Melanocyte cells in the follicle produce melanin, the pigment found in skin, eyes, and hair. This process is called melanogenesis. It is how the sun colors your skin, how your hair is colored in the follicle, and how your eyes become blue, brown or green. When hair goes gray, the melanin pigment production slows or completely ceases. There are many known causes. Here are a few factors:
- Diet — Lack of certain vitamins and minerals can accelerate gray hair, especially vitamins B-12, C and E, and zinc and copper. Anemia and thyroid conditions can be a cause as well. Junk food can cause oxidative stress to the body. Basically, the lesson here is to eat well.
- Stress — Lack of sleep, overwork, extreme shock, certain pharmaceuticals, and smoking all stress the body and can accelerate changes in the hair. Chemotherapy can turn hair gray practically overnight.
- Hair dyes — Permanent hair dyes contain powerful scavengers that nab electrons wherever they can find them including your skin or inside the follicle. This causes oxidative stress, sensitization that can lead to serious allergies, and potentially damage your DNA. Hair dye molecules are so small they can easily pass through the skin into the bloodstream. What dyes do inside the body no one really knows. There are two basic types of cells in the follicle: keratinocytes make hair fiber, and melanocytes make pigment. Both can be affected by constant exposure to toxic chemicals. Ironically, dyeing may actually accelerate the graying of your hair and damage the capacity of the follicle to produce healthy hair.
- Genetics — People of different ethnic origin go gray at different rates. Caucasians go gray the fastest. Slower than Caucasians are Asians. The most fortunate are African-Americans who get gray hair later in life. Some indigenous people, however, can go well into their eighties with their original hair color.
- Age — Hair fundamentally changes with age, sooner for some, later for others. Half the population has 50% gray hair by the age of fifty.
We believe gray hair is beautiful and that we should embrace and accept our age. Some of our clients deliberately leave some gray hair at the edges untreated because their overall hair looks so natural with Hairprint and they like the distinguished look that their gray hair provides. They look better with a little gray and feel more comfortable. Hairprint is here to enhance your natural beauty without causing you harm. Having darker, richer, thicker hair can enhance your natural beauty and it is much less expensive than Prada or a Porsche.