As we age, it’s natural for our hair to grey. But sometimes grey hairs can appear prematurely, making us look older than we are. While the change in our natural hair colour can be caused by certain factors such as genetics and age, there can also be underlying causes, such as stress, illness, and certain medications, that lead to premature greying.
It’s very important to know what causes greying hair follicles and how to avoid bad practices to prevent premature greying. Hang around to see our tips and tricks for healthy hair.
What Causes Grey Hair?
People often associate grey hair with age, but the two are not necessarily related. Everyone’s hair follicles contain pigment cells that produce melanin. This pigment gives hair its colour. As we age, the hair follicles begin to produce less melanin. This causes the hair to turn grey.
There are a number of factors that can contribute to the premature greying of hair, including genetics, stress, smoking, and certain medical conditions.
- Oxidative Stress
While a little bit of stress is a normal part of life, chronic stress can take a toll on our physical and mental health in several ways. One often-overlooked side effect of stress is premature greying of the hair. Pigment cells in the hair follicle are responsible for producing pigment, or colour.When these cells are damaged or destroyed, pigment can no longer be produced, and the hair turns grey. While this process is normally gradual, it can be accelerated by stress. Chronic stress can lead to permanent damage to pigment cells, resulting in premature greying that is difficult to reverse.
For many of us, the first signs of ageing are a few grey hairs mixed in with our natural colour. While there can be several causes of premature greying, the most common cause is genetics. If your parents or grandparents started to develop grey hair at an early age, it’s likely that you will too.
- Hair Dyes
Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used in hair dyes as it helps to lighten the hair. However, hydrogen peroxide can also cause damage to the melanin in the hair, resulting in grey hair. Over time, repeated bleaching can damage the hair follicles, leading to permanent greying.In addition, hydrogen peroxide is a very harsh chemical and can irritate the scalp. If you dye your hair regularly, it’s important to use a gentle, hydrogen peroxide-free formula to avoid damaging your hair and causing premature greying.
- Hair Health
Just as the health of our skin and nails is a reflection of our overall health, the condition of our hair can be an indicator of our recent health history. Many external factors can damage hair, such as heat styling, over-processing with colour treatments, and exposure to harsh chemicals. Internal factors, such as stress and hormonal imbalances, can also take a toll on your hair health. One common sign of poor hair health is premature greying.While many different factors can contribute to this change in colour, one of the most important is hair health. Dead, damaged, or unhealthy hair is much more likely to turn grey than healthy hair. This is because the cells that give hair its colour, known as melanocytes, are some of the most vulnerable cells in the body. When these cells are damaged or unhealthy, they produce less pigment, resulting in grey or white hair.
How to Prevent Gray Hair?
For many people, grey hair is simply a natural ageing process. As we get older, our hair follicles produce less melanin, resulting in lighter-coloured hair. Genetics can also play a role in when and how much grey hair we develop.
However, there are lifestyle factors that can influence the greying process as well. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for preventing grey hair, but by understanding the causes and trying natural remedies, you can help to keep your hair in good health.
- Stop smoking
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health, and your hair is no exception. Smokers are more likely to develop grey hair prematurely than non-smokers, and the reason is thought to be the harmful chemicals in cigarettes. In addition to causing premature grey hair, smoking also contributes to certain hair problems such as early hair loss. It’s never too late to quit smoking, and doing so can help prevent grey hair and keep your locks looking healthy and lustrous.
- Reduce Oxidative Stress
While many external factors can cause premature greying (such as smoking or over-processing hair with harsh chemicals), one of the most common causes is psychological stress. When we experience stress, our bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which can trigger several changes in our appearance. To prevent premature greying, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in our lives. This might involve:
- Simplifying your schedules
- Spending time with your loved ones
- Taking up a relaxation practice such as yoga or meditation
- Establishing a fun exercise routine. If you find yourself frequently stressed out, it may be worth talking to a counsellor or therapist.
- Hair Care Routine
If you’re worried about premature greying, there are a few things you can do to help prevent it. First, it’s important to keep up with a healthy hair routine. This means being mindful of how you manage wet hair, using hair oil or mask, and getting regular trims. Secondly, try to avoid harsh chemicals that can damage your hair. This includes hair dyes and bleaches, as well as straighteners and curling irons. If you use these products, be sure to use them sparingly and follow all directions carefully. Finally, consider trying a herbal hair treatment. Traditional medicine offers a variety of herbal remedies that are said to help prevent premature greying. If you’re looking for a natural way to help prevent grey hair, it’s worth giving one of these treatments a try.
- Schedule Checkups
Checking in with a Trichologist can help you to identify the cause of your grey hair and take steps to prevent further hair loss. Trichologists are experts in the field of hair and scalp health, and they can help determine the cause of your grey hair.In some cases, grey hair may be caused by vitamin deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. These can be easily treated with supplements or lifestyle changes. However, grey hair may also be a sign of more serious conditions. By scheduling regular checkups with a Trichologist, you can catch these conditions early and seek treatment before they lead to further hair damage.
- Eat The Right Thing
Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep all help to keep your hair healthy and prevent premature greying. Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, in addition to staying hydrated, is crucial for healthy hair growth, so be sure to drink enough water throughout the day and consume moderate amounts of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.