Going Gray Can Be Reversible, and Here’s What You Can Do to Return Color to Your Hair

There are a few folklore stories about people whose hair turned white overnight. For example, an English lawyer, Sir Thomas More, reportedly went totally gray the night before his execution. Even though scientists are not too keen on supporting the story, there are still many things about gray hair we don’t know.

We at Bright Side learned more about the research that has been done on how to reverse graying hair, and we’d like to share this information with you.

1. Why some people gray earlier than others

Just like with the color of your skin, the chemical that determines hair color is called melanin. With time, pigment cells in the hair die out, which causes it to gray. According to the study, this process usually begins for Caucasian people when they’re in their mid-thirties. For Asian people, this typically happens in their late thirties, whereas African people are likely to start graying when they reach their mid-forties.

However, this process can start earlier or later for you — it largely depends on your genes, particularly IRF4, which regulates the production of melanin as well as its storage.

2. Scientists’ newest findings

A recent study finally proved what most of us have known intuitively: stress causes hair to gray prematurely. Scientists measured protein levels in volunteers’ hair and found that psychological stress influenced mitochondria (they produce energy in the cells). Some other factors have similar effects, like being vegetarian, lacking vitamin B12, and suffering from other health conditions (like vitiligo).

3. The good news is graying can be reversed.

Together with linking graying to psychological stress, the aforementioned study found that people can get their hair color back if they’re stressed out less. As such, one of the participants who managed to partly restore their hair color simply went on vacation. However, there are some limitations to this method — it won’t work for people whose hair has been gray for years.

4. Some home remedies you can try out

If you want to preserve the color of your hair without dying it, it’s advised to make sure that you get enough vitamins (in addition to B12, vitamins E, D, and A matter most) and minerals (zinc, iron, etc.), and treat your hair well (avoid exposing it to the sun, using harsh shampoos, and so on).

Here are some home remedies:

1. Apply coconut oil to the roots and the length of your hair the night before washing it.

2. Mix a teaspoon of fresh ginger and a tablespoon of honey, and eat this every day.

3. Consume about 8 ounces (240 milliliters) of carrot juice every day.

4. Take the same amount of lemon juice, amla juice, and almond oil. Mix them and use the product on your hair and scalp twice a day for 3 months.

5. Graying is actually not bad at all.

We all know that accepting your body with its imperfections is healthy, so we should learn to embrace gray hair for what it is — a sign of maturity and wisdom that can be stylish too. Here are some graying celebrities to get inspiration from.

Meryl Streep

Salma Hayek

Helen Mirren

Gwyneth Paltrow

Jamie Lee Curtis

What do you think about the look of gray hair?

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