There are a lot of myths or folklores regarding white or gray hair. There are myths regarding how you get them, how to prevent them and how to treat them. From different ethnicities, countries and background; there is one myth about gray hair. Have you heard of the myth that if you pull one gray hair, two white hairs will grow in its place? Or the one about sleeping with wet hair in the afternoon causes the hair to turn gray? There are so many myths, but what exactly is the truth behind it? What evidence proves that any of these myths are slightly true or complete fabrication? We are in search of the truth and ask some of the top dermatologist and hair experts on their take on gray hair and the myths surrounding it.
If you ever see some strand of gray hair, you’re not really on your way to becoming a silver fox. Well, most of us won’t have gray hair early; unless provoked otherwise. Most people male or female will experience a few streaks of gray hair when they reach the age of thirty or in their mid-thirties. Some people will experience a rapid increase in white hair during this period and some will take a few more decades to get that ashy and black color.
This is mostly due to your genes. So, if your parents or one of them experience gray hair early in life there is a huge chance that you will too. Though, there are some people that never acquire the early gray hair gene. This can skip a generation and appear a few bloodlines down the road. There are other things that can affect gray hair. Bleaching your hair excessively, living in a polluted area, damage to the hair follicle, certain medication and disorders that affect pigmentation can affect our hair.
Myth: Plucking Gray Hair, Two Will Grow in Its Place
If you think of this myth in a more logical perspective, you’ll surely know that it is completely false. Your white hair is not a virus that transfers from one hair strand to the other. This is mostly due to lack pigmentation in the hair that can be caused by different factors such as the ones above. Plucking your white hair will not affect the rest of your hair, though it is not a good idea to start plucking away either. Our hair has a natural life cycle. It naturally sheds off and grows. It’s best to just leave it alone and let it live its life in your hair. You risk destroying your hair follicle if you pluck your hair. This can stop hair growth completely and you may end up having patches or thinning hair. If you really want to cover up your hair, just dye it a dark color.
Myth: Smoking and Sun Damage Causes Gray Hair
This myth is true. This is mostly due to the damage that occurs in your scalp, follicle and hair strands. Chemicals from smoke can damage the free radicals in your hair. The reduction of this can cause damage in your melanin, which gives color to the hair. The ultraviolet rays also have the same effect on your hair. Even if your genetics are not prone to white hair, excessive exposure to these chemicals will surely cause your hair to lose pigment. When staying out in the sun, try to wear a hat or cover your head as much as possible. Avoid staying in an area where there is a lot of smoke. Don’t smoke in a close area, even vaping can damage your hair.
Myth: Sleeping with Wet Hair This is a myth.
This is an old wives’ tale women would tell their children to prevent them from sleeping right after showering or taking a bath. You can damage the hair if you move a lot when you sleep or use a rough pillow case. Hair is a lot more fragile when it is wet. Snagging and breaking is highly possible when sleeping with wet hair. The constant tugging of the hair can damage the hair follicle and cause white hair.
Myth: Dying Your Hair
This is flat out untrue, unless what you’re planning to color your hair is gray. Coloring hair is mostly putting back pigments into the hair or removing them. This doesn’t really affect you on the inside. It doesn’t change the amount of melanin your body produces. This is an external treatment that only affects the hair shaft. Unless you damage your hair from bleaching too much, this will have no effect on your gray hair whatsoever.
Most of the hair myths in the world are merely myths. There are so many factors that can affect your gray hair. Even if you get them early in life, doesn’t mean you will go gray faster. It also doesn’t mean that you’ll never get gray hair if you’re in your forties and never saw a single strand of gray in your hair. The next day you may wake up to white roots. Your genetics do affect your gray hair a lot, but it does not dictate it. If you know that you are prone to it, try to do early prevention or learn to color your hair at home.