Kvinde med gråt hår

Gray hair - Guide to how to get beautiful gray hair

by Lotte Lindgren on Jan 29, 2023

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on April 9, 2024.

Table of contents

Are you starting to notice the first gray hairs? Then you have landed in the right place. Almost everyone experiences gray hair sooner or later, it is a natural process as you get older. Although many people find it difficult to accept it, you can come to love the gray hair. Trust me! In this blog post, we have collected everything you need to know about gray hair, so read on and learn more!  

What is gray hair?

Gray hair is hair that has lost its pigmentation and therefore has a gray color. Pigment is what gives hair its natural color. Gray hair usually occurs as we age, but some people may develop gray hair at an early age due to genetics or other factors. Gray hair is completely normal, but can often appear to a greater extent in dark hair, as the gray hair will often be more visible than in light hair.

Why do I get gray hair?

There are many factors that can play into why some people get gray hair and how quickly gray hair appears.
One of the primary causes of gray hair is aging. With age, the hair pigments in the hair follicles will gradually become smaller and smaller until the hair turns gray. These pigments are produced by cells called melanocytes, they produce the pigment that gives your hair its color. With age, these cells become older and produce less and less pigment until your hair loses pigment and turns gray.
Gray hair can also be genetically determined. If your parents got gray hair at an early age, there is a higher chance that you will too. If you experience gray hair very early on, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor and find out the cause.

Can you get pigment back in gray hair?

It is not possible to restore pigmentation in gray hair. Gray hair occurs when the hair follicles no longer produce the pigment melanin, which gives hair its color. It is the cells that decide this and if they do not produce melanin, the pigment cannot come back again.

If you want to have your hair dyed, you can of course get another hair color. But of course it will require regular coloring of the hair. The best thing will therefore be to learn to embrace your gray hair. 

How does gray hair feel?

Gray hair usually feels no different than other hair, unless it has been damaged or treated in a way that has affected the texture of the hair. Gray hair can often become faster and drier than normal hair. It has something to do with the fact that the natural oils in the scalp, called sebum, are also produced to a lesser extent, the older we get. It can therefore be a good idea to use moisturizing hair care products, such as our Repair and Care products , to give the hair the necessary moisture.

If the hair receives the necessary care and moisture, there will be no difference between gray hair and pigmented hair.

Are there some people who don't get gray hair?

In most people's lives, hair will begin to turn gray at some point in life, and the degree of gray hair will vary from person to person. Some start getting gray hair at a very early age, while others only start getting gray hair later in life. There are, of course, a number of factors that come into play. Primarily, it is your genetics that determine when you get gray hair. So take a second look at your family, and you'll have a good idea of ​​when you'll get gray hair.

This is also why some can retain the pigment in their hair until they are very old and others get gray hair very early in life.

Which people get gray hair?

When will I start getting gray hair?

It is a very good question, on which many different studies have been done. In general, you start to experience the first gray hairs in your 20s and 30s, which then develop continuously.

One of the most well-known studies in the field of gray hair is a genetic study from 2011, which was conducted by researchers from the University of Louisville and published in the American Journal of Human Genetics. The study analyzed genetic data from over 6,000 people to look at the link between heredity and gray hair. The results showed that there is a genetic predisposition to when hair starts to turn gray, and that this can vary greatly from person to person. The short answer is that it is your genetics that determine when you start getting gray hair.

What can I do to slow down the graying process?

Unfortunately, there is no way you can avoid gray hair if it first occurs. But there are some things you can do to possibly delay the process. Our best tips come right here:

Reduce stress in everyday life

The old saying that you are going gray with how stressed you are may well have some truth! Physical or psychological stress can cause the hair to become more susceptible to external influences. This can result in you getting premature gray hairs. So if you really want to avoid the gray hairs, then you can start to consider what measures you can take to reduce your stress level. A few good tips can be optimizing sleep, exercise or meditation.

