The Science Behind Gray Hair and How to Hack it Naturally
Most of us aren’t exactly looking for gray hair anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean it won’t show up anyway.
While it may have been a trend of the youth a couple of years ago, natural gray hair is often something people fight against until they feel it is a fitting look in their golden years.
There are natural hacks you can use to help reverse gray hair now.
If you are starting to notice the silver strands and feel too young for gray hair, then you may want to learn more about what causes hair to turn gray and how you can help reverse the de-pigmentation.
Rather than try to achieve a natural look with a bottle of dye or keep up with your roots every few weeks at the hairdressers, reversing the graying process is your best bet to reinstate your normal color.
This blog will go over what causes the graying and how you may be able to restore your hair to its former glory.
What Causes Gray Hair?
Your hair contains pigment cells that are called melanocytes. These pigment cells give your hair it’s color, which is also called melanin. If you stop producing the melanin in your hair, it will start to turn gray.
Many people start noticing their grays in their 30s.
According to the Library of Congress, your chances of going gray increase by 10-20% every decade after you turn 30.
Your Body’s Natural Hydrogen Peroxide
One reason your hair could go gray is because of hydrogen peroxide buildup. In the human body, hydrogen peroxide is produced primarily in three places, the lungs, gut, and thyroid gland.
When the immune system is activated in response to bacteria, large amounts of hydrogen peroxide are produced to fight the infection. Then a hardworking enzyme produced by the liver, called catalase breaks down the remaining hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water.
When catalase stops performing well, such as slowing down due to age, the hydrogen peroxide doesn’t get broken down into water and oxygen and starts to accumulate within your body, including within your hair follicles.
Hydrogen peroxide naturally bleaches the hair.
Word to the wise: DON’T try to bleach your own hair using hydrogen peroxide or your hairdresser may hate you. While it DOES significantly lighten your hair when combined with the sun, it can damage the cuticle and react poorly with bleach or color on your next visit (green/yellow hair anyone?).
Stress Levels Impact Color
It has long been a saying that increased stress (especially having teens) can make you go gray. Turns out there is actually something to that saying.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a study in 2020 found that stress caused hair graying because it reduced the production of melanocytes stem cells. They tried out three forms of stress:
- Short-term pain
- Psychological stress
- Restricted Movement
All three forms of stress led to noticeable graying. Interestingly enough, changing the levels of the stress hormone corticosterone didn’t seem to make any noticeable impact on the graying process.
Instead, it is the same neurotransmitter that is produced by the adrenal glands when our bodies are triggered into “fight or flight” mode due to stress or real or perceived danger. When released into the body this neurotransmitter has been directly linked to the phenomena of hair turning grey due to stress.
It only takes a few days of stress before this neurotransmitter impacts the melanocyte stem cells and causes serious damage to the hair.
Genetics and Gray Hair
While some of this can be tied to genetics, graying hair isn’t always due to unavoidable characteristics. One study in 2016 found that the interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4) gene was responsible for melanin.
The research hasn’t pinned down exactly how the IRF4 gene affects premature greyness in some and not in others.
Genetics gets blamed for a lot, but sometimes this is only a block to finding a solution. If genetics are responsible, then the issue often gets written off as being unsolvable.
So, while it is possible for genetics to be at play, you don’t want to write off your options too quickly.
Treatments for Gray Hair
There are options for treating your hair. You may be able to stop the damage and revert your hair color back to its original state.
Reducing the Stress
One of the best ways to treat your body well is to reduce the stressors that will cause the “fight or flight” reaction.
- Eating healthy meals
- Getting exercise
- Getting sleep
- Taking vitamins if you have deficiencies
- Trying to cut unnecessary stressors out of your life
By treating your body well, you can improve your hair.
Stress typically takes around 3-6 months to have a visible impact on your hair, so don’t expect the changes to simply revert overnight.
Treat Your Hair Well
Choose More Hair Naturally products for a healthier approach to your hair care routine.
The More Hair Naturally Starter Kit Plus offers incredible savings on our four most popular products!
This kit is perfect for starting a more natural approach to gentle cleansing and restored hair health.
Not only will this kit help thicken your hair, it will balance your scalp health to help start hair nourishment from the very root.
It naturally helps combat the results of high-stress or increased levels of hydrogen peroxide that could be causing your hair graying.
Using a multi-complex formulation of triple enzymes, proteins, plant stem cells and botanical extracts, More Hair Naturally brings science and nature together for a truly powerful result. Your hair can be stronger, softer, thicker, shinier AND healthier.
Start treating your hair right with the More Hair Naturally system.
- Our gentle shampoo is highly moisturizing as it cleanses and protects the scalp.
- The strengthening and hydrating conditioner makes your hair more manageable, soft and vibrant.
- More Hair Naturally 9 DHT build-up on the scalp and other damaging hormones that can impact hair growth.
- Hair & Scalp Synergy works to support the scalp and hair follicles on the deepest level.
Try this system today to see what it can do for the overall health of your hair and scalp.
You will feel so much better when your hair is healthy, thick and luxurious once again.
*Disclaimer: Advice and recommendations given on this website or in personal consultation by phone, email, in-person, online coaching, or otherwise, is at the reader's sole discretion and risk. Information presented on this website is not to be interpreted as any kind of attempt to prescribe or practice medicine. These statements and information have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product offerings are intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult with a competent, fully-informed medical professional or health practitioner when making decisions having to do with your health. This blog is for educational purposes only.