Healthy, long, and lustrous hair is a treasure. But what if it starts turning white unnaturally? Untimely whitening or graying has now become one of the most common hair problems all across the world. For women, it is really frustrating to see those silver strands on the head even before the age of 30. No matter how much you try to cure them with medicines or hide them with dyes, nothing works permanently and this is exactly when yoga may come to your rescue. In fact, regular practice of yoga (both asanas and pranayamas) can help you immensely in combating several hair issues including premature graying. So, go through the rest of the article to find out how to use yoga for long black hair.
What is Gray Hair?
As we age, our hair loses its original color and turns gray or white. Well, let us dig a bit deeper into it. Every hair fiber has its own natural cycle of death and regeneration. The follicles (tiny sacs lining the skin) from where these hair fibers come out also contain certain pigment-producing cells called melanocytes, which produce the natural hair pigment ‘melanin’. But as these hair follicles grow older, they lose melanocytes and produce less color. This gives us the salt and pepper look. (1)
What is Premature Graying?
While aging gracefully is celebrated by some, looking youthful even when growing old is still preferred by most women. For this purpose, long, black, and healthy hair works as a wonderful aesthetic tool. But unfortunately, the onset of graying of hair, medically termed as ‘canities’ or ‘achromotrichia’, can happen any time in life and it is not in our control (2). In Caucasians, the hair may turn white or gray even before the age of 20 years while in African Americans, it may occur before 30 (3). This untimely graying is called premature graying of hair (PGH) and the number of people experiencing it has increased to a great extent in last few years.
Premature graying may lead to various psychological side effects. It also affects one’s self-esteem severely, thereby impacting social, professional, and personal life in a negative way.
What Causes Premature Graying?
Apart from aging, there are multiple factors that affect the natural health and pigmentation of our hair. We have listed them below:
- According to a report published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology in 2013, premature graying of hair is closely connected to the genetics, race, and ethnicity of a person. (4)
- Chronic stress may affect the color of hair by depleting stem cells in the hair follicles (5). Other real-life stressors may also aggravate the situation, thus causing black hair to turn gray.
- In case of autoimmune disorders, such as alopecia, vitiligo, thyroid dysfunction (both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism), etc., the natural immune system of the body attacks its own cells. This also increases the risk of graying early by reducing the production of melanin. (6), (7)
- A deficiency of vitamins (B6, B7 or biotin, B12, D, and E) in the body also leads to unhealthy hair and untimely graying. It basically weakens the hair follicles and inhibits the production of hair pigment. (8) (9)
- Cigarette smoking has been found to trigger the onset of graying in people before the age of 30 years almost 2(1/2) times (10). It causes toxicity in the body and damages the hair follicles, thereby causing early white hair.
- Commercial hair cosmetics and dyes may contain harmful ingredients like hydrogen peroxide that reduce the level of melanin in the hair follicles. Frequent use of these also turns the black hair white or gray over time.
Read Also – 4 Most Effective Yoga Poses to Enhance Fertility
Why Try Yoga for Long Black Hair?
So, why is yoga considered as one of the best means to get long black hair? Well, if you think that yoga is all about stretching, turning, and twisting your limbs, you are wrong. When combined with a proper diet and a good haircare regimen, this 5,000-year old Indian science offers a holistic cure for unhealthy, damaged, and gray hair. All you need to do is include certain ‘asanas’ (postures) in your daily exercise routine and amplify their effects with some ‘pranayamas’ (breathing techniques). We will be unfolding the benefits of yoga for white hair here:
- Being a natural procedure, yoga delivers time-tested results without further damaging the hair.
- It increases the circulation of blood throughout the scalp to keep the hair follicles healthy.
- Boosts the growth of hair significantly by supplying adequate nutrients and oxygen to the roots.
- Detoxifies the body and supports melanin production by strengthening metabolism and immunity.
- Keeps stress, anxiety and depression away for the better functioning of melanocytes in the hair follicles.
- Improves the overall health and texture of hair by making it thicker, softer, and smoother.
- It is perfect for everyone (irrespective of age, gender, race, etc.) and does not need any special equipment to practice.
Yoga for Long Black Hair – 11 Best Asanas to Try
Regular and diligent practice of the following 11 asanas will help you get long black hair while maintaining a good scalp and reversing the damage done to it:
1. Vajrasana / Diamond Pose
Unlike other postures, this asana can be done immediately after eating food. It is the simplest way to boost the circulation of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood throughout the scalp, thereby enhancing the health and accelerating the growth of each hair strand. It also prevents all sorts of scalp infections by improving digestion as well as immunity.
