How does your hair turn gray?

Our hair all turns gray at some point in our life. In some people, it happens sooner rather than later. The hair goes gray when the cells responsible for the production of pigment fail to do their job. In other people, they people have hydrogen peroxide building up in their hair as a kind of natural bleaching agent. In general, gray hair happens to white people in their mid-30s while people of the Asian descent only notice gray hair in their late 30s and those who are African-Americans are not likely to have gray hair until their mid-40s. It’s considered premature graying if a white person has gray hair by the age of 20 or if an African-American has it before 30.

What causes your hair to turn gray too early?

Genetic factors

Your genes contribute greatly to when your hair turns gray. If you have a family history of premature graying, then it’s likely that you will follow the path. Additionally, your genes also decide how fast the graying progresses, and whether your hair turns silver or just white.

Medical conditions

Premature graying may be caused by anemia, vitiligo or a deficiency in vitamin B12. People with pituitary or thyroid gland problems are also more prone to premature graying.

Tobacco consumption

Studies have found a connection between premature graying and smoking. A 2010 study suggests that those who smoke are two and a haft times more likely to have gray hair in their early age. Since the chemicals in smoke can harm the hair cells, smoking also comes with an increased risk of baldness.

Stress levels

Although there is not enough evidence to link stress to premature graying, scientists believe stress hormones may have a negative impact on the cells in charge of producing pigment in the hair, causing it to turn gray earlier. However, stress does lead to hair fall. So, if you want to keep your hair in good shape, it’s best to control your stress levels.

What can you do about gray hair?

Want to conceal your gray hair? Here are some options:

  • Semi-permanent or demi-permanent color lasts for a few weeks and is a good option for those who just have gray hair.
  • Highlights can be used to blend your gray strands with the rest of your hair, making the gray color less standing out.

  • Permanent color is recommended if you have nearly half of your hair gray already.

  • Some hair products offer a temporary coverage. You can just spray it on your hair to conceal the gray hair when you want and wash it off with your shampoo later.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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