Timeless secrets to gorgeous hair. Rediscovered.

Timeless secrets to gorgeous hair. Rediscovered.

The Truth about Grey Hair

Why your hair is turning grey before it’s time, and what to do about it

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By the Hairsutras Team

If your first grey hair has made its appearance, then you know that shift you feel from within. Unlike hair thinning, hair damage or frizz, greying hair is irreversible. Along with that, it brings the baggage of ageing.  If you’re wondering how to deal with this particular hair situation, then it helps to know the real reasons behind greying.

Why does our hair turn grey?

Let us introduce you to melanin: the hero in the grey hair story.

Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its natural colour. Hair, in its basic state, is white.

When the production of this pigment stops happening, that’s when your hair grows out grey. So our hair doesn't so much “turn” grey, it stops being black (or brown) because your melanin isn’t being renewed.

It could also happen due to a natural build-up of hydrogen peroxide in your hair, which blocks the production of melanin and causes the hair to bleach itself on the inside.

So when does your hair turn grey?

As we grow older, melanin production is slower. Most women are expected to spot their first greys in the late 30s, and 50% of hair is said to turn grey by the age 50.

However, an increasing number of Indians are experiencing premature greying before the age of 30. (Link to Common Indian Hair Problems by Dr. Rashmi Shetty)

The rate at which people go grey depends largely on the genetics. It is highly possible that you’d spot your first few strands of grey around the same age as your mother did. Ethnicity can also play a part- Asians usually grey in their late-30s while Caucasians start greying in their mid-30s, and Africans in their 40s.

But other factors such as nutrition, lifestyle and hormones can play a part in reducing melanin production and inducing earlier greying. Here are a few examples:

1. Smoking

Smoking is bad for health. No new news there. But turns out, it is also guilty of significantly increasing the greys as well. A 2013 study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3673399/) found  that smoking causes free-radical damage, destroying the melanin producing glands in each hair follicle.

2. An Unhealthy Diet

Vitamin B-12 is essential to invigorate melanin producing glands. Poor nutrition will lead to its deficiency and can make the rate of greying faster.

3. Stress

Research has shown that the hormones produced during chronic stress cause inflammation and free radical damage, which curtails the production of melanin. Stress reducing activities such as exercise, meditation and a good work life balance should help curb those early sprouting greys.

* Most causes of greying are completely in your control. Be mindful of your lifestyle habits, and you will don that silvery hue only when the time is right. You can also click here  to check out some more Ayurveda hacks to combat those greys.

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SUMMARY
  • Our hair doesn't so much “turn” grey; it starts to grow out grey after the melanin pigment is exhausted
  • Most women are expected to spot their first greys in the late 30s, and 50% of hair is said to turn grey by the age 50.
  • Most causes of greying are under your control. A change in lifestyle and incorporating healthy habits should help curb those early greys.
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By the Hairsutras Team

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By the Hairsutras Team

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