What Causes Graying Hair
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Take a look at the pictures of Barack Obama before he was elected President of the United States and after the retirement. Notice one major difference? His used-to-be-all-dark hair has turned into an almost totally gray head. Now, I can almost hear you ask the logical “Does stress cause gray hair question”. In this post, I will go into the issue of what causes gray hair in detail.

You’ve probably heard that a lot of factors make for hair graying causes. Your lifestyle choices, stress level, genetics, ethnicity and even environmental issues are what causes your hair to turn gray. In this particular post, I will let you in on the complete list of these factors, sharing with you my time-proven gray hair prevention tips, hacks and remedies. Furthermore, I’ll touch upon the topic of premature gray hair causes and preventative measures.

Here are some of the questions I will answer for you in this post:

  • Does stress really cause gray hair?
  • What causes premature graying of hair?
  • Does pulling gray hair cause more to grow?
  • What vitamin deficiency causes premature gray hair?

Those first few tresses of grays on your head are far from being the apple of your eye. Whether they pop up in your late 20s or in your mid-30s, they remind you of getting older. In some cases, however, gray hair may be a sign of something more than just your biological age. Grey hair could signal one of the health issues I’ll be talking about below. Read on, let this knowledge set your mind free — and stimulate you to take decisive action.

7 Major Causes of Gray Hair

While many ladies out there skip the dye and proudly flaunt their silver strands, others fearfully delay the aging process at least a little bit longer. The silver lining here is that if you happen to fall into the latter group, chances are high that you can effectively prevent gray hair. To do that, you first need to learn all about what causes graying hair. And I’m here to provide you with science-based info on this topic as well as help you keep your crowning glory looking and feeling its best. So, let’s start with what cause gray hair.

Genetics: When Gray is in Your Genes

Wondering about the causes of early graying of hair? One of them can definitely be found in your genes. Look at your Mom and Dad, as well as your grandparents. That way, you can easily predict at what age you will start getting silver locks. In case either your Mom or Dad (or both) went gray in their late 20s, chances are high your tresses will turn white at approximately the same age.

Just like with premature hair loss, genetics really is one of the main early gray hair causes. According to a 2016 study, a gray hair gene was discovered by scientists. This outstanding discovery gives them the possibility to get answers to more specific questions about gray hair prevention and treatment. And, as a bonus, this study can give you a definitely-yes answer to your nagging ‘Does hydrogen peroxide cause gray hair?’ question.

For now, genetics is something you cannot change. However, scientists may get a little bit closer to figuring out how to effectively delay or even reverse the hair graying process. In the meantime, you can always dye your gorgeous mane if you’re not very much into rocking silver locks. Before you start, don’t forget to learn how to color and cover gray hair easily at home.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy, or Can Stress Cause Gray Hair?

They say that Marie Antoinette’s strands had turned white the night before she was executed by guillotine. It’s assumed that the stress from her inevitable death caused her mane to totally lose its color within mere hours. Actually, scientists claim that it’s a myth but at the same time, do admit that stress can (indirectly) cause gray hair. So, does stress really cause gray hair or is this theory way too far-fetched?

The thing is, chronic stress is linked to excessive hair loss. And after you’ve lost a considerable amount of your tresses due to stress, the hair that grows back may lose its pigment (read as: turn gray). That is especially true if you’re in your late 40s or older. So, aside from Googling the eternal why-does-stress-cause-gray-hair question, don’t forget to empower yourself with details on how to prevent gray hair.

With regard to Marie Antoinette, according to another legend, she had been silver-headed all along and decided to take off her wig before the execution. At the end of the day, scientists are sure to swear by this theory.

Autoimmune Disease & Gray Hair: Sometimes They Go Together

Why and how gray hair is linked to the immune system is the question that has been stirring the minds of scientists for some time. Today, it has been proven that an autoimmune condition is also what causes premature gray hair. Alopecia and vitiligo, for instance, are among the most frequent autoimmune diseases that can cause gray hair.

People suffering from these diseases run the risk of partially losing their hair due to their immune system attacking their hair follicles. Often, their hair grows back completely white. Nearly 7 million people in the USA suffer from alopecia. If one day you notice suspicious hair loss or a bald area on your scalp, rush to your dermatologist as soon as possible.

Smoking Causes Gray Hair: One More Reason to Finally Quit

You probably know that smokers run the increased risk of getting lung cancer and heart condition. But did you know that you can one day smoke your way to premature gray hair? Well, it really is true! Smoking narrows your blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the hair follicles. In the long run, a self-induced cause of graying hair is what you get as a present from your favorite cigarette brands.

