Hair Color

How to Get Rid of Gray Hair

Why is There no Cure for Gray Hair?

It’s no secret that, as you grow older, many functions and body parts stop working as well as they once did (hearing, eyesight, hands, feet, arms, legs, ad infinitum). Among these are the hair follicles. They get tired and tend to pass on to the great beyond even before the rest of you gives up the ghost. This can mean hair loss for some. For others, the dearly departed follicles stop producing melanin, which is the stuff that puts color in your hair. Without color, your hair tends to go gray, although some people’s hair turns a bright white.

Maybe White Hair is Better?

While some people like the gray, others are so fond of bright white hair that they work to make it even whiter. One thing they do is put bluing in it, just like they put bluing in their laundry to make the whites whiter. We’re not sure how the chemistry of this works, but we used to have an old teacher back in fifth grade, Miss O’Connell, who put bluing in her hair. Some days she used too much and her hair was a whitish blue. Sometimes she used way too much, and her hair was a darkish blue. She may have been the prototype for Marge Simpson.

Well, that’s one way to prevent gray hair – try to make it white. Or make it blue. But most people who want to get rid of the gray want to look younger, not look like dandelions gone to seed. Or look like a Smurf.

Dying to Get the Gray Out?

How do they go about getting the gray out and restoring youthful blonde, brunette, black, or auburn locks? In an attempt to look more youthful, some people respond to ads on the internet for pills that promise to return your graying hair to its original color. Do the pills work? Not too likely. Some people swear by special diets or Chinese herbal treatments. These may or may not work, either, but one thing that will absolutely, positively, guarantee a change of color is dying your hair.

If this is the way you want to go, and you’re the cautious type, you might visit a dermatologist to get some assurance that your hair and scalp are healthy enough to handle the chemicals (such as ammonia) you or your hair dresser are going to pour on your head. The chemicals are part and parcel of the process to make the fake color cling to your real hair for awhile. (But there are other, less caustic, preparations that give you a temporary color fix.)

If the doc says your head can handle it, you’re free to make a b-line with a big wad of money in your hand to a hair dresser -or- you can take a trip to the local drugstore with about $15 in your hand to pick up a box of hair coloring. These go by such brand names as Clairol, Revlon, L’Oreal, and Maybelline. (If you only want a deep black, you can pick up a container of generic henna.) Each brand has a broad range of colors. The formulations are different, and after maybe a few experiments with different brands, you should find one you prefer, then you can stick with that brand and color.

Hair Color for Men?

Males will find two types of hair coloring products supposedly made just for them. One is a lead-based product. After you spatter it on your head, you spread it around by running a comb through your hair. Do that a few times, and the lead makes the gray start turning darker. The best known of these products is Grecian Formula. Unless informed to the contrary, we believe there is not a women’s version of this product because women are too smart to be spattering products containing lead on their heads. Men would probably put camel feces on their heads if someone told them it made them look sexy.

The other product “for men” is the same kind of dye the ladies use. Men will notice a much more limited selection of brands, typically only one or two (such as Just for Men or Clairol’s Men’s Choice), than there is over on the women’s shelf. And they cost more. The higher cost is one of the two basic differences between these hair tinting products and the women’s hair coloring products. The other difference is that the men’s product has a picture of a man on the box rather than the female model whose photo is on the women’s product.

So, guys, unless you’ve got some macho issues, you would be well advised to bring home a woman’s product. It’s cheaper, and you’ve got a wider range of colors and higher degree of permanence. Let’s face it, hair is hair, whether it’s on a man or a woman, and that goop you buy is going to work just as well on you as on your wife. Don’t worry, you won’t come away from the experience with your voice two octaves higher or feeling an overwhelming urge to cross-dress.

DIY or Stylist?

Some ladies who go to the hair dresser may opt simply to get their gray hair covered completely, or they may choose to put some blonde or colored streaks in their naturally gray tresses or their new color job. That can be pretty nice, and since it’s not the kind of thing most oldsters can do at home over the bathroom sink, it’s probably best to let a hair stylist handle it. (Learn how to highlight hair)

If you’re a guy doing this for the first time, check out a few local salons for stylists who have a lot of male clients – or ask your friends for referrals. Then if you like, while you’re getting you hair done you can bombard the stylist with questions about over-the-counter dyes and how to take over the job yourself. For more information on hair dyeing, read how to dye your hair with henna and how to cover gray hair.

