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What Causes Gray Hair?

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Old age isn’t always the reason why gray hair start coming in. Gray hair is actually different than pigmented hair. Your hair follicles generate color through pigment cells that make melanin, a dark biological pigment found in skin, hair, and eyes. As you age, these cells start to die, but they can die out sooner than others depending on a several factors. You have to factor in health, genetics, and medical conditions but many of these situations can be prevent. Gray hair can be a big wake up call for some but luckily there are way to postpone the process. 

Genetics 

Gray hair typically comes down to your genetics. If your parents started going gray at the age of 30, chances are you will too. People tend to start going gray between the ages of 45 and 65 depending on age and ethnicity, but in this case it’s completely natural for it to start appearing sooner than others. Premature graying can start as early as 20 years old according to a study. When you start seeing those gray strands pop up you may want to look into your family member timelines to see if you match up with them. If you are experiencing grey hair sooner than your family members genetics may not be the case.

Prevention:

When it comes to genetics, you can’t prevent premature gray hair. Instead, embrace your natural hair and keep it nourished. 

Stress

Oxidative stress can lead to premature gray hair as it causes imbalances in your body. “A recent study on young adults in Turkey revealed that premature grey hair is closely related to factors causing oxidative stress such as emotional stress, alcohol consumption, and chronic diseases in genetically predisposed men and women.” Such imbalances affect your molecules and react in a way that directly damages your lipids, proteins, and DNA. Since these are used to power our cells and build our bodies, damaging them through stress can ultimately change the pigmentation of your hair. 

Prevention: 

It may not be easy but you can prevent stress if you focus on way to relieve it. You may want to try meditating, reading a book, getting a massage, exercising, or trying any other natural remedies. When looking for ways to relieve stress, make sure they do not include drinking or smoking, as those are only temporary fixes that are also causes of gray hair.  

Vitamin Deficiency

All vitamin B’s, D and E are important for healthy hair, however, vitamin B12 is the most important of them all. Vitamin B12 deficiency is the most common cause of premature grey hair. This powerful vitamin helps produce red blood cells and DNA, while helping your nervous system function. These play a very important part in your hair color and can affect people of all ages.  

Prevention:

You can’t actually prevent or delay greying due to the production of melanin, but you can reverse it by intaking more Vitamin B12. Nouráge is high in both ingredients making it the perfect remedy to prevent or reverse those gray hairs.

Medical Conditions

There are a few different types of autoimmune diseases that can increase your chances of premature gray hair like alopecia areata, AI thyroid diseases and vitiligo. Autoimmune disease affects 23.5 million Americans, and nearly 80 percent of those are women. Vitiligo is actually a skin condition where patches of your skin lose pigment, however, it affects your hair color as well. Alopecia on the other hand is a disease that results in hair loss and if hair grows back, it tends to grow back white due to melanin deficiency. According to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Alabama “there is a clear connection between the genes that contribute to hair color and the genes that control the body's immune system.” 

Prevention:

The best way to prevent autoimmune disease is by consistently taking care of your body through exercise, eating healthy and supplements. You want to make sure to nourish your body with enough essential vitamins and nutrients. It’s also important to avoid environmental toxins and anything else that may be detrimental to you health.

Smoking

You may have heard people say “smoking ages you”. Well, it’s very much true. Studies have shown that smokers are 2 1/2 times more likely to start graying before age 30 compared to non-smokers.

Prevention:

The obvious way to prevent gray hair in this case is to not smoke tobacco. If this is difficult for you, there are many ways to manage your cigarette cravings, like exercise, chew gum, and keep your mind busy with healthy habits. 

 

Sources:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320288#takeaway

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6029974/

https://www.nature.com/articles/nature10368

https://www.genome.gov/news/news-release/NIH-researchers-link-graying-hair-and-the-immune-system

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/autoimmune-disease-why-is-my-immune-system-attacking-itself