Oh no! Gray hair! What now? – Answered 9 questions about gray hair


Found your first grey hair? Don’t panic! Don’t call your hairdresser yet for a paint job and postpone the purchase of a walker for a while, because it will take a while before you are completely grey. How long that will take and answers to other urgent questions you have about grey hair can be found below.

1. At what age is it normal to turn grey?

This varies enormously from person to person. I had a cousin who was already completely grey at the age of twenty and a grandfather who only got his first grey hair at the age of 60. Most people find their first grey hair when they are in their mid-twenties or early thirties. In almost all cases, it is your genes that determine when and how fast you turn grey. So you can blame one of your parents. If you have the same hair like your mother, there is a good chance that you will turn grey at the same age as her.

2. How long does it take before you are completely grey?

It can take up to 10 years after finding your first grey hair before you are full grey. So you have more than enough time to say goodbye to your hair colour.

3. What causes a grey colour?

Grey hair isn’t grey at all. It is transparent. As you get older, pigment cells gradually die off, resulting in less and less melanin in your hair. Grey hair means that there is less or even no colour in your hair. In the beginning, your grey hair is still a mix of transparent hair and coloured hair. With dark hair colour, this results in a darker grey than with light hair colour.

4. Do two grey hairs grow back for every grey hair you pull out?

No, you don’t have to be afraid. There is no truth to this claim. There’s just a single hair growing back for every hair you pull out. Whether it’s grey hair or hair with a different colour doesn’t matter at all. It would be something if it was. Imagine what a full bunch of hair you would have if for every pulled out hair two grew back!

5. Can you dye grey hair and can it be done on a natural basis?

What if you’re not ready to be grey? You can! Although I prefer not to recommend dyeing with chemical hair dye, you can, of course, choose for this. It’s quite possible to dye grey hair, but the more grey or rather whiter you get, the more involved in dyeing and the more vulnerable your hair becomes. If you’re just starting to get grey, feel free to do the dyeing yourself. If you’re already pretty grey, it’s best to get advice from a hairdresser. You can also dye your grey hair with natural dyeing. But you may have heard that henna and grey hair don’t go together. If you use good quality henna, you can just dye it with it. If you don’t want red hair, there are also other colour powders like indigo that you can use separately or mix with henna. If you want a certain hair colour, deepen your proportions well, because they are very important. If you don’t want to mix it yourself, I can recommend the natural hair dye from ColourWell.

6. Can stress cause grey hair?

Researchers aren’t sure yet whether this is the case. It seems that the stress hormone cortisol has a bad effect on hair cells and therefore also on the pigment in your hair. But this effect is probably so small that it can hardly be called worth mentioning. You don’t suddenly turn grey after a traumatic experience, as you sometimes see in films.

7. Are there things that can speed up the process of turning grey?

Yes, it does. Various medical conditions can speed up the process. For example, if you have thyroid problems, a lack of vitamin B12, anaemia, vitiligo or early menopause, you can turn grey faster and earlier. Some medicines can also play a role in the process of turning grey. Also, it has been scientifically proven that chemical hair dye – especially those with a lot of ammonia – and smoking speed up the greying process.

8. Do blondes turn grey faster?

Once the ageing process has started, blondes often turn grey faster than brunettes. This is because blondes themselves have less pigment and less dark pigment in their hair. So it takes considerably less time for the colour to disappear and your hair to become transparent.

9. I have always dyed my hair grey, but I’m ready to grow it. What now?

First: good that you are embracing the grey! It would be simple to say that all you have to do is just grow your hair. But I understand that you will soon see a block of grey outgrowth. What you could do is to discolour your hair at the hairdresser’s and have it dyed grey in one go. This is only very bad for your hair. It is, therefore, better to go to grey gradually. You do this by having your hairdresser regularly put highlights in your hair so that your hair becomes a little lighter and blends nicely with your grey hair.

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