The Biggest Gray Hair Myths, Debunked

Plucking grays does not make more grow back. Period.

From : Good Housekeeping

So you heard that thing about coloring your hair from your sister, who heard it from a friend, who’s pretty sure she read it somewhere. Whether it’s true or a game of telephone gone wrong, one thing’s for sure: There are a lot of hair color rumors out there, especially when it comes to grays. Here, we separate hair-color fact from fiction.


Myth: Hair turns gray over time

This is more of a trick of the eye. Rather than gradually turning gray, a strand of hair sheds — and, if your melanin-producing cells are slowing down, a new, less-pigmented hair replaces it. (This is why your entire head of hair doesn’t turn gray all at once.)


Myth: You can’t color stubborn grays at home

If you have grays that no longer take on color the way they used to, you need a product that really works, and you don't need to go to a salon to get it. Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Coverage hair color, which uses CoverPlus Technology to provide coverage on even super resistant grays, will be your new best friend. Even wiry strands won't get past it. Sorry, salons!


Myth: Gray hair is naturally coarse

While gray hair feels coarse and rough, the structure of the strand hasn’t actually changed. When those melanin-producing cells run out of steam, the hair follicles also produce less sebum (the natural oils that hydrate hair). As a result, gray hair tends to be drier, which gives it that wiry texture.


Myth: Stress turns hair gray

“Stress contributes to but doesn’t cause gray hair,” explains Stephanie Brown, colorist at Nunzio Saviano salon in New York City. The latest research shows that it may speed up the process, but you won’t suddenly grow grays after a stressful work meeting or tense family holiday. (Stress can cause hair loss, though, says Brown — which is where the confusion may have come in.)


Myth: Your lifestyle doesn't affect when you’ll go gray

It totally does. Not only is smoking cigarettes linked to earlier graying, but new research shows that your diet can have an impact, too. One study found that a deficiency in vitamins key for hair health, like vitamin B, folic acid, and biotin, is associated with earlier graying, while other research shows your levels of iron, calcium, and vitamin D3 may play a role in going gray. In other words, a well-balanced, nutritious diet won’t reverse grays, but it may help keep them at bay.


Myth: Plucking grays makes more grow back

One of the oldest old wives’ tales out there, there’s no truth to this at all. Still, plucking them is a bad idea. It can weaken the follicle, and the hair won’t grow back there, warns Brown. Plus, you may cause collateral damage in the process. “When you’re trying to pluck that gray hair, a lot of times you don’t get the exact hair,” she explains. “And if you pluck out hair that isn’t gray, doing so weakens the follicle and could cause it to grow back gray anyway.” Remember how gray hair starts as a fresh strand of hair? This basically creates the perfect condition for that to happen.


Myth: Gray hairs are hard to style

They’re not inherently hard to style — but because grays are so coarse, they can be a little less manageable than pigmented hair. The solution is easy: Just replace the hydration that the follicle no longer produces. Opt for styling products that contain moisturizing ingredients like botanical oils and choose styling creams and hair oils over gels and sticky sprays to keep grays hydrated all day.


Myth: Covering grays is high maintenance

To keep your hair fresh and bright, ideally you'll color your hair every four to six weeks. We know, we know: That sounds like a lot. (And it is.) But a salon isn’t required. Try an at-home hair color formula, like Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Coverage instead of dialing your stylist. It’ll save you time, money, and a headache.


Myth: You only get stubborn grays when you hit a certain age

Unfortunately, this isn't so. You can get stubborn grays at any age because they're caused by a loss of melanin (not years since you were born), which can happen when you're 20 or 60!

See more at: Good Housekeeping

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Women's Magazine: The Biggest Gray Hair Myths, Debunked
The Biggest Gray Hair Myths, Debunked
Myths about gray hair, debunked for good.
Women's Magazine
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