Welcome, most of our articles are reviews of current scientific research on graying. Be sure to read all the related articles to get the best understanding on why we gray. The videos to the right explains Grey Defence® – the #1 Grey Hair Treatment Pill with enteric coating.
No matter where you are on the gray hair spectrum – whether you still have all your hair color, or maybe you’re starting to get those early strands of gray hair or you’re already a silver-haired senior – satiate your curiosity by learning the top ten reasons why we get gray hair:
10. Bad Diets
In an age where fast food rules and consumers prefer convenience over nutrition, it’s no surprise that our bad diets made it on the top ten list of reasons why we go gray. Researchers have recently suggested that a nutritious diet that’s high in amino acids and calcium can help promote melanogenesis , which produces the melanin pigment that’s needed to keep the hair strands saturated with color.
Vitiligo is a condition in which the hair and skin loses its pigmentation due to a decrease in melanin production derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine that is responsible for skin and hair pigmentation. When melanin production suddenly decreases or stops altogether, this causes the hair to lose the pigmentation that gives it its natural color. As a result, the hair follicles that grow after melanin death have no color, thus its gray appearance.
8. Lack of B12 and/or Folic Acid
Researchers from University Hospital’s Department of Dermatology in Sweden recently conducted a study where participants suffering vitiligo increased their consumption of folic acid and vitamin B12 through their diets and oral supplements. Researchers were astounded to see re-pigmentation of gray hair in 64% of the patients, with six individuals experiencing total re-pigmentation. Talk about turning back the clock!
7. Being a Smoker
In addition to increasing your risks of contracting deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease and kidney failure, smoking can also cause your hair to prematurely gray. A 1997 study carried out by researchers in England discovered that smokers were up to four times as likely to have gray hair as their non-smoking counterparts. It’s yet another reason why smokers should ditch the habit.
6. Using Tooth Whitening Products
That whiter smile may cost you more than the price of your teeth whitening toothpaste – it can also cost you your hair color. Scientists have long known that an increase in hydrogen peroxide levels within the body causes melanocyte death by deactivating the enzymes directly responsible for preserving your hair color. A study has shown that even the tiniest dose of hydrogen peroxide can kick-start melanocyte death – and as hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in most teeth whitening products, your smile won’t be the only thing that turns white.
5. Environmental Pollution
You know that your skin is prone to damage thanks to harmful free radicals in environmental pollution – but did you know that your hair color is at risk too? These molecular free radicals bind themselves to our healthy cells and sapping them of valuable electrons – if left unchecked by our body’s immune system – can cause the kind of cellular damage that inevitably influences the melanin production we need to keep our hair healthy, strong and pigmented.
4. Genetic Predisposition
Of course, going gray can also be boiled down to genetic disposition. If your parents or grandparents started to get their gray hair at a certain age, then you can bet that you’ll get your gray hair around the same time. Researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Health System recently confirmed the role of genetics behind graying hair, stating that “inheritance [of genetics] determines not only your hair color, but also when [hair] graying begins.”
3. Our Hair Care Products
Hydrogen peroxide isn’t just in your teeth-whitening products; ironically, it’s in your hair care products as well. The biggest hair care offenders include hair bleaches, dyes, conditioners and shampoos. Before buying your favorite condition or hair dye, check to see the levels of hydrogen peroxide it contains; you may be shocked to discover it’s contributing to your graying hair.
2. Prolonged Stressful Lifestyle
Better make that yoga a priority: researchers have shown that high stress levels directly contribute to premature graying hair. Our stress levels prompts a surge in our body’s production of hydrogen peroxide; the excess H2O2 then accumulates within the hair follicles, thereby causing meloncyte death and effectively “bleaching” the hair follicles gray. Take your stressful lifestyle down a few notches to keep your hair healthy and lustrous.
And the winner is … AGE! There’s no way getting around it – as our body’s enzyme and amino acid productions start to slow down, the aging process will eventually lead us down the path towards gray hair.
Be sure to read all the related articles appearing AFTER the “comment block” below to get the best understanding on why we gray.
- Galván I, Alonso-Alvarez C (2008) An Intracellular Antioxidant Determines the Expression of a Melanin-Based Signal in a Bird. PLoS ONE 3(10): e3335. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003335.
- Montes LF, Diaz ML, Lajous J, Garcia NJ., “Folic acid and vitamin B12 in vitiligo: a nutritional approach”, Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama, Birmingham Medical Center.
- Juhlin, L and MJ Olson. “Improvement of vitiligo after oral treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid and the importance of sun exposure”, Department of Dermatology, University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.
- Senile hair graying: H2O2-mediated oxidative stress affects human hair color by blunting methionine sulfoxide repair. Wood JM, Decker H, Hartmann H, Chavan B, Rokos H, Spencer JD, Hasse S, Thornton MJ, Shalbaf M, Paus R, Schallreuter KU. Clinical and Experimental Dermatology/Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford, BD7 1DP, West Yorkshire, UK.
- University of Alabama-Birmingham, “www.health.uab.edu/17722/”.