The Science and Beauty of Grey Hair

The Science and Beauty of Grey Hair. Photo by Dean Drobot

While some women take a shine to their strands of silver, there are many more of us who frantically stock up on the DIY re-touch kits in fear of our first grey hair. So, what’s all the fuss about and how can we navigate this stage in the ageing process with more positivity than panic?

Let’s start at the beginning:

Why does hair go grey?

Ageing is the single biggest reason for grey hair. Hair colour comes from a pigment called melanin, which is also in our skin. As we age, our hair follicles produce less melanin, reducing the amount of colour coming through in our hair until it eventually appears grey.

More recent research also suggests that our hair may also bleach itself grey. All hair follicles naturally hold a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. However, the levels are controlled by an enzyme called catalase. As we age, the body produces less catalase, leading to a build-up of hydrogen peroxide, which blocks the production of melanin. Because of this, hair goes grey. 

Most of us will spot our first silvery tints at around 35 years of age, but there are many factors that can influence this, including:

  • Genetics – if your parents turned grey at 30, then chances are you will too.
  • Ethnicity – Caucasians tend to go grey earliest, followed by Asians and then African-Americans.
  • Stress – while the connection is unclear, it is thought that stress can damage the melanocyte cells, which are responsible for your hair colour.
  • Smoking – studies suggest that smokers were two and half times more likely to grow premature grey hair.
  • Illnesses and deficiencies – B12 deficiency and thyroid disease are among the illnesses linked to grey hair growth.

What can you do to stop it?

There’s nothing you can do to stop or reverse the greying process. In most cases, it’s simply a part of ageing.

Maintaining optimum vitamin B12 levels, reducing your stress and not smoking may help to slow the greying process, but these are also all part of a healthy lifestyle that will also benefit you in many more significant ways.

Undoubtedly, going grey is a big life-moment for a lot of us. It’s one of the first and most stark visual signs of ageing and it can change the way we perceive ourselves. For this reason, while there may not be much we can do about going grey, we can change the way we perceive it, from a shameful symptom of getting older to a natural and healthy part of life.

The face of grey hair is changing

Embracing every change and choice

It’s empowering to see more women feeling comfortable and confident wearing their grey hair, including our founder, who regularly shares her tips on social media.

Being comfortable in our own skin means accepting and embracing the changes that will happen as we age. When it comes to our hair, dyeing it or leaving it natural is a choice. We’re here to let you know that going grey is a choice that’s as worthy as the rest.

You might also like to read:

A Healthy Scalp Is Skincare For Heads

Best Natural Haircare Free From Sulphates and Silicones

Tips For Supporting Healthy Hair Growth


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