Everything you need to know about white hair
The appearance of white or gray hair, also called canities, is a natural process that affects both men and women. In general, this appearance begins around the age of 40.
Origin of white hair
The color of the hair depends on the presence, or, on the contrary, the lack of pigments called melanins. These pigments also influence skin color.
They are made by cells called melanocytes. They are located within the hair bulb at the base of the hair.
There are two types of melanins which are eumelanins and pheomelanins. Eumelanins are responsible for the brown color. For blonde and red shades, these are pheomelanins.
It is possible that the same individual has these two pigments. It is the variation in their proportions that explains the wide variety of hair color.
The amount of pigments and hair color mainly depend on genes. However, it can also be influenced by external factors (the sun, pollution, air, etc.) and therefore vary slightly.
For example, hair tends to lighten with the sun's rays. While the skin, conversely, reddens or becomes more tanned.
Gradual appearance of white hair
With age, the whitening phenomenon evolves gradually. In general, it starts affecting a few hairs and then gradually spreads over the entire hair.
Initially the hair is more gray in color, and eventually turns white. Hair is not the only one affected by this phenomenon, there are also beard and eyebrow hairs.
Causes of the appearance of white hair
White hair (also known as “salt and pepper hair”) is not caused by white color pigment, but, conversely, by a lack of melanin pigmentation.
Aging is the main cause of white hair. Indeed, cells called melanocytes, which produce melanin, have a limited lifespan.
There are stem cells that can replace them, but over time their supply runs out. Those who resist will generate less and less melanin.
When the melanocytes eventually disappear, the hair is no longer pigmented and appears white.
Certain diseases of genetic origin can promote this phenomenon of whitening, such as albinism which affects the production of melanin or Menkes disease which causes poor absorption of copper. There is also ataxia telangiectasia which impacts DNA repair mechanisms, and Waardenburg syndrome which influences skin and hair pigmentation.
In addition, stress could promote the appearance of white hair. To avoid it, it is advisable to get a good night's sleep, do physical activity or meditation, or take food supplements based on relaxing plants . A new molecule that is very widespread these days: CBD could also have a concrete action against stress.
Délicure offers a food supplement to promote relaxation and protect the nervous system from stress. It comes in the form of vegan and natural stress gummies . They are composed of vitamin B6 and the amino acid GABA, as well as plants such as rhodiola, saffron and holy basil.
Salt and pepper hair treatment
For some people, white hair represents an aesthetic inconvenience. There is no treatment to prevent hair whitening, however, there are a large number of beauty and cosmetic products available to dye and conceal white hair.
However, coloring can contain various chemical and harmful substances that can accelerate the process of white hair. It is therefore necessary to space out the frequency of coloring, ideally every 6 weeks.
If the presence of white hair is low, it is better to choose less harmful products that color white hair without permanently dyeing it. The coloring can last up to 8 to 10 shampoos.