Premature hair greying is always a hot topic simply because entire populations turn 30 every year. From there on, the probability of growing grey hair rapidly increases year after year, simply because everybody is bound to turn grey. Unfortunately, some people are predisposed or exposed to factors that increase their likelihood to grow grey hair much earlier than most people their age. Some people, men with grey hair most especially, are able to stay demure and stylish with grey hair but some, women in particular, feel robbed unfairly robbed of their youth.
Causes Of Premature Hair Greying
Unlike other natural phenomena ordinary people go through everyday, there’s still more speculation than facts circulating about what causes gray hair. Evidence may be short and even mostly lacking but it seems that there’s higher probability that the underlying causes of grey hair are close to impossible to reverse once the damage has been done.
Physiologically, what you must know is that grey hair is the result of a significant loss of melanin which, like for your skin, is also responsible for giving your hair its natural color. Declining melanin in your hair has been linked to the same factors blamed for skin dullness, as well as hypo and hyper pigmentation. The causes of grey hair are listed below:
1. Genetic. What has been strongly observed is that premature growth of ash grey hair runs in families, leaving researchers strongly convinced that this natural physiological phenomenon has genetic underpinnings. This assumption has driven scientists to set out in search of the gene responsible for turning hair grey.
A study that also aimed to identify the gene that made greying hair strongly associated with family histories observed a specific gene previously associated with blonde hair to be responsible for grey hair as well. The study involved 6,000 Latin Americans. This strengthens early theories about the genetic causes of greying hair.
2. Ethnicity. Closely related to genetics, regional descent can also influence how soon or how late you’ll start seeing black and grey hair growing side-by-side on your scalp. Most white people will grow grey hair long before their Asian and African American counterparts,. Again, the major determining factor is the amount of melanin naturally produced by the skin.
3. Nutrient Deficiency. Grey hair has also been linked to deficiency of some vital vitamins. Decreased levels of B vitamins, particularly Vitamin B12, which ensures that the body, including your hair strands receive sufficient amounts of oxygen to power up normal functioning, that includes regrowing and regenerating your hair. One study published in the International Journal of Trichology in 2013 observed a relationship between greying hair and deficiencies in Vitamin B12, as well as Vitamin D3, calcium, iron, and ferritin. Another study went as far as suggesting that greying hair could be a symptom of osteopenia, a disease characterized by low bone density which can eventually lead to the development of osteoporosis.
4. High Oxidative Stress. Studies have also associated greying hair with the presence of high oxidative stress which generally increases with aging. Higher levels of free radicals in the body and the simultaneous decline in the presence of protective antioxidants cause cellular and structural damages that degrade cells, including cells found on your hair.
One study supports this association and recommends to further explore the role of antioxidants, particularly the use of topical melatonin in countering the damaging cellular effects of antioxidants to prevent strand, bulb and follicle damage. In turn, improved prevention strategies help you keep your natural hair color longer.
5. Smoking. This generally unhealthy vice has been linked to the development of diseases. It generally compromises your body’s immune response. A study published in 2013 in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal specifically set out to find out, “Does smoking cause premature hair graying?” The researchers concluded that a clear link exists between smoking and the age when you might need to cover gray hair.
6. External Stress. Another cause related to your body’s immune response, fight or flight, to be exact, may also be an underlying cause for your sudden need to use hair color to cover grey hair. A study published in 2017 made the connection using data collected from young women who were undergoing stress in real-life in the form of a forthcoming exam. The researchers noted significant changes in a number of hair parameters observed and concluded that hair stress, among other hair parameters, are affected by so-called “naturalistic” or real-life stressors.
How To Overcome Premature Hair Greying
Fortunately for you, there are a number of self-help strategies to improve your greying hair and help you prevent more strands from turning into ashen. Beyond finding the best hair dye that matches your eyes and your skin tone, listed below are easy ways you can help yourself delay the growth of grey hair:
1. Eat Green Vegetables Daily. Load up on leafy greens in every meal. Make sure it makes up the biggest portion of your plate. Not even dyes that hide the grey color can beat your green, leafy veggies which contain high levels of folic acid. Folic acid supports the proper assimilation of iron, a key component required for melanin production.
Up your nutrition some more by ensuring that you get more iron, copper and Vitamin B12 from dietary sources as well. Some of the foods rich in iron and copper include lentils, potatoes, spinach, and prunes. However, these foods contain very little amounts of Vitamin B12, the nutrient that stimulates healthy regrowth and proper regeneration. You should, instead, derive Vitamin B12 from meat, dairy products, yogurt, soy, veal, and pork liver. To make the best out of the benefits of vegetables and meat in your diet, make sure you get as close to the source as possible, choose organic when available, never settle for processed foods, and make sure to prepare your dishes in healthier manners. Boil or steam rather than sautéing. It’s also best to cook them and eat them while they’re fresh.
2. Get In The Habit Of Drinking Black Tea. It improves your skin’s resilience from both internal and external causes of cellular damage. Thus, it also works by revitalizing your the cells involved in your body’s natural production of melanin. When these mechanisms are restored to their optimal levels of function, your hair can regain its health, vibrance and color. So, rather than asking, “How to get rid of grey hair?” you should put in more effort to preventing greying from happening to your hair at all.
3. Eat More Fresh Fruits. Among the many benefits of fruits in your diet is that these, most especially citrus fruits, contain very high levels of antioxidants that help your body fight stress, neutralize free radicals, and protect the integrity of your cells to help maintain your body’s optimal functioning.
4. Eat Dried Fruits Daily. Dried fruits contain very high levels of copper. Copper is responsible for giving your hair its natural hair color. Add seeds to your dried fruit snacks which are just as rich in copper content as your dried fruits. In fact, it’s so easy to preserve your favorite fruits. All you need is a dehydrator. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for operating the appliance closely and choose a variety of fruits and even veggies to dehydrate. Keep in airtight jars or store in ziploc packages.
5. Cook your food with mustard oil which contains omega 3 fatty acid. The benefits of mustard go beyond the heart health benefits that olive oil or canola oil have been reputed for. Mustard oil also contains very high levels of alpha linolenic acid, an Omega-3 fatty acid, that supports faster, more effective cell repairs that, among other cellular mechanisms, helps regrow your skin back to its optimal level of health. Other than cooking with mustard, you can also mix it with henna to help hide your greying strands. On a more regular basis, mix mustard oil with coconut oil and apply on strands and scalp for deep conditioning.
Why does hair turn gray? Nobody really knows except that it’s one of the inevitable consequences of aging that everybody has learned to accept — and, you should too. A hair dye can only give you a temporary quick fix that can last you up to three weeks. Good nutrition and healthy eating habits, on the contrary, give you more sustainable results that do not just help you keep your natural hair color but also boost your general health. What else could be better than that?