Greying and whitening of hair is a normal process after 35 years. Although for some people and especially for men, grey hair is something attractive, for the majority of people is rather than pleasant. But what does it cause hair to become grey and what can we do in order to delay greying?
Why hair do become grey?
Normal hair containing melanocytes that produce melanin, giving the characteristic color of hair. Over the years, the concentration and functionality of melanocytes decreases resulting hair gradually to become colorless (white). Gray hair are usually characterized by few melanocytes and white one with no melanocytes at all.
Causes graying hair
Although graying is a normal process, there are many external factors that accelerate the process. There are several autoimmune diseases that cause premature discoloration of hair, such as vitiligo.
To a large extent, like hair loss, graying of hair is due to hereditary causes. However there are many acquired factors that could aggravate or cause earlier than expected graying of hair. Common causes are:
- Anxiety. Contributes to premature aging of both hair and skin. Interferes with hormone production mechanisms and leads to death of melanocytes.
- Smoking. Studies have shown that people who smoke are more likely to advance their hair turn gray.
- Lack of antioxidant and trace elements. Poor nutrition and especially, lack of certain trace elements such as antioxidants, amino acids, calcium, copper, iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid, weaken hair, leading to death of melanocytes.
- Hair care products. They contain chemicals, particularly products for bleaching, which cause damage to hair, reducing the functionality of melanocytes.
- Genetic predisposition and age. As we get old body slows down the production of antioxidant enzymes and amino acids, which inevitably leads to gray hair.
- Sun. Melanin of hair reacts with sunlight, which in turn causes free radicals and photoaging of hair.
Natural solutions for treating gray hair
Recently, several studies have highlighted a gene responsible for grey hair. It is called IRF4 and scientists hope to create targeted therapeutic solutions that will help resolve or even delay greying of hair.
- Focus on vitamin B12, vitamin D, zinc and iron.
- Increase consumption of antioxidants, such as vitamin A, C and E.
- Protect hair from solar radiation. Use special hair sunscreen with filters against UVA and UVB radiation.
- Increase superfoods consumption, which will feed your body with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, reducing oxidative stress.
- Use nutritional supplements with catalase, a substance that enhances the production of melanin by melanocytes of hair, by breaking hydrogen peroxide.
- Stop smoking.