Addressing greying hair isn't just a vanity issue; it's a scalp and skin health issue too.
Premature greying of the hair is a condition known as canities; the diminishing of pigment in hair producing a range of colors from normal to white that is perceived as gray.
It is a complex multi-factorial process mainly considered to be an interplay of nutritional, genetic and environmental factors. Nutritional deficiencies like vitamin B12 deficiency, severe iron deficiency, chronic protein loss, copper deficiency are often found associated with premature greying of hairs. Other factors that have been incriminated are low serum ferritin, and low serum calcium and vitamin D3 levels.
Smoking is another factor that is considered to be related to premature greying of hair. Smoking results in generation of huge amount of reactive oxygen species leading to increased oxidative stress culminating into damage to melanin producing cells, melanocytes. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays is considered to initiate similar processes in hair follicles resulting in premature greying of hair.
It turns out that a key factor in hair color loss happens to be the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the scalp and hair follicles. As we age, our bodies become less able to neutralize that hydrogen peroxide, which interferes with an enzyme that is responsible for producing the pigment in hair. The graying begins when the synthesis of melanin (the natural pigment that gives hair its color) is disrupted.
Another recent study in Nature Medicine suggests that sun damage may very well speed up the graying of hair. The study found that when UV exposure damaged skin, melanin-producing stem cells migrated upward to the skin to produce protective pigment (a tan) but abandoned their position in the hair follicle.
While there are many other factors that can contribute to graying hair (genetics, ethnicity, stress etc.), these studies suggest there are steps you can take to slow down or minimize graying hair:
The revolutionary ingredients, like Greyverse and Darkenyl, found in our RevivHair REV Stimulating Serum may help prevent hydrogen peroxide buildup and target tyrosinase to help prevent the loss of hair color and the appearance of darker hair, naturally without dyes or pigments. Another included ingredients (also mentioned in the study) may help: Methionine Sulfoxide Reductase.
Additionally, wearing a hat or applying a UV protection product for the hair (more specifically, the scalp) whenever you're outside, may help as well. Wearing a hat to shield UV damage is something we should be doing anyway!