Common Concern: Natural Hair Color Loss

Biomedical View

The biomedical Health Issue of Natural Hair Color Loss is usually associated with the aging process and is accepted as a normal function of life. On average a person losses natural hair color later in life, but some people can have this Common Concern in their late 20s or 30s. It may include greying, whitening, or lightening of hair color. This Common Concern can occur with levels of melanin and actual structural changes in the hair follicle.

This Common Concern may also be associated with:

  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Hair loss [shedding]
  • Other associated health conditions
  • Washing hair in too hot of water
  • Hair dyes
  • Sun exposure
  • Excessive hair washing
  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Hormonal levels

Common treatments are usually with the use of dyes or colorings. Vitamins and diet changes are also used for Natural Hair Color Loss.

Traditional Chinese Medicine View

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the hair, and especially hair color, is a direct product of a person’s Blood health. (Please note that when we capitalize specific body parts in our writings, we are directly referring to the Chinese Medicine version/definition of that specific body part.) For this reason, the hair and any problems associated with the hair, as well as the nails, we can make many insights into a person’s overall health.

Blood weakness and/or damage can come from many different sources. Poor diet, exposure to toxic and damaging substances, poor genes (or Essence), and the like, just to name a few, are among the sources. Regardless, the pattern is the same: Blood Deficiency. With Blood Deficiency, we often see a person lose overall vitality. Not just the hair color becomes lost, but a person’s natural skin color can also be greatly affected, muscle tone can weaken, as can vision, and other resulting problems like heart palpitations, memory loss, dizziness, and sleeplessness are also common.

Another source of Blood Deficiency is External wind pathogen, which usually are evils known to cause colds and flus. Wind can also get trapped on the surface (Skin) and thereby damage the Skin by forcing the Blood away from it. Wind may be one of the hardest concepts for the Western mind to grapple with. Wind is an evil that scatters, with basically means it can disrupt or interfere with natural processes.

Once the Blood becomes damaged, whether through Wind or otherwise, the hair will start to diminish in quality. Often, the Chinese Medicine strategy to nourish the hair will be two-fold. To treat the Blood through nourishing herbs, and to Expel scattering wind from the surface.

Expelling this type of wind is a great attribute of one particular Chinese herb famous for bringing a person’s natural hair color back. This herb is He shou wu, also known as Shou wu or Fo-ti, and as a result, makes it an especially important herb for maintaining and regenerating the hair.

Though He shou wu Expels wind, it is a Chinese herb classified in Chinese Medicine as a tonifying herb with key characteristics of nourishing the Blood and Yin and preserving the Essence. What makes it of special characteristic is that often herbs that nourish the Blood and Yin are very heavy and hard to digest causing side effects of bloating, diarrhea, and the like. Whereas He shou wu is neutral on these fronts.  It can be taken by people with a weak digestive process, which is often, another source of Blood Deficiency.