Why my hair is turning white?
Scientifically speaking, your hair turns white when the hair follicle stops producing melanin, the pigment responsible for your natural hair colour. Furthermore, melanin also supplies the hair with moisture, thus, the white hair has less bounce as well. Nevertheless, when melanin stops producing altogether, the end result is the same regardless of ethnicity; white lifeless looking hair.
Hair melanin comes in two shades—eumelanin (dark brown or black) and pheomelanin (yellow or red)—that combine in different proportions to create a vast array of human hair colours. This is why Asian have dark brown to blackish hair while Caucasians have blonde to reddish hair. Hair that has lost most of its melanin is grey; hair that has lost all of this pigment is white.
So, the next natural question one might ask is: “Why does my hair follicle stop producing melanin?” Sadly, this is one of the questions that researchers have yet to figure out. Although a researcher, Tobin DJ at the University of Bradford in England found that grey hair follicles still contain the building blocks of melanin, melanocytes, and melanosomes, but not melanin.
Can hair turn from white to black again?
The good news is, hairs go white individually rather than in a bunch. The bad thing is, once it stops producing melanin, it stops permanently. Most studies agree that white hair cannot be reversed even though there have been claims by people to have been able to reverse their white hair.
From our extensive experience with tens of thousands of customers, even with healthier diet, healthy living, hair tonics, etc, hair follicles that produce white hair will continue to produce white hair. But with a balanced diet, supplementation, and healthy living, you may be able to delay the greying of hairs.
Can I get grey hair from stress?
Often, people attribute their white or grey hair to stress. Is this an old folk tale or is there truth to it? We see the media depicting Barrack Obama hair before and after presidential, hinting that the stressful job of being the president of United States has caused his hair to grey.
However, according to David Fisher, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, from an online interview said: “Stress hormones may impact the survival and/or activity of melanocytes, but no clear link has been found between stress and grey hair.” However, other experts have also chipped into this conversation.
Tyler Cymet, head of family medicine at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, conducted a study on hair greying on his patients and found that people who are stressed report that they turn grey sooner. He suspects that going grey is “genetically outlined, but stress and lifestyle give you a variation of plus or minus five to 10 years.”
From our customers, we often find that genetics is still the bigger influence compared to stress with regards to hair loss. We often see sisters having the same amount of white hair at roughly the same age even though one could be working in a stressful environment while the other is not. The extend of stress causing white hair is still up for debate, but best to avoid stress if you able to. Keep calm and relax.
Is there an average age of getting grey hair?
From a survey done at one of our outlets, the highest percentage of people with white hair issues are in the age group of 41-50. From another study in a mixed gender outlet, male customer, on average, start having white hair earlier than female customers by about 5 years. However, we note there is no minimum age, we have seen teenagers as young as 14 years old having streaks and streaks of white hair.
How to turn white hair to black hair?
As we have pointed out earlier, in this article, hair follicle producing white hair cannot miraculously start producing melanin. So realistically speaking, the way to go about covering those white streaks is by dyeing your hair. The question is, what kind of dye do you go for? When we were young, we might have wanted to have outrageous hair colour, such as blue, purple, pink, etc.
But when we are older, we usually just want to cover those white streaks. Of course, there are some people who embrace they white hair, usually the men though. Whichever the case, because our white hair constantly grows out, people who want to just cover their white hair would usually need to dye their hair regularly.
The question is, do you choose a chemical dye or a natural dye if you’re having white hair? Which is better?
Permanent dyes contain lots of harmful chemicals including peroxide and ammonia
These chemicals damages and weakens your hair. If these chemicals get in contact with your scalp, it can cause scalp burns, itchiness and sensitivity. Using third grade chemical dyes without proper licensing can lead to disastrous results.
Man, in his thirties, lost all his hair 1 month after dyeing his hair blonde, photo taken by Bee Choo Origin
Hence, if you are dyeing your hair regularly, it makes sense to go for a non-chemical dye. The limitations in non-chemical dyes are that these are semi-permanent (it fades in 3-4 months) and the colours are limited. The good thing is, if you’re going regularly, the semi-permanent issue is resolved as most of the semi-permanent dye will still last a good 3-4 months. However, the main downside is that the colours are limited. From our experience and research, truly natural dyes have a few colours only: reddish, brownish, yellowish/greenish.
Furthermore, the end results vary depending on the individual hair thickness, natural hair colour and whether it had been dyed before. The main upside to using natural dyes is that you can dye your hair to the roots without worrying about damaging your hair follicles compared to chemical dyes where you usually have to stay ½ inch from the scalp.
