It is normal to notice a change in your hair color or premature graying as you get older. It may be due to decreased production of melanin in your hair, the pigment responsible for your hair color. If you want your locks to look vibrant and shiny forever, maintaining melanin levels is crucial.
Do you know that the shade of your hair is influenced by the type of melanin and its amount? For example, eumelanin is the most common type of melanin that is the reason for your black and brown hair color. However, pheomelanin, another type of melanin, is the reason for your reddish tones. Melanin also acts as a natural barrier, protecting your hair from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays (UV). It works by absorbing and dispersing UV radiation, preventing the radiation from causing damage to the internal structure of your hair. Now that you know how important melanin is, let’s look at some ways we can 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 the 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. While there are no guaranteed methods to significantly increase melanin in hair, there are some general strategies that individuals can consider to maintain or improve melanin levels in their hair.
While these strategies can help maintain the health of your hair and possibly 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, embracing the natural aging process may be the best course of action.
1. Balanced diet and nutrition
The expert suggests: “Adequate nutrition is crucial for hair health, as certain vitamins and minerals play a role in melanin production. A balanced diet including foods rich in vitamin A, B vitamins (especially biotin) and minerals such as copper and zinc can be helpful.”
2. Protection against UV rays
Protecting your hair from UV rays is another important aspect of maintaining melanin levels. Prolonged sun exposure can lead to hair damage and melanin loss. 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 such as scalp massages
“Scalp massages can be helpful in improving melanin production by improving blood circulation to the hair follicles and using appropriate techniques. Practicing stress-reducing techniques, such as meditation, yoga and exercise, can be helpful,” says the expert.
4. Lifestyle change
Lifestyle changes, such as stress management and smoking cessation, are encouraged as they can have a positive impact on overall hair health.
5. New techniques such as PRP therapy
The expert believes that “non-surgical treatments such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy could be considered to stimulate hair growth and possibly melanin production.”
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6. Use natural hair products
Avoiding harsh hair treatments and chemicals is crucial. Overuse of hair dyes, straighteners and other chemical treatments can damage the hair and possibly disrupt melanin production. Choose gentle, natural hair care products and limit the use of aggressive treatments.
7. Manage stress
Stress management is also essential. Chronic stress can negatively impact your overall health, including your hair. When your body is under stress, it can produce excess cortisol, which can disrupt melanin production.