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By Orla Mckeogh


This has to be one of the most common questions i get asked..actually it’s nearly a daily occurence. Is it because you started colouring your hair when you were 14 and had turned every colour of the rainbow by your 16th birthday? Or is it that your Granny turned grey young so you might too?

Well here is the scientific bit....Cells called MELANOCYTES at the base of each hair follicle contain pigments which is our hair colour and when these age, get damaged by disease or environmental exposures , they stop producing these pigments. Hence the appearance of white or grey hair.

The appearance of a few greys is mostly common in your 30s with a few reports of earlier sightings. The predisposition to go grey early or later is mostly genetic, however it is still not clear if stress is a contributing factor. Experts do say that lifestyle makes a difference. Smoking and bad diet can cause stress to the body so in turn your hair.

Lets face it… grey hair may not be the nicest part of you life. It`s more of a psychological disaster rather than a physical one for most people. It will not cause you any physical harm but psychologically you may be scarred for life. It means you are getting old!!

This is where your hairdresser comes in. And He/She will become one of your best friends. She will keep your secret so be nice to her!

Depending on your level of grey hair and your tolerance to it, you have a few options open to you. 1. Do nothing and leave yourself open to expressions of concern for your mental well being from your sisters and other family members.

2. Get a smart haircut , suck it up and age gracefully. At least you look like you have made some effort with your appearance. Finding a good stylist that will be able to advise you on the best haircut for your face shape and hair type while maintaining a modern look is the key here.

3. You can opt to have your hair coloured. Get recommendations from your friends as to who they go to and make sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of stylist. Your stylist may recommend a scattering of lowlites or hilites to blend away the grey or you may need a full colour. Find out what the upkeep will be and how frequently you will need to visit the salon. Over coloured and damaged hair is never a good look on anybody so be sure to do your homework on this one. Most colours are ammonia and PPD free so none of the nasty chemical stuff anymore, but be sure to ask.


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