Example of natural dye – Photo taken by Bee Choo Origin
Young age but yet experiencing a lot of grey hair?
There is a common rule of thumb called the 50-50-50 which goes along the lines of “By the age of 50, 50% of a population would have 50% of their hair turn white”, while it’s a catchy and simple to remember rule, this is probably not an accurate reflection and it will depend on the population’s ethnicity as well.
White hair is primarily genetics, ask your dad or mom for their younger days photos, if they are having lots of white hair when they were young, you’re probably going down the same path. You can delay the growth of white hair by ensuring that your scalp is healthy and avoiding activities that have links to increase white hair such as smoking.
One possibility of premature white hair is vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin for melanocytes. The cells that produce melanin which gives colour to your hair. Vitamin B12 is found in eggs, meat, dairy, and poultry. Vegetarians are at higher risks of B12 deficiency, nevertheless, you can always fill your B12 quota (2.4mg per day) by taking supplements.
Very rarely would someone lack Vitamin B12, instead, most of the time, the deficiency arises because your body is having issue absorbing Vitamin B12. This happens when someone suffers from pernicious anemia, an auto-immune disease that prevents the body from making intrinsic factor (the protein made by the stomach that absorbs vitamin B12 in the intestine). Vitamin B12 deficient is not a trivial matter.
It can result cause irreversible and potentially severe damage to the nervous system and brain. If you suspect that your white hair could be caused by Vitamin B12, do consult a doctor immediately.
How to deal white hair?
In summary, best the way to deal with white hair to opt for natural dye, you can find natural, semi-permanent dye easily. A popular option is henna. Henna is a dye prepared from a plant (lawsonia inermis). Henna can be used to dye not only your hair but also your skin and nails. You probably can find henna being sold in your local super-market or mom and pop shops in your neighbourhood.
The only issue is, it gets very messy if you want to apply it on your own, it can stain your cloths, your skin and your nails! You will probably need your parents or siblings help; doing it on your own is not easy especially if you’re trying to cover all your white hair to your roots.
Furthermore, you have to be careful when buying henna, certain henna products claim to be 100% natural but in reality, they contain Phenylenediamine (PPD) which can cause allergic reactions; black henna dye is one of them, because 100% pure henna does not come in black colour, it comes in brownish/reddish/orangey colour.
Other than henna, there are other natural dyes being marketed, such as coffee, tea, black walnut, indigo, etc. However, you have to differentiate between a ‘strain’ and a true ‘semi-permanent’ dye. Coffee, tea, black walnut and other unconventional natural dyes are strains, meaning to say, they are easily washed off and you have to apply it daily to see some sort of colouring being left on your white hair.
Henna and indigo are truly semi-permanent natural dye. While chemical dyes penetrate the cuticle, and enter the cortex to change the colour of your hair (and in the process causing some damage. Henna and indigo works on the cuticle only and acts like a varnish; it leaves a layer of coating on the hair while leaving the innate colour of the hair strand unchanged. Thus, when you use henna on your hair, the white and grey hairs will change colour drastically while naturally hair colour remains more or less unchanged.
Should I puck my white hair?
Never puck your white hair! This will damage your hair follicle and that follicle may never produce white hair again!
Women especially, take the shortcut and puck out white hair especially when it is an isolated white hair. It is still better to have more hair even with some being white then risk damaging your precious hair producing follicle.
Furthermore, the hair that grows out from the damaged follicle grows slower and are often coarser and kinkier than the hairs growing out of healthy follicles.
So ladies, resist that temptation of pulling, instead cut it out if you have to. Cutting does not do any damage to your follicle, however, it may stick out like a sore thumb.
Can I get a professional to do natural colouring for me?
Yes, there are professional salons around that offers henna and other natural form of dyeing. In Asia, we are the biggest hair treatment chain with outlets in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, etc. Our hair treatment contains a natural red/copper dye.
Many of our customers come for treatment, just to improve the health of their scalp but to cover their white hair in the process. Plus, we are extremely price transparent. For our ladies only outlet located in Singapore (Bugis), we charge SGD 38 to SGD 66 per treatment. This will cover all your white hair, leaving no damage plus promote hair growth and blood circulation in your scalp.
Because it is done by professionals, the coverage of your white hair will be even, thorough, mess free and you do not risk chokage of your house pipes (henna clumps together and it can cause chokes). However, because we are price transparent and affordable, our salon is quite packed especially on weekends. To cut down on waiting time do book an appointment or just give us a call at 6291 5354 to find out more!
For more information, please visit us at www.beechooladies.com.sg
Check out the before and after video below! See to believe!