Causes and solutions for premature graying

If you're on your way to seniorhood (or already there), premature gray hair is a tongue-in-cheek concern. If you need gray hair treatment in your 20s, however, your concern is less humorous. Understanding the cause of graying hair should help you deal with this condition.

First, accept that around one-half of all people have a measurable amount of gray hair by reaching 50 years old. However, premature gray hair can arrive as early as your 20s. The cause: Your color-producing cells simply stop creating natural pigment. The process can be accelerated by naturally-produced hydrogen peroxide, which bleaches out color.

Often, the cause of graying hair is determined by genetics, not stress, fright or emotional trauma. Medical professionals cite vitamin B-12 deficiency, pituitary gland malfunctions or thyroid problems as frequent causes, but these can be corrected and offer effective gray hair treatment.

Genetic issues include vitiligo, Werner syndrome and alopecia areata, causing colored hairs to simply fall out, creating premature gray hair almost overnight. Earlier theoretical connections between lower bone density and premature gray hair were discarded after recent (2007) research.

Regardless of the cause of graying hair, you have options to avoid the "distinguished look" if you so desire. Gray hair treatment can vary with your amount of white and your age.

Semi- or "demi-permanent" color, lasting a few weeks, is effective if you suffer some premature gray hair. You should still have lots of natural color, which you should not destroy or remove.

Highlights can also be wonderful gray hair treatment, blending white with your remaining natural color. For younger people experiencing premature gray hair, this is a simple, effective solution.

Permanent color is the best gray hair treatment when the gray consumes 50 percent or more of your strands. You will still need to reapply as your locks grow.

Various hair products can cover gray without using dye processes. While these are safer for your hair, if you're a daily swimmer or shampooer, understand that this gray hair treatment will wash out quickly.

Regardless of the cause of graying hair, there is one more option. Favored more by men than women, embracing your distinguished look is an option. In recent years, men are trending toward concealing their gray strands as much as their female counterparts.

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