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Beauty & Fashion

Check Out These 8 Supplements That Will Slow Down The Graying Process

Even though I have some gray strands on my head in a few spots, I honestly don’t think much about graying until I go to get my vulva waxed and my waxer decides that she wants to comment on how pretty my gray pubic hair is. *le sigh*

Chile, I don’t know if she’s low-key trolling me or what, but when someone has hot wax and your cooty cat in your hands, you tend to let the sarcasm (although she says she’s being sincere) slide. Besides, what really can I do? I mean, it’s not like I don’t know how graying happens. Once we get a certain age (in large part, due to genetics), our hair follicles shift from being full of pigment to having none at all — and, as a direct result, in walks, gray/silver strands.


That’s not to say that there aren’t other factors that can lead to graying either before our time or more than we should be experiencing— and one of those is a nutrient deficiency. So, if it seems like you’ve been getting more grays than usual, umm, somewhere, and you want to slow their roll down naturally, check out these eight nutrients to see if you need to ramp any of them up into your system. Since they can help you in other ways, why not cop a few as soon as possible?

1. Copper

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Copper is an interesting nutrient because it plays a significant role in helping your body to produce blood cells, regulate your blood pressure and also help your system to absorb iron. If you happen to be postmenopausal, copper can also help to prevent low bone density, too.

The reason why copper can help with slowing down the graying process is because it also helps your body to produce and maintain pigmentation — this includes your hair strands. So, while it’s not the most common thing on the planet to have a copper deficiency (so you probably won’t need a supplement beyond a multivitamin that has copper in it), if you like to snack on foods like chocolate, cashews, or sunflower seeds, just know that you are doing your part to keep the natural color in your hair around for longer.

2. Amla

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The other name for amla is Indian Gooseberry. Ayurvedic experts are huge fans of this particular fruit because it’s loaded with the kind of antioxidants that help to regulate diabetes, boost immunity, and improve digestion and one’s memory. Another cool thing about amla is it can help to keep your liver in good shape.

As far as your hair goes, if you’re looking for a nutrient that will stimulate hair growth while reducing hair loss and excessive shedding, amla’s got your back. And, as a supreme bonus, since it’s able to increase the natural pigment of your hair strands, this means that it can help to prevent graying from happening at a faster rate — which can result in less of a need for hair color for you. Eat the fruit or take a supplement. It’ll benefit you either way.

3. Folate

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Another name for folate is Vitamin B9. Although the thing that folate is most known for is it’s the nutrient that helps to ensure a healthy pregnancy, it’s needed for more reasons than just that. For instance, some indications that you might be low in this nutrient are if you’re experiencing unexplainable fatigue, you’re feeling depressed, ulcers are popping up in your mouth, or you’re having a difficult time remembering things. Also, if you need some assistance with regulating your blood sugar levels or reducing bodily inflammation, folate can help to make that happen, too.

And why is folate on this particular list? The long story short of it is there are studies that say that people with (especially premature) gray hair are actually deficient in folate; that’s because folate helps to produce an amino acid by the name of methionine that helps your hair to maintain its original color.

4. Pantothenic Acid

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Another name for Vitamin B5 is pantothenic acid. It’s essential for your system because it helps to keep your cholesterol levels under control. Not only that but what a lot of people don’t know about this vitamin is it helps to keep your skin in a healthy state; it can also reduce the irritation that’s associated with eczema.

What some studies have revealed is, if you take pantothenic acid along with folate, it can help to reverse premature graying in some people. So, if you’re out looking for a multivitamin, make sure the label states that it contains them both.

5. Bhringraj

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Bhringraj is a type of plant that is also big in Ayurveda. And when it’s used in oil form, it’s probably the most “hair beneficial” nutrient out of all of the ones listed here. It’s great at helping you to achieve inches, it aids in reducing dandruff, and there are darkening properties in Bhringraj that can help prevent gray hair from showing up before its time.

Since this is a plant that also has vitamins D and E as well as magnesium, iron, and calcium if you’re looking for something that will hook your hair up while also improving your quality of sleep and even helping to reduce your chances of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) — look into trying this out. You may not hear about it every day, yet it is a hidden gem that is certainly worth investing in.

6. Vitamin B12

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Did you know that Vitamin B12 is a type of vitamin that your system needs yet is not able to produce on its own? And since it does everything from give you more energy and help to prevent heart disease to improve your memory and reduce depression-related symptoms, all of this is reason enough to make sure that you add foods like lamb, beef, fortified cereals, trout and milk alternatives like almond and oat milk.

Since there tends to be a link between gray hair and a Vitamin B12 deficiency, that’s a solid reason to take a Vitamin B12 (or B-complex) supplement, too, especially if you happen to be vegetarian or vegan since they tend to lack more Vitamin B12 in their bodies than those who consume meat.

7. Catalase

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If you’ve heard of oxidative stress before, yet you’ve never really been quite sure what that is, whenever your body is experiencing it, that means antioxidants aren’t working at their optimal level. And since antioxidants help to fight off free radicals so that you can remain healthy and strong — anything that helps to prevent oxidative stress is something that you should take special note of. One of those things is an enzyme called catalase.

And since it’s actually not a myth that stress can cause your hair to lose some of its pigment, anything that you can do to keep your body’s stress levels down, that is something that will benefit your health and well-being from head to toe. If stress is a “thing” for you, catalase needs to go into your diet.

8. Zinc

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Zinc boosts your immune system. Zinc gives your metabolism a bit of a kick. Zinc reduces inflammation. Zinc can help to speed the healing of breakouts. Zinc can even help to increase your libido and treat a man’s erectile dysfunction. So, these reasons alone are enough of one to make sure that you’ve got enough zinc in your system.

As far as graying goes, a low level of zinc is also connected to premature gray hair. Well, since studies reveal that zinc also helps to reduce hair loss and keep your strands strong — it’s one of the surefire ways to keep your hair in the condition that you want it to be in.

BONUS: Saw Palmetto

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Another nutrient that doesn’t come up a lot is saw palmetto, although it features enough benefits that it deserves an honorable mention. It’s a tree that helps to prevent UTIs as well as it can keep your partner’s testosterone levels where they should be while also keeping them from being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

And while studies are ongoing when it comes to whether it can prevent graying, one thing is certain is if you want to keep your hair healthy, saw palmetto can help to do so.

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You know, there’s a verse in the Bible that says, “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31 — NKJV) So, if you’d prefer to let your gray hair shine through, DO THAT. I ain’t mad at you. Yet, if you want to ease into that level of “glory” a little slower, take these recommendations to heart. Gray hair or not, they’re good for you. And that’s enough of a reason to take them seriously — and literally.

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Featured image by Moyo Studio/Getty Images

 

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