity training
- Emotional or mental stress
- Illness and infection
Build-up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicle – yes the chemical used to bleach hair (!) is actually produced naturally within the body and an excess can accumulate when there is not enough of the enzyme catalase that breaks it down (The FASEB Journal, 2009).
Top Hair Helpers
These antioxidant-rich starchy veg are the perfect way to increase your intake of catalase (the vital enzyme for getting rid of hydrogen peroxide). Researchers have found that boiling sweet potatoes with the skin on until tender is the best way to preserve and release the nutrients.
This method of cooking, rather than roasting or baking, also lowers the glycemic index of the potatoes (Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2011).
- Try boiling then mashing with 1tsp Organic Burst Turmeric as an antioxidant bomb of a side dish!
One of the known reasons for early grey hair is Vitamin B12 deficiency - affecting 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. and almost 1 in 2 have below optimal levels - according to the U.S. Framingham trial.
In fact, one study published in the Archives of Dermatology Journal reported reversing grey hair back to normal colour by addressing Vitamin B12 deficiency – other signs of low B12 are lack of energy, problems focussing and pale skin.
Spirulina contains methylcobalamin, a very effective and absorbable form of Vitamin B12, as proven in a 2010 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This goes against the thinking of some experts who believe all plant sources contain B12 analogs that block the uptake of true B12.
When it comes to limiting damage from oxidative stress, Spirulina’s incredible compounds chlorophyll and phycocyanin are powerful antioxidants that can mop up free radicals and protect your hair.
- For optimal results start with 1 daily serving (1 tsp or x8 easy swallow tablets) of Organic Burst Spirulina powder or our pure tablets and work up to 3 servings a day over 2-3 weeks.
Containing hundreds of beneficial antioxidant compounds, including curcumin, to neutralise free radicals in the body, Turmeric is a powerful tool against oxidative stress. It has been found in numerous studies to switch off the overreaction of the immune system that increases free radicals and hinders the body’s natural healing process.
Turmeric supports the regeneration of cells, so it’s helpful to maintain the integrity of the gut lining – which has a high cell turnover - so catalase can be absorbed effectively from food.
- Take 1-2 servings (1 serving = 1 tsp or x4 veggie capsules). Organic Burst Turmeric daily in food, drinks, or swallow the easy capsules with water.
Chlorella provides ‘true’, absorbable Vitamin B12 along with folate, Vitamin B6 and Biotin that are all associated with cellular health and nourishment of the hair. It is also a source of beta carotene which is involved in melanin production in the body – the pigment that gives hair and skin its colour.
Chlorella draws out toxins from the body, helping to reduce the risk of oxidative stress and also to support and optimise the function of the liver. This may also be good news for catalase activity, because this incredible enzyme is found predominantly in the liver.
- Have 1 serving (1 tsp or x4 easy swallow tablets) of Organic Burst Chlorella daily with food and increase to 2 servings after 1-2 weeks.
Black Sesame Seeds
These are used to help reverse grey hair in Traditional Chinese Medicine. They contain many important nutrients that nourish the hair such as iron, copper, zinc and amino acids, but it’s their melanin content that really works to reverse greying (and also helps protect against UV rays).
The high Vitamin E content along with other powerful antioxidants, sesamin, sesamolin, and sesamol, mean black sesame seeds can help counteract oxidative stress.
Modern science says so too: a study published in Food Chemistry (2006) discovered ‘considerable antioxidant activity of sesame products tested especially black sesame hulls’. By neutralising free radical damage to cells, the powerful antioxidants in black sesame seeds can prevent grey hair, and also wrinkles. Win!
- Choose organic black sesame for optimal benefits (white sesame seeds don’t contain the pigment melanin).
- Add 1tbsp per day to salads, grilled veggies, or sprinkle on soups. (Stick to this serving as they’re a medicinal food and large doses could cause diarrhoea).
Rice Water Rinse
The people of the village of Huangluo in China typically don’t see grey hairs until they’re over 80, and women’s average hair length is 6 feet! They believe that the fermented rice water, which they use to cleanse their hair, is the key.
Try this super-simple traditional Rice Water Rinse Recipe:
- 1/2 cup uncooked organic rice (variety e.g. brown/white/basmati etc. isn’t important)
- 2 to 3 cups water
- Rinse rice with a cup of water to remove any impurities.
- Place in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 15 to 30 minutes. Gently stir to turn the water cloudy with nutrients from the rice.
- Strain into a bowl and your rice water is ready – it will keep in the fridge for a week.
- If you would like to ferment your rice water, simply leave it at room temperature for a day or 2 until it turns slightly sour.
- Alternatively, for a faster fermentation time, you can keep the rice in the water, cover and leave for 12-24 hours, then strain.
- N.B. Fermented rice water is more potent so dilute with a cup of warm water before use.
- Pour over hair after washing, massage in and leave for 5mins (or up to 20mins if you have time) then rinse. You can use this each time you wash your hair!
Like sweet potato, avocado boosts the catalase in your blood stream to combat hydrogen peroxide.
You can also use pure organic avocado oil as a scalp and hair treatment to deliver catalase directly to the follicles where it’s most needed. Massaging your scalp for 10 minutes will also boost blood-flow to the area, giving those pigment-delivering melanocytes some lovin, and of course it feels amazing.
- Eat ½ an avocado daily, in salads, blended into a sauce, smoothie, or mashed into guac.
Don’t forget these changes that can help to save your hair colour too.
- Aim to reduce and manage stress. Organic Burst Maca is an adaptogenic root that stimulates and nourishes the pituitary gland, and has been found in studies to lower stress hormones. Have 1-2 servings daily.
- Work on breaking your coffee habit because every cup releases stress hormones in the body.
- Quit smoking and smoky/polluted environments if you can.
- Give up refined sugars because they deplete the body of nutrients, trigger hormone imbalances and can encourage the growth of bad bacteria and candida in the gut that affect nutrient absorption.
Let’s see if we can kiss goodbye to those grey hairs!
Want more tips and DIY hacks for other hair benefits (faster growth, thicker, silkier hair and an itch-free scalp)? Download you FREE copy of Heavenly Hair eBook now!
Plus, you can save 10% on our Heavenly Hair Bundle that includes our Chlorella, Spirulina, Maca and Turmeric.