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Grays Sneaking In? Nutrients and Vitamins to Stem the Tide

Grays Sneaking In? Nutrients and Vitamins to Stem the Tide

The vitamins and nutrients most important for potentially slowing gray hair progression are vitamin B5, B6, biotin, PABA, L-tyrosine, vitamin E, zinc and catalase, but a balanced diet with adequate protein, calcium, copper and iron also supports healthy hair and pigment production.
Best Vitamins For Gray Hair
Best Vitamins For Gray Hair
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As we age, our hair often tells the story before anything else does, with the emergence of gray strands often being one of the first chapters.

While graying is a natural part of the aging process, it’s not unusual to seek out ways to slow down its progression.

Examining your diet and nutrient and vitamin intake may help slow down the grays! Check with a doctor or nutritionist for a customized plan.

Nutrients and Hair Color

Hair color is produced by cells at the base of the hair follicle that inject pigment called melanin into the hair shaft as it grows.

Melanin production relies on several key nutrients being available to the follicle cells.

  • Copper and iron are essential for the function of enzymes that create melanin.
  • Amino acids like L-tyrosine provide the building blocks for melanin.
  • Vitamin B5, B6, and biotin play roles in producing hair proteins and supporting follicle health.
  • Antioxidants like vitamin E may help prevent oxidative stress damage to follicles.

Overall, ensuring adequate intake of nutrients involved in melanin synthesis and hair growth can potentially help maintain natural hair pigmentation.

However – not to be a bummer – graying caused by aging or genetics can’t be reversed by nutrients alone.

woman parting hair and showing gray hair starting at her rootsPin
To increase your chance of slowing down grays, make a change as soon as the first ones show!

Checklist: Nutrients That May Slow Gray Hair Progression

Here are some nutrients that might help slow down or prevent the progression of gray hair:

Calcium – Important for nerve, heart, and muscle health; may affect hair pigmentation. Food Sources: Dairy products, dark leafy greens, fortified cereals, fish with edible bones

Copper – Vital for iron metabolism, blood cell formation, and melanin production. Food Sources: Nuts, lentils, beef liver, seafood, white mushrooms

Iron – Essential for hemoglobin production; carries oxygen to hair follicles. Food Sources: Red meats, poultry, lentils, dark leafy greens, iron-fortified cereals

Protein (Keratin) – Directly impacts hair structure and health. Food Sources: Meat, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds

Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid) – Prevents graying and maintains hair health. Food Sources: Avocado, yogurt, eggs, meats, whole grains

Vitamin B-6 – Involved in protein metabolism and red blood cell production. Food Sources: Fish, chickpeas, poultry, fortified cereals, bananas

PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid) – Has antioxidant properties; may restore hair color. Food Sources: Liver, whole grains, eggs, rice, molasses

Biotin – Helps maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. Food Sources: Nuts, eggs, onions, oats

Vitamin E – An antioxidant that could help protect skin and hair from damage. Food Sources: Nuts and seeds, spinach, avocado, olive oil

Vitamin D – May play a role in hair production and prevent hair loss. Food Sources: Fortified milk and cereals, fatty fish, egg yolks, UV-exposed mushrooms

L-Tyrosine – An amino acid that is a precursor to melanin. Food Sources: Cheese, soy products, lean meats, fish, pumpkin seeds

Catalase – An enzyme that may help prevent the onset of grey hair by reducing hydrogen peroxide in the body, which can bleach the hair from inside out. Food Sources: Beef liver, potatoes, carrots, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables.

Important Notes:

  • These nutrients may help delay the onset of gray hair but are not effective against graying that is due to the natural aging process or genetics.
  • Always consider getting these nutrients from a balanced diet before thinking about supplements.
  • Before starting any supplement, consult with a healthcare provider.

This checklist serves as a guide to help you structure a nutrient-rich diet that may contribute to the health of your hair, potentially slowing the onset of graying.

Remember that external factors like stress, smoking, and hair care practices also contribute to hair health.

examples of some foods that contain vitamins important for gray hairPin
Eggs, meats, nuts/seeds, whole grains, dairy, leafy greens contain many of the vitamins recommended for gray hair.

