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How Do I Promote Melanin Production in My Hair?

Hair follicles with high amounts of melanin produce darker hair. As a person ages, melanin production diminishes and hair becomes lighter and eventually turns to grey. Certain health conditions, like thyroid disease, can also lead to premature greying. In addition, a poor diet deficient in B vitamins can account for low melanin production, which could cause hair to grey prematurely. Fortunately, you can encourage hair follicles to increase melanin production.

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  1. Take vitamins, such as vitamin B5, B6, vitamin E and folic acid, to promote and increase melanin production in the hair follicle. Other vitamins include biotin, also known as vitamin B7, and inositol, or B3. You can avoid taking multiple vitamins if you take a vitamin-B complex supplement, as it includes all the B vitamins in one tablet.

  2. Include copper in your diet. This mineral is essential in producing the dark pigment in skin and hair. Natural food sources of copper are lentils, whole grains, avocados, almonds and soy flour.

  3. Add vitamin A to your list of supplements. Vitamin A is necessary for a healthy scalp and hair follicles. A healthy hair follicle is in a better position to utilise nutrients like melanin.

  4. Be sure to consume green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, collard greens and bok choy. Besides a rich vitamin content, green leafy vegetables provide oxygen for the entire body, including the scalp and hair follicles.

  5. Tip

    You often hear people say that grey hair is a sign of growing old. Although grey hair is unavoidable as you get older, you can often find grey hair in young adults in their 20s. Therefore, other factors besides age play a role in hair turning grey.


    A high vitamin A dosage can cause toxicity and damage the liver. Taking beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, is a better choice. The liver can convert it to vitamin A as needed.

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Things You'll Need

  • B vitamin complex
  • Vitamin E supplement
  • Folic acid supplement
  • Copper supplement
  • Vitamin A supplement
  • Green leafy vegetables

About the Author

Based in Houston, Ana Jackson has been writing content for leading-industry Web sites since 2006. She specializes in money and personal finance as well as in health and alternative treatment-related topics. Other areas of expertise include crafts and interior decorating.

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