I’m in my mid-20s and have some gray hair. What is the cause of this? Is there some natural way to get rid of it without having to use hair colors?
Most of the color in your hair comes from a pigment called melanin, which is manufactured in the body by cells known as melanocytes. When hairs turn white, it is because the melanocytes are no longer producing melanin. The “graying” is usually a years-long process that occurs one hair at a time.
It is normal for the body to reduce melanin production as we age. Typically, this starts in the late 30s or 40s, but having some white hairs in your 20s is not at all unusual. There is still a lot we do not understand about what triggers the melanocytes to slow down on the job.
We do know that heredity seems to be the most common determining factor for when this will start to happen. Take a look around in your family. If you have close relatives who started going gray in their 20s or early 30s, chances are good that your graying has been pre-ordained by your genes.
Smoking, vitamin B 12 deficiency, thyroid disease and a few other conditions may also play a role in premature graying. But if your hair pigment loss is inherited, then it would not really be considered premature.
In the future, we may find some way to stop hair from graying or even restore the pigment that has been lost. For now, though, the only way to “get rid” of the gray is to temporarily cover it up with hair color. You may find people who tell you otherwise. Many of these same people or companies are probably willing to sell you the supplements or products to miraculously transform your hair.
The latest product trend asserts that gray hair can be restored by taking mineral supplements in “colloidal” form. These supplements claim to eliminate gray and restore your natural color. The chance that any supplements will work is remote at best and some of the colloidal minerals and metals may be harmful to your health.
If there were some legitimate natural way to restore hair pigment and bypass the hassle of dyeing, it would be all over the news and one or more major manufacturers would be running billion-dollar marketing campaigns to let you know about it. With our society’s overemphasis on the importance of a youthful appearance, there is no way an effective alternative to hair dye would go unnoticed by the mainstream.