The first thing we want to do when we see grey hair is try to cover it. But times have changed (for the better!) and people have realised how okay it is to have grey hair. However, managing grey hair is different from managing your natural hair. Here’s everything that you need to know to grow wiser while managing your grey hair!
How does the hair grow grey?
Let’s first start with understanding why your hair changes its colour. Grey colour is actually due to the absence of a pigment called melanin in the hair follicle. Once the colour is set in the hair follicle, it will grow in that colour. This is why no one must believe that the surrounding hair will turn grey if you pluck a grey hair. Science simply defies that myth.
What are the factors that cause greying of the hair?
Sure we all do dread grey hair. We all love the hair colour that we’re born with. However, with the changing lifestyle, we see a lot more youngsters as well being prey to greying. This is called ‘Premature Greying’. Some of the factors that promote greying of the hair are as follows:
As you age, your skin will need an extra dose of protein to look the way it does in your 20s. In the ageing process, you will lose melanin as well. You can delay ageing but you cannot stop ageing.
Know your family genes. The hair colour is the pigment that forms according to your genetic makeup. If your Mother has brown hair, 50% chances are that you will get brown hair. Did your father’s side of the family have grey hair in their 30s or 40s? What about your mother’s side of the family? Genes contribute to your natural makeup and hence they dominatingly affect the greying process.
A lot of your body changes with how you will live in it. Do you smoke or drink? That could be the reason for premature greying. If you’re a passive or active smoker, the toxins in it will constrict your blood vessels and lead to losing hair and hair pigments.
It has been long debated if stress actually can lead to grey hair. A study was conducted by a Harvard team on mice where they were put under stress and they showed grey fur due to stress. In the same way, humans when put under stress could speed up the greying process. Meditate and opt for a slow life for the sake of your health!
A diet that lacks the essential Minerals and Vitamins, never does you good. Make sure you’re having enough Vitamin B12 specifically since that is what your red blood cells need to be healthy and carry oxygen to all sites in your body including the hair cells. Some other Vitamins that you should include in your diet by default are Vitamin D, E, and A. Minerals are just as important. Essential Minerals that you must include are Zinc, Magnesium, Copper, Iron. Including greens, nuts, and fruits in your daily diet takes care of all your daily requirements. Read more about foods that can do wonders for your hair here.
Certain autoimmune diseases like vitiligo or thyroid diseases like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism can influence the production of hair pigment- melanin. It’s just one of the effects of the disease for which you can’t do much so you must focus on stopping the growth of the disease.
Can you reverse the hair greying process?
This depends on the reason why they turned grey. If it is due to lifestyle or stress or diet, you can stop the damage in the early stage of greying. If it is genetics or due to autoimmune and thyroid disease, there is very little that you could do to reverse the greying process since it is the genes that are ruling the greying process of your hair.
How and why do you need to manage grey hair differently?
Grey hair is different from your normal hair in terms of its composition. Their texture changes to become more fine and dry. If they aren’t taken care of, they may even turn yellowish due to oxidation of the free radicals. So you see, your grey hair is like that special child who needs extra love and care.
Because the grey hair is dry, it becomes difficult to manage the frizz that comes with them. So how do you manage them? Here are a few tips which you must keep in mind:
1. Hair Cuts
Trim your hair at least quarterly. This keeps your roots healthy. If your roots are limp, dry with split ends, they will weigh down your hair making it look flat with no volume. With grey hair being more textured and thin, it is very easy to lose the voluminous look that we all love. The right haircut will help you with this.
2. Diet Changes
Go back to revising your daily food intake. Does it have enough green vegetables, a handful of nuts in the morning, and fruits before lunch? If not, do so right away. The right diet not just helps you with voluminous shiny hair but also to slow down the ageing process. You can also opt for multi-vitamins supplements along with Vitamin B12 and Zinc supplements. You can also go for hair supplements such as the Within Nutrition Flawless Hair Gummies that just do their job right by promoting strong and healthy hair.
Uh, yes. SPF for your hair too. The UV rays have free radicals from which your hair needs protection. UV rays can melt the cortex (outer surface) of your hair, making them brittle and prone to damage. There are many SPF sprays available and your hair definitely needs them. Another way to make sure your hair won’t be damaged from the sun rays is through packing all the essential minerals, Probiotics, and Vitamins in your diet.
Your grey hair is more thin and dry which is why your hair will be frizzy. To make sure your hair grows and remains healthy, it is better to switch to a satin pillowcase. If changing your pillowcase to a satin one is not suitable for you, braid your hair and wear a satin hair cap while sleeping. All the things you must do to maintain your crowning glory!
What should be the hair care routine for individuals with grey hair?
Now that you know how your grey hair differs, no doubt you know that your hair care needs to be altered too. First thing first, you need intense hydration. Second thing to look at is a clean and healthy scalp. This covers all. Sounds easy but how do you achieve it? Here’s how-
1. Start with a Nourishing hair oil
One really underestimates the power of a good ‘champi’. While applying hair oil, massage the side of your brain since that helps you unwind the day. Another point to focus on is the centre of your head where the sun rays hit you the most. Gradually move towards the back of your head and ears. It’s amazing how massaging these points can give the feels of a hair spa. All you need is the right hair oil. We love Roots & Herbs 49 Herbs Hair Oil for just having the perfect composition of oils that your hair will ever need. Their formulation includes some active herbs like Bhringraj, hibiscus flower, Brahmi, Jatamansi, Triphala to nourish your hair deeply. This makes it perfect for someone with grey hair.
2. Wash your hair with a cleansing SLS-free shampoo
Ingredients such as Dimethicone can weigh down your hair, making it look flat and frizzy at times. If you have grey hair, you need to be extra careful with the ingredient list that your hair care products have. Pick a shampoo and conditioner like Faith In Nature Ultra Shine Seaweed and Citrus Shampoo And Conditioner Combo that has a refreshing formula to cleanse and nourish your scalp. Seaweed is a powerful ingredient to nourish and citrus helps you cleanse the scalp. This covers the two most important things you must focus on for your grey hair.
3. Add Toner to your Routine if Necessary
Two days after your shampoo day, if you feel like scratching your scalp or your hair feels greasy, you must try a toner. Make sure it is the one that calms and hydrates your scalp. A toner may not replace your dry shampoo but it sure will show you long-term benefits. A toner could be a better option for you than dry shampoo to use in between your shampooing days. You don’t need to particularly hunt for a hair toner, you can use a suitable face toner as your hair toner. Rose water makes as a perfect toner to revive your hair. A clean product like Juicy Chemistry’s Bulgarian Rose Water will help you soothe your scalp and it also has antibacterial properties. If you stay in a polluted area, this makes a perfect match for you.
4. Hair Masks for Hydration
Lastly, as mentioned earlier, for grey hair you really need to focus on hydration. Include a hair mask that you must apply once a week. This is just to give you extra hydration that your hair needs. One that you must swear by is Coccoon Enriching Hair Mask With Coconut & Honey. This mask nourishes and even repairs your hair. No wonder it saves the day.
Grey hair is different and managing them has to be different too. You must focus on two things while managing grey hair: you must give it enough nourishment and keep your scalp clean. If you alter and build your hair care routine according to the changes in your hair, you can achieve healthy and shiny hair. Lastly, what you eat is what will show up in your body. So take care of your diet primarily. You’re just a few actions away from your dream hair!
- Drishti Khurana