Did you know that 1 in 5 people on the planet have some form of grey hair?
It’s no wonder that so many people are exploring greys with hair care.The percentage is even higher for those who are older.
The article provides tips in looking after greys and shares information on why do you get grey hair.
I will also discuss tips on how to reduce greying hair and keep your strands healthy. So let’s dive in!
Melanin in hair follicles
Your hair follicles are responsible for producing melanin which keeps your hair the colour it is.
As you age, your body produces less and less melanin, a chemical that gives your hair the colour.
This gradual decrease in melanin production is the culprit for turning your hair from black or brown to grey.
When your hair follicles stop producing melanin, it is unlikely to make colour strands for some time.
How does it turn grey?
Rather than blame your job or stress for your greys, it is more likely due to a genetic predisposition, ageing or medical condition.
Genetics can play a role because some people are born with less pigment than others and they will show greying hair earlier in life.
Medical conditions such as thyroid problems and alopecia can also cause grey hairs to appear prematurely.
Does it affect different races?
Different races can have different rates of greying hair, but there is no evidence that one race is more susceptible to premature grey hairs.
It appears Asians start to see their first grey hairs at around 38 years old while Whites typically begin seeing them at 34 years old on average and African-Americans in the mid-40s.
How about health issues?
I would think it rare, but excessive greys can sometimes be revealed in the early stages of life.
Health issues may include thyroid problems, alopecia, lack of vitamin B12 and possibly vitiligo that disturbs pigment manufacturing cells.
Can stress be the cause?
From my perspective, people get greys due to stress. This could be due to various factors such as work, family or other stressors.
The problem is not just the stress itself but how that person deals with it internally.
Chronic stress: Multiple studies have linked chronic stress to suicide, and it can also lead to depression.
This vicious cycle is hard to break without outside help.
So I think there might be some truth about stress being a cause of grey hair early on because this kind of chronic stress may cause your hair to shed faster.
Stress prevention: there are many ways anyone can help themselves with stress. The first is to notice the stress at hand and do what you can to start stopping it if possible.
Maybe this means taking a break for an hour or so before coming back, meditating to clear your mind of thought or exercise like yoga which helps release endorphins that make us feel more relaxed afterwards.
Can smoking be blamed?
Smoking reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood. This can cause high levels of ammonia to be produced and go into your body.
Ammonia can harm some of the cells in your body that make pigments for your hair.
A study conducted did show that smokers have a higher chance of getting grey hair, and smoking can be the cause of greying.
Can ageing be the cause?
As you age the pigment cells in your hair follicles gradually die.
When there are fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that strand of hair will no longer contain as much melanin and will become more transparent – like grey
This process of aging is the reason that your brows or lashes turn grey because it has to do with any parts of your body where you have melanocytes.
What about genetics?
Genetics can impact how quickly one gets greying – for example, if you have parents who were premature greys then chances are you’ll turn white early too.
Studies conducted have shown there is a strong correlation between hair colour and the genetic to predict hair greying.
The IRF-gene is a gene that impacts how quickly someone’s hair goes from the dark pigment called eumelanin to a lighter one called pheomelanin and eventually to white.
Researchers have found one genetic variant known as rs12203592, which is implicated in the process of human hair greying.
What health condition causes grey hair?
If you have health problems, it may be another possible cause of your grey hair.
Some medical conditions that might cause grey hair are Vitamin B12 deficiency, neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis.
Vitamin B12 deficiency: This can be one of the most common causes of grey hair. Researchers have found that vitamin B12 deficiencies are often concurrent with folic acid and biotin deficiencies in people whose hair has started to turn grey early.
Neurofibromatosis: It’s an illness that makes people get tumours on the nerves, skin or other places. This illness might lead to premature greying and thickened skin that can be mistaken for vitiligo.
Tuberous sclerosis: Another inherited condition caused by mutations in genes involved in regulating cell growth, sometimes resulting in enlarged kidneys, lungs, and seizures, but can also result in neuropsychological problems such as autism spectrum disorders along with mental retardation or intellectual disability, learning difficulties
Alopecia areata: An autoimmune disease in which the individual’s immune system attacks his or her hair follicles, thus causing patches of baldness.
In addition, when growth takes place you may also find white or grey hairs.
Should grey hair feel different?
Does grey hair feel different from other colours?
Every day, you hear what people think about the colour of their hair. Some may have said that black feels like silk, while others say it’s rough and choppy.
But do you ever stop to wonder how a person who never had any natural pigment in his or her life would experience this sensation?
Probable explanation: Scientists are still unsure whether ageing hair turning grey can feel different.
Hair turns grey when the body produces too much melanin. Melanin is the pigment that determines hair colour.
Some people may not like how their greying hairs feel because they are “itchy” or “dry,” rather than dark black ones.
But with so many variables at play concerning this answer (not just skin type), we will need more research and analysis before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.
Keeping your greys looking good.
Greys can look dull. But you can make them brighter with some simple treatments.
- If using oil doesn’t work well with your scalp every day, try alternating once a week between an oily moisturizer (i.e., olive oil) and coconut milk.
- When choosing a shampoo and conditioner for greys, it’s important to choose one that is designed specifically for your hair type – be it dry, oily, coloured or not.
- Anything made with harsh chemicals will strip the colour from your grey hairs which can lead to looking more brown than white over time.
- Environmental pollutants and UV light can also dull the colour of your hair. It is important to try to avoid these things by using sunscreen for your hair.
- Moisturizing treatment is one of the most effective ways to give life back into dry or damaged greying hair. It will hydrate the strands while also adding nutrients.
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There are a ton of benefits to getting grey hair. It’s been linked with intelligence, wisdom and being more attractive!
At the end of the day, it is up to each person if they want to keep their hair grey or not.
If this article has piqued your interest in keeping your natural colouration, I recommend taking some time now before going any further.
Ask yourself if there’s anything about having greys that appeal to you? Is it something you feel proud of?
All these factors will help determine what decision is right for YOU when deciding on how best to keep those strands healthy and looking good without resort.
Let me know if there’s anything you need help with below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
- Baylor College of Medicine – Age isn’t the only reason why hair starts to go grey.
- Stress can turn hair grey – its reversible researchers say
- Hair ageing in different races and ethnicities by JCAD