There was a time when “Salt and Pepper” referred to duo music sensations. But now more people notice gray hairs peaking through well before age 50. Dermatologists discovered several factors associated with premature graying. Gray hair is an effect of hair follicles decreasing melanin production, a compound responsible for giving skin or hair it’s vibrant color.
But before you start plucking away, the board-certified doctors at Short Hills Dermatology explain why “going gray” is more prevalent than ever before.
Ethnicity Is A Factor In Premature Graying
Ethnicity can reveal many characteristics by tracing back their heritage and the type of life their ancestors once lived. Quite certainly, ethnicity is a leading factor in the process of premature graying. For example, scientific data reports that Caucasians as graying faster than other ethnicities such as Asians or African-Americans. Although no definitive answer explains why this phenomenon occurs, there is no denying the prevalence in certain ethnicities can play a factor in sprouting gray hair early on.
Genes Are A Factor In Premature Graying
Just as having as the MC1R (red hair) gene may cause melanoma, your DNA can directly affect early graying. In fact, mnn.com there are approximately 18 genes linked to hair traits. Furthermore, family history plays a big role in determining genetic disposition. Also, look at your family tree and ask older family members when they first began to notice any gray occurring. Even though it might not be the exact case for you, if early graying runs in the family, the chances that you are carrying this gene are likely.
Environmental Factors which Cause Premature Graying
Besides family history, environmental and health factors also play a role. Such factors can include ultraviolet rays and air pollutants. Perhaps you live in a city, bombarded with fumes and pollution. Or maybe you live in a geographic location where the sun is particularly strong. Although these might not be the leading causes to premature graying, these environmental factors certainly can affect it while you may or may not be able to assess and avoid them.
Health Factors That Cause Premature Graying
Receiving the right amount nutrients and vitamins is crucial for a healthy body. The vitamin B12 helps make DNA and red blood cells, an essential and necessary vitamin. However, individuals who have difficulty absorbing B12 suffer from a condition called, pernicious anemia. One side effect of pernicious anemia is in fact, gray hair. On the other hand, one factor that is avoidable and controllable is smoking. Smoking is linked to the onset of early graying, along with other life-threatening health factors. Not only is smoking terrible for your health, but it has the possibility of giving you gray early earlier than you would want it.
Stress Can Cause Premature Graying
It’s not uncommon for individuals as young as twenty-five to now see silver strands in their hair. Why? Though debatable, younger generations perhaps face more stress with factors like work and paying off student loans. Scientific research indicates that stress does ultimately play a factor in accelerating the graying process this is because hair growth occurs in cycles; it grows, falls off, and grows back again. However, when the body is under stress, your hair’s life cycle is prone to shorten thereby accelerating the graying process. Furthermore, this can also shorten the pigment growth, not allowing for melanin to produce, therefore resulting in the gray appearance of hair follicles.
Tips to Camouflage Gray Hairs
So you spotted a gray hair, now what? Luckily, several companies offer at-home hair-dye products to cover up silver roots among your luscious locks. There are also products that offer a root touch up. Alternately, instead of dying your hair to hide the grays, some bold individuals accept the mindset “if you can’t beat em, join em” approach by dying their hair color to blend in the gray. Think less like Cruella De Vil and more like a celebrity trend. Yes, you too can rock granny gray hair or even dye your hair lilac to seamlessly tuck away those grays. It’s all personal preference when it comes to your level of confidence in your outward appearance. While some people spot only a few grey hair follicles, they normally do not take the advancement to dye their hair.
It’s Not All Black and White
Unfortunately, garnering a gray crown is inevitable and unavoidable in life; it just feels more appropriate when everyone around you is graying at the same time. Premature graying is still a mystery, however these several factors might play a key role. Overall, premature graying should not be frowned upon, as it is normally uncontrollable and comes about based on environmental and health factors. To learn more about the condition of your hair, contact a trusted New Jersey Dermatologist in Short Hills near you today.