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My Battle Against Premature Greying

Posted by Ashlyn on

My first white hair appeared when I was in primary school. Everybody else concluded that I was a diligent student (which was quite true) while my mother linked it to her genes - her hair started greying when she was in her thirties. Through adolescence to adulthood, my white hairs flourished. Much to my disappointment, they didn't go away after I completed my studies. Fortunately they weren't visible unless I layered my hair or tied it partially.

One day, when I was in my mid-thirties, I noticed a part of a strand of fallen white hair was black.  On close examination, it was the hair root that was black. Subsequently, more such hairs were sighted.  Could you imagine how I delighted I was? Hope of the eventual disappearance of all the white undesirables was ignited.  At the same time, I was absolutely clueless on why such a wonderful thing was happening to me ... until months later.

That day, I was chatting with a customer on a healthful sweetener called blackstrap molasses.  She was telling me how wonderful this product was and that she had recommended it to her friends and patients (she was a nurse). According to her, it keeps black hair black and turns white hair black, among its many benefits. I was astonished! I had been consuming the same food as a substitute for white sugar for the past many months. Could it have been the magician behind my darkening white hairs? Ensuing online searches confirmed what she said. From then, I did not just faithfully keep it in my diet but incorporated more of other foods that were said to be similarly beneficial for the hair.

Today and in my mid-forties, I have not 'eradicated' all white hair but the proportion of my white is much less than my siblings whom also took on my mother's genes. I also observed two differences in my hair compared to 20 years ago. Firstly, my white hairs are not solid white now.  Rather, they are less conspicuous in shades of coppery white. In addition, the volume of my hair has grown! I vividly remembered how my relatives used to comment on how thin my hair was and so manageable. Now, every hairdresser I meet remarks how thick it is and must be layered down. 

Many types of food are beneficial for our hair health. I remember them as 'black food for black hair' for simplicity. Black sesame, black beans, black riceblack glutinous rice, black fungus and blackstrap molasses are now inseparably part of my diet. I believe if I - an individual genetically predisposed to premature greying - can slow it down through diet, anyone determined to follow through a healthy hair diet can also keep his or her dark hair dark longer.