Aging is a natural process that happens to everyone, yet no one wants to look like they are getting older. As we age, our skin loses collagen, our metabolisms slow, and usually, our hair begins to gray. But did you know that gray hair can also reflect health issues within the body, not just aging? Read on to find out what your gray hair says about your health.
First, let's talk about what healthy graying is. On average Americans will go gray in their mid-thirties, Asians in their late-thirties, and African Americans in the early forties. If you are experiencing graying hair before this, health problems might be a concern. Below we have listed some reasons your hair might be prematurely graying.
We talk a lot about maintaining a healthy stress balance, but in this instance, we are talking about oxidative stress. Oxidative stress happens when the body is exposed to more free radicals than it can fight off. Think of the way an apple turns brown. Similarly, our bodies, when exposed to high levels of oxidative stress, produce hydrogen peroxide, a bleaching agent that cause hair follicles to turn white. To minimize the amount of exposure to free radicals, be mindful of eating the appropriate amount of calories and limit your sugar intake. Excess exposure to air pollutants, alcohol, and stress also play a huge part. Keep your gut and liver healthy so that they can remove these toxins efficiently from the body.
We all know the association with smoking and our lungs, but did you know it also damages the hair? Studies have shown current, and former smokers are two and a half times more likely to premature graying than those who don't. If that wasn't enough to kick the habit, another study reports chemicals in the smoke have an effect on the hair's ability to grow, which can mean premature balding.
Our hairs contain melanin, a substance that gives our hair its pigmentation. Seeing your hair go gray early might have formed from low levels of certain vitamins. B12 is notorious for causing hair to lose its pigmentation, as well as D3. In some cases, the problem may lie within your thyroid or pituitary gland. The good news is there are tests available to check these levels, and if needed, you can take supplements to help with the issue.
Maybe you've never been a smoker, and your vitamin levels are balancing out perfectly, but you still see gray hairs earlier than you like. At this point, it's worth looking into the possibility of genetics driving the change. If you come from a family history of premature graying, it’s probably in your future as well. To which we say, pat yourself on the back, the important thing is you are healthy!
If graying hair isn't your only obstacle and you struggle with hair loss, Nashville Hair Clinic can help. We are professionally trained in the latest technologies to provide permanent and natural results. To book a consultation call 615-635-0892 today!