Gray hair has always been one of the most visible signs of aging. To some, it’s a mark of distinction and sophistication. More often, however, people regard it as unwelcome sign of fading youth.
That’s why there’s a strong demand for solutions to gray hair. Researchers have regularly hinted at breakthroughs in this area, and we may finally be on the brink of some effective new solutions.
What causes gray hair?
Each person’s hair turns gray at a different age. The timing of the transformation is mainly genetic, though in some cases poor health or injuries can cause hair to turn gray prematurely. Though it’s widely believed that stress can cause hair to turn gray, this has not been proven scientifically.
The cause of gray hair is no mystery. Hair begins to lose its natural color when the cells responsible for pigmentation, called melanocytes, become fewer. This is a natural result of aging, though it happens to some people in their 20s and others in their 60s.
Popular responses to gray hair
There have been several ways historically to deal with the onset of gray hair. The simplest is to accept and even embrace it. Some people look better with gray hair than others. General attitudes also vary greatly.
For those who prefer to fight gray hair rather than succumb to it, dyeing is the most common solution. It can be done at home or at a professional salon. The higher percentage of gray in one’s hair, the more difficult the process becomes. While dyes are an effective way to maintain hair color, the procedure can be expensive and tedious.
Some people believe that gray hair can be reversed with the correct diet, or by taking certain herbs or natural supplements. Among the commonly recommended ingredients are blackstrap molasses, black sesame seeds, nettles, and wheat grass.
The herb He Shou Wu, also known as Fo-Ti, is used in traditional Chinese medicine as a general hair tonic as well as a remedy for gray hair.
Research suggests a new solution to gray hair
Some recent research on gray hair may have unearthed a more reliable natural solution. According to a report published in the FASEB Journal, it was discovered that gray hair is associated with the accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles.
It was also found that an enzyme called catalase can be effective in reversing this condition. Several new gray hair products have become available that contain catalase. These items typically add other active ingredients, such as the aforementioned Fo-Ti and an array of herbs and vitamins.
The future of gray hair
Although people have been looking for ways to maintain their natural hair color for centuries, we may finally have identified a real solution. Many scientists and health experts predict that people in the future will be able to choose whether or not to live with gray hair.
When this will occur remains uncertain. What we do know is that a breakthrough in this area will likely be welcomed by millions of people around the world.
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