Foods Containing High Amounts of Vitamins for Gray Hair

Based on the frequency of mentions in the nutrient checklist, here is an analysis of the most important foods for slowing gray hair:

Most Important:

  • Eggs – Contain protein/keratin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, biotin, vitamin D, and L-tyrosine
  • Meat (Lean Red Meat, Poultry, Fish) – Provide protein/keratin, iron, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin D, zinc, L-tyrosine
  • Nuts and Seeds – Good sources of biotin, vitamin E, copper, vitamin B6
  • Whole Grains – Contain vitamin B5, vitamin B6, iron, biotin
  • Leafy Greens – Provide vitamin B6, calcium, iron, vitamin E
  • Yogurt and Milk – Supply protein/keratin, calcium, vitamin B5, vitamin B6

Important:

  • Fruits and Vegetables – Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. Carrots supply vitamin A for skin/hair health.
  • Liver – Provides iron, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, copper
  • Fortified Cereals – Can be a source of iron, vitamin B6, vitamin D

Eating a balanced diet with these nutrient-rich foods may help slow graying.

Vitamin Supplements for Graying Hair

While no supplement can reverse the clock on graying, some may offer the nutrients necessary to nourish the hair, potentially impacting the rate at which grays appear.

It’s an option worth considering for those looking to maintain their natural hair color and improve their hair’s vitality.

But, chances are, it’s going to take some trial and error.

attractive  older woman with well styled gray hairPin
If worrying about gray is just causing you more gray hair, maybe it’s time to embrace it!

Comparison of Anti-Gray Hair Vitamin Ingredients

NutrientBest Naturals Anti-Gray Hair 7050sspjoi Hair SupplementEsmond NaturalClean NutraceuticalsSugarbear Hair Vitamins
Protein (Keratin)
Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Vitamin B-6
PABA (Para-Aminobenzoic Acid)
Biotin
Vitamin E
Vitamin D
L-Tyrosine
Calcium
Copper
Iron
Esmond Natural: Anti Gray Hair Capsule (Supports in decreasing Gray Hair. Stimulates Healthy Hair Growth), GMP, Natural Product Assn Certified, Made in USA - 60 CapsulesPin

Esmond Natural: Anti Gray Hair Capsule

$35.25
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

This product contains several of the nutrients that might help with hair pigmentation and health but is missing others, particularly minerals like copper and iron which are directly involved in melanin production and healthy hair follicle function.

  • The product contains Zinc, which is beneficial for hair health but was not on the original list.
  • Folic acid is included in the product which is beneficial for DNA and red blood cell production and can be linked to hair health although it was not on the initial checklist.
  • The proprietary blend may contain other ingredients that aren’t specified, which could potentially have nutrients relevant to hair health.
  • Other ingredients listed are primarily for capsule formation and product stability, and do not contribute to the nutrient content aimed at affecting hair pigmentation.

Best Naturals Anti Gray Hair Formula, 60 CountPin

Best Naturals Anti Gray Hair Formula

$9.99
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

This product contains a broad spectrum of vitamins and other natural ingredients that are associated with hair health, including some not listed in the original checklist that could potentially contribute to maintaining natural hair color or promoting hair health.

However, it lacks some key nutrients directly associated with melanin production, like copper and iron. The presence of calcium carbonate is more for product composition rather than a significant dietary source of calcium.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Catalase: An enzyme that may help prevent hair greying by breaking down hydrogen peroxide, which can cause hair to grey.
  • Horsetail: Contains silica, which can improve hair strength and growth.
  • Saw Palmetto: Often used to support hair health.
  • Plant Sterols: May help with hair growth but more research is needed.
  • Nettle Root Extract: Often used for its potential benefits for hair rejuvenation.
  • Chlorophyll: Has antioxidant properties.
  • Fo-Ti Powder: Traditional herb sometimes used to prevent graying hair.
  • Barley Grass Juice Powder: Rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

Anti-gray 7050 Hair 60 Capsules - Decrease Gray Hair - Restore Natural Hair Color - Contains Essential B Vitamins Minerals and Herbs 1 bottlePin

Anti-Gray Hair 7050

$12.95
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

This product seems to contain most of the vitamins and herbal ingredients that are thought to be beneficial for hair health and potentially influence the natural hair color maintenance.