Steps to Follow:
- Sit on the floor right on your buttocks while keeping your spine and back straight.
- Stretch your legs forward with your heels kept together.
- Your hands should be placed on both sides with your palms facing the ground.
- Now, fold the legs at the knees and bring them under your thighs one by one.
- Your hands should be placed on your upper thighs and the sides of your soles should be kept as close as possible.
- Take deep breaths in and out steadily as you are sitting in a relaxed position.
- Hold this posture for 2-8 minutes and then, return to the beginning position.
2. Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose
Like the previous asana, bhujangasana also makes the functionalities of our digestive system better. This helps in providing proper nourishment to the scalp. The asana also perks up the activities of our heart and lungs. It increases blood flow in the scalp and gives us beautiful tresses naturally.
Steps to Follow:
- Lie down on your stomach by keeping your legs together while your toes pointing outwards.
- Stretch your hands on both sides of your chest with your palms facing the ground.
- Now, press against the floor with your palms and raise your forehead.
- Allow the weight of your body to rest on the chest.
- Look upwards and breathe in.
- Straighten your elbows to stretch your arms even further.
- Raise your chest and allow the weight of your body to rest on your abdomen.
- Hold the posture for 3-5 minutes.
- Breathe out and return to the starting position.
3. Sasangasana / Rabbit Pose
Being a forward bend posture, sasangasana is known to augment the circulation of blood to the entire body including the scalp to a great extent. As it gives a healthy scalp, you can easily obtain long, strong, and lustrous hair with natural black shine. Sasangasana also stretches the neck and spine muscles to provide relief from stress and anxiety. It also leads to improved digestive system and better sleep, which enhance the functionality of hair follicles to prevent premature graying. Practice it twice every day for the best results.
Steps to Follow:
- Sit straight on the floor and get into vajrasana.
- Raise your buttocks and straighten the upper thighs.
- Now, bend forward until the crown of your head reaches the floor.
- Meanwhile, stretch your hands backward and place them on your toes or on the ground.
- As you hold the position, exhale slowly for five breaths.
- Then, start unrolling yourself back to vajrasana again as you inhale gradually.
- Release yourself and relax.
Read Also – 5 Yoga Poses to Prevent Hair Loss
4. Ustrasana / Camel Pose
If you are suffering from white hair and frequent hair fall, this yoga pose will be absolutely perfect for you. The back bending boosts the flow of blood to the hair roots so that the melanocytes function better and prevent white hair. It nourishes each and every hair strand, thereby making them strong inside out. The asana also reduces hair breakage and hair loss while making the locks long and gorgeous.
Steps to Follow:
- Kneel down on the floor with your knees kept at a distance of at least 6 inches.
- Take your hands backwards and grab your ankles with them.
- Lift your face upward and look at the ceiling.
- Make sure that your upper thighs are straight and your abdomen is pushed forward.
- Inhale and exhale slowly as you hold the posture for some time.
- Release the hands and come back to the starting position.
Ustrasana is not recommended for people who are suffering from hypertension, migraine, neck injury, back injury, etc.
5. Matsyasana / Fish Pose
Here is another yoga pose that helps in maintaining the natural black color of our tresses for long. Matsyasana also plays a key role in resisting hair fall as well as speeding up the growth of new hair. If you practice this pose regularly, you will easily be able to get long and beautiful hair.
Steps to Follow:
- Lie down on the floor with your back on the mat.
- Place your hands on both sides of your body with your palms facing downwards.
- Push them slowly under your buttocks.
- Inhale deeply while raising your chest and head together. Keep your buttocks on the ground only.
- Drop the head back gradually and fix your gaze to the wall behind you.
- Allow your torso to rest on your elbows and the crown of your head as well.
- Stay in that position for 30 seconds or more if possible.
- Finally, straighten your head slowly and carefully as you release yourself from the posture.
6. Trikonasana / Triangle Pose
When it comes to keeping the scalp healthy through yoga, trikonasana is considered as one of the most effective poses. As the scalp turns nourished and hydrated, the hair follicles work nicely to produce enough melanin and retain the natural black color of the hair. Besides, the asana not only expedites the process of hair growth but also makes hair strands smoother and glossier.
