Grey hair gathers everyone’s attention all over the world. Some people carry them with grace. However, some find it difficult to cope up with it. The greying of hair is not always a problem. Also, it is not an overnight process. It takes time to turn natural hair into grey hair. In some of the cases, hair turns grey while aging. However, grey hair is a matter of concern for a lot of people. Cases of premature graying of hair are very common these days. But, there are various myths that surround this common problem. Hence, one needs to differentiate between the myths and hard known facts.
What causes the Hair Color to Change?
Hair is developed inside hair follicles. It is a bulb-like structure. These hair follicles are present on the top layer of the head. In general terms, it is referred to as scalp. On average there are 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles present on the head. Importantly, each one of the functions separately. The hair on it owns is white in color. It means that it has no pigment. To be specific, hair color is developed from melanin. Melanin is a pigment that also decides the color of our skin. Mainly, there are two types of melanin pigment in the body. One is eumelanin which provides the black or dark brown color to the skin as well as hair. The second one is phaeomelanin which gives reddish-yellow color. Finally, the mix of these two decides the color of hair.
Why Hair turns Grey?
Having grey hair is normal with aging. But one question always arises in our head. Why do they turn grey? As we know, hair contains a pigment called melanin. Hair turns grey due to the shortage of this pigment. Hence, it is common to experience grey hair after the age of 30. Also, the frequency keeps on increasing with aging. But in some instances, grey hair is seen even in teenagers. There are some commonly observed facts related to change in hair color. These can result in premature graying of hair. These are as follows.
Sometimes, grey hair is a result of an underlying medical condition. One of them is vitamin B12 deficiency. In teenagers and people in their 20s, this is the most common cause. A decrease in the levels of B12 diminishes the production of red blood cells. As a result, the blood supply to hair follicles is reduced. Due to this, essential nutrients are not supplied to hair.
Another condition is named as vitiligo. It is responsible for damaging melanin-producing cells. In this case, the cells that produce melanin are either destroyed or lost. As a result, it leads to the graying of hair.
Alopecia is a condition in which patches of black or colored hair are lost. That results in the beginning of gray hair. Some health problems like thyroid disorder also can change the color of hair.
The genetic makeup of a person is largely responsible for the graying of hair. Premature graying is commonly seen earlier in white people. While it is a bit delayed in Asians and Africans.
Oxidative stress is due to an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are the compound that has an uneven number of oxygen atoms. That makes them open to react with others. Free radicals damage the cells producing melanin. Hence, it results in the graying of hair. And antioxidants help to balance these oxygen molecules. So, it is important to have a balance between these two. Thus, the effect of free radicals does not dominate. By this, one can prevent the graying of hair.
Smoking is not beneficial in any respect. It causes damage to almost every part of the body. People who smoke are more prone to have grey hair. Also, the tendency of gray hair is reduced in non-smokers. For this, the mechanism responsible is the production of free radicals. Smoking produces free radicals in the body including the scalp. Overall, these free radicals damage melanin-producing cells. Hence, it leads to the graying of hair.
Hair Products Loaded with Chemicals
Chemically loaded hair products also contribute to the graying of hair. These chemical products on long usage decrease the production of melanin. In some cases, they destroy melanin-producing cells. Hydrogen peroxide is the most common ingredient in hair dyes. Also, excessive use of bleaching agents on hair is harmful. These products contain ammonia majorly. That can cause grey hair in the long term.
What are the Disadvantages of Grey Hair?
Grey hair is thin as compared to natural color hair. This is because the hair shaft is the outermost part of the hair follicle. That is very thin without melanin. Without melanin, hair becomes prone to more damage. Also, ultraviolet rays along with pollution, damages the hair majorly. As a result, the hair becomes very dry and coarse.
Grey hair is not easy to color. Grey hair is very brittle. This is because they lose their tendency to absorb. Hence, it becomes hard to color gray hair.
Keeping all the things in mind, one should go for natural hair products. Nowadays a variety of natural products are available in the market. That offer several benefits and reduce the damage.