As I was staring at a few strands of gray hair shining on the sides of my head a few weeks ago, I was dumb-struck as I hadn’t noticed any one of them before. Did they grow out overnight? Probably not! As they are on the side and on a view I wouldn’t have seen easily, I must have missed their initial growth. Although I know of a few friends that have been coloring over their gray hair for a few years now, graying in mid-30s just didn’t make any sense…until I looked into it. Aside from B12 deficiency, issues with thyroid gland or lower bone density, there are no medical connections to premature or early graying.
Contrary to popular belief, plucking gray hair doesn’t make you grow more gray hair; however, the plucking damages hair follicle and when hair grows again, it grows in a different direction of the rest of the strands around it which makes it stand out and overall seem like more gray hair against the rest of the color than there actually is.
According to WebMd, Asians start growing gray hair in late 30s. Our counter parts are as follows: Caucasians in early 30s and Africans in mid-40s. And, premature graying refers to 10-15 years ahead of the above norm. So, I can’t consider myself as premature graying, but definitely a few years ahead of the norm. Reason: unknown! My parents didn’t go gray until late 40s or even early 50s. As much as I would like to blame my family for inducing stress, scientists haven’t seen stress causing gray. So, what gives? I might never know.
Next step, what are my options?
- Semi-permanent or demi-permanent color: The color lasts a few weeks and is a good option for people just starting to see gray according to King. “If you have a lot of your natural colors running through, you don’t want to take that away,” King says. “You can just blend it without disrupting what you already have that’s already beautiful and natural.”
- Highlights: Scattered strands are lightened to blend the gray with the rest of your hair.
- Permanent color: King suggests using it once you have 45% to 50% gray. Some clients leave some gray around their face to make a statement.
- Hair products: If you don’t want to dye but still want to conceal the gray, King suggests a coloring tool such as spray-on airbrush hair makeup, which washes out with a shampoo.
Against black-brown hair, grays are very apparent, so, I’ll have to do something about it very soon. I’m leaning towards semi-permanent color as I wouldn’t want to color all my hair periodically and dry it out. Are you dealing with early graying? How are you handling it?
Reference: Premature Graying: Reasons, Options