Steps to Follow:
- Stand straight on the floor with your feet about 3 feet apart from each other.
- Lift both of your hands up in such a way that they remain in alignment with your shoulders.
- Now, start bending your torso slowly towards the right side.
- Touch your right toe with the fingers of your right hand.
- Meanwhile, move your left hand upwards until it faces the ceiling and look at it.
- Stay in this position for around a minute.
- Relax and repeat with the opposite side.
7. Halasana / Plough Pose
Halasana works on our gastrointestinal system and adds to its functions. As we experience better digestion, many problems related to our hair get solved automatically. Better digestion and metabolism also result in lesser white hair before the right age. So, practicing this exercise can really make your dream of getting long and black hair true.
Steps to Follow:
- Start with lying down on the floor with your back touching it.
- Your hands should be kept by the sides of your body with the palms facing downwards.
- Now, lift up your legs together so that they form a right angle to the floor.
- Slowly bend them backwards over and beyond the head until the toes touch the ground.
- Make sure to provide support to your back with your elbows on the ground. Also, press your chin against the throat.
- Inhale and exhale normally while retaining the posture for a while.
- Return to the starting position and relax.
Read Also – 5 Yogasanas for Glowing Skin
8. Pawanmuktasana / Wind Releasing Pose
If digestion and constipation are the root causes of your gray hair problem, pawanmuktasana can be an excellent solution for sure. It will regularize your bowel movements and enhance the overall health of your scalp as well as hair. As a result, you can prevent the graying of hair and maintain its natural color.
Steps to Follow:
- Lie down on the floor with your back on it.
- Place your hands beside your thighs.
- Fold your right leg at the knee and hold it with both of your arms.
- Bring the leg close to your chest by raising it slowly as you keep the knee clasped.
- Breathe out when lifting your head and shoulders up. Your nose should be very close to your knee.
- Hold the posture at least for 10 seconds.
- Release yourself and repeat with the other leg.
9. Sarvangasana / Shoulder Stand Pose
Being a posture with follicle-stimulating effects, sarvangasana helps in keeping white or gray hair at bay. It helps in up-keeping the health of the hair by providing nourishment and oxygen to its roots. The asana also stops hair fall and accelerates hair regrowth.
Steps to Follow:
- Lie down on the floor with your back on it.
- Raise both of your legs upwards to elevate the lower part of your torso slightly.
- Place both of your palms on your lower back to ensure adequate support to the hip area.
- Now, press your palms firmly on your lower back and push it upwards as you pull the legs at the same time.
- Allow the weight of your entire body to rest on your shoulders and hands.
- Stay in that posture for a while and then lower your back and your legs slowly one by one.
10. Padahastasana / Utthanasana / Standing Forward Bend Pose
Padahastasana protects the scalp from infections by strengthening the immune system. As you bend forward, your head receives better blood flow and your hair cells gets more oxygen. This energizes and rejuvenates the hair follicles, heals damage, and enhances the richness of hair color. The asana also strengthens the digestive system and reduces stress levels to keep hair fall under control and aid healthy hair growth.
Steps to Follow:
- Stand erect on the ground with your feet only a few inches apart.
- Take a deep breath in and elongate your spine.
- Now, start breathing out and lift both of your hands up above your head.
- Start bending the upper body forward with your hips hinged and knees slightly bent.
- Try to touch the floor with your fingertips. If possible, you may also go ahead and place your hands behind your heels.
- Stay in this posture for some time as you breathe normally.
- Again, breathe in deeply and return to the original standing position slowly.
- Relax and repeat.
Always warm up before practicing padahastasana as it involves the stretching of the muscles and connective tissues all over the body. People with sciatica, back injury, hamstring tear, or glaucoma should never try this to avoid adverse effects.
11. Sirsasana / Head Stand Pose
Like all other asanas, sirsasana also helps in boosting the flow of nutrients and blood to the hair roots, thereby increasing melanin production and hair growth significantly. This results in long and black hair over time. You may also massage the scalp for a few minutes right after practicing this asana to stimulate the hair follicles even more and get the maximum results (11).
Steps to Follow:
- Stand straight on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Slowly bend forward and place your palms on the ground with your fingers interlocked.
- Stretch both of your elbows at least shoulder-width apart so that an equilateral triangle is formed.
- Move your head downward and touch the floor between your palms with its crown.
