If you have detected your first gray hair, remember not to worry, but to take care of it and offer the best care. Today, although gray hair is part of the natural process of aging, it is not necessarily related to old age.
There are many women who show off their gray hair shamelessly at any age, such as Queen Leticia, Ángela Molina, Sara Jessica Parker, Caroline of Monaco.... All of them have opted for"Grey Blending", which is nothing more than leaving gray hair in style.
At Modesta Cassinello, when the first gray hair appears, we always focus on the hair to improve its qualities. This way if you choose to leave them, you get the gray hair softened and harmonized with the rest of the hair. If, on the other hand, you want to use hair dyes, you will get hair with all the qualities we always like to see: softness, shine and manageability, as well as greater success with the chosen color shade.
As you have asked us many questions when you notice your first gray hair, today we bring them all together, solve them and put them at your disposal, we encourage you to learn all the care you need.
Why does gray hair appear?
The presence of gray hair is a phenomenon related to aging and is one of its most obvious signs. After the 10 cycles of hair growth (approximately at the age of 40) a modification of the hair follicle occurs, there is a depletion of the pigmentary potential of the hair roots that leads to the production of white hair.
The loss of pigment called melanin, due to a decrease in the functionality of the follicle's melanocytes, produces graying and also alters the hygroscopic character of the hair. This alteration affects its ability to absorb moisture and its affinity for metals. As a result, frizziness is promoted and softness and shine are lost.
Although genetics is a determining factor, environmental factors such as smoking and stress also favor the appearance of gray hair. Stress triggers hormonal and neuronal alterations that have an effect on melanocytes and the hair cycle. There are also certain illnesses such as hypothyroidism, vitiligo, vitamin B12 deficiency (pernicious anemia), etc.
"A gray hair is a transparent hair, not white. The use of cosmetics that do not add color to the fiber is important." Modesta
What are the main challenges of gray hair?
To properly understand the challenges faced by gray hair: frizziness, loss of shine, more fragile hair..., we must know the different processes that occur and know that these cannot only be attributed to a loss of melanin in the hair, there are other interesting factors that I will now describe.
- The gray hair is externally more resistant. Yes, keratinocytes begin to occupy the spaces of melanocytes. This means that there is more keratin and the hair is more resistant.
- The gray hair falls out less. Gray hair slows down hair loss. When a hair enters the hair loss phase (telogen phase) the immune system intervenes, the lymphocytes come and accelerate the telogen phase. When the hair becomes gray, the lymphocytes are "confused", they are programmed to act on colored hair and the lack of color confuses them and delays hair loss.
- Cellular resistance. Biologically speaking, when in a tissue one of the cells disappears, the others acquire a cellular resistance. In this case, it seems that when melanocytes are lost, the hair follicle becomes more resistant and longer-lived than the keratinocyte. Although this is not proven, it is an assumption made by biologists.
- When the hair turns gray, there is an alteration of the lipid fraction of the hair, both in quantity and arrangement within the hair fiber. The lipids in the cuticle of a gray hair decrease compared to a pigmented hair. These facts cause gray hair to change its hygroscopic character and its affinity for metals compared to naturally pigmented hair fibers, affecting shine, frizziness and brittleness.
Can we delay gray hair?
To delay gray hair, we must act with products that activate tyrosinase, products that facilitate pigment fusion and, of course, ensure that the hair follicle remains in good condition.
Once the hair turns white at a certain age, it is not possible to reverse it. These products are suitable for young people and require daily application.
Does gray hair require different care than normal hair?
I recommend using a shampoo adapted to your hair type and needs, with active ingredients with proven properties that moisturize and nourish the hair fiber. And since gray hair takes on a yellowish hue if it is exposed to too much sun, chlorine or even minerals in the water, check that the products do not offer pigmentation to your hair, and use a shampoo or concentrate with violet pigments, it will tone down those unwanted colors.
This mattifying shampoo is only applied to the area where you detect the unwanted coloration, which will be mainly from the mid-lengths to the ends. Using it on the entire hair can pigment it with unwanted blue tones.
Gray hair tends to be thicker and unruly and like any other hair needs to be protected. Gray hair suffers from external aggressions both environmental: sun, pollution..., as well as mechanical: brushing, straightening..., or chemical: coloring..., that is why its care is key to show it healthy and beautiful.
Here are some tips to achieve healthy and beautiful gray hair:
- Use cosmetics that offer an effective and respectful cleansing of the scalp and hair. Keep our H02 Repairing Shampoo at hand, together with a conditioner or mask such as H04 Conditioner or H09 Mask, you will restore softness, shine and alignment of the hair fiber. Remember to leave the time recommended by the manufacturer, and if you comb the hair when applying the conditioner use a comb or brush indicated for its use, otherwise you will drag it in the first pass wasting product.
- Pamper your hair. Gray hair is prone to breakage. Pamper it, even more so when it is wet, when the cuticle is swollen and more vulnerable. H08 Moisturizing Leave-In Mist and H10 Sublime Oil will be your allies, you can use them both on wet hair and dry hair.
- Massage it in. Brush and massage your hair, but very gently, especially on the upper part because this area has less structural support and its mechanical resistance is diminished. This area should be cupped with gentle movements rather than manipulated with force.
- Use a shampoo with violet tones. Once a week a shampoo with blue-purple pigment can help to tone down the unflattering yellowish coloring.
Curiosities of gray hair
Three interesting facts about gray hair that you may not have known.
- Men are more prone to baldness than women and Africans have the lowest incidence because black melanocytes are more capable of synthesizing tyrosinase.
- The oxidative stress of the melanocyte by repeated technical processes, produces its exhaustion.
- Gray hair always starts in the temporal region, whereas baldness always starts in the upper hairline, hence the inverse mechanism between gray hair and baldness.
- If you pluck a gray hair, another gray hair will grow again, until the follicle is exhausted, which as we mentioned above does not have an indefinite growth cycle.
- Alopecia is not related to the appearance of gray hair.
Have you ever thought about leaving your gray hair behind? Are we, as @magdalenafrag says in Marie Claire magazine, facing the new white revolution? If so, we're here to help you hit the target ;)
Looking forward to hearing your comments. Best regards, Modesta.