Let’s start by understanding what causes gray hair. Gray hair is caused by a natural decrease in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. Melanin is produced by specialized cells called melanocytes, which are located at the base of each hair follicle. As we age, the number of melanocytes decreases, and the remaining melanocytes produce less melanin.
Without enough melanin, hair appears gray or white. The age at which hair starts to turn gray varies from person to person and can be influenced by genetics, lifestyle factors such as smoking, and medical conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Additionally, some studies have suggested that stress may also play a role in premature graying of hair.
A groundbreaking study from NYU Grossman School of Medicine has shed new light on the causes of gray hair and opens up the possibility of developing treatments to reverse or prevent graying in humans.
Published in the journal Nature , the study focused on cells present in the skin of mice and humans, known as McSCs. The maturation of these cells determines hair color. They continually multiply but remain nonfunctional unless they receive a signal to transform into mature cells responsible for producing pigments.
As reported on Earth.com, gray hair could soon be a thing of the past as researchers discovered that McSCs exhibit remarkable plasticity. This means they can transition between different states of maturity as they move through the various compartments of a hair follicle.
“It could provide a potential pathway for reversing or preventing the graying of human hair,” said study lead investigator Qi Sun, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Health.
But while we wait for these developments to become a reality, let’s talk about the latest trend of women (adult women and the not so young) embracing gray hair and what the “Go Gray Journey” entails.
Why Going Gray Seems OK for Men, But Questionable For Women?
Gray hair is more accepted for men because it has traditionally been associated with maturity, wisdom, and experience. In many cultures, older men are revered and respected, and gray hair is seen as a sign of their status and authority.
However, as society has become more accepting of diversity and more focused on promoting self-acceptance and body positivity, attitudes towards gray hair have started to shift for both men and women. Many people are now recognizing that gray hair can be a beautiful and natural part of aging and that it doesn’t need to be hidden or disguised.
Many women are finding that gray hair can be a beautiful and empowering look and are using social media platforms to share their own journeys towards embracing their natural hair color. In addition, there are now more hair care products and styling options available specifically for gray hair, which are helping women to care for and style their hair in ways that highlight its natural beauty.
Gray is the New Black!
If a woman wants to achieve a gray shading effect on their hair, there are a few options depending on their current hair color and the desired end result. Here are some recommendations:
- Bleach and tone: If the woman’s hair is dark or has a lot of warmth, the first step may be to bleach the hair to a lighter level and then tone it to achieve the desired gray shade. This process is best left to a professional stylist to avoid damaging the hair.
- Gray hair dye: There are several gray hair dyes available on the market that can be used to achieve a gray shading effect. These dyes are often called “smokey” or “silver” and range in shades from light gray to dark charcoal. Again, it is best to have a professional stylist apply the dye for the best results.
- Temporary hair color: If the woman is unsure about committing to a permanent hair color change, they can try a temporary hair color spray or mousse to achieve a gray shading effect. These products can be washed out easily and are a great way to experiment with a new look.
- Hair extensions: Another option is to add gray hair extensions to the hair. This is a great way to add a pop of gray shading without changing the woman’s natural hair color. Extensions can be applied by a professional stylist and can be removed easily when desired.
It is important to keep in mind that any hair coloring process can cause damage to the hair, so it is important to take proper care of the hair with regular deep conditioning treatments and minimize the use of heat styling tools.
Ready To Go Gray?
It is important to understand that this is not a simple process, and not only can it take long hours, but it can also affect your budget as it is a pricy procedure. The time it takes to achieve gray shading in hair can vary depending on the specific process used and the starting point of the hair. Bleaching and toning hair to achieve a gray shade can take several hours, as the hair may need to be lightened to a very pale blonde before the gray toner can be applied. This process can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on the starting hair color and the desired result.
If a gray hair dye is used, the process may be shorter, as the hair does not need to be pre-lightened. However, it can still take several hours to achieve the desired color, especially if multiple rounds of dye application are necessary to get the perfect shade.
If you are serious about it, we recommend you scan through the video below (yes, scan because it is a very long video) to see this gray shading transformation that took 2 days, more than 14 hours, and a cost of $1,200 to achieve this amazing gray hair transformation.
The cost of a gray shading effect procedure can vary widely depending on several factors, including the location, the salon or stylist’s level of expertise, the length and thickness of the hair, and the specific process used.
If you don’t have the time or the money you can always try the do-it-at-home options. There are many brands and products on the market that claim to offer at-home gray hair dye options. Some of these products may be effective and easy to use, while others may not provide the desired results.
One of the most popular ones is Go Gray that offers a product for every phase of the Go Gray journey, from lightening tough dyes to soften the grow out, to further removing color and revitalizing hair health, look and feel.
It’s always a good idea to do research and read reviews before trying any new hair dye product, and it’s also important to follow the instructions carefully and take proper precautions to avoid damaging the hair or scalp.
After reviewing what is needed to be able to go gray naturally or through gray shading, we can understand why there are still so many women who prefer to color their hair. Ultimately, the most important thing is for each person to feel comfortable and confident in their own skin.
#MNHD Editorial Staff