Womens Health

Gray Matter

There's no getting around it. As soon as we're born we start aging. In our early thirties, the signs of aging stop being exciting and start giving us, well, gray hairs. The good news however, is that of all the traces that time leaves, gray hair is the most easily disguised. Whether you're prematurely gray or are growing grey gracefully, you can replace the gray either with your natural hair color or other shades of hair color that might bring out the highlights in your personality as well as your hair.

Why does hair turn grey?

Hair turns gray when the pigment cells in our hair follicles stop producing melanin. This is akin to the ink in a magic marker drying out. It takes ten years to go gray from the first noticeable strands. Yet some people never go completely gray.  Many people can make it well into their 60s and 70s with only partially gray hair.

Going Gray: A Question of Genetics

Although turning gray is influenced by stress and nutrition, it is largely a product of genetics. So it isn’t indicative of how soon you’re aging just whom you’re related to.

Since hair continually grows (faster in summer), dying it is not a permanent solution as the hair has to be retouched every six weeks or so. Choosing the right color sometimes takes a bit of experimentation as your own hair color affects how the target color turns out. To cover gray it’s best to choose a whole numbered color, not a fraction (for example ‘6’ not ‘5.34’).

Hair Dye Colors

Hair dye colors range from very cheap to very expensive. Like with make-up you’re often paying for the brand name. It’s better to choose a hair dye with a low level of hydrogen peroxide. Some people have allergies to hair dye so if you don’t have a lot of gray hair, a natural way to dye hair is Henna, a plant derivative. Henna adds red highlights and covers the gray without chemicals.

If you decide to grow out your gray hair, you can either cut your hair short to get rid of the color or streak it various shades so the colors are in harmony. But if you don’t mind the time and expense of always having to get to the root of the problem, there are dozens of shades to choose from, most with very colorful names which will help you show your true (and not so true) colors!

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