Aging gracefully can mean accepting the fact that your hair is going grey and making the most of it. Having a head of grey hair no longer has the stigma of being“too old” that it used to and in fact, people in their teens and upward have been dying their hair various shades of white to silver to look elegant, mature, and dignified. Letting your hair go grey is not only healthy, it is also the hip thing to do.

What Causes Grey Hair?

The determination of the color of your hair at any time in your life begins with cells called melanocytes. These are cells that circle the hair follicle and produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin determines the color, shade and structure of your hair.

As we age the production of melanocytes slows down, stops producing melanin and die off. This causes your hair to turn gray and even white. Another effect is a change in the shape of your hair curl, which can also change hair from being straight to curly and vice versa. Gray hair strands can also develop a hollow core that leads to reduced elasticity and strength. The hair strands also have a tighter cuticle layer, making them more difficult to color. 

Hair becomes weaker as it ages, making it more vulnerable to split ends, frizz, tangling and yellowing. Many women choose to color their grey hair but this is often expensive and difficult to maintain (especially during a pandemic!) Furthermore, coloring your hair can further weaken your hair strands, making it more difficult to manage than ever.

If you choose to keep your grey hair, as many women have during this era of Covid-19, here are some tips for keeping it healthy –

Be gentle with your grey hair. The reduced strength and elasticity of grey hair means that it breaks easily. Avoid using hard rubber elastics or any kind of fastener, clip or barrette that can cause your hair to break or be lost from a hair follicle. 

It is also important to avoid using too much heat on your hair. Let your hair dry naturally rather than constantly subject it to hot stress from a blow dryer or a curling iron.

Keep your hair moisturized. Grey hair has a tendency to be dry out or dry out quickly so make sure you moisturize it with conditioners after every shampoo. It may also be beneficial to skip the shampoo altogether and use conditioner only as often as you can. Using a daily leave-in conditioner can also help your hair retain some elasticity and sheen. Some individuals may need to use a hair conditioning mask once a week to seal the hair’s natural oils inside of the sheath.

Avoid products with mineral oil. Although it is an oil, it mainly acts as an emollient that prevents your hair strands from absorbing humidity from the air. Mineral oil coats your hair strands, weighing them down and making them more difficult to style. Shampoos and conditions with minerals in them can cause your gray hair to turn yellowish, in which case you can use a “blueing” shampoo or conditioner to restore its white to silver tone. If you are going to use an oil on your hair, use something natural like Vitamin E oil.

Protect your hair from UV radiation. Ultra-violet radiation can cause your hair to dry out and lose its shine. Many leave-in conditioners contain some sort of protection from ultra-violet rays. Wearing a hat or scarf over your gray hair to protect it from the sun may also be helpful.

Consider changing your hairstyle. Many older women might want to consider cutting their long grey hair as it can be a lot harder to maintain when long due to grey hair’s often frazzled texture. It might be better to have a shorter head of healthier hair rather than long hair, that has an unhealthy appearance.

Pay attention to your general health and diet. Eat well, avoid tobacco smoking, and avoid stress to help keep your grey locks strong and healthy.

To address hair health, hair loss, or any other health issue you may be experiencing, visit the Pinewood Natural Healthcare Centre website that has a list of full services and products You can also call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. To contact our office in Pickering, Ontario, call (905)-427-0057. Send an email to info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services that includes anti-aging, naturopathic testing, infrared therapy, IV vitamin infusions, and Toronto weight loss programs.

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