Natural Alternatives

Natural alternatives

Para-aminobenzoic acid

PABA, or para-aminobenzoic acid, is one of the nutrients the body uses to make the anti-stress B vitamins, especially vitamin B5, which has, in turn, been linked with slowing down the rate of both greying and hair loss. It is only suitable when greying is caused either by stress or a nutritional deficiency that the PABA could correct.

PABA was initially used for the treatment of a condition called vitiligo, where patches of skin turn chalky white. Some people with this condition also have prematurely grey hair. The researchers found that a very small percentage of patients responded so well to a combined dose of PABA and magnesium that their skin and hair colour returned to normal.

One of the better hair colourant products, Herbatint, has an ammonia-free range of 30 different shades. 020 8960 7968 or 020 8968 4810 to order a colour sheet and your nearest local stockist, or contact the company at for more information.

As well as these nutrients, Solgar’s new Hair, Skin & Nails supplement also contains MSM – short for methylsulphonylmethane – which was originally formulated to relieve arthritis and aching joints but which produced a number of unexpected but welcome side effects, including thicker, glossier hair, smoother, clearer skin and longer, stronger fingernails.

MSM is a naturally occurring form of organic sulphur, which the body needs to make keratin, the tough substance that is found in nails, skin and hair. Sadly, levels in the body drop with age. So you may need to take a supplement as you get older.