Going Grey Already? Here's What You Should Know About Your Greying Hair

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Grey hair is a common thing we see among the elderly. Have you ever been curious as to how our hairs switch colours?

Spotting a wiry grey hair in your lush locks can be a rude awakening to what lies ahead, especially if you’re still in your early 20s. And yes, it could be a sign of early ageing. But there are many things that make your hair grey other than growing old!

We tell you what you can do about grey hair (if you think a glorious silver mane is so yesterday, that is).

But first…

Things That Make Your Hair Grey

You may already know that hair colour is determined by different pigments within the hair-strand.

But interestingly, hair doesn’t just turn grey. Hair is produced by melanocytes, or hair follicles. These cells are genetically programmed to create hair with a certain colour.

There are still some glamorous ways to use grey hair though, like this stylish silver mane!

However, exposure to different factors, such as age or disease can damage these said follicles, leading to less colour being produced, which why they seem grey.

In addition, stress might be partly responsible for the greying of hair since it causes regular hair to shed three times as fast. 

So basically, your hair whitens because the cells that make the pigments for colour (melanin) are either dead or damaged. 

Leading trichologist Madeleine Preston speaks to Cosmopolitan and lists the following additional reasons, which might explain why your hair is turning grey early. 

  • Genes. Nutrients and hormones influence how quickly your hair becomes grey. However, most of the time your genes are the biggest determinant as to whether your hair will turn grey earlier or later.
  • Age. Most women over 30 will see a few grey hairs. By 50, it is quite likely that half your head of hair will turn grey.
  • Inheritance. Did your parents or grandparents develop grey hair earlier than most people? If so, it is possible that you might too. Among races, caucasians appear to develop grey hair rather early. 
  • Disease. Diabetes, pernicious anemia and thyroid problems are some of the medical issues that lead to the premature greying of hair.

If you have grey hair as a result of one or a combination of these factors, you’re probably wondering, “what now?” Chill. We’re just about to get there!

Hair Care: How To Maintain A Glorious Mane

1. Work on a clean and green diet 

Your hair is made up of a protein called keratin, which is essential for its fresh look. Without it, your locks lose their shine. So, it’s critical to eat more top-tier protein foods, such as eggs and fish if you want to maintain glossy tresses. 

These proteins are also made up of indispensable amino acids (ones that we can’t make in our body and have to be obtained from the diet) and dispensable amino acids (ones that we can make in our bodies).

The indispensable amino acids are far richer in animal protein and easier to absorb. 

things that make your hair grey

Remember to have a balanced diet of proteins, carbs, minerals and vitamins! Image courtesy: Shutterstock (left, right)

Also, don’t forget to keep your mineral and vitamin intake in check!

Not enough iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin D, B12 and B6 intake is a common problem among millennials. It’s important to include foods rich in these nutrients on a daily basis, especially if you think your hair is looking a bit dull, and, well, grey. 

Here’s a short list of these key vitamins and minerals that fill the gaps in your diet:

  • Iron is necessary for your blood to carry oxygen to your follicles, which stimulates growth. It can be found in egg yolks, lentils, spinach and chicken.
  • Vitamin D assists in hair follicle replacement, and can be absorbed from salmon, beef liver, mushroom and grains. 
  • Zinc encourages hair growth and is very easily lost through heavy exercise or sweating. Stock up by enjoying some lamb, turkey, pumpkin seeds or dark chocolate.
  • Vitamin B such as Biotin and Niacin, are essential in bringing back the lustre and thickness of your hair. Foods such as whole grains, avocados, legumes and eggs are rich in vitamin B complex. 

2. Don’t forget your supplements 

Multivitamin supplements are healthy hair’s best friend. We recommend supplements like Seven Seas Perfect7, which contain Omega-3s acids that has tonnes of gorgeous-hair benefits:

  • It stops hair from drying out 
  • Moisturises hair and reduces itching and flaking dandruff
  • Supplies copper to the hair, which delays hair greying by spiking melanin production 

If you’re vegetarian, it is also necessary to up your nutrient levels (especially protein and iron) by taking supplements. We recommend that you visit your doctor to understand which supplements you may need. 

3. Make some lifestyle changes 

Our hair reveals the status of our health. This means the healthier we are, the better hair we have! And this can happen when your lifestyle is all about green, fresh and organic living. Here’s how you can achieve it:

  • Being consistently energised. Hair is a non-essential tissue so if your body thinks it can use energy better elsewhere, your hair gets neglected! Preserve your energy levels with protein and carb intake every four to five hours. Research has also shown that energy levels to non-essential tissues drop past this window.
  • Getting regular checkups. Some diseases can affect the immune system, leading to not enough nutrients for optimum hair. Do remember to have regular check ups and blood tests with your GP each year, just in case. 

4. Try scalp exercises

Shampooing

Our scalps need exercise too and one way to do this is by shampooing. Some experts might advise you to shampoo daily for best results. However, shampooing too frequently can remove the natural oils from your scalp, leading to rough and dry hair. 

That being said, you can decide how often you should shampoo, depending on the type of hair you have. So if you have oily hair, you’ll probably need to wash it more frequently. But if your hair and scalp are dry, then shampooing it once a week might be enough.

Regardless, remember to massage your scalp when washing your hair, which takes us to our next point…

things that make your hair grey

Don’t forget to massage your scalp when shampooing. | Image courtesy: Shutterstock (left, right)

Scalp Massages

Ladies, another way to foster good hair growth and stimulate those follicales is to massage your scalp.

Abraham Armani, the medical director of Armani Medical Hair Restoration in Dallas explains that “gently massaging the scalp dilates the small arteries in the scalp, which directs more blood and nutrients to the root of the hair – the only part that’s alive – and hence lengthening the hair growth cycle.”

Furthermore, such massages also help you relax by reducing stress and, therefore, hair shedding. Also, less stress = less tendency to go grey!   

Other than massaging your scalp while shampooing, you can also do it before getting into the shower. Jessie Cheung, director of the Jessie Cheung MD Dermatology & Laser Center in Illinois, advises that “Women should aim for three minutes at minimum when working with both hands because that covers a larger surface area. There’s no need to use any oil or serum, either.” 

In fact, you can start from a delicate fingertip massage which, according to Dr Cheung, is “sufficient to stimulate blood flow.”

She also advises to do the following:

  • Gradually apply more pressure if you find your neck and scalp to be unusually tense
  • Begin at the ends of the hairline, massaging towards the innermost part of your head 
  • Don’t forget to knead through the outer rim of your scalp too, as this triggers lymphatic drainage

If you’re going to a social event and just have to hide those grey hairs, don’t forget to apply some natural hair dye kits at home first. Another good alternative is the trendy platinum hair which can cover the white hair while bringing out your natural beauty too! 

Sources: Harvard Health, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Medical News Today, Reader’s Digest

Also read:Here Is How You Can Choose The Perfect Haircut For Your Face Shape!

(Feature & lead image courtesy: Shutterstock)