Resources:

  • iVillage Beauty & Style Color at Home. Advice on how to do it.
  • Are dye jobs to die for?, USA Today, Health.
  • You may want to think twice before deciding to depend upon hair dyes. You could get bladder cancer. Or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Some hair dye substances have been banned in Europe.
  • The Hairfinder International Hair Directory answers many questions about living with gray hair.

Click here for more information on how to get rid of grey hair.

About the author

Nicole Harding

20 Comments

  • I’m curious as to the validity of the following: I’ve heard that copper is essential for pigmentation and that there is a lack thereof it causes gray/white hair color issues as the body cannot properly color its hair. Is there any research regarding this or other ways to recover the ability to properly pigment by the hair follicles?

  • I did research on copper and how it forms in melanin -not for hair coloring but for a biochemistry professor. It is true that copper ions are required to bind to melanin for proper functioning, there is no research that says, eat more copper to avoid gray hair. The best vitimins for hair are A and D, which can be ingested with cod liver oil.

  • My tip cure that has worked pretty well over many yrs for my black hairs going grey through stress situactions is a Nutient mineral health product called PABA short for (ParaAminobenzoic )known as the anti-grey vitamin I once read and works well. You can get PABA on its own but more expensive from big good health stores. The cheaper way I have used it is in TAN TABLETS form Holland & Barrett stores only £3.99 or I love it in their half price sale £1.99 TRY IT OUT NOW I may try it with now with Copper from the other veiwers Paba Total Tan Tablets will remain my favouite. Anti-grey solution. good Luck.

  • Hi, I came across this site about a product called Reminex. I was wondering if this product really works. Any expert advice? Thanks.

  • A friend of mine does not die her hair and she is not grey and she is about 60. I used mascara on my hair before, and it lasted two days

  • i am 13 and i have alot of white hair. my sister who is 19 now, has had grey hair since she was my age. she puts henna on it becuse our hair is black and it wont change the color of anything else.

  • I am really tired and frustrated of pre mature grey hair. I tried melatab and it makes worse. I got more grey hair after melatab. Anyone with working tips, thanks.

  • I also got so many grey hair.But now i am trying Homeopathic medicine and hair oil since two months and the result is very good.

  • Massage your head with Argan oil everyday.It penetrate immediately into scalp also strengh your hair and give it noticable shine.Make sure it s %100 pure Argan oil.Best a of lucks.

  • my hair has recently been going white i don’t know why but at first i was’nt that borthered but soon after people in my school started making fun of it and still do even though i wear a scarf to cover it.But still when i go to my friends or out somewhere they make comments about it (old,ugly ) and even if i suggest to dye my hair i get told off because apparentley someone in my family had the promblem and dying it made it worse.It is pretty embarassing now even though when it is non uniform day i always say lets go on hoilday so just that i don’t have to be seen with my hair open in school.I also have another promblem people at my school started to say that i have a big nose even thougheveryone says i don’t i still self concious about it they also started picking on me for my ears just because it appeared to have a spot but again told that this was rubbiush but what can i expect i’ve been bullied all my life since primary and still am this has made me shy quiet feel like that i have to please everyone even though i aam upset i am really goood at boottling up my feelings.pleaze reply

  • Hi Shabnam, I’m sorry to hear your hair has started to go white. I know it wont help much but lots of people go through what you’re going through so you’re normal. If people are telling you that your nose isn’t big and that your ears are fine they will be telling you the truth. Bullies pick on people because they are insecure and bullying makes them feel important. If there is a teacher you get on well with at school let him or her know about the bullying so they can do something. If you have been bullied since primary school your confidence is likely to be low. You should have a Connexions Personal Adviser in your school. Connexions might be able recommend a confidence building activity or project you could get involved with. I hope everything works out Shabnam. Good Luck

  • I used wheatgrass 1 to 2 oz and thats a lot! little bit at a time before a shower cause it’s messy . let it stay in for 15 to 20 minutes .It’s not gonna be like bam gray is gone!,but it does take some of gray down a bit. yeah its a chore you will feel a little tingle also on your scalp but its good for your skin. I grew my own grass and what I didn’t drink I used on my hair.

  • Well unfortunately in my family white hair started early in my family my dad started getting grat har when he was 18 and i started getting gray hair when i was 38, i now have more gray hair than santa claus, well i took some health classes and i learned that the reason people get gray hair is due to melanin in our skin, i hate dying my hair case it so much trouble,

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  • I don’t really have gray hair..at least not on my head. I’ve got plenty in my beard though and it makes me looks old. I’ve tried the Just for Men beard dye, but my beard grows so fast that the gray roots are visible within a couple of days. Does anybody know of anything else I can use? Products? Supplements? Anything?

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