Furthermore, already silver-headed smokers can make their hair turn yellowish if they don’t give up on this ugly habit. According to a recent study, smokers are 2 ½ times more likely to get grays in their late 20s than people who cannot stand cigarette smoke.

In fact, doctors say that smoking is one of the most hazardous things you can do for your skin. We’ve heard about premature wrinkles and unattractive yellow teeth caused by smoking. Add early gray hair to that list and, perhaps, you will finally consider quitting. By the way, smoking is also closely associated with premature baldness.

Exposure to Pollution: Another Gray Hair Cause

Polluted environment is also what causes hair to turn gray or white faster, according to the scientists. Pollutants and toxins we are exposed to generate free radicals preventing the making of melanin and further speeding the graying process. While it’s often impossible to avoid air or water pollution, there’s a certain minimum of measures you can take to prevent chemicals and toxins from damaging your locks.

If you want to interfere and do your best to abstain toxins from making your hair age faster than it’s supposed to, avoid hazardous chemicals in soap, shampoo and other personal care products. Make sure you opt for the best natural shampoos for ultimate hair care, drink filtered water on a regular basis and keep such air-purifying plants at home as aloe vera and bamboo.

What Else Causes Premature Gray Hair

Prior to delving into this one, I will back up. Our hair follicles produce melanin — a pigment that colors our hair (and our skin). When we age, we make less melanin, which results in gray hair. However, some of us become silver-headed at a very young age.

So, what’s too young for gray hair? In accordance with the WebMD’s Gray Hair Facts, Caucasians tend to get steel-colored locks quite early (in their mid-30s), Asians start seeing first signs of salt-and-pepper hair in their late 30s. While African Americans may not see a single gray strand in their mane up until their mid-40s.

In other words, going gray early means starting to get silvers before the above mentioned benchmarks. One of the causes for premature gray hair is closely associated with nutritional imbalance. If you’ve been Googling what deficiency causes premature gray hair, my post is just what the doctor ordered.

Scientists have found out that a vitamin B12 deficiency is responsible for the loss of hair pigment and i.e. for your prematurely graying mane. This vitamin is crucial for your body. It supplies you with energy, strengthening your hair and contributing to its healthy color. Vitamin B12 is found in fish, eggs, milk and poultry.

In addition to this, a relatively recent Epidemiological and Investigative Study of Premature Graying of Hair in pre-university students revealed that a vitamin D deficiency, as well as low serum ferritin and serum calcium levels is also what causes premature graying of hair.

The Most Common Head-Scratching Grey Hair Myths Debunked

There are two categories of silver-headed people. Those who wisely embrace their steel locks, take care of them using the best blue shampoos for gray hair and thus look absolutely chic. And there are those aging silver foxes who are terrified of looking at themselves in a mirror due to their newly arrived white strands. If you’re reading my post, chances are you’re in the latter category. Therefore, you most likely presume that Trichotillomania causes gray hair.

Taxes and gray hair is something that definitely affects our mood. There are a metric ton of myths related to gray/white hair. Have you ever wondered how much of what you know about silver strands is true? As an expert in this field, I’ve been doing my research on the topic of gray hair for a very long time. And I will gladly set the record straight on some of the most common misconceptions about gray hair for you. Ready to separate fact from fiction? Read on to empower yourself with knowledge.

Myth #1. “Pluck one grey hair out, three more will come to its funeral”

Does plucking gray hair cause more? You’re finally one minute away from getting this question answered. We’ve all watched Sex and the City and remember this fundamental statement made by Samantha. The poor girl was perhaps even more upset about her gray-hair-down-there situation than you are.

But seriously, does pulling out gray hair cause more to grow? Prepare to sit back, relax, breathe out and smile away — because it doesn’t. Still, plucking your silvers time and time again is not a good idea, because it damages the follicle and can eventually cause bald patches on your scalp. Your silver strands don’t look so bad now, do they?

Myth #2. Stress causes gray hair directly

Can stress cause gray hair? How does stress cause gray hair? You’ve probably asked yourself (and Google) these questions more than once. Today’s your lucky day, because I’ll answer them for you. There is no scientific proof to back up the gray-hair-caused-by-stress statement.

Stress (or a sudden horror) does not cause your hair to turn gray directly. Stress can cause temporary hair loss. When it grows back, it can turn out to be less pigmented than before. Therefore, stress is a contributing factor, not a direct white hair cause.

