Grey or Nay? 7 Ways To Delay Greying Hair – A woman’s hair is her crowning glory. But it will inevitably turn from shiny gold, glossy brown or radiant red to grey or white at some stage of her life. Greying hair is caused by the body’s reduced ability to produce hair pigmentation. Under perfect conditions, it would be up to natural ageing and our genetics to determine when this happens. However, unhealthy habits can speed up the process, so they are best avoided.
If you want to hold the grey at bay, try these 7 ways to delay the inevitable.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Consuming foods rich in minerals and vitamins can help to maintain your hair’s health and delay the onset of greying. Some of the beneficial foods, vitamins, and minerals to include in a healthy, balanced diet are the following:
Fruit and vegetables
A healthy diet forms only a fraction of your overall health. Combining healthy eating with healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise and getting enough sleep (7-8 hours), will further delay the onset of greying.
And, if you know your diet lacks some essential vitamins, minerals, and macros, consider taking a quality supplement. If you’re unsure what supplements your body needs, speak to your healthcare provider or a qualified dietician to help you make an informed decision.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress is a significant cause of premature greying; we’ve seen it happen slowly or even overnight when a person has experienced severe trauma. Thankfully, you can manage or reduce stress through activities such as yoga, meditation, exercise, and therapy. And, if you catch it soon enough, stress management may even reverse some premature hair greying (PHG).
Stress management requires planning on your part and knowing yourself holistically. So, don’t wait for greying to start before looking after your health. Instead, proactively assess and manage your stress levels in the various spheres of your life and go for regular health check-ups.
Avoid Or Quit Smoking
According to a study, smokers are 2.5 times more likely to experience premature hair greying. So, quitting smoking will undoubtedly help to reduce those chances but not necessarily reverse existing greying. But how and why does smoking lead to premature greying if it’s a form of stress relief?
While the relation between smoking and premature greying isn’t completely understood, the hypothesis is the following: Smoking is pro-oxidative, and oxidation within the body can affect the production of melanocytes. Melanocytes are the melanin-producing cells in the epidermis that produce pigmentation. Without pigmentation, hair will grow out grey or white.
Use Hair Care Products Designed For Your Hair Type
Using the correct hair care products on your hair can help prevent damage and delay greying. For example, products with harsh chemicals will damage your hair and make it prone to premature greying. Heat styling tools can have the same effect. So, opt for natural, gentle hair care products where possible and avoid excessive heat styling.
Protect Your Hair From UV Damage
While it is great to have natural highlights, excessive sun exposure can damage your hair. This is because the UV radiation in sunlight accelerates the ageing process of hair by damaging it and causing premature greying.
To protect your hair from detrimental UV rays, consider wearing a hat or using a hair product with UV protection when in the sun.
Avoid Exposing Your Hair To Harsh Chemicals
Chemical treatments such as hair colouring or perming can damage your hair and result in premature greying. Some of us can attest to that hot, burning sensation on our scalps when undergoing such treatments—that’s your scalp telling you that what you’re doing is damaging.
Even though the pain may be temporary, it could cause irreversible damage to your hair follicles and melanocytes. Then, before you know it, you’re repeating the process regularly to cover up your grey roots, causing more damage. So nip it in the bud and minimise the use of these treatments if you want to postpone turning grey before it’s your time.
Maintain A Regular Hair Care Routine
Regularly washing and conditioning your hair with gentle products helps to keep it healthy-looking and delay greying. Additionally, you can keep your hair moisturised with hair oils and masks to strengthen your hair and prevent breakage.
Other helpful suggestions to include in your hair care routine are the following:
Wash your hair with warm water. Avoid using overly hot water to wash your hair as it strips the natural oils from it, leading to damage. I’ve found my hair looks shinier when I’ve rinsed it with cooler water.
After applying your conditioner, gently comb it through using a wide-tooth comb. Start from the tips and work your way up to remove knots before rinsing.
Dry your hair with a micro-fibre towel or T-shirt. Regular towels can cause damage and frizz through excessive friction, so rather use an absorbent towel or cotton shirt to dry your hair gently.
Protect your hair when you sleep. One way to protect your hair when you sleep is to wrap it with a silk scarf or use a silk pillowcase. Avoid using hair bands or clips when you sleep, as these can break your hair.
Some ladies embrace their grey crowns and wear them with pride, but not all of us are quite ready for that yet—me included. When I was younger, people always asked me how my hair was so shiny. Fast forward twenty years, my hair was brittle and breaking, and I started getting little grey antennae. I realised I’d neglected (abused) my hair and wanted to get back my crowning glory.
I can tell you from personal understanding that by applying these seven suggestions, my hair looks healthier, and I now find only the occasional fine grey hair.
I’ve started being more intentional about what I eat and I take zinc supplements regularly, as my doctor thought I may be lacking. Additionally, I stopped dyeing my hair about three years ago and ditched my almost-daily blow drying and heat styling. So, finally, my hair is back to its natural auburn colour. My hair is not as shiny as it used to be, but it’s not grey either. Long may it last!