Are you looking for a solution to keep your hair from greying too soon? Melanin could be the key to unlocking the solution. Hair greying is a natural part of the aging process that affects everyone. However, premature hair greying can occur for a variety of causes.
Melanin is a pigment that determines our skin’s hue. Melanin is produced by everyone’s body, and its varying concentrations define our skin and hair color. The role of melanin gives your hair, eyes, and even parts of your brain and adrenal glands color.
So, we’ve prepared an easy guide on how to increase melanin in your body.
What Is Melanin In Hair?
Melanin is formed of pigment cells called melanocytes, which are found in each of your hair follicle in your scalp. Melanin has also been shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer in recent research.
Before it emerges from your scalp, your hair is actually white. Keratin, the protein responsible for strong and lustrous strands, is also present. Melanocytes transfer melanin into the cells that contain keratin and give your hair its natural dark color as your hair grows.
3 types of melanin:
- Eumelanin – Hair, eyes, and skin are generally dark in hue. Brown and black eumelanin are the two types of eumelanin. Black and brown hair are made up of different combinations of black and brown eumelanin. Blonde hair is caused by a lack of black eumelanin and a tiny quantity of brown eumelanin.
- Pheomelanin – The pinkish portions of your body, such as your lips and nipples, are colored. When pheomelanin and eumelanin levels are equal, you get red hair. Your hair turns strawberry blonde when you have brown eumelanin and pheomelanin.
- Neuromelanin – Colors of neurons are controlled by this protein. It has nothing to do with the hue of what you perceive.
The epidermis produces eumelanin and pheomelanin, which are responsible for your natural skin and hair color. We’ll look at the roles that these two forms of melanin play in the next section.
What Causes Loss Of Melanin In Your Hair?
Your hair color won’t stay the same indefinitely. Your hair will darken as you grow from a youngster to a teenager. However, as you become older, your melanin production slows down. According to reports, most people begin to get grey hair around the age of 50.
Your body’s melanin production is heavily influenced by genetics. Many people acquire premature grey hair from their parents. Some tribes have extreme black coarse hair, which you may have seen. It occurs as a result of their genetic heritage.
3. Sun Damage
While sunshine is essential for human health, excessive exposure to the sun might harm your hair’s melanin production. UV rays can damage your hair’s melanin, causing it to lose its natural color. The color of your hair lightens.
Stress is harmful to one’s health. Chronic stress can lead to a variety of health issues, including premature hair greying. You may be under a lot of stress if you’re having trouble sleeping, feeling anxious, losing your appetite, or having high blood pressure. According to one study, there is a link between stress and stem cells in hair follicles.
5. Vitamin Deficiency
The red blood cells in your body transport oxygen to all of your other body cells, including hair cells. Vitamin B12 is required to keep these red blood cells alive. If you don’t have enough vitamin B12, your hair will stop growing and your color will fade.
6. Autoimmune Disease
The loss of melanin in your hair can also be caused by autoimmune diseases. When you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks your healthy cells. Alopecia and vitiligo are disorders in which your immune system attacks your hair cells, causing melanin production to be impaired.
7. Usage of Chemical Products
Many commonly used hair care products contain potentially dangerous chemical compounds such as paraben, sulfate, and silicon. These products may appear to be high-end, yet they are detrimental to the health of your hair. Hair greying can occur as a result of these factors.
Melanin Also Affects Hair Vitality
Melanin slowing has an impact on more than just hair pigment. It also impacts the vitality of hair.
“Protective role of melanin: Higher amounts of eumelanin protect hair from excessive sun exposure, UV exposure and its negative consequences, such as drying out and brittleness.”
Gray hairs, which lack melanin, have a dry, brittle texture as a result of this.
Melanin Supplements: Can They Help You Regain Your Hair’s Color and Vitality?
There hasn’t been enough scientific evidence to show that melanin supplements can aid with gray hair prevention or reversal.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not always approve these items. You’ll have to study user reviews to determine whether it’s worthwhile.
What Determines Your Hair Color?
Eumelanin and pheomelanin are the two forms of melanocytes. Eumelanin is a dark pigment that gives black or brown hair its color. Pheomelanin, on the other hand, is a lighter pigment that causes hair to turn yellow, red, or orange in hue. The color of your hair is largely determined by your genes. Melanocortin 1 Receptor is a gene that tells melanocytes to make the type of melanin that gives your hair its color.
‘’Tyrosinase is an enzyme that produces both forms of melanin. When air bubbles build in the medullary shaft, they block the activity of tyrosinase, resulting in white hair. Grey hair, on the other hand, is caused by a gradual decrease in tyrosinase levels. Melanin production is impaired in both circumstances,” explains Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor.
Why Does Your Hair Turn Grey Or White?
Melanocytes naturally decrease the production of melanin pigment as you become older. This is why your hair becomes white or grey in color. However, there are other elements that can affect the pigmentation of your hair color at a young age.
