How to Increase Melanin In Hair: Top Melanin Rich Foods, Ayurveda & More
Some women carry grey hair with style, while others try to slow down the premature greying of hair. However, are you aware of the compound that makes pigments possible? Read on to discover how to increase the amount of Melanin in your hair!
What Is Melanin In Hair?
The natural colour of our hair is black or brown. But have you wondered how it changes colour and gradually turns white and grey as you grow older? Melanin is a compound responsible for the pigment of your hair. However, as individuals age, the amount of Melanin in the body reduces, making it switch colours.
What Causes Melanin Deficiency?
Melanin deficiency can occur due to several reasons. Some of them are:
Conditions such as vitiligo cause the body to stop producing Melanin, making uneven and light patches appear all over one's skin. However, it is yet unclear what causes these pigment cells to perish.
Melanin In Hair: What Role Does It Play In Our Hair?
First and foremost, Melanin determines the colour of your hair. Factors such as genetics play an integral role in determining how much Melanin you are born with. The two types of Melanin are:
- Eumelanin- responsible for darker hair colours
- Pheomelanin- responsible for lighter hair colours
The Melanin in your hair also protects your hair from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Moreover, hair pigmentation alters throughout different stages of a woman's life. Melanin is also responsible for hair vitality, making hair deficient of Melanin, brittle, dry and easily breakable.
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How To Increase Melanin In Hair?
Wondering, "how can I increase melanin in my hair?" Here are some ways to help you out:
Antioxidants to increase Melanin in hair
They protect your body from free radicals, along with boosting melanin production in hairs. Antioxidants are abundant in foods like pumpkin, green leafy vegetables, carrots, beans, etc.
Minerals to increase Melanin in hair
Iron and copper deficiency can also be the reason for premature greying of hair. Food items like almonds, green vegetables, dark chocolate, etc., are rich sources of these minerals and should be consumed in sufficient amounts to improve melanin formation in the body.
Vitamins to increase Melanin in hair
Melanin production gets severely affected due to the lack of vitamin A, C, B7 and B12 in the body. Hence you should include supplements and food in your diet that can overcome this deficiency. Some of the good sources of these vitamins are citrus fruits, potatoes, beans, eggs, red meat, fish, etc.
Other Remedies to increase Melanin in hair
Several ayurvedic oils like Triphala and Bhringraj have melanin restoration properties. You can massage them into your scalp for effective results.
Melanin-rich products to increase Melanin in hair
All the above methods were answers on how to increase Melanin in hair naturally. You can also use synthetic hair care products like oils, shampoos, and dyes with melanin-rich ingredients such as probiotics, astaxanthin, lutein, etc. These can stop the premature greying of hair and bring the natural colour back.
How to Increase Melanin in Hair Via Ayurveda?
Here are some ayurvedic remedies on how to boost Melanin in hair:
Brahmi Bringaraj Talia
This oil prevents premature greying of hairs and excessive hair fall by nourishing the dry scalp.
Also known as Mehndi, Henna is considered a natural dye and provides natural colour to your hair. Mix it with hot water or lime juice and apply it to your hair. Leave for about half an hour and then wash it off.
It keeps your scalp cool and protects you from distress. One can use coconut oil in combination with:
- Amla: Mix 3 tbsp of coconut oil with 2 tbsp of amla powder and heat them until the mixture turns black. Let it cool down, and then apply to your hair.
- Curry Leaves: Add coconut oil to a couple of curry leaves and heat till it turns black. Apply on the hair after the mixture cools down.
- Aloe Vera: Apply a mixture of coconut oil and aloe vera gel on your hair. Wash after 15-20 minutes.
It increases blood circulation and reduces excessive scalp heating to make hair strong and stop the growth of grey hairs.
Sesame Seed Oil
Antioxidants and vitamins in this oil help in preventing hair greying. You can use it in the following ways:
- Oil massages your scalp.
- Make sure to include it in your diet
- Mix with other oils like olive, mustard and almond for massage.
Best Melanin Rich Foods For Hair
Including the listed below minerals and vitamins in your diet might help in overcoming melanin deficiency:
Legumes, broccoli, dark chocolate, bananas, flax seeds, pumpkin, etc. are rich sources of iron and help in boosting melanin production.
This antioxidant enzyme is found in onion, zucchini, broccoli, apples, grapes, sprouts, peaches and helps in enriching hair with melanin pigment.
Food items like green vegetables, seeds, nuts, chickpeas and sweet potatoes have copper in abundance that helps prevent melanin deficiency.
What Causes Loss of Melanin In Your Hair?
Here are a few reasons that might be causing melanin deficiency in your hair:
Age causes loss of Melanin in your hair
Your body's ability to produce melanin decreases as you grow old. That is why most older adults have grey or white hair.
Sun Damage causes loss of Melanin in your hair
UV rays from the sun damage the melanin present in your hair and turn them into white.
Genetics causes loss of Melanin in your hair
Your genes determine the structure and colour of your hair. They also control melanin formation. Hence you might experience premature grey hair if you inherited such genes from your parents. In this case, there's no definite solution on how to improve Melanin in hair.
Autoimmune disorders cause loss of Melanin in your hair
Sometimes your immune system starts considering melanocytes as foreign bodies and starts attacking them. Vitiligo and Alopecia are two such autoimmune diseases.
Mental health causes loss of Melanin in your hair
Stem cells of hair follicles get disrupted if you are under stress, anxiety or any other type of mental pressure for a prolonged period. It might cause premature greying of hairs.
Smoking causes loss of Melanin in your hair
It blocks the blood vessels and thus slows down the flow of blood to hair follicles. As a result, melanin formation gets affected, and you may experience hair problems like discolouration, hair fall, etc.
Vitamin deficiency causes loss of Melanin in your hair
Vitamin B12 helps Red Blood Cells (RBCs) carry oxygen to various parts of the body, including hair follicles. Its deficiency could lead to hair discolouration because of the lack of oxygen in hair follicles.
Chemical products cause loss of Melanin in your hair
Haircare products containing sulfates, parabens, silicon, etc., attack Melanin and may cause premature greying.
Are There Any Side-effects Of Melanin Supplements?
Excessive intake of melanin supplements could cause headache, nausea or allergic reaction. It might also cause problems if it interacts with the following drugs:
- Diabetes medicine
- Antiplatelet medicines
Hence you should consult a doctor about increasing melanin levels in hair if you are planning to take supplements regularly.
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Summing Up How Can You Increase Melanin in Hair Naturally?
Maintaining a healthy diet is the correct path to increase Melanin in your hair naturally. This includes eating copper-rich, iron-rich, and catalase-rich foods, including onions, broccoli, apples, chickpeas, and the like.
What produces melanin-rich hair?
Foods rich in iron, copper and catalase such as sweet potatoes, grapes, sprouts, fish, cashews, pumpkin seeds and peaches produce melanin-rich hair.
Does lemon increase melanin?
We must break the news to you that this is a myth. Lemon indeed has anti-pigmentation effects, but its direct application to your hair is harsh and damaging. Lemons decrease the activity of tyrosinase that prevents the formation of Melanin. Even if you wish to use Melanin on your hair, make sure to dilute it with another ingredient such as honey to take care of your locks.
What Foods Reverse Grey Hair?
The formation of melanocytes on your cells distributes Melanin which is then transferred to keratinocytes that constitute the cells in your hair shaft. Foods high in Vitamin B-12, milk, salmon, and cheese are excellent foods to reverse grey hair. Moreover, reducing stress by consuming antioxidants like green tea, quitting excessive smoking, and drinking helps considerably.