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What Causes Grey Hair?

Our hair will inevitably turn grey at some point, but is there something we can do to help? Understanding the causes of greying hair in men and women is a great step towards slowing down the process. Read on to find out the causes of grey hair and some interesting facts to help deal with it along the way.

Why Causes Your Hair To Turn Grey?

Each individual hair follicle has a pigment in it called melanin. This is a natural chemical that gives hair its colour. As we age and due to other lifestyle factors, the melanin cells can begin to die out.

This results in new hairs growing out lighter and eventually becoming grey. Once a particular follicle stops making melanin, it will no longer make coloured hair again. This is why you may notice a few strands here and there (despite plucking them out) and then eventually more and more.

What Are The Causes Of Grey Hair?

The most common cause of grey hair is age and, therefore, it is inevitable that all of us will go grey at some point in our lives. There are also many other factors that can contribute to the process of greying hair and kill the melanin cells faster. This includes:

  • Stress

    Whilst stress doesn’t directly grey your hair, unlike what many people think, it can, however, cause your hair to shed 3 times faster than usual and this hair can then grow back grey.

  • Genetics

    This plays a big role in your hair and it is highly likely that if your parents or family members went grey at a certain age, you will probably follow and do the same.

  • Smoking

    Smoking affects the whole body and it is said that smokers are 2 ½ times more likely to go grey before the age of 30 compared to those who don’t smoke. It can also make greys look yellow.

  • Race

    On average, different races tend to turn grey at different ages. White people generally begin to grey in their mid-30s, Asians in their late-30s and Africans in their mid-40s.

  • Lack of Vitamin B12

    This vitamin causes issues with red blood cell production and mostly comes from animal sources such as meat, eggs and dairy so is common for a deficiency in vegetarians and vegans.

  • Illnesses

    Unfortunately, many illnesses can lead to greying hair, such as thyroid conditions, certain tumour conditions and vitiligo which destroys the pigment-making cells within the scalp.

  • Alopecia

    This common condition causes your hair to fall out, usually in patches or clumps. This can appear as sudden greying as the hair that is left is usually grey or white in colour.

How To Look After Grey Hair Naturally

If you don’t want to cover up the greys, you can still look after them! Grey hair is often dryer than normal, so hair oils and deep conditioners can help to fight the look of dull grey hair and help bring them back to life.

You can also use a grey hair supplement that contains natural ingredients designed to support the hair pigment and nourish the strands from within to keep them looking healthy and bright. If you want to enhance the colour of the greys and become more of a silver fox, on the other hand, then a purple-toned shampoo can be a great way to keep the hair looking vibrant.

How To Cover Grey Hairs

Firstly, if you just have a few grey hairs here and there, you can try to cover them up or conceal them. Why not try wearing a hat or sporting a new hairstyle? You can also try dyeing your hair to cover up the greys. You can visit the hair salon or there are plenty of do-it-yourself dyes that you can buy and even ones specifically created for greying hair.

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