6 Gray Hair Truths Revealed

Older African American Black woman with gray hair smilingFor many men and women, our hair is a pain point when it comes to vanity. It can really make or break how you feel about yourself on the outside, which then can translate into how you feel about yourself on the inside.

Graying heads is something that many of us concern ourselves with as we get older, and truth be told, it’s been on my mind since I was a kid.

Being a naturally red headed girl I see gray hairs all the time! It’s such a shame though that media has lead us to feel that we can’t embrace this as just another natural aspect of life. It isn’t negative, it isn’t a sign of being outdated, unattractive or lazy. Many beauty companies who sell hair coloring products market towards people with graying hair, making them think that the right way to adjust to the change in their bodies is to “fix it”.

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I say we stop trying to appease society’s view of beauty and we do what makes us feel good. Embrace your beautiful gray locks of hair if you have them, and just try to understand why it happens to the majority of us at some point and that some of the things we are told about gray hair is simply just a myth.

1. Aging 

A healthy individual has anywhere from 100-200k hair follicles on their head. According to the Government’s Library of Congress site, The melanin in our bodies is what gives both our skin and our hair its pigment. As we grow older your body doesn’t work as efficiently, often making it more difficult for the hair follicles to access the melanin. This in turn makes your hair grow out white, gray, and/or silver.  Another study published in the New York Times, suggests that a build up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair cells can cause a natural bleaching process. They explain that the catalase enzyme is what regulates the hydrogen peroxide levels in our bodies. Over time our bodies again begin to become less effective in some ways, and ultimately catalase is something we begin producing less of. Eventually because of the hydrogen peroxide builds up and blocks “he normal synthesis of melanin, the natural pigment in hair. Thus the hair turns gray.”