Remember the feeling when you first notice your grey hair? It is a shocking sign of age that we must keep in mind. While it is quite reasonable to have grey hair the age of 40s, some people encounter this physical reminder as early as 16.
What is grey hair cause? Is there any treatment?
Let’s find out in this article.
What causes gray hair?
In order to understand grey hair causes, we need to understand the science behind why our hair goes grey.
Everything starts with our hair follicles – where all the hair cells rest. The average amount of hair follicles is roughly 100,000 for a typical head. Each of which needs to sprout several strands through its lifetime.
There is a small hair-growing factory at the bottom of each follicle. There live pigment-forming cells that create the color of our hair. These cells produce what’s called melamine to determine the color of your hair.
One prominent grey hair cause attributes to the decline of meline in hair structure. That means, your hair still grows, but pigment-forming cells no longer produce melanin.
Without melanin, your new hair strands could go from the original color to various shades of grey, and then finally white.
To sum up, the ultimate cause of grey hair is the decrease in melanin in hair structure.
Other grey hair causes
Yes, grey hair is the sign of aging. Dermatologists sum up the whole situation with interesting figures. Around the age of 50, 50% of the population has about 50% of grey hair.
When we age, our hair-growing machine will be deteriorated too — the growth rate declines as well as the efficiency of pigment-forming cells. As a result, our hair tends to be sparse, and the color fades over time.
Our hair will all turn grey eventually; however, when and how long are the question. Surprisingly, not everyone has grey hair at the same time. Dr. Anthony Oro, a famous dermatologist at Stanford University, confirmed that only 50% of the population suffers from grey hair at the age of 50.
Some people even experience grey hair earlier than that. It is called “premature grey hair.” If your hair turns grey at the age of 20, it is the sign of this condition.
As for Asian, the age for premature grey hair is 25; an African-American is around 30.
So gene plays an essential role in determining when and how fast the grey process will be.
Not only gene, but your race is also important too. Scientists notice that grey hair causes can appear in white people in their mid-30s. However, as for Asian, the average age is the late 30s. African-Americans usually encounter white hair in their mid-40s.
While grey hair causes mostly attribute to gene and aging process, your lifestyle could be a changing factor too.
For a very long time, scientists have found the potential thread and apparent effects of smoking to our body, from the tip of our hair strands to toe. Research shows that smokers are twice more likely to suffer from premature grey hair.
Also, your diet can change the color of your hair too. The deficiency of B12 decreases the melanin level, thus creating grey hair.
Is grey hair caused by stress?
It is now clear that grey hair causes mainly come from the lack of hair pigment; however, is grey hair caused by stress too?
Remember Marie Antoinette? Her hair turned to grey the night before her execution. The story has inspired the assumption that stress could dye your hair from black to white overnight.
But what do scientists have to say?
A recent study at New Yor University in 2013 has found a link between chronic stress and grey hair. The research claimed that the hormones that our body releases in response to stress can disturb the melanocyte stem cells, preventing them from producing melanin.
Stress can also trigger the condition called telogen effluvium, in which hair sheds faster than average rate. Your hair will grow back eventually, but with the lighter color.
Scientific American reported another study that claimed no clear link found in the process of going grey and stress. The hormones may have some impacts of pigment-forming cells, but stress doesn’t seem to relate to grey hair.
Does grey hair cause breakage?
It is true that once your hair turns grey, it changes the texture too. Grey hair tends to be more delicate than normal hair due to the thinner layer of cuticle.
Thin cuticles can’t protect hair from external factors such as water, ultraviolet rays, and chemicals. As a result, we think grey hair is dry and coarse.
Grey hair is prone to breakage. Since it is drier, the strands are also more likely to break. When it comes to heat styling and chemical uses, you should think twice before applying them to your hair.
Grey hair treatment
To be clear, there is no permanent “treatment” to grey hair because it is a natural stage that will happen sooner or later.
However, there are several things you can do to prevent premature grey hair and treat your grey hair well.
The old wives’ tale “pluck a grey hair to let the hair grow back” is no longer valid in this science-based world. It is not going to happen!
Another grey hair will soon replace the plucked strand, so it makes no sense to do. Plus, plucking can damage your hair follicles and cause sparse mane over time.
Take care of your hair
Our hair and scalp tend to get drier when it turns grey. That’s why it is essential to cut back on how often we wash our hair. If you are used to cleaning it every day, time to stop.
The last thing you want to do is to strip natural sebum from your strands. Also, time to say goodbye to heating tools as well if you don’t want your hair to get brittle.
Last but not least, choose a proper shampoo for your new friend. Look for a gentle, natural formula.
The bottom line
Grey hair causes an uneasy feeling for both men and women. While there is no way to escape this physical reminder of age, we can welcome it with understanding and proper care.