Some women wear their grey crowns with pride. Others… not so much. They dread the arrival of every new strand, but either way we’ll all be grey at some point. Right? Well, obviously. But the scary part is that some of us are greying at a far more rapid pace that is actually necessary. There is a silver lining, though (wink). Firstly, trichologists have pinpointed the surprisingly common things that speed up the grey. Second, scientists are hard at work on how to prevent greying in general. So, what do the researchers know that you don’t?
WH asked Catherine Poole, a trichologist at Hair Options in Somerset West, for the low-down…
When do most women go grey?
“The age at which women start to go grey depends largely on their genes. Your chance of going grey increases 10 to 20 percent every decade after the age of 30.”
Why the hell do we get grey hair in the first place?
“Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its colour. Grey hair occurs as the body starts producing less melanin, and the hair becomes white when the melanin has run out completely.”
So, can you slow the rate of greying hair?
“Apart from genetics, other contributing factors to greying hairs are vitamin B12 deficiency, anaemia, smoking, thyroid disorders, vitiligo and stress, so addressing these issues, if present, could slow down the greying process.”
Is grey hair more common in certain people?
“Caucasians tend to go grey earliest, any time from their mid-thirties, with redheads being the earliest of all. Next are Asians, who typically begin to go grey in their late thirties, then African-Americans, who typically begin to go grey in their mid-forties.”
What should we eat to maintain healthy hair?
“Your hair needs a variety of vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. Deficiencies in iron, zinc, biotin and protein can contribute to hair loss. Milk, eggs, salmon, leafy green vegetables and water are all important. I recommend the Trichotin Hair Regenesis vitamin and mineral tablets at my practice.”
Anything we can do to combat the grey?
“Stop smoking, exercise more and eat a healthy diet based on fresh foods.”
Does “massaging the scalp” actually do any good?
“Massaging the scalp helps to release tension in the scalp and increase blood circulation,” says Poole. So that’s a yes, then. Bring on the daily head rub!