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Hair on Your Head

Control the Gray the Natural Way

I think you'll agree that no one gets excited, in a good way, when they see their first gray hair, especially if they're under the age of 40.  Graying is something we all experience at some point in life, yet as natural and expected as it is, its' presence is never a welcomed sight.

Gray hair reminds us we're getting older, which most of us would rather pull out our fingernails then become.  However, since graying is out of our control, I guess we just have to accept this fact of life.  But, wait... is it truly out of our control?  Many people believe it's not, and have scientific evidence to back the theory that lifestyle and diet, and not only genetics, can have substantial impact on when and how much gray hair we get.

So, why do we gray, anyway?

There are several theories, with heredity and stress being blamed the most, but science is now leaning towards a new discovery and theory; giving more insight and hope for future treatment.  People who go gray have too much natural hydrogen peroxide in their bodies.  Human skin cells produce small amounts of hydrogen peroxide as part of the body's oxygen cycle, which serves to kill bacteria.  We also produce the enzyme catalase, which breaks hydrogen peroxide down into water and oxygen.  As we age, our production of catalase drops off, so hydrogen peroxide doesn't get converted into water and oxygen at the rate it does when we're younger; resulting in higher levels of hydrogen peroxide, which the body can't get rid of.  Melanin, the pigment that gives skin its' color, also gives hair its' color.  Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide interferes with melanin and causes hair to turn gray.  Obviously, it's all part of the aging process, which can't be avoided.  However... how we age and the rate at which we age are within our control to some extent.

Genetics do play a part in graying, especially for the premature grayer, so controlling when graying begins is more of a challenge for these individuals – but not necessarily impossible.  If you find you're graying prematurely, I suggest you see a doctor about it, even if premature graying runs in your family, since it's possible a health issue may be the cause.  Some autoimmune and genetic conditions, in addition to thyroid and pituitary problems, are also associated with early graying.  Graying from certain causes, like thyroid and pituitary problems, can actually be reversed once the health issue is addressed – so rule out any medical cause.

Diet and Nutrition

For the majority of us who have no health problems associated with graying, cleaning ourselves up and making sure we get what we need may actually have some positive affects on postponing inevitable gray hair.  I'm talking about diet and nutrition.

I can't think of a time or reason eating healthy isn't beneficial.  Vitamins and minerals are essential for every bodily function, including hair growth and color retention.  It stands to reason, if our bodies get what they need, their performance will be optimized.  Taking proper care of ourselves, which includes exercise, will only result in a better quality of life.

Before I get into the specific nutrients that defend us from gray hair, I want to explain another, more recognized, theory that directly relates to nutrition.  Melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, decrease as we age.  As a result, we lose hair pigment or color and hair turns gray.  Free radicals, produced from cellular waste, plus environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, chemicals and herbicides in our foods, attack our bodies causing disease and aging.  Our defense?  Antioxidants!  They come to our rescue by essentially fighting and stopping free radicals in their tracks, so damage to our bodies is minimized.  Ok, so that wasn't the most scientific explanation, but I'm sure you get my point – antioxidants are the good guys.

So, how do we get these antioxidants?

Well, nature has an incredible, fool proof plan: fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, spices, even chocolate, coffee and tea!  5 to 8 servings a day of assorted plant life provides us with what we need.  And, for those who can't seem to eat that many servings a day, that's what God made antioxidant supplements for.  You know that was a joke, right?!  Anyway, in order for our bodies to effectively fight the damaging pollution that lurks within, we must have antioxidants.  So, the more antioxidants we have, the healthier and more efficient our bodies are.  And the healthier our bodies are, the better and longer it can produce melanocytes.  And the longer our bodies produce melanocytes... drum roll, please... the longer we keep our hair color and avoid graying!  Gentlemen, the bottom line is get an adequate amount of antioxidants – through food or supplements such as Alpha Lipoic Acid, Beta Carotene, Glutathione, Vitamin E, Selenium, etc.

Check out this site for tons of information on antioxidants: http://suite101.com/article/a-ranking-of-antioxidant-values-of-foods-a156916

Here's a list of other nutrients that will not only help you keep your hair color, but will keep your skin looking young, too.  There are many more foods that contain these nutrients than I listed, so research for additional foods.

