It’s pretty common knowledge that everyone will eventually get some gray hair, but WHY do we get gray hair in the first place?! Some say stress causes gray hair, others will say it’s nutrition or any number of things, but is there a definitive answer? Let’s find out!
As it happens, hair doesn’t actually “turn” gray at all! As you get older, your hair follicles begin to produce less pigment. According to an article by Dr. Robert Shmerling, faculty editor at Harvard Health Publishing, as your hair goes through its natural cycle of cells dying and regenerating, your hair is more likely to come in gray after age 35. If you got lucky and inherited great genes, this could be totally inaccurate! Yes, there ARE some people how there who never get gray hair. (Lucky ducks.)
That being said, stress does not directly cause gray hair! Although this is a relief, stress can cause a fairly common condition called
telogen effluvium, which causes your hair to shed about three times faster than normal. (So if you’re so stressed that your hair is falling out… It’s time for a vacation.)
This condition doesn’t cause balding, as the hair always grows back, but if you’re 35 or older and your hair is shedding like crazy, it can speed up the graying process. (Here is a more detailed article on telogen effluvium if you’re interested!)
Most people that have gray hair developed it from age-related graying, but graying hair can be an indication of illness, especially if it occurs at a young age. This is extremely rare, and when and how your hair grays is mostly dictated by inherited genes.
Stress may play a very small role in the process, but if you’re wondering whether or not you will go gray, the best thing to do is to look back at past generations in your family and when they went gray.
Does gray hair need extra care?
Contrary to popular belief, gray hair is NOT more coarse than pigmented hair. It is actually finer and thinner, as according to an article by Philip Kingsley, everyone’s hair gets thinner and more fine as we age. The reason why gray hair might feel more coarse is because the oil glands in the scalp that produce hydrating sebum produce less with age.
With gray hair being thin, fine, and dry, you may want to consider switch up which products you use to take care of this new texture. We would suggest using volumizing and moisturizing products! A great shampoo and conditioner set for gray hair is the Nounou Shampoo and Nounou Conditioner by Davines! This set is formulated to be restorative and nourishing for dehydrated or damaged hair, which will make up for a lack of moisture in your strands.
For your volumizing styling product, we would suggest trying the Volume Boosting Mousse by Davines! This mousse is perfecting for adding light and airy volume to any type of hair. It’s super light with a snow-like texture, and it does a fantastic job of adding natural-looking body and volume to your hair style.
If you find that your grays won’t style you’d like them to, come see us at our Chandler, Arizona salon location for a blowout and ask your stylist to try some new products in your hair!
Thanks so much for reading this edition of the TouchUps Beauty Blog, and we’ll catch you later!
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