Myth #3. Excessive coloring can turn your hair gray.

Such a classic old wives tale. Believe it or not, but there’s not a shred of truth (let alone scientific evidence) behind this statement. You can still use this myth to scare your kiddos off from dyeing their hair pink, blue, purple or any other born-to-be-wildish color.

Myth #4. Your lifestyle isn’t related to your graying hair.

It definitely is. Both smoking and regular eating habits are related to premature white hair. So make sure you follow a well-balanced healthy diet — and make your kids do so — if — God forbid — you don’t want to start wondering what can cause gray hair in a child. Oh and did we mention that smoking is also what causes early gray hair? Just making sure you’re not trying to put up a smoke screen here (pun intended).

Myth #5. Gray tresses are hard to deal with.

Your silver locks are a bit more coarse than they used to be when they were pigmented. However, this doesn’t create a styling problem if you have all the necessary products and equipment. To style your silver locks with ease and maximum effect, make sure you use products containing various moisturizing components. Also, opt for styling creams rather than gels or sticky sprays if you want to keep your hair strands hydrated and gorgeous-looking throughout the day. If you prefer coloring your wonderful locks, I can wholeheartedly recommend you the very best shampoo for color-treated hair. Enjoy!

How to Prevent Premature Graying of Hair

Now that you’ve received multiple empowering answers to your colorful ‘What are the causes of gray hair?’ questions, it’s time to think about preventative measures. So, you’ve noticed a couple of grays in the mirror and are now looking to prevent the issue from snowballing out of control? I’ve got your back covered. I can promise you that if you make a few important lifestyle decisions, you can effectively stave off both the causes of gray hair in 30s and the results.

Here’s what you can do to prevent early gray hair:

  1. Make sure you get enough vitamins. We’ve already figured out what vitamin deficiency causes gray hair. Let this become your fine starting point. Make sure you eat enough beef, fish, eggs and other animal products to prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency. If you realize that you’re not getting enough vitamins through your food, consider taking vitamin supplements. Vegans should be especially focused on this issue if they want to prevent their mane from turning gray too early.
  2. Massage your scalp with egg oil. Develop a habit of massaging your scalp with egg oil twice a week. Leave it overnight for a better effect. It’s a superb natural grey hair remedy.
  3. Take good care of your hair. No one has ever completely won a fight with ageing. But you can do your best to trick it for as long as possible. Remember that unhealthy hair falls out fast. When new hair grows back, it usually has less melanin than the original tresses – you’ve already figured out how it pans out in the long run. So, if you’re into hair extensions, make sure you find an excellent professional who can put them in properly. Let your locks air dry every now and then. Be gentle with your tresses, because even brushing through your wet tangles can cause them to fall off excessively.
  4. Opt for natural remedies to strengthen your hair. Scientists won’t support you on this one, but there are certain natural remedies produced in India that are very effective in preventing gray hair — and hair loss. Amla, Black sesame, Blackstrap molasses, Nettle leaf are just a few of them. I personally love using Amla-based natural shampoos and enjoy other Ayurvedic treatments to help you deal with premature hair graying. Highly recommended!
  5. Stop smoking already. Seriously. Stop.

Going Gray? You’ve Got the Power Now!

Now that you’ve finally stopped bombarding your favorite search engine with never-ending questions like ‘What is the cause of premature gray hair?’, ‘Can stress really cause gray hair?’ or ‘Can hair gel cause gray hair?’, it’s time to take action. Get enough sleep. Exercise on a regular basis. Drink more water. Keep up to a healthy balanced diet. If you’ve made the decision to embrace your gray hair and rock silver locks on a regular basis, arm yourself with excellent hair care products and the best purple shampoos on the market.

With all the knowledge I’ve shared on what causes graying of the hair, you’ve got more power to fight ageing than you think. If you don’t want to miss out on further powerful grey hair-related posts written by me, make sure you bookmark our website — preferably the Gray hair tips section. I will be happy to address your problem personally if you decide to share it with me via the comment box below. I absolutely love sharing my experience with you.

And, last but not least… What about your thoughts on gray hair causes and remedies? Did you get your first silvers in your 30s? In your situation, what is gray hair caused by? Do you still think stress causes gray hair? Perhaps, you have further questions about making your silver mane look healthy and gorgeous. Comment below and I will get back to you with answers as soon as possible.

Hi there! My name is Monica, I'm a professional hairstylist and a women's success coach. And this is my official blog. Here I’m writing about new styling tools, hair products, and the latest things in hairdressing

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