Gray Hair

Graying hair is a condition in which the hair starts to lose its coloring pigment. Usually the graying of hair is considered to be the initial sign of ageing. However, this is not always so. In fact, there are a lot of people who suffer from this somewhat rare condition in which hair turns gray prematurely. Still, since the graying of hair is generally accepted as a sign of ageing, it can be very distressing for the person who experiences it.

Symptoms of Gray Hair

Apart from the color of the hair there are no symptoms associated with gray hair. In some younger individuals, gray hair may develop as a result of a deficiency of a specific vitamin known as vitamin B12. When this vitamin is deficient, the individual will develop gray hair. This deficiency may cause other health symptoms which will be found in the individual. However, these are not actually symptoms of gray hair. Instead, they are related to the deficiency of the concerned vitamin.

The same explanation can be used for thyroid gland deficiency. Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland is not functioning at its optimum level. When this happens, the process of metabolism is slowed down. One of the side effects of this condition is the presence of gray hairs. Once again, the related symptoms of hypothyroidism are exclusive to the condition rather than being associated with the individual’s gray hair condition. There are, therefore, no symptoms of gray hair apart from the visible change in the individual’s hair color.

Causes of Gray Hair

There are many different factors that can lead to the development of gray hair. Gray hair develops as an individual ages. This is a normal process that nobody can reverse. The genetic reasons behind why some people lose hair color faster than others is as yet not fully understood. However, it is known that all people will, eventually experience graying of their hair as they grow older. The exact mechanism that causes hair to turn gray is still not complete understood. People with gray hair do have normal skin color which means that the skin is continuing to produce the required pigments to maintain its color. Yet, the hair, which originates from the same skin, does not have any color. Apart from age, there are some other factors that may lead to the development of gray hair. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common condition that causes loss of hair color. This is something that may affect children and may be visible at an extremely early age. Parents who find white hairs on their children’s head must visit a doctor just to make sure that there is no nutritional deficiency that has affected the child. Nutritional deficiencies can cause serious health problems over time. In most cases, none of these deficiencies cause major short term problems. It is only when the child grows through a period of nutritional deficiency that problems tend to crop up later in life. Thus, parents can use the presence of gray hairs to have their children checked for vitamin deficiencies.

The thyroid gland, located in the throat, is responsible for the functioning of the metabolic system. Metabolism is the process where food and oxygen are converted into energy, heat and metabolic waste. This is one of the basic functions of the human body. When the thyroid gland functions too slowly, the condition is known as hypothyroidism. One of the effects of hypothyroidism is the development of gray hair. This is something that can also be used as a pointer that there is some deficiency or imbalance in the individual’s system which needs to be checked and corrected.

There are two skin related diseases that will also affect the color of the hair. Albinism is a condition where there is a complete loss of pigment in the skin. Individuals who suffer from albinism appear extremely fair and pale. Their hair will also be white or light blonde. Albinism is a genetic condition that affects the production of pigment. Vitiligo is another skin condition that causes gray hair to develop. Vitiligo is an auto-immune condition which means that it is related to the immune system. The immune system attacks the pigment producing cells of the skin rendering the skin colorless. Individuals with vitiligo will display patches of white or pale colored skin. The hair that grows out of the affected area will also be white or pale blonde. Patients who suffer from vitiligo will have patchy gray hair until their entire scalp is affected by the condition by which time their hair will turn completely white.

Remedies for Gray Hair

As explained above, there are a few different possible causes for gray hair. When it comes to ageing and to skin disorders like vitiligo or albinism, there is little that can be done as a remedy for gray hair. The conditions of vitiligo and albinism may be diagnosed at some stage and there are some treatment options that could slow the progress of these conditions down. However, there is still no known way to stop these conditions from occurring or to reverse the effects that they have.

The same applies to ageing which is a process that no person can avoid. There are many different brands of hair color that are used to cover up unseemly gray hairs. These only coat the hair with a color that the individual chooses. Some of these hair colors actually damage the hair and lead to issues of hair fall and hair breakage. The process of graying as a result of ageing depends on each individual and his or her genetic background. Some people will start graying in their 20’s while others may not face this problem until they are in their 40’s. The genetic and environmental factors that influence a person’s growth and development are responsible for this.

One may be able to rectify hair color issues that occur as a result of vitamin deficiencies or as a result of thyroid function problems. The remedies for gray hair in this situation would include a balanced diet and, depending on the nature of the thyroid problem, medication as per the doctor’s orders.

Diet for Gray Hair

For people who suffer from thyroid deficiency or nutritional deficiencies, the diet can be modified in such a way that it suits this deficiency. What this means is that the diet should be healthy and nutritious. The consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is helpful as these provide the body with plenty of vitamins and minerals. The human body requires a complicated combination of nutrients. When one consumes fresh fruits and vegetables, one will provide the body with plenty of nutrition without having to bother on which specific nutrient is missing. This will end up balancing the system, particularly if one varies the fruit and vegetable intake sufficiently.

Suggestions for Gray Hair

Most people are aware of the fact that gray hair is inevitable. There is little that one can do about the process of ageing and the associated changes that take place in the body. However, if one follows a healthy lifestyle, the body will be in good shape and the development gray hair may be slowed down. Studies have shown that stress reduction techniques can make a difference when it comes to ageing both in terms of the skin as well as the hair and hair loss. Therefore, it is best to follow a balanced, healthy lifestyle to avoid any issues with gray hair. People with irreversible conditions like vitiligo and albinism should seek whatever treatment they can get to slow the progress of the condition. Apart from this, there is little that can be done to prevent gray hair.

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