Graying of hair is an event associated with growing old. But nowadays, thanks to the stressful lifestyle and toxic environment, graying of hair can also be seen at an early age.
Do you ever wonder how does a black hair turn to white? The answer lies in a chemical called melanin, found in the core of each hair. Graying of hair is a natural process, at a certain age, however, the amount of melanin pigment reduced and eventually stops that will result to gray or whitening of hair.
There are many factors that cause premature graying. A number of medical conditions, as well as lifestyle choice, have been associated to graying of hair at an early stage. While it is believed that this happens naturally with age, in those who experience premature graying, this can be a result of genetics and external factors as well.
Genetics – It is the predominant factor in determining what age your hair loses pigment and turns white. It can happen as early as 20 years old and for some white hair appears rather late.
Hormonal Imbalance – One’s hormonal imbalance such as those related to thyroid malfunction, anemia, and Vitamin deficiency has been linked to the early appearance of white hair. Insufficient Vitamin C, vitamin E and especially Vitamin B12 may cause premature graying.
Smoking – Frequent smoking is also linked in premature graying of hair. One of the major causes of free radicals in the body is smoking. These free radicals causes oxidative stress leading to decrease in the pigmenting capacity of the melanin, which of course will result to hair whitening.
Poor Diet – Insufficient diet or eating unhealthy foods like processed foods and junk foods are a big no no. Processed foods especially junk foods accelarates aging and results in loss of hair colors.
Unknown Factors – In one of the book I’ve read (Fundamentals of Anatomy and Physiology), great frights, like being in a serious plane or car accident, can cause people’s hair to change color and go gray or white. This occurs quite rarely. We do not know what physiologic processes are triggered that cause this to occur, other than the trauma of such an experience.
Graying of hair can be slowed down by doing these simple steps:
- Eat more dark green vegetables, oranges, and yellow fruits. Include these healthy foods in your daily diet. Lessen your caffeine intake, instead drink an antioxidant-rich green tea.
- Color it or dare to bare it. You could use a temporary hair coloring like henna. For a semi-permanent solution, use a hair coloring kit to hide your gray hair.
Whatever your hair color might be, nourishment and proper groomin is very important to keep your hair healthy and shiny from roots to tips. Use a hair shampoo and conditioner that suits your hair type.