Greying is complicated, is it genetics, age or diet? New Study list the top 10 reasons we grey. We did the work so you didn’t have to! Click through on the links for more detailed analysis of a particular cause. At the end you should know exactly why you are greying – all the causes are set-out below.
Why does hair turn gray? This is a question we will all ponder at some point in our lives. No matter where you are on the hair color spectrum – whether you still have all your hair color, just starting to get those early strands of greys, or you’re already a silver-haired senior – the answer to that age-old question appears below. Just click on the plus sign to expand.
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 grey. 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. Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Bad Diet
Vitiligo is an autoimmune disease that causes hair and skin to lose pigmentation. This is believed to be due to a decrease in melanin production derivatives of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine 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 grey appearance.
8. Vitamin Deficiency(B12 & 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 in 64% of the patients, with six individuals experiencing total re-pigmentation. Talk about turning back the clock! Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Vitamin B12 and/or Folic Acid Deficiency
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 grey. A 1997 study carried out by researchers in England discovered that smokers were up to four times as likely to have grey 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. Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Using Using Tooth Whitening Products
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 Malfunction
Of course, going grey can also be boiled down to genetic disposition. If your parents or grandparents started to get their grey hair at a certain age, then you can bet that you’ll get yours around the same time. Researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham Health System recently confirmed the role of genetics in greying, stating that “inheritance [of genetics] determines not only your hair color, but also when [hair] greying begins.” Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Greying Due to Genetics
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 greying hair.
2. Prolonged Stressful Lifestyle
Better make that yoga a priority: researchers have shown that high stress levels directly contribute to premature greying. 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 grey. Take your stressful lifestyle down a few notches to keep your hair healthy and lustrous. Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Prolonged Stressful Lifestyle (Free Radical Theory of Greying)
1. Greying Due to Ageing
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. Additional Reading: Full Length Article On Age Related Greying: Oxidative Stress Theory of Greying (Hydrogen Peroxide Damage)
- 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.
- 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.
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