It is normal to notice a change in hair color or premature graying as we age. This could be due to a decrease in the production of melanin in your hair, the pigment responsible for your hair color. If you want your hair to stay vibrant and shiny forever, maintaining melanin levels is crucial.
Do you know that the color of your hair is influenced by the type of melanin present with its respective quantity? For example, eumelanin is the most common type of melanin that explains the color of your black and brown hair. However, pheomelanin, another type of melanin, is the cause of your reddish hues. Melanin also acts as a natural barrier, protecting your hair from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. It works by absorbing and dispersing UV rays, preventing the rays from damaging the internal structure of your hair. Now that you know the importance of melanin, let’s look at some ways to increase its production in our hair.
Health Shots contacted Dr Kuna Ramdas, Senior Dermatologist, Kamineni Hospitals, LB Nagar, Hyderabad, to understand how to increase melanin in hair.
Try These Ways to Increase Melanin in Your Hair
Increasing melanin in hair is a complex process influenced by genetics, hormonal factors and overall health. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the color of hair, skin and eyes. Although there is no guaranteed method for significantly increasing melanin in hair, there are some general strategies that individuals can consider to maintain or increase the melanin content of their hair.
While these strategies can help maintain the health of your hair and potentially support melanin production, it is essential to recognize that genetics largely determine the amount of melanin in your hair. As we age, our hair naturally tends to lose melanin, leading to graying. In such cases, adopting the natural aging process may be the best solution.
1. Balanced diet and nutrition
The expert suggests: “Proper nutrition is crucial for hair health because certain vitamins and minerals play a role in melanin production. A balanced diet including foods rich in vitamin A, B vitamins (including biotin) and minerals such as copper and zinc may be beneficial.”
2. Protect yourself against UV rays
Protecting your hair from UV rays is another important aspect of maintaining melanin levels. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to hair damage and loss of melanin. Using hair products with UV protection or wearing a hat can help protect your hair from harmful UV rays.
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3. Relaxation techniques like scalp massages
“Scalp massages can be beneficial in improving melanin production by improving blood circulation to the hair follicles and using proper techniques. Engaging in stress reduction techniques, such as meditation, yoga and exercise, can be beneficial,” says the expert.
4. Lifestyle modification
Lifestyle changes, such as stress management and smoking cessation, are encouraged because they can have a positive impact on overall hair health.
5. New techniques like PRP therapy
The expert believes that “non-surgical treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy can be considered to stimulate hair growth and potentially melanin production.”
Also read: Vitamin E capsules can do wonders for your skin and hair! Know 5 ways to use it
6. Use natural hair products
It is crucial to avoid harsh hair treatments and chemicals. Excessive use of hair dyes, straighteners and other chemical treatments can damage hair and potentially disrupt melanin production. Opt for gentle, natural hair care products and limit the use of harsh treatments.
7. Manage stress
Stress management is also essential. Chronic stress can negatively impact your overall health, including your hair. When your body is stressed, it can produce excess cortisol, which can disrupt melanin production.