However, it lacks copper, iron, vitamin E, and vitamin D, which play roles in melanin production and hair health. Just as with other supplements, the actual effectiveness can vary from person to person.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Plant Sterols: May help with hair growth but more research is needed.
  • Nettle Root Extract: Often used for its potential benefits for hair rejuvenation.
  • Chlorophyll: Has antioxidant properties.
  • Fo-Ti Powder: Traditional herb sometimes used to prevent graying hair.
  • Barley Grass Juice Powder: Rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

sspjoi Hair Growth Supplement 250 mg - Anti-Grey Supplement for Men and Women with Folic Acid, B-Vitamins & Biotin - Supports Grey Hair Change and Promotes Strong Healthy HairPin

sspjoi Hair Growth Supplement

$22.99
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

The “sspjoi Hair Growth Supplement” contains many of the nutrients and botanical extracts believed to support hair health and potentially affect the maintenance of natural hair color, much like the previous supplements listed.

However, it is missing copper, iron, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin D from the checklist, which are important for hair pigmentation and health.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Horsetail Extract: Contains silica, which can improve hair strength and growth.
  • Phytosterols: May help with hair growth but more research is needed.
  • Nettle Root Extract: Often used for its potential benefits for hair rejuvenation.
  • Chlorophyll: Has antioxidant properties.
  • Fo-Ti Powder (Root): Traditional herb sometimes used to prevent graying hair.
  • Barley Grass Juice Powder: Rich in nutrients and antioxidants.

Collagen Pills 1000mg Biotin 10000mcg Keratin Saw Palmetto 2500mg Hyaluronic Acid - Hair Skin and Nails Vitamins and DHT Blocker with Vitamin E Folic Acid Pumpkin Seed MSM Made in USA - 90 CountPin

Clean Nutraceuticals Supplement

$25.46
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

The “Clean Nutraceuticals” supplement focuses on a blend of collagen and other nutrients for hair health. It contains a mix of vitamins, collagen, and plant extracts designed to support hair health.

While it has biotin, keratin, and vitamins C and E from the checklist, it lacks other elements such as calcium, copper, iron, L-tyrosine, vitamin B6, zinc, and vitamin D that may be specifically linked to slowing down the progression of gray hair.

This product seems to take a more holistic approach to hair health, which could indirectly impact the maintenance of natural hair color, given the importance of overall follicle health for pigment production.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Collagen Complex: Provides amino acids that may help build hair proteins and strengthen the skin that contains your hair roots.
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Can help to improve skin hydration.
  • MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane): May support hair strength and growth.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Powder: Sometimes used for hair health, but evidence is anecdotal.
  • Black Pepper Extract: May enhance the absorption of other nutrients.

Sugarbear Hair Vitamins Extra Strength Biotin 6000mcg, Vitamin C, E, Coconut Oil, Zinc, Folic Acid, Inositol - Vegan Gummies for Luscious Hair and Nails - Supplement for Women & Men (1 Month Supply)Pin

Sugarbear Hair Vitamins Extra Strength

$29.99
as of 04/18/2024 2:56 pm

The Sugarbear Hair Vitamins provide a comprehensive range of vitamins and some minerals that are associated with hair health and could contribute to preventing or slowing down the progression of gray hair, like zinc, biotin, and the B vitamins.

However, they are missing some of the key nutrients from the checklist that are specifically linked to hair pigmentation, such as calcium, copper, iron, and L-tyrosine.

Additional Ingredients:

  • Iodine: Essential for thyroid health, which can affect hair health.
  • Choline: Supports fat metabolism, which can be important for hair health.
  • Inositol: Often taken to support hair growth and may reduce hair loss.

So, Does Taking Vitamins for Gray Hair Do the Trick?

Well, the answer may vary from individual to individual. Generally, some individuals may see results faster than others. But the fact remains that vitamins can prevent graying and restore hair to its natural color.

So go ahead and try fighting graying hair with vitamins, but do so only after talking to a doctor and thoroughly researching vitamins for gray hair.

Additional Resources:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/reverse-gray-hair
  2. https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/can-any-supplements-reverse-gray-hair/supplements-for-grays/
  3. https://healthfully.com/can-certain-vitamins-reverse-gray-hair-5049665.html
  4. https://www.thezoereport.com/beauty/how-to-prevent-gray-hair-by-lowering-oxidative-stress
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320288
  6. https://www.everydayhealth.com/nutrients/vitamins/fighting-gray-hair-with-vitamins/
  7. https://www.nbcnews.com/healthmain/gray-hair-cure-scientists-find-root-cause-discoloration-6c9802771
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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

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