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Reasons for Gray Hair

Mar 11, 2008

Gray hair is most often a hereditary gift that many
individuals would love to return. Gray hair is due to the
failure of pigment formation in the hair follicle; which
means the pigments basically are not producing the hair
color, or there is an interruption that occurs
during this production. It is common for the hair to lose
its pigmentation slowly as a person’s age increases, and it
indicates normal physiological changes. However, it can
also be an indication of internal disturbances or
nutritional deficiency.

Some of the causes can be:
* Excessive worry from personal or family issues.
* Grief from losing a spouse, child, parent, grandparent,
etc. (Also, grief of losing
several people or family members consecutively. Some
people have also
experienced alopecia (hair loss) from this sort of
* High profile positions involving making decisions that
affect millions of people.
Have you ever noticed how our elected presidential
leaders enter the White House
looking good with their dark hair? However, after a few
years of decision making,
they begin to show visible signs of gray hair? Prime
examples include: past presidents
Bill Clinton, George Bush, Sr., Jimmy Carter, and on
goes the list. Local and regional
leaders get this as well. It apparently goes with the
job. And since politics is known as
“show business for ugly people.” it doesn’t seem to
hurt them.
* Work overload at work and/or at home is common. (I
suggest the practice of time
management. Prioritize things that need to be
completed by a certain time frame
before beginning another project.)
* Anxiety and Nervous strain may relate to a deadline, a
possible promotion, concern
over one’s health, or abuse.
Premature grayness may occur as early as childhood with
a few strands, to a
sprinkling during adolescence, to further graying during
your twenties. It is usually
hereditary. Some individuals experience complete
grayness by age 30. One good is
example is American Idol winner Tyler Hicks, who
received much ridicule about his
gray hair when he was a contestant.

Are Minerals Important for Gray Hair?
For gray haired people, both treatments for other health
conditions and nutritional deficiencies can accelerate your
unwanted gray hair. Drugs for treatment for arthritis,
vitamin B deficiency, and copper deficiency can cause

To obtain the necessary vitamin supplement and minerals, it
is good to request a microscopic hair strand evaluation.
This evaluation will reveal if your hair is properly being
nourished with the vitamin supplements and minerals a
consumer is taking, that is, if they are taking any at all.
Furthermore, this evaluation will reveal if a consumer
needs to take supplements and minerals, and improve their

Environment Plays A Part
Because gray hair is more sensitive to environmental
factors, it has a tendency to absorb smoke and film from
cigarettes and other sediments in the atmosphere that may
leave a yellowish cast on the hair. Furthermore, contact
with chemicals such as chlorine from swimming pools or hot
tubs, or even salt water from the beach can promote
discoloration in gray hair.

Should you Relax Gray Hair?
Yes, gray hair can be successfully relaxed by a licensed
hair care professional, but extra care must be taken. Once
hair loses its pigmentation, it becomes coarse, dry,
resistant and sometimes porous. Gray hair may obtain a
dingy, yellowish color when relaxed, therefore, shimmer
lights and glorious gray shampoos, along with blue rinses
are commonly requested to remove this. Gray hair has less
elasticity, and tends to scorch easily under a curling iron
or other hair styling tools. Many consumers have stopped
all chemical services and thermally press or flat iron
their gray hair. Or they may choose to wear a natural
look, locks, or braids. Certain stylish hair cuts, like a
medium length inverted-bob or a short spiked hair design
are stunning on gray hair wearers.

Who wears Gray Hair?
Many celebrities, actors, actresses, cooks, athletes, as
well as our national leaders have chosen to sport their
stylish gray hair. These well recognized icons include:
Lee Meriweather, Della Reese, Camille Cosby, Bill Cosby,
George Clooney, Jerry Jones, Jimmy Johnson, Don King, Steve
Martin, actress Nichelle Nichols, actor Garrett Morris,
Rev. Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton, Poet Maya Angelou, Ruby
Davis, retired basketball players Dr. J, and Jamal
Mashburn, famous cook Paula Deen, and many others for
decades have sported this distinguished look. The late
Ossie Davis, Frederick Douglas, and Ed Bradley were easily
identified by their gray hair.

Cover these gray hairs?
To many individuals, these unacceptable gray hairs must be
covered up. Another prime example is the late James Brown,
who never let the public see his gray hair. A licensed
hair care professional will be able to offer options of
covering the dingy yellow color, or those of us who cannot
stand seeing any gray hair strands can request to have them
completely covered up. Some options include: a temporary
rinse, semi-permanent hair color, permanent hair color or

Some people have stated that they became gray overnight.
This may be true in some cases. Impeding executions of
prison inmates, not only focuses the condemned’s mind, they
can play havoc with hair color. One of the most well
documented examples of hair turning gray overnight occurred
in Paris in 1793. On the eve of her execution, 37-year old
Marie Antionette’s hair turned completely gray!

Respect Your Gray Hair?
In conclusion, gray hair brings about concerns and
decisions, yet on the upside, represents wisdom, maturity,
and a distinguished look! A surprising number of men find
it very attractive in women. You have a choice to
Gracefully Gray or conceal your wisdom until you get a
little older.

There may be other physical causes for gray hair:
* Endocrine disturbances, internal imbalances that
accelerates your unwanted gray hair. These are best
treated by an Endocrinologist, who specializes in
diagnosing and treating endocrine problems.
•   Canities is a loss of pigment, as in the graying of hair,
or the appearance of white
streaks in the fingernails or toenails.
•   Pili Annulati is a hair shaft defect that reveals
pigmented bands alternating with
gray/white hair along the hair shaft. These
alternating bands are visible under a
polarized microscope. Many consumers have wondered
why their gray hair appears
with the the gray and black alternating colors bands.
This, put simply, a genetic cause, the result of a hair
shaft defect,.
•   Pseudo Pili Annulati is another genetic hair shaft defect
that reveals pigmented gray and black bands when analyzed,
yet it has its own distinction of alternating gray and
white bands.
•   Albinism affects people from all races, and is a
hereditary disorder, that affects the skin, hair follicles,
and eyes. The hair color is commonly a very pale yellow
color or a white color. Texas brothers and blues musicians
Johnny and Edgar Winter are probably the best-known
celebrities with this condition.
•   Vitiligo, a skin disease that causes a visibile loss of
pigment on the skin or scalp. Thousands of people are
affected. When the scalp area is affected, the hair
follicles are damaged, and in most cases the hair is sparse
or patchy in this area.
•   White hair reveals scalp hair with no pigment, with
possible causes of genetics,
or a copper deficiency contributes to lack of hair
color, on the condition that the
medulla is still within the hair strand. What is the
medulla? It is the innermost layer within the hair strand
which gives the hair strand its hair color, and in gray
hair, it is possible to reverse the gray to your natural
hair color. One way to find out if your gray hair has its
medulla is to have a microscopic hair strand evaluation.
[A doctor of trichology can confirm if your gray hair has
its medulla with a polarized microscope.]