Even though the most common factors of premature greying are stress, genetics and aging it is possible that deficiency of certain vitamins can be responsible for this condition too. The good thing is that hair color can be completely reversed by increasing levels of these vitamins. Bellow you can find a list of some of the most important vitamins that are known to have some effect on hair color.
1. Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid).
Vitamin B5 is thought to play a part in keeping hair color and health normal and deficiency of this vitamin might lead to greying hair. So by getting more of this vitamin either from food or from supplements might help to restore some natural color to hair. Getting more of Pantothenic Acid can be even more beneficial for individuals those hair color loss is caused by stress. This is mainly because this vitamin affects adrenal gland health, which produces hormones that help our body deal with stress. When individuals experience a lot of stress usually their Vitamin B5 levels decrease, which in turn leads to loss of hair color. So by getting more of Vitamin B5 you will improve adrenal gland health and be able to handle stress more efficiently, which will help to avoid greying of hair and maybe even restore some hair color.
Some good sources of Vitamin B5 in food are eggs, avocados, baked sweet potato, beef, oily fish (tuna and salmon), sunflower seeds and etc. So if you want to get sufficient amounts of Pantothenic Acid, it is definitely worthwhile to add more of these mentioned foods to your diet more often. In case you want to take a multivitamin that contains Pantothenic Acid, Go Away Gray and Get Away Grey both have it in formulation so it is definitely worthwhile to consider these mentioned supplements.
2. Vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6, which is also referred to as Pyridoxine, is quite a common component in many anti-greying supplements. It is thought that this vitamin can be beneficial for greying hair, because it plays a role in protein metabolism. When protein is processed properly in your body, your hair follicles have all the necessary amino acids to produce hair proteins like Melanin and Keratin.
Some good sources of Vitamin B6 in food are Sunflower seeds, nuts (Pistachios), fish, turkey, avocados, bananas, dried prunes and etc. So in order to increase Vitamin B6 levels you should eat these foods more constantly or consider taking a supplement containing Pyridoxine.
3. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid).
Deficiency of Folic Acid is associated with symptoms like slower growing hair as well as hair turning grey. This is mainly because Vitamin B9 metabolize and create new proteins (including Keratin and Melanin), improves tissue growth and function of cells. Deficiency of Folic Acid is more common among individuals who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome, are alcoholics or take certain medications. In case your hair turned grey due to this vitamin’s deficiency, color of your hair can be reversed once levels of this vitamin in the body are increased.
Some good sources of Folic Acid in food are dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, collard and etc.), lentils, citrus fruits (oranges, papaya, grapefruit and etc.), avocado, sunflower seeds, carrots and etc. It is worthwhile to mention that it is not very dangerous to have excess of this vitamin in the body since it is easily removed in urine.
4. Biotin (Vitamin H).
Even though Vitamin H deficiency is rare it is possible that low levels of biotin in the body might result in hair loss and greying of hair. Some of the functions of this vitamin in the body are production of amino acids and cellular growth. Based on a couple of studies supplementing with biotin (500 mg) can help hair to return to its natural color. Alternatively it is possible to increase levels of Vitamin H by eating foods like peanuts, sweet potatoes, almonds, onions, eggs, carrots, tomatoes and etc. It is also worthwhile to mention that some sources suggest taking biotin in combination with other vitamins like Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5), which can help to maximize color restoring benefits.
5. Vitamin B12.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 is quite commonly mentioned cause of grey hair. In case this vitamin was responsible for premature greying, it can be reversed back once levels of Vitamin B12 in the body are increased. It is worthwhile to mention that ability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food decreases after age of 50, so it might be a good idea to pay more attention to this vitamin when you become older.
If you want to increase levels of this vitamin you should eat more foods like beef, clam, turkey, Oysters, crab, chicken, salmon, herring, trout and etc. Since Cobalamin is mostly found in meat and fish, both vegetarians and vegans have a higher risk of having deficiency of Vitamin B12.
There are a couple of studies available, those results suggest that supplementing with PABA can help to restore hair natural color. For this reason you can find PABA included in most anti-greying supplements. For instance results of one study (1964), which was done by C. Zarafonetis, showed that supplementing with 6-24 grams of PABA helped to restore hair color for ~25% of participants in the study. Participants in this study had markedly gray hair and they were supplementing with PABA for 6 weeks. It is thought that PABA can provide more noticeable results in terms of restoring hair color when greying of hair was caused by deficiency of B type Vitamins or stress. Also it is worthwhile to mention that it can provide better results when used in combination with folic acid (Vitamin B9), Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) and Inositol. Due to the fact that PABA is part of Folic Acid, you can get more of it by supplementing with Vitamin B9 or by eating more foods like molasses, spinach, liver, rice, eggs, mushrooms and etc.