People can get grey hair at any age. Some get their greys when they are young, while others notice their first grey hair when they are in their 30s or 40s.
Some people celebrate grey hair as a sign of maturity and wisdom. But many also feel they look old when their hair turns grey and want to cover their greys to look young.
There are many causes of people’s hair turning grey as they age. I will attempt to discuss the facts and explain the myths surrounding the idea that you can reverse grey hair.
Why does your hair turn grey?
Each strand of hair is made up of two parts:
- A shaft – the coloured part that grows out of your head.
- A root – the bottom part, which keeps our hair anchored.
The root, surrounded by a tube, is called a hair follicle. It contains pigment cells. These pigment cells make a chemical known as melanin that gives your hair its colour.
As you age, these pigments in the follicle can lose their ability to produce melanin, resulting in transparent colours like grey, silver, or white.
As you age further, there will be fewer pigment cells to produce melanin. Eventually, your hair will be completely grey.
I have darker skin, and my grey hair is more noticeable because it stands out like a beacon!
But if you have lighter skin, your light grey hair will blend well.
How early our hair turns grey depends mainly on our genes.
Can you reverse your grey hair?
In June 2020, researchers from Columbia University found a process that can reverse the colour in hairs, recently turned grey.
Researchers also discovered beard, and pubic hair can also regain their colour as well.
Scientists believe the causes of greying are due to the changes to metabolic path ways, which form proteins for the body.
Hormones influenced by path ways are produced when there is stress. By relieving stress, you can undo the process.
Before you get excited over this result, there is still a long way to go, as these research papers are still under peer review.
There is no doubt, one of the causes of turning your hair grey is stress.
Harvard University in Massachusetts experts say the greying could be related to our “flight or fight” response. The hair colour change may be linked to the nervous response system of “flight or fight”.
There is another factor that causes the hair to turn grey – genetics. Check out your family history and determine when greying occurred.
See if it matches your timeline.
Another likely cause is nutritional deficiency. Lack of certain nutrients can affect premature greying.
According to some studies, low ferritin, calcium, and vitamin D-3 can all affect greying.
Another study found low copper, zinc and iron can advance premature greying.
Unless you are prepared to dye your hair, you are unlikely to restore your grey hair to its former glory.
However, you may delay your hair from turning grey by making some simple lifestyle changes.
How to delay your hair from turning grey?
There is no clear-cut way to prevent your hair from turning grey. However, here are some strategies that may help slow it down.
- Managing your stress level – stress hormones can interrupt melanin production.
- Give up smoking.
- Maintain your weight by eating healthy and exercising.
- Protect your hair from the sun and pollution by wearing a hat or scarves.
- Advocates of natural products suggest using natural remedies, such as coconut oil, ghee, wheat grass juice, etc. These home remedies have not been clinically tested, so my advice is to approach this with caution.
- Taking supplements such as calcium, vitamins, etc. may help, but I would suggest you check with your doctor first
- Stop damaging your hair by bleaching, using a brush instead of a wide-tooth comb, applying heat with a curling iron or hair dyer, using harsh shampoos, and washing too often.
There are many homemade masks for hair. They claimed it will make your hair darker.
Common ingredients used are coconut oils, almonds, ghee, lemon juice, carrot juice, etc.
While your hair may feel soft and shiny, there is no scientific evidence suggesting hair masks boost melanin production.
There are also reports that you can get rid of grey hair with potato skins.
The idea is that the natural starch in the potato skin can help darken your hair in time. There is no scientific evidence that this works.
Premature greying relies on your hair follicles producing melanin.
If you can control your stress level and live a balanced lifestyle, your hair might simply continue producing melanin.
In most cases, the majority of greys are caused by your genes.
Genetically driven greying unfortunately can’t be reversed.
If you want to cover your grey, you could consider talking to your hair stylist about permanent or semi-permanent dyes.
I would suggest you consider using natural or organic hair dyes, and avoid damaging your health with chemical commercial products.
Alternately, you could embrace your grey hair by using grey hair care products, so that they do not turn yellow or brittle.
If you have any questions, please leave them in the comment box. I would love to hear from you.
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Disclaimer: These statements are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease. They are for information purposes only. They have not been evaluated by the FDA. You should read carefully all product packaging. If you suspect that you have a medical condition, seek help from your doctor.