  • B12 – shellfish, liver, beef, Swiss cheese, feta, and supplements
  • Folic Acid – dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruit and juice, dried beans and legumes, and supplements
  • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, broccoli, bell peppers, and supplements
  • Copper – shellfish, organ meats, and supplements
  • Iodine – Shellfish, seaweeds, and supplements
  • Iron – egg yolk, dried beans, dried fruit, blackstrap molasses, and (supplements; only if needed)
  • Curry – spice and supplements
  • Protein – low intake may promote graying

 

Gray hair happens, but with a little knowledge, we can, hopefully, postpone the inevitable.  Your hair won't be the only thing to benefit from eating healthy – your entire  body and image will thank you, too!

by Aaron Marino


Past Topics

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Virtual Grooming Session | Before and After Mike -
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Aaron Marino Shop: Virtual Grooming Mike works in the technology industry and dresses-up daily, but he feels like he looks like a boy and isn't taken seriously by women and peers. Aaron Marino of alpha m. gave Mike a virtual grooming session. Check out Mike's before and then after pictures. Virtual Grooming is designed to assist men with the best hair style and facial hair options. Aaron analyzesRead More»
Hanging with Alpha | Aaron's New Hair Style  -
May 10, 2012
Aaron Marino of alpha m. is ready for a new men's hair style. A few months ago he had it cut shorter for a more polished look. Since then, he cut it himself and jacked it up. He is ready for a new style. He wants to keep some length in the back & sides but wants to stick it up more on the top. He researched the options, and he found two appealing styles. Once he found the celebrity (Jonathan ARead More»
Male Pattern Baldness | Revivogen Natural Solution -
March 15, 2012
Revivogen Ain't nothing exciting about losing your hair. It's tough emotionally and sucks at any age. But Alpha's excited about a new natural hair loss treatment- anti-aging for your hair! Alpha talked to a doctor, Stephen, did research, and followed-up with the actual company. First, Aaron Marino of alpha m. talks about the biology behind male pattern baldness in detail. In summary, the key to Read More»
Men's Hair Makeover | Russ's GQ Polished Look -
March 15, 2012
Aaron Marino of alpha m. works with a client, Russ, regarding a new hair style. He's a handsome guy with great hair. Prior to the today's appointment, Aaron sent him 15 images of shorter hair styles and then 15 images of longer hair styles. A hair style was decided, which is more tapered and texturized in the back then up in the front. Products will be key as well as the cut. Once at the salon, thRead More»

How Aaron Marino Styles His Hair | Men's Hair Style -
March 2, 2012
Aaron Marino of alpha m. demonstrates how he styles his hair after getting out of the shower. His length at this point is 7 - 8 inches on top and covers ears. Towel dry hair, brush hair straight back, and then use a hair dryer to take the wetness out of it. Push hair out of face and use hair dryer to blow back where part is going to be. Then follow with blowing the sides. Now it's time for productRead More»
Hair Loss... Now What?  -
January 27, 2012
If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re dealing with some sort of hair loss; like 2 out of 3 men will at some point in their life.  Hair loss is an absolute downer, but doesn’t have to mean youth and image are lost.  It’s a fact of life for most men, so finding ways to accept and properly deal with it will make the situation less emotionally painful and more successfully contrRead More»
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To wear or not to wear, sideburns, like any other facial hairstyle, is a personal choice of everyman. Sideburns; patches or sections of facial hair grown on the sides of the face, which extend from the hairline to the jawline and everywhere in between, and always worn with an unbearded chin, are often dictated by style and fashion, and have been making statements about the times and the men for ceRead More»
Men's Hairstyling Products -
January 7, 2012
So, you found the perfect hairstyle, got the perfect cut, but are unsure of how to keep it looking good.  It’s no wonder with all the different styling products men now have to choose from.  An industry that traditionally catered to women, and not so long ago gave men only a few options like VO5 and Brylcreem, has grown to mega status and can definitely confuse even the best of us. Let’s takRead More»
Hair Loss in Men | Causes and Treatments -
December 19, 2011
Hair loss, of some degree, is an unfortunate fact of life for nearly all men.  Men of all ages and nationalities are subject to hair loss, with very few being exempt from this harsh reality. There are various reasons for hair loss: illness, nutritional deficiencies, extreme stress, medications, etc., but the most common cause is male pattern baldness (MPB).  It is recognized by the typical horseRead More»

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