Picture this. It’s a Friday night and you’re getting ready to head to the newest bar in the city everyone’s been talking about. You look at the mirror and give yourself a final once-over when your gaze falls on a particular strand of hair. You separate it from the rest of the strands and stare at it, praying it’s just the reflection of the light playing tricks on you. Alas! You’ve found your first wiry silver wisp. But how could that be possible? You’re only in your early 20s! Well, guess what? Premature greying is more common than you think and there are ways to cover it up.
First things first, why does it happen? The reason your hair turns grey is because colour-producing cells stop making the pigment melanin that is found in hair follicles. Another factor that may contribute to premature greying is the buildup of hydrogen peroxide. As you grow older, the enzyme catalase that breaks down the chemical decreases, leaving your hair bleached by hydrogen peroxide. Now I know a lot of people would instantly phone their parents when they first spot the silver, after all, most health conditions are linked to genetics. However, that’s not the only reason. Other factors like vitamin B-12 deficiency, anaemia, smoking, and stress also play a part. The important thing to remember is there’s no need to panic (or pluck!) Here’s how you can embrace the inevitable:
1. Dye your hair – This may seem like an obvious option, but if you’ve only spotted a strand or two, you don’t have to colour all of your hair. Instead of going global, try a fun option like balayage or ombre highlights. I’ve noticed a lot of people think the best colour to cover up white tresses is blonde, but that’s not true at all. You can opt for whichever shade you like! Think of it as an opportunity to experiment with a new look, which doesn’t have to be dictated by what people think will work for you. Just because you have a few greys doesn’t mean you have a limited range of options. Although, do make sure you choose a good brand like Wella or L’ Oréal.
2. Apply henna – Soak 2-3 tablespoons henna powder overnight in yoghurt (4-6 oz plain yogurt, more if you have longer hair) and add an egg and a little bit of lemon juice (optional) before applying to your hair. The yoghurt ensures your hair gets enough moisture and the egg adds extra shine. This remedy even helps repair damaged and limp hair, while giving you a natural, earthy hair colour.
3. Weekly oil massage – Though I’m not a fan of hair oiling sessions, I can’t deny their immense benefits. Coconut or almond or any natural oil massage will benefit you (yes, you should listen to your mother more). My mom has her own super-secret, super-effective recipe, which is basically a combination of various oils mixed together.
She combines one bottle each of Jabakusum, Bhringraj, coconut, castor, vitamin E, and almond hair oils in a large container and stores it in a cool, dry place. Each time before applying, she decants the required amount into a bowl, heats it and massages it into her scalp. One way of doing this is with a cotton ball so you can press the oil and let your scalp soak it in better. Rinse off the oil after 1-2 hours. While this won’t magically change the shade of your white strands, it will protect your tresses and might even slow down the greying process.
4. Frequent hair spas – Fortnightly/monthly spas help strengthen and protect your tresses. They’re especially effective for coloured hair, not only avoiding the occurrence of dry ends but making the colour last longer too! My favourite are the Kérastase hair rituals.
5. Moisture-rich hair products – As your tresses grey, they lose their tenacity and become coarser, drier and more brittle. Choose a shampoo and conditioner that are rich in moisture in order to keep your hair smooth and hydrated. Also, avoid using the blow drier or flat iron too much and don’t shampoo every day.
6. Hair mascara – As a quick fix, you can pick up a temporary hair colour mascara to conceal the grey strands from root to tip. This is one of the best options when you don’t have to hide too many locks.
Of course, if you don’t really care about concealing the change, by all means, embrace it! In fact, go ahead and flaunt it (there’s a whole wave of the silver hair dye trend taking over anyway)!
I really hope this post helped you! Thankfully, one of my favourite followers asked me a query related to premature greying on my Facebook page, reminding me how crucial this topic is. If there is any particular topic you want me to talk about, mention it in the comments below or send me an email/message on social media and I will do my best to write a post on it!