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Health and Wellness Wednesday on Thursday: Why Hair Goes Gray

Posted on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:22AM

Spending many hours and dollars (just helping out the economy) at the salon yesterday to cover my gray hairs delayed the posting  of Health and Wellness Wednesday - Why Hair Goes Gray! 

But I wanted to share the good news with you ladies who are covering your most authentic grays.  Hey, we earned them

And to the beautiful women who have chosen to keep your gray hair, I salute you.  Some women look stunning with silver locks. 

For instance, look at gorgeous Daphne Selfe in the picture above, Britain's oldest catwalk model, a grandmother in her eighties with an extraordinary modelling career. Dolce & Gabbana, Tata-Naka, and Michiko Koshino employ this gray-haired beauty for her graceful posture, striking cheekbones, and her long, gorgeous gray hair!

I, on the other hand, am not a supermodel.  I'm just your average Josephine, and when my gray hairs start dancing and partying on the top of my head, I look like I have a fatal disease.  (Kudos to my fabulous hair artiste Kevin Q for concocting a color prescription that makes me look like the picture of health!)

The good news:

Scientists may have figured out why hair turns gray, and they are now working on anti-graying strategies.

Here's the scientific answer as to why our hair turns gray:

It's a chemical chain reaction that causes hair to bleach itself from the inside out. The process starts when there is a dip in levels of an enzyme called catalase. That catalase shortfall means that the hydrogen peroxide that naturally occurs in hair can't be broken down. So hydrogen peroxide builds up in the hair, and because other enzymes that would repair hydrogen peroxide's damage are also in short supply, the hair goes gray.

If scientists could figure out a way to stop the chemical chain reaction, we woman wouldn't have to spend so much time and money trying to cover up our gray hair.

Until then, I love you Kevin Q!

Related Articles:


Sources:  The FASEB Journal; the FASEB is the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Wood, J. The FASEB Journal, Feb. 23, 2009; online edition.

News release, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.



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