Reduce stress in everyday life to slow down the process of gray hair

Make sure you get vitamins and minerals

It can be difficult to eat healthy and varied every day, or get your 6 pieces of fruit a day. Fortunately, there are nutritional supplements that you can supplement your diet with to make sure you get the vitamins and minerals needed to maintain normal hair. Here we can highly recommend Yuaia Haircare's hair vitamins, which contain, among other things, biotin and zinc, both of which help to maintain healthy and normal hair. It is a tasty wine gum which makes it easy to remember your vitamins in everyday life.

Healthy and varied diet

The good old advice of eating a healthy and varied diet still works! Although it may seem very impractical, it can often have a big effect on your hair and its health. Some studies have shown that low levels of certain minerals can lead to a lack of pigment in the hair. It is therefore important to eat a healthy and varied diet, where you can mainly focus on eating protein-containing food, such as meat, eggs, milk or certain vegetables.

Healthy and varied diet

Smoking is a no-go

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to avoid gray hair. It's not just your skin that ages, so does your hair. Our best advice is therefore to stop smoking.

Protect your hair from the sun

Are you one of those people who love to lie and bake in the sun in the summer? Then it's not just your skin that you have to take care of, but also your hair. The sun's rays affect your hair a lot and can help speed up the scalp's production of gray hair.

Why you shouldn't dye gray hair

Gray hair is a natural part of the aging process and although some people may want to dye their hair to hide the gray hair, there are a number of reasons why this is not recommended. One of the main reasons against coloring gray hair is that it can cause further damage to an already vulnerable scalp and hair shaft structure. Gray hair has already been stripped of its pigment, resulting in a more fragile follicle that is prone to breakage when exposed to harsh chemicals found in dyes. It also tends to be drier than non-gray hair, so adding additional chemical treatments can lead to additional dryness and wear and tear on the hair.

In some cases, trying chemical-based color treatments on gray hair can even lead to more visible white patches throughout the head; this is called "chemical burn" and occurs when the scalp has become too sensitive after over-dyeing.

All in all, there are several disadvantages associated with coloring gray hair that should be taken into account before embarking on a color treatment. From increased dryness and vulnerability due to lack of melanin as well as potential long-term bleaching effects such as chemical burns or scalp discoloration; choosing other methods such as highlights or lowlights instead may be a better approach if you're looking for ways to cover your gray hair without having any long-term negative side effects on your health or style choices.

Therefore, you should not dye your hair gray hair

How to get beautiful gray hair

Gray hair can be a really nice hairstyle, which can be expressed in many ways depending on the length of your hair. Here's some of our best advice. 

1. Choose products for gray hair carefully:

It's important to choose the right products for your gray hair to keep it looking its best. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner specially formulated for gray hair. These products are formulated to keep your gray hair soft, shiny and vibrant. Avoid using shampoos that are too harsh, as this can strip natural oils and color from your gray hair. Additionally, you may want to use a purple shampoo or mask once a week to help neutralize any yellow tones that may have been present in the gray hair due to environmental factors such as UV rays from the sun or other forms of pollution. It is also called a silver shampoo , which helps to remove yellow tints or shades in your hair. 

2. Use heat protectant before styling: 

If you want to style your gray hair with heated styling tools, it is important that you apply a heat protectant before doing so. The heat protector will form an invisible barrier around each individual hair strand to protect it from heat damage when using hot styling tools such as flat iron or curling iron. Heat protection sprays are lightweight and don't weigh hair down, while still providing the necessary protection against heat damage.

3. Avoid excessive exposure to sunlight:

Too much exposure to sunlight can cause premature aging of the skin and even discoloration of the gray hair due to excessive UV ray exposure. When you're outdoors, be sure to wear a hat or scarf with SPF protection to minimize the amount of direct sunlight hitting your scalp and gray hairs directly. Also, be sure to apply sunscreen regularly to all exposed skin if you plan to spend more than 20 minutes in the sun each day. This will help protect your scalp and gray hairs from harmful UV rays.

While you may not be able to control when your first gray hairs appear, there are certainly things you can do to keep your hair healthy and strong as you age. Remember to eat a balanced diet, get plenty of exercise and use gentle hair care products specially developed for gray hair. With a little extra care, you can achieve beautiful, healthy gray hair that makes you look and feel good.

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