Grey Hair: Explained

by Hope Donaldson
Do Hair Extensions Damage Hair?

Grey Hair: Explained

Everyone’s heard the term ‘going grey gracefully’, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Noticing grey hairs can be a pivotal moment in a woman’s life, and it can be especially worrying if you’re noticing it sooner than expected. Keep reading to learn everything you can about this change in your hair and what you can do about it…

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Your hair turning grey can feel like a pivotal moment in your life and you’re left with the ultimate decision - go grey gracefully or run to the hairdresser’s for an all-over colour. However, whichever way you decide to face greying hair, it doesn’t mean you’re not still left with questions - especially if it happens sooner than expected.

At Stranded Hair Group, we know that changes can have a huge impact on our confidence, increasingly so if they happen suddenly. Our brand is built on making our customers feel like their most confident selves, no matter what colour, texture or thickness their hair is.

Part of this commitment to confidence is giving our customers autonomy over their own hair. Whilst we provide high-quality clip-ins for instant confidence boosts, nothing says ‘I know me better’ than learning about the hair that grows out of your head. And that’s why we write blogs, just like this one.

In this blog, you will learn about the causes of grey hair, especially premature greying (if this is something you’re facing), how to disguise it, its permanence and if you can reverse it. By the end of this blog, you will feel ready to face your greys and take the necessary steps that you need to get your confidence back.

  • Why is my hair turning grey?
  • What causes grey hair?
  • What is the average age for grey hair?
  • Is grey hair unhealthy hair?
  • Is it ok to pluck grey hair?
  • Is grey hair permanent?
  • How do you stop grey hair?
  • How do you work with grey hair?

Why is my hair turning grey?

Your hair turning grey is almost always likely to be due to a completely benign reason. Many women experience hair greying, often due to age and/or genetics.

However, you should be aware that, in some cases, premature hair greying can be a sign of something else being amiss with your body. If you’re concerned about premature greying, we would always recommend scheduling a checkup with your doctor.

What causes grey hair?

As mentioned above, there can be various reasons as to why you are experiencing your hair greying.

Keep reading to find the answers to top questions related to reasons why hair is turning grey:

Does age cause grey hair?

Yes - age is the most common factor for causing hair greying.

Research conducted by Colorado State University has found that hair follicles have cells called melanocytes, which produce melanin (a substance in the body that produces colour pigment). As we age, melanocytes decrease in number and, therefore, less melanin is produced - resulting in a lack of pigment in the hair, creating a silvery-grey colour.

This research suggests that after the age of 30, there is a 10 to 20 percent decrease in the amount of melanin produced, increasing each following decade. By the age of 50, half of these men and women will have at least 50 percent grey hair.

Do genetics cause grey hair?

No - genetics cannot cause grey hair.

According to The Independent, in 2016, scientists discovered the first gene for grey hair and, in that process, revealed that some men and women are probably born with an inherited tendency for premature greying.

However, this research isn’t saying that genetics can cause grey hair - it simply suggests that some people could inherit a gene that contributes to premature greying.

Do vitamin deficiencies cause grey hair?

Yes - vitamin deficiencies can cause grey hair.

Studies collected by Medical News Today have found that deficiencies of vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, or vitamin E can contribute to premature greying. Other studies have shown that mineral deficiencies in iron and copper, along with low levels of good cholesterol, can also contribute to premature hair greying.

These studies suggest that nutritional deficiencies have the ability to affect pigmentation, which implies that colour could return with ample supplementation.

Does stress cause grey hair?

No - stress cannot cause your hair to turn grey.

According to research found by Harvard Medical School, stress has the capacity to trigger a common condition called telogen effluvium, which causes the hair to shed about three times faster than normal. The hair does grow back, so the condition doesn't cause balding.

But, if you're middle-aged, your hair is falling out and then regenerating more quickly because of stress, it is possible that the hair that grows in will be grey instead of its original colour.

Does lack of sleep cause grey hair?

No - lack of sleep does not cause hair greying.

Lack of sleep can have the same effect on the body as stress can. As you can read above, stress on the body (which can include lack of sleep) can trigger a common condition called telogen effluvium, which causes the hair to shed and regenerate around three times faster than normal.

However, if you’re over 35, it is likely that the hair that grows back will be grey (thanks to genetics and ageing).

What is the average age for grey hair?

Typically, there is not an average age for people’s hair to turn grey - it will simply depend on each person’s individual factors, including race, genetics and health.

