What Causes Gray Hair

Recently, I met a group of women whose ages ranged from 40-65, all from the same family and only the oldest lady among them had a dusting of gray hair along her hairline. I found myself wondering what on earth did they use to dye their hair and still keep it so thick and strong looking.

When I asked I was laughed at, they did not use any hair dye and their grandmother, who was still alive at 90 something was not completely gray. I was shocked and a little envious; my family has a premature gray problem, sorry issue (in case my mother is reading this). The fact is, gray hair can be caused from a number of factors, it’s not only those persons who are 40 and above who have to do battle with gray hairs, younger folks have the same problem too. Here are some of what causes gray hair:

  1. The aging process– the less melanin your body produces, the more likely you are to get gray hair. If your body loses melanin fast, then your hair will be gray fast. If your body does it in a timely manner then you will find one or two gray bits popping up all over your head. Of course, the general rule of thumb is that the older you get the more progressively gray your hair gets. Studies show that your chance of going gray increases 10-20% every decade after 30 years.
  2.  Smoking– this bad habit wreaks havoc on your hair generally but it is known to give you gray hairs sooner than usual. Smokers are four times more likely to have gray hair than nonsmokers. Not only that, smoking is linked to accelerated hair loss.
  3. Genetics– if the general theme in your family is to start graying at a certain age then it stands to reason that you might start graying at the same point.
  4. Stress and tension– have you ever known somebody who has undergone trauma and has gone gray overnight it seems? Studies have shown that this happens when the  thicker, darker hairs stop growing suddenly and the new hairs populating the head are thinner and appear translucent in the light. This gives the impression of overnight grayness.
  5.  Medical Conditions – there are some medical conditions such as thyroid imbalance (hyper or hypothyroidism), intestinal problems, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, which cause premature grayness.
  6. Diet – somehow it all comes back to diet, gray hair can be caused by a deficiency of some key vitamins including the main one vitamin B12.

Treatment

There are actually treatments for premature gray hair, the process can be reversed completely.  There are some practical things that you can do if you find that you are prematurely gray. If premature graying  runs in the family or you are  suffering from one of the diseases above then you may find that none of the following common sense remedies will work:

  1. Incorporate more of the foods that can counteract gray hairs such as bananas,  potatoes, high quality protein in your diet.
  2. Increase  your intake of Vitamin B12
  3. Stop smoking.

These are just three simple and practical steps to take if you are self conscious about your premature grayness. You can also have a look at some natural gray hair treatment options that are available on this site so you don’t have to resort to synthetic hair coloring that contain chemicals that will damage hair or compromise your health.

 

Sources:  The Gray Hair Report: Gray Hair Can Be Reverted Back to Its Original Color, Wheats Publishing Company, 1997

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