Grey hair. Two words powerful enough to lead even the laziest tomboy into an unhealthy obsession with yoga and hair dye. But contrary to popular belief, women’s hair colouring is not something that can be prevented or controlled through simple lifestyle choices. Though previous studies have suggested that stress, alcohol, smoking and poor nutrition can accelerate the process of greying hair, new research seems to indicate that unlike hair loss (more words women never want to hear) there’s nothing you can do, so stop worrying.
Women’s genetic make-up determines if and when their hair will lose its pigment, say Unilever research scientists, as opposed to previous theories that certain lifestyle and environmental factors could cause grey hair by increasing levels of hydrogen-peroxide, or natural bleach.
A study of identical and non-identical Danish twins, involving more than 200 identical and non-identical twins between the ages of 59 and 81, found little difference between the greyness of identical twin sisters and 90% of any difference that did exist between twins was down to their genes.
“This study offers us a fascinating insight into the reason why women go grey and it certainly suggests that environmental factors are not as important as we once thought,” said Dr David Gunn, senior Unilever research scientist.
The study further revealed that the degree of recession of a woman’s hairline is predominantly determined by genetics, but confirmed current belief that thinning hair is largely affected by lifestyle and environmental influences. Childbirth, medications, illness, smoking and dieting can all lead to excessive hair shedding in women but any loss can be rectified through appropriate lifestyle changes or with the help of medically-licensed hair loss treatments.
Grey hair and thinning have long been the cause of undue stress in a woman’s life but it seems it could all be a useless waste of energy. You can’t help greying hair but you can hide it with dyes, and thinning hair is often reversible if you take a closer look at your lifestyle. But even if that turns out to be genetic too, there are clinically proven hair loss treatments that can help.
For more information, or to arrange a free consultation with a medically-trained hair loss specialist, call the The Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666, or fill in the online diagnostic form for a remote analysis and access to recommendation and treatment from anywhere in the world.