Like hair loss, greying hair for some can be an extremely unwelcome development. What causes it and what can be done?

 

Why Does Hair Turn Grey

For starters, hair does not turn grey. Grey is the colour that is left when the original colour of the hair is no longer supplied in the follicle. So grey hair is hair without any colour. But if the question is not what turns my hair grey then what is it? The right question to ask is what stops my hair being coloured? Now we have cleared up that small technicality we can move on to the seriously challenging question as we take look at the the complexity of hair growth and how can manifest as grey hair or worse… no hair. Like hair loss, grey hair is typically bought on by hereditary factors. If, as a young man, you are attending a family event and notice a high incidence of men with grey hair or bald men, there is a real probability that you will soon be joining them, if you have not already done so. This are broadly described as genetic, or hereditary factors. Either is a simplified term for a mind-bogglingly complicated business… so far scientists have associated well over 200 individual genes that have an influence on our hair. Because it is genetic we can observe characteristics which can be associated with ethnic groups. Men with red hair will lose hair colour first, followed by the rest of the caucasians, followed by Asians and with Africans last.

Beyond Genetics

There are lifestyle influences that can play a part in greying hair, so don’t simply assume that your hair has turned grey and there is nothing to be done, that is far from the truth. Stress is an increasing problem in society and associated with both hair loss and greying, but is eminently treatable. Poor diet and smoking (always smoking) are also credited with damaging the production of melanin which is at the heart of colour production in the follicle, that complicated little item containing 20 unique cells. There are also medical conditions that can result in grey hair: thyroid problems, autoimmune disorders and Vitiligo. Then there are alcohol and drug addictions along with vitamin deficiencies… all of which are capable of triggering problems.

HIS Hair Clinic

A simply rule of thumb might be that if you are under the age of 35 and find that you are prematurely greying, or losing hair come to that, a trip to your doctor is your best first step. Get checked out for that list of things that might be an underlying cause… and get the appropriate treatment. If your tests all come back clear then you can be confident that yours is a hereditary condition about which you can deal with as you see fit and feel comfortable with… which might be to reach for the dye or to embrace the new distinguished self – if it’s good enough for Brad Pitt you will probably be OK. If you would like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, simply complete the contact form at the side of this page or click here to find your nearest clinic.  

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By Ian Watson

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