The appearance of premature grey hair is caused by a loss of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its colour. While there’s nothing wrong with going grey, there are things one can do to slow down the process.
Why does hair go grey?
Hair turns grey or white from a loss of melanin. Melanin is a pigment-producing component that, among other things, gives colour to our hair, skin and eyes.
In most people, going grey is a natural process that comes with ageing. The age and rate at which this happens differs from person to person because of genetics. In addition, there are a few risk factors that cause premature grey hair:
- Diet. An unhealthy diet produces many negative effects in our body, including our hair. In particular, insufficient intake of vitamin D and B has detrimental effects on the health of our hair.
- Stress. There are many studies that point to a link between stress and health problems, and premature hair loss is one of them.
- Heart problems. This issue is predominantly found in men and can have serious consequences. Periodical check-ups are always advisable.
- Alcohol and tobacco consumption. There are many reasons to quit drinking and smoking, and premature greying is yet another one.
How to prevent premature grey hair?
In addition to the above, we can help prevent or delay the appearance of premature grey hair by:
- Iron. Essential for the body’s growth and development, this mineral is also fundamental for hair. Several studies link its deficiency to hair loss.
- Sun protection. While some sun exposure is healthy, too much can, amongst other things, structurally damage hair.
- Catalese. Catalase is an enzyme and a lack of it is linked to hair turning grey.
- Diet. Fruit and vegetables are almost always important for tackling health problems. For battling premature grey hair, it is recommended we reduce the consumption of fats and increase our intake of natural antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables.
- Exercise. Exercise keeps us healthy inside and out, and this includes our hair.
- Natural hair products and care. Chemical dyes and repeated heat are not just unhealthy for our hair but may also help bring about premature greying. We recommend hair be kept as natural as possible, without colour dying of any sort and without the use of straighteners and curling irons.