According to studies collected by Vegamour, some suggest that the average age of onset hair greying is around 40 for all. However, others found that it can be around mid-30s for Caucasian people, late 30s for Asian people and mid-40s for Black/African people.

Is grey hair unhealthy hair?

No - grey hair is not unhealthy hair.

Grey hair is completely normal, common and simply just hair that has less pigmentation in it. However, keep in mind that premature grey hair can be a sign that something is wrong with your health.

TOP TIP: Address any concerns you may have about premature greying with your doctor

Is it ok to pluck grey hair?

Dr. Kraleti, from UAMS Health, doesn't recommend plucking or pulling grey hairs out of your hair - or any hair on your head for that matter.

If you feel like you must get rid of a hair, very carefully cut it off instead. Plucking your hair can cause trauma to the hair follicle, which could result in infection, scarring or even lead to bald patches.

Is grey hair permanent?

Yes and no - it depends.

Whether your greying hair is a permanent change or not will simply depend on its cause. If the greying is caused by age (or brought on early by genetics), then it is not possible to reverse the change. But, on the other hand, some studies support that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can slow down or even reverse the greying process caused by nutritional deficiencies.

How do you stop grey hair?

If your grey hair is not caused by age or brought on early by genetics, these are ways in which we suggest caring for your body and maintaining a healthy lifestyle (linked to slowing down or even reversing nutritional or stress-related premature greying):

  • Find ways to reduce stress
  • Adjust your diet
  • Exercise more
  • Focus on getting enough vitamins and minerals (taking supplements if needed)
  • Prioritise getting enough sleep
  • Make positive changes to look after the integrity of your hair
  • Go for regular checkups with your doctor

How do you work with grey hair?

Your hair turning grey could be a complete shock or something you’ve been preparing yourself for, for years. Whichever way you want to face having grey hair is completely up to you. Some women are ready to ‘go grey gracefully’, whereas with others it simply isn’t their time yet - neither choice is wrong.

Choosing how to face grey hair is completely individual and really does depend on you, your confidence and your lifestyle.

How to transition into grey hair

Ready to take on the grey? Here’s our top advice for ‘going grey gracefully’:

  • Find hairstyles and accessories that make you feel confident
  • Ask your hairdresser to add highlights that blend your greys into the rest of your hair
  • Dedicate time to caring for your hair and growing a healthy attachment to it
  • Talk to other women you know about how they handled accepting their greys
  • Journal your feelings - every single one of them is valid

How to hide grey hair

Not quite ready to face the grey? That’s okay! Here’s our best advice to keep it hidden for a bit longer:

  • Use root sprays to hide unwanted greys
  • Carefully cut out stray hairs - never pluck
  • Dye over your greys (remember, you’ll need to regularly touch up your roots)
  • Ask your hairdresser for advice on hiding greys
  • Try a new parting or hairstyle that disguises it
  • Talk to other women about their tips and tricks
  • Journal your feelings - every single one of them is valid
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Get ready to face the greys - your way!

You came to this article ready to learn about your greys, why they’re happening and what you can do about it. You had questions about what was going on with your hair and felt the urge to really understand the changes you’re facing.

Since reading, you have learnt about the main causes (and misconceptions) surrounding grey hair and how to deal with it - whether that be to ‘go grey gracefully’ or hide it away a little longer. You’ve also learnt how to care for your body and hair and faced a hard truth; that you may be stuck with your greys.

But what now?

At Stranded, we’re committed to your confidence and there for you, come good hair day or bad hair day.

Our articles can help you gain a better understanding of your hair, just like this one did. Over on the Stranded Blog, we have a huge range of topics, covering everything from hair extensions to hair care.

If you found this blog helpful, we recommend reading these ones, covering different subjects such as confidence, thin hair and hair care:

But we wouldn’t be a hair extension brand without mentioning our products either…

Our commitment to your confidence is a huge drive behind the quality and expansion of our different products. We know that a good hair day can make you feel on top of the world, and that’s why we specialise in clip-in, instant confidence!

Did you know that over half of all Stranded customers own at least two of our products? Join them and become a part of our confident community!

We exclusively stock the shade #51 Natural Grey (see below) in all of our instant bun styles, which include our Curly Scrunchie Bun, Flicky Scrunchie Bun and Super Easy Clip-in Mum Bun.

However, we also have a range of silver/ash blonde shades in all of our products!

Whether you’re a redhead or a rich brunette, a spiced ginger or peppery grey, get free expert colour-matching with Stranded today! Take the hassle out of finding your perfect shade and let us do all the work for you!