Can gray hair make a man look older than he feels or what he really is? What to do with gray hair? To dye or not dye a man's hair? Is it possible to cure gray hair?
Gray hair sneaks up on you sometimes literally. I first discovered a few gray hairs when I was over 30. Then more and more of them appeared.
Anatomy of gray hair
This happened not long before the image of the lumberjack began to be associated with something very old.
I wasn't just worried about this image. I felt this way. Of course, gray hair makes a man stand out from the crowd. Gives him gravity. Look at Bill Clinton. Look at news anchor Anderson Cooper, he has the face of a young boy, his early gray hair must have helped him get a job at CNN.
But gray hair can make you look older than you feel or what you really are.
According to the teachings of Buddha - "Gray hair is the forerunner angels sent by the god of death." Or as Cooper quipped, "Translation: Gray hair is nature's whisper, 'You're dying.'
Away the beard
|George Clooney is an American actor, director, producer and screenwriter.|
“Wow, you look much younger,” my friends said - until gray hair appeared in my dark brown sideburns and then in my temples. Salt and pepper, I told myself. A little gray hair can be sexy. Look at George Clooney. If his hair is gray, why should I worry? Why? Well, look at him. Clooney would look amazing even playing a Mohawk and wearing a robe. More and more gray reflection, looked at me from the mirror …
It's time to explore
The causes of gray hair are still unknown.
I figured out that gray hair may be one of the signs of aging, but scientists still don't fully understand why it occurs. One of the world's experts on gray hair is Desmond Tobin, Ph. D., Research Fellow at Bradford University in England. When I contacted him, he kindly sent me a bunch of scientific papers with titles like “Gray hair: gerontobiology of the pigment unit of the hair follicle” and “hair cycle and pigmentation: dynamic interactions and changes associated with aging”.
I immersed myself in the study, encouraged by the fact that science is taking the issue of gray hair so seriously
|Christophe Guy Denis Lambert is a French actor, laureate of the Cesar Prize (1986).|
The essence that I have studied is this: the hair shaft is colorless. The cells of the follicle are called melanocytes, and they produce pigment. The pigment called melanin comes in two different flavors, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which combine in varying proportions to create a vast range of hair colors, from jet black to ash white. For a long time, scientists have speculated that melanocytes simply become less efficient at making pigment as we age. This may be partially true. But recent research from Harvard University has shown that the number of pigment-producing cells decreases with age.
Contrary to popular belief, having children or strenuous work does not cause gray hair. But oxidation - the damaging effects of unstable oxygen molecules that are associated with many aspects of aging - may be one of the causes of gray hair. In 2006, scientists at the University of Humboldt in Berlin reported that a large number of unstable oxygen molecules are formed during the synthesis of melanin. When a team at the University of Humboldt oxidized the healthy pigment-producing cells in the hair follicle, the cells began to die off.
|Omar Sharif was born Michel Demitri Shalhub on 1932-10-04 in Alexandria, Egypt. Born Christian, but changed his name and religion in order to marry actress Faten Hammam.|
Of course heredity plays a role, as early gray hair tends to appear in families. There are also racial differences. Among white men, hair usually turns gray after 30, according to Tobin. For Asians, it begins after 35, and for African Americans, after 40. From this age, the risk of turning gray increases by 10 - 20% every decade. Tobin states, "The famous iron rule about gray hair is that by age 50, 50% of the population has 50% gray hair."
I enter this 50%.
To dye or not dye a man's hair?
Gray hair, alas, is almost inevitable for most men. But that doesn't mean we have to live with her. Pharmacy shelves are overflowing with color-enhancing products that promise to remove gray hair and restore hair to its previous shade. David Kennell, senior vice president of research and development at L'Oreal in the United States, and one of the leading manufacturers of hair products, advises on the myriad of options to choose from. “Products for men are divided into four categories,” Kennell says:
Gradual coloring. The “Greek Formula” uses lead acetate, which darkens when exposed to air. The hair is colored gradually, and you can stop when you reach the desired shade.
Direct coloring. It consists in the fact that colored molecules cover the hair. The paint is very easy to apply. Disadvantage: The paint is usually washed off after 6-10 shampoos. On the other hand, you don't have to worry about graying roots. The paint is washed off before they grow back.
Pseudo-constant color. Also called tone on tone, it uses peroxide to allow the dye molecules to spread throughout the hair shaft, thus creating a more consistent color. The painting process usually takes 5 - 15 minutes, and the paint lasts twice as long as with direct painting.
Long lasting color. Both peroxide and ammonia are used, which can lighten the natural pigmentation of the hair, allowing a man to pick a shade lighter than his natural hair color. This product category is also used for highlighting. Disadvantage: If you don’t like the color, you will have to endure it until the hair grows back, or you will have to dye it again, which will be more difficult.
Fight yourself or go to a professional?
If possible, you can dye your hair yourself, but when should you contact a hairdresser-stylist? Standard home hair dyes work well if you use them to mask or dye small amounts of gray hair, Kennell says. But if you have a lot of gray hair, then you will probably get the best results from a professional.
Even professional hair coloring doesn't last forever. When the gray roots grow back, you will have to re-paint. You may even need to dye it every 4 weeks if your hair is pretty gray.
Is it possible to cure gray hair?
|Sir Thomas Sean Connery is a Scottish film actor and producer.|
Are paint molecules the best tool science has to offer? What about basic research in the field of “hair follicle pigment unit gerontobiology”? Can't scientists do something to stop the gray hair first thing?
Perhaps someday they will. According to Kennell, “The decoding of the human genome has led to the study of genes responsible for the structure and color of hair. If scientists figure out what code the melanocytes use to make pigment, they may be able to stop or delay the graying process.”
In theory, anything can be. But not soon. In the near future, most likely, hair coloring products will become the only option. At least men have a lot to choose from, in the nearest pharmacy I found a large assortment of products - from coloring shampoos to rubbing in gels, and in terms of shades - from sandy blonde to natural black. There are even products for coloring sideburns or mustaches with comfortable shoulder blades.
Of course, there is another way out: to wear gray hair proudly. In fact, more and more men are doing this. A 2002 social survey conducted by Experian Simmons Research in Florida found that 5.8% of men dye their hair at home. In 2006, their percentage dropped to 4.8%. “Gray hair is a crown of glory,” says one proverb. Perhaps people like Clinton and Clooney convinced more men to wear gray hair with pride.
After much deliberation on whether my natural hair color is light brown or ash brown, not to mention choosing a cream paint or gel, I began to wonder if the game was worth the candle. On the other hand, what if I become like the guy on the box with the words “For Men. Light brown …"
Photo: Stuart Crawford flickr.com/potatojunkie