At some point in our lives, we will experience the natural shift to gray hair. While some women choose to hide their grays, many others are letting their silver shine. The celebration of your grays can be a liberating feeling as you embrace your natural beauty. If you aren't quite ready for this transition, maybe you'll change your mind after reading this article. Bring on the gray!
Why Does Hair Turn Gray?
Melanocytes are melanin-producing cells located in your follicles that are responsible for your hair color. As you age, the melanocytes (pigment cells) in your hair follicles start to die. Each of the hair bulbs in your strands has an inventory of active and dormant melanocyte cells. After your hair's growth phase, your follicles regenerate and signal inactive melanocytes to replace the depleted ones. These inactive melanocytes run out, which will stop melanin production. The empty inventory of melanocytes causes new hair to grow in gray, silver, and white shades.
Reasons Why Gray Hair is Fierce
1. Gray Hair is Real
We live in a society that romanticizes youth and makes us afraid of aging. It's time to ditch the script that says older women can't be beautiful and healthy. Gray hair allows women to recognize their wisdom and maturity. Many women find mental freedom and confidence in embracing their natural beauty. Keeping it real will trickle down into other areas of your life.
2. Gray Hair is Sophisticated and Powerful
Ashy-silver hair hues are a hot trend among celebrities and young, fashionable individuals. More and more young women are visiting hair salons to request gray shades in their light hair. There's just something about gray hair that screams sophistication and power. A lot of women find gray hair makes them feel virtuous and accomplished. There is power in redefining society's standard of beauty and youth.
3. Less Time Spent in a Salon
The process of coloring your grays is no easy task. It requires frequent salon visits and lots of money spent. Gray hair is a time saver. You've got a life to live, don't spend it in a salon chair!
4. Reduce your Toxin Load
Let's face it; hair dye works because it is made with a combination of potentially health-compromising ingredients like Para-phenylenediamine (PPD), resorcinol, or aminophenol. Hair dye causes the Sulphur bonds that link the hair's keratin proteins to break. Sulfur bonds are responsible for providing your hair strength and elasticity, so without these bonds, your hair is prone to breakage. Additionally, hair dye fragments the protein (keratin) in your hair's internal structure into smaller pieces. For this reason, the protein will gradually leave your hair when it is wet. This will result in fine thin hair. By keeping your grays, you are protecting yourself from ongoing color damage.
5. Healthier Appearing Strands
As previously mentioned, hair dye can compromise the integrity of your scalp and strands. If you let your hair go natural, more robust and healthier hair will follow. Women find their gray hair is fuller and stronger than colored hair. Additionally, natural gray hair shines in a way that processed hair doesn't. By avoiding color, your hair will retain moisture more efficiently and will be less prone to breakage.
How to Show your Grays some TLC
6. Protect your Hair against Heat
Tread lightly when it comes to heat and gray hair. Gray hair will burn more quickly due to its texture and porosity, so when using hot tools to style, use caution to limit damage to your gentle strands. Stay in between the 200-350 range, and never let the hot device remain in one place on the hair for more than 1-2 seconds.
Also, gray hair burns in the sun, so it's imperative to keep it covered with a hat or umbrella when outdoors. When you overexpose your grays to the sun, you run the risk of turning them to a yellow or brassy tone. UV damage can leave your hair dry and brittle.
7. Supplement with Vitamins
Take care of your hair from the inside out! Your hair cells need a balance of nutrients and minerals to function at their highest level. More specifically, a diet rich in protein, biotin, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins will help strengthen your hair to grow healthy and long.
Implement the following nutrients into your diet to support your gray hair:
- Protein: lean meats, tofu, low-fat cheese, and quinoa
- Biotin: lentils, carrots, walnuts, and cauliflower
- Iron: lean beef, soybeans, eggs, tuna, and spinach
- Omega-3: salmon, sea bass, flax seeds, soybeans, and canola oil
- Zinc: shellfish, sunflower seeds, beef, lamb, and pine nuts
- B Vitamins: pork, beans, oatmeal, and low-fat dairy foods
Focus on your Scalp
The hormone changes that come with age can result in weaker, drier hair and reduced follicle function. Healthy hair starts with the scalp. For stronger hair, it is essential to scrub away oil, dirt, and product buildup on your scalp. Cleaning your scalp with a deep cleanser will remove the buildup and promote healthy cell production. A cleaner will unclog your pores and improve follicle function. Consider using a scalp cleanser with activated charcoal and lactic acid.
8. Gently Cleanse your Hair
To best care for your gray locks, consider using a gentle sulfate-free shampoo. Sulfates push their way beneath cuticle cells diminishing your hair structure and exposing your hair to breakage. Harsh chemicals strip natural lipids and oils from your scalp, which disrupts sebum production. The lack of moisture in hair fibers will cause them to turn dull and frizzy. Instead of a harsh sulfate shampoo, use a gentle purple shampoo to hydrate and strengthen your tresses. Look for a shampoo, like the one from Better Not Younger, with ingredients such as D&C Violet 2, bamboo, and sage.
Let's Wrap it Up
Maybe by now, you're convinced that gray hair is fierce! Welcoming your silver strands can be a powerful form of self-expression that leads you towards a more authentic lifestyle. Beauty is no longer defined by colorful, youthful hair. Aging is a privilege—and there is no better way to demonstrate this than by flaunting your perfect, timeless grays.