- Press your hands against the head gently for a firmer grip.
- Now, lift your buttocks off the floor as you straighten your legs.
- Bend the legs at your knees and tuck the thighs in your abdomen slightly.
- Try balancing your body by shifting the entire weight from toes to head and arms.
- Be careful as you raise your feet from the ground one by one.
- Bring your heels close to your buttocks while bending your knees slowly.
- Finally, lift you legs (together or one by one) upward and reach the vertical position.
- Make sure that you keep your spine as well as your body straight.
- Inhale and exhale normally as you stay in this posture for a while.
- Return to the original position slowly and relax.
Balayam Yoga Mudra is the process of rubbing fingernails against each other vigorously leaving the thumbnails out. Practicing it daily for 5-10 minutes may also help in reducing many hair woes, such as dandruff, hair fall, premature graying, etc. in the simplest and easiest way.
Pranayamas for Long Black Hair
Pranayamas are intense breathing exercises practiced after asanas. They make you stress-free and boost the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your scalp, which are essential for maintaining the natural color and overall health of hair. The most helpful pranayamas for premature graying are:
- Bhastrika pranayama or deep breathing
- Bhramari pranayama or bee breathing
- Anulom vilom pranayama or alternate nostril breathing
- Kapalbhati or shining forehead breathing (Fire Of Breath)
As we age, our hair loses its original color and turns gray or white. Precisely, the hair follicles on the scalp lose melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) and produce less melanin (pigment). But the onset of graying of hair can happen any time in life and this untimely graying is called premature graying. Genetics, chronic stress, certain autoimmune disorders, vitamin deficiencies, cigarette smoking, excessive use of commercial hair dyes, etc. affect the natural health and pigmentation of our hair. When combined with a proper diet and a good haircare regimen, yoga (asanas and pranayamas) offers a holistic cure for unhealthy, damaged, and gray hair. It delivers time-tested results by increasing blood circulation in the scalp, boosting hair growth, detoxifying the scalp, enhancing digestion, improving immunity, and relieving stress and anxiety. Regular and diligent practice of vajrasana (diamond pose), bhujangasana (cobra pose), sasangasana (rabbit pose), ustrasana (camel pose), matsyasana (fish pose), trikonasana (triangle pose), halasana (plough pose), pawanmuktasana (wind releasing pose), sarvangasana (shoulder stand pose), padahastasana (utthanasana or standing forward bend pose), and sirsasana (head stand pose) will help you get long black hair while maintaining a good scalp and reversing the damage done to it. Pranayamas also help in maintaining the natural color and overall health of hair. Bhastrika pranayama or deep breathing, bhramari pranayama or bee breathing, anulom vilom pranayama or alternate nostril breathing, kapalbhati or shining forehead breathing (Fire Of Breath), etc. are some of the most effective pranayamas you can try for this purpose.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the Home Remedies for Long Black Hair?
Some natural remedies that slow down hair-whitening and promote hair growth are coconut oil, ginger, blackstrap molasses, amla, black sesame seeds, ghee, amaranth, wheatgrass juice, onion, carrot juice, curry leaves, ashwagandha, almond oil, rosemary, etc.
Which Natural Ingredients Can Be Used As Hair Dyes?
Some natural ingredients that can be used for preparing homemade hair dyes include coffee, cinnamon, black walnut, black tea, sage, nettle, bhringraj, black pepper, henna, curry leaves, amla, ridge gourd, and so on.
Can a White Hair Turn Black Again?
It depends on the root causes of premature graying and needs to be diagnosed first. If your grays are caused by aging or genetics, it will not turn black anymore. But if stress, lifestyle factors or environmental factors lead to premature graying, it may be possible to reverse.
How Do I Have White Hair at the Age of 13?
Having white hair at the age of 13 can be the results of genetics.
Does Plucking Gray Hair Increase It?
No, plucking gray hair does not increase the number of gray strands in the same place.
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- “Alopecia Areata with White Hair Regrowth: Case Report and Review of Poliosis“, PubMed.NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
- “Thyroid Hormones Directly Alter Human Hair Follicle Functions: Anagen Prolongation and Stimulation of Both Hair Matrix Keratinocyte Proliferation and Hair Pigmentation‘, academic.OUP.com
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- “Smokers’ Hair: Does Smoking Cause Premature Hair Graying?“, NCBI.nlm.nih.gov
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