man with gray hair wondering how to fight gray hair

How To Fight Grey Hair

Do you want to know what causes gray hair? Here at Statcare, we have answers. Learn more about this common sign of aging and how to fight it.

Our hair color comes from a pigment called melanin. With age, melanin is reduced which is why our hair changes colors. First, it turns grey and then ultimately, white once there’s no melanin left.

In 2016, researchers discovered a gene that accounts for 30% of hair graying. The research study involved 6000 people living in five Latin American countries. They looked into these populations because they represent a good mix of backgrounds. Kaustubh Adhikari, a research associate in cell and developmental biology at University College London, was the lead author of the study.

What Causes Grey Hair?

The majority of grey hair is likely due to factors such as age, toxic exposures, nutritional deficiencies, and stress.

How To Limit Greys

To limit gray hair:

  1. Avoid smoking: There is a significant association between tobacco use and graying of hair. Therefore, if you currently smoke, the focus on quitting.
  2. Minimize oxidative stress by avoiding pollution and stress: Oxidative stress is a state where our free radicals (from pollution, poor diet, stress) outnumber our antioxidant defenses (from healthy diet). Graying hair may be an indicator of oxidative stress damage.
  3. Eat a healthy antioxidant rich diet: The following are rich in antioxidants: Goji berries, wild blueberries, dark chocolate, pecans, artichoke, elderberries, kidney beans, cranberries, balckberries, cilantro.
  4. Increase vitamin B12 intake: Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause hair to become grey. The following are rich in vitamin B12: Shellfish, liver, fish, crab, fortified soy products (tofu, soymilk), fortified cereals, red meat, low fat dairy, cheese and eggs.
  5. Normalize weight: Obesity and grey hair are linked, although researchers aren’t exactly sure why. Nonetheless, it can be a good idea to lose a few pounds if you want to avoid grey hair.

Source: Adhikari, K. et al. A genome-wide association scan in admixed Latin Americans identifies loci influencing facial and scalp hair features. Nat. Commun. 7:10815 doi: 10.1038/ncomms10815 (2016).

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