older ladies with gray hair
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
According to texture specialist and professional stylist Marissa Robinson of DC’s Bill Lawrence Salon , scientifically, gray hair cannot be reverted or prevented, only coated with hair color to change appearance:

“High pigment antioxidants such as carrots can help promote pigment forming stem cells, which also aid in the production of melanin; however, gray hair cannot be prevented or reverted. As you age your body does not regenerate cells in high frequency as it does when you are younger, causing gray hair.”

Why does hair gray?

Canities, the technical term for gray hair, is the diminishing of pigment in the hair, which produces a range of colors visually perceived as gray. When the hair stops producing melanin, graying occurs. The decrease of melanin in the hair is due to the decrease of a crucial enzyme called catalase. Catalase plays an important role in breaking down hydrogen peroxide buildup in the body. When the catalase enzyme is decreased and no longer breaks down the hydrogen peroxide, it hinders melanin growth ultimately resulting in gray hair.

Does stress cause graying?

Also, contrary to popular belief, if you suddenly start to experience graying hair, do not rush to judgment thinking stress is the main factor. “Genetics are directly related to gray hair, as stress is not scientifically proven to be the sole cause, but it is a common one.” Robinson adds. While stress is a common factor, it is also important to note other factors that also lead to gray hair.

What causes gray hair:

Additional factors that contribute to gray hair and affect hair pigmentation:

  • Certain ethnicities gray faster than others
  • Daily lifestyle habits and Improper diet- smoking has is often cited as factor as well as the lack of vitamin B12, iron, and iodine 
  • Toxins, chemical exposure/hair dyes
  • Hormones and diseases 

Premature hair graying (PHG) is another concern for not only women but men as well.  A recent study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, set out to evaluate risk factors correlated to premature hair graying. Although the study was not conducted on women, the NCIB concluded smoking, family history, and obesity were all important factors associated with premature graying.

More on reversing gray hair

Although these practices are not FDA approved, there are talks that certain Ayurvedic remedies can combat or reverse gray hair. According to Organicfacts.net, dried powder of Indian gooseberry mixed with coconut oil and amaranth leaves are both sufficient treatments since they help restore hair color.  These remedies along with countless other home concoctions such as onion juice, alma oil, sesame oil, and carrot juice are all said to reverse or prevent gray hair; however, the jury is still out on these treatments.

What home remedies have you tried for preventing gray hair?