There are a few people that rock the grey hair look. We’re talking guys like Clooney and Mark Sloan (of Grey’s Anatomy fame), and ladies like Helen Mirren or Betty White. They just look better with that grey hair, as it makes them elegant and refined.
For the rest of the world, grey hair is something that we want to avoid at all costs. We just don’t have the rugged cheekbones or the winning smiles of these famous men and women, and we desperately want to cling to our appearance of youth.
“What do you know about grey hair?” you may ask. “You’re still young, and with a full head of hair.”
Well, thank you for noticing! I work hard to keep it beautiful, though I have recently cut it short. Why did I cut it? That’s right, I found grey hairs!
Even though I’m young, I want to avoid grey hair as much as the rest of you. For this reason, when I heard about this new gray hair cure that has been discovered in Europe, I knew I had to do my research and learn as much as possible.
Understanding Gray Hair
Did You Know: A Spanish study in 2012 showed that wild boars that had gray hair were actually healthier than those that didn’t? It seems gray hair may actually be a sign of good health, at least in boars!
Before we get into how and why this gray hair cure can or may work, you need to understand what it is that cause gray hair in the first place…
Basically, hydrogen peroxide is the evil genius behind gray hair. When there is too much hydrogen peroxide in your hair follicles, it will cause oxidation of the hairs. This oxidation is similar to the way metal rusts when it’s wet, the only difference being the oxidation of your hairs leeches the pigment from the hairs. The more hydrogen peroxide there is, the faster the hairs will turn gray.
There is an enzyme in your body that is designed to counteract the hydrogen peroxide – called catalase. It is produced naturally by your body, just like hydrogen peroxide. When there is enough catalase in your body, it stops the hydrogen peroxide from oxidizing your hair follicles. In fact, catalase is an enzyme that protects all of the cells in your body from being oxidized by molecules containing oxygen – reactive oxygen species. It basically breaks hydrogen peroxide down into water and oxygen, rendering it harmless.
When you’re young, your body can usually produce enough catalase to protect all of the cells in your body. It is why young whippersnappers like me have full heads of richly colored hair.
However, when our bodies age, they aren’t able to produce as much catalase. The less catalase there is, the more hydrogen peroxide will be able to oxidize the cells of our hair follicles. By the time you reach middle age, too much hydrogen peroxide can give you the white-haired Anderson Cooper look.
The Grey Hair Cure
The gray hair cure was actually discovered by accident – just like soap and penicillin – in a study done on how to cure vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disorder in which your skin slowly starts losing pigment, and it turns white and colorless.
One of the substances used in the study was a topical treatment. The treatment contained a pseudo-catalase given the name PC-KUS, and it was activated by UVB rays from the sun. When it was applied to the skin, the cream stopped the hydrogen peroxide from breaking down the pigment cells in the skin, basically stopping vitiligo in its tracks.
Interestingly enough, a few people applied the cream to their eyelashes as well as to their skin, and it stopped the same oxidative stress that was leeching color out of the skin. By stopping the hydrogen peroxide from eliminating the color from the hair, it basically prevented the subjects’ eyelashes from going gray as a result of the hydrogen peroxide.
Well, this was met with massive enthusiasm by the general world, and the news has been buzzing about it since it was first published in the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal late last month.
Here’s more info on what to do with gray hair.
What Does it Mean for Today’s Gray Hair Treatment?
So, what could this brand new cure for gray hair mean for the world? Well, aside from being a potentially effective cure for dealing with vitiligo – a skin condition that is very unsightly – it may just be the best new thing to help deal with gray hair.
The concept of the treatment is fairly simple, though a lot of research has yet to be done on how effective and safe it can be. All that the treatment needs to do is stop the hydrogen peroxide from oxidizing the cells of our hair and hair follicles, and we’ll be able to have gloriously colored hair for many more years to come!
That day is still in the distant future. While the pseudo-catalase cream was used in the studies, there is no telling when it will be produced and released to the general public. However, what it does mean is that science has found yet another way to reduce the effects of aging – at least the visible ones.
Hopefully, we can say goodbye to those two hour sessions at the hair salon, waiting for the hair dye to soak in so that no one will notice those grey hairs growing in at the roots. You may not have to worry about looking older than you really are, as the catalase will stop your hair from going grey. The only ones that have to worry are the hair dye manufacturers, as well as the hair salon industry.
For the rest of the world, we may have finally found the solution to stop grey hair. Now, let’s see if we can’t figure out the cure for acne!