Melanocytes are referred to in Ayurveda as ‘The Bhrajaka Pitta,’ a sub-type of Pitta dosha. According to Ayurveda, the following factors contribute to premature greying:
1. Hormonal Imbalance
The three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – are said to manage your body in Ayurveda. Thyroid problems can be caused by an imbalance in these doshas. Changes in thyroid hormone levels might cause your body to produce less melanin, resulting in grey hair.
2. Genetic (Basic Prakriti) Defects
Every person has a distinct Prakriti. If you are Pitta-dominant by nature, you have a natural inclination to accumulate surplus heat. To balance your dosha level, it’s crucial to understand your Prakriti.
3. Improper Diet (Aharaja)
Your meal should have a correct balance of all six flavors, according to Ayurveda. Excessive salt and spice consumption might aggravate Pitta dosha. Grey hair can also be caused by a shortage of nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamins D3 and B12.
4. Excessive Use of Chemicals
Harsh chemicals included in shampoos and conditioners, such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), can cause hair to grey prematurely.
Can Melanin Be Increased Naturally?
Yes, melanin may be naturally enhanced in hair without using chemical hair coloring.
Vitamins and Minerals for Melanin
Several foods can aid in the formation of melanin in your body. These contain vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12, in addition to vitamin D:
- Copper — one of the nine minerals that are thought to be necessary for human nutrition. Copper contains a number of skin-beneficial properties. It aids in the production of collagen, elastin, and melanin in particular.
- Tyrosine— Melanin is made up of amino acids that are precursors to melanin. This indicates that the amount of tyrosine in your meals or dietary supplements has an impact on the amount of melanin your body can create. Other roles of tyrosine include assisting the body in the production of numerous neurotransmitters that are necessary for day-to-day functions.
- Vitamin C — plays an important function in the generation of melanin in your body and the health of your skin. It works in cooperation with tyrosine to help regulate the amount of melanin generated.
Even if you wish to improve your melanin production, you should avoid having too much, just as you should avoid having too little.
How To Increase Melanin in Hair Naturally?
1. Iron-Rich Foods
Iron promotes melanin synthesis in the hair. Dark green vegetables, legumes, broccoli, quinoa, tofu, dark chocolate, salmon, bananas, tomatoes, soybeans, lentils, nuts, and seeds, such as cashew, peanuts, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds, are foods rich in iron.
2. Copper-Rich Diet
Copper deficiency can cause melanin levels in the hair to drop. Copper-rich foods, such as leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, dark chocolate, avocados, and so on, should be consumed on a regular basis.
Catalase is an antioxidant enzyme that helps restore your hair’s natural color and prevents the growth of grey hair. Broccoli, onions, radish, cucumber, zucchini, red cabbage, apples, pears, grapes, peaches, sprouts, lentils, and other foods that are high in catalase.
4. Foods rich in antioxidants
Vitamins that promote hair growth can be found in a variety of meals.
This primarily comprises foods high in antioxidants, which have been shown to boost melanin production. Antioxidants also protect your cells from free radical damaging effects.
Antioxidant-rich sources foods include the following:
- dark chocolate
- leafy greens
Can B6 and B12 Vitamins Aid In The Formation of Melanin?
B6 and B12 vitamins have also been shown to increase melanin synthesis.
Vitamin B6, commonly known as pyridoxine, has been discovered to promote the metabolism of hair proteins (keratin and melanin) and active cells in hair follicles by triggering the synthesis of enzymes and chemical processes.
This vitamin promotes hair growth and renewal by increasing keratin and melanin nutrition in hair follicles.
Vitamin B12, commonly known as cobalamin, supports healthy hair development by promoting the formation of red blood cells.
“Hair grows faster as a result, and the hair shaft becomes saturated with keratin, a type of protein.”
Is Gray Hair Caused By A Lack of Vitamin B12
An older research paper According to Trusted Source, a vitamin B12 shortage might produce premature gray hair.
Gray hair was discovered in roughly 55 percent of study participants with pernicious anemia before they turned 50, according to researchers. This was compared to the control group’s 30% who did not have gray hair.
Because stress can cause gray hair, incorporating vitamin B12 into your life, whether through diet or supplementation, may be beneficial. Vitamin B12-rich foods include:
What Are The Side Effects Of Consuming Too Much Melanin
Excessive melanin consumption can have negative consequences not only for your hair but also for other regions of your body. Excess melanin in the skin cell, for example, might result in hyperpigmentation. It’s one of the most typical negative effects of excessive melanin synthesis.
Hyperpigmentation is a disorder in which the body’s pigmentation is uneven, especially on the face, hands, and legs. Patches or blotches appear on the skin, darkening the color.
Melanin is a pigment-producing chemical produced by melanocytes on the skin’s surface. Each person’s skin contains a varied quantity of melanin.
A balanced Pitta Dosha and a nutritious diet rich in vitamins will help you naturally raise your hair’s melanin level. There are vitamins and medications on the market that can help you increase your melanin synthesis, but every man-made chemical comes with the potential of adverse effects.
In addition, there are ways for lowering or increasing melanin levels in the skin. However, before pursuing any treatment choices, a person should consult with a healthcare expert.