Genetics are usually what determine the graying of your hair, and we tend to be in favor of rocking what your genes gave you. But we understand that some women are determined to get rid of these natural changes in color, so let's take a closer look at what's going on here.
As we age, we build up hydrogen peroxide in our follicles... we lose some of this enzyme which results in buildup that appears white.
While genetics do play a role in going gray, scientific researchers are also looking at stress and the buildup of hydrogen peroxide in our hair as another cause of going gray. According to the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), as hair ages, it accumulates hydrogen peroxide which causes it to go white.
Hydrogen peroxide is produced by our hair cells all throughout our lives. When we are younger, the enzyme catalase simply breaks the hydrogen peroxide down into water and oxygen. As we age, though, we lose some of this enzyme and the buildup of hydrogen peroxide results. In a sense, this building up of hydrogen peroxide bleaches our hair from inside.
Fact or fiction: If you pluck and pull your gray hairs, they will come back with a vengeance.
According to dermatologist Dr. Martie Gidon, plucking grays is harmless. They simply grow back like any other hair would. “Gray hair already has a coarser texture than naturally pigmented hair, and it will grow back as coarse as before it was pulled,” says Gidon. However, if you happen to pluck a gray hair with a red tip on it, you may have pulled too deep--up to the root--and in that case, the hair may not grow back.
If you absolutely have to pluck those grays...
Here's how to do it safely and effectively, according to LiveStrong.
- Find the hairs you’re looking to remove. Be careful not to remove too many from one area so you don’t find yourself with a balding spot or excessive breakage and damage to your hair and scalp.
- Carefully trace the hairs to their roots and use your tweezers to remove them.
- Place your index and middle fingers an inch or two away from the root of the hair being removed. Pull back gently, making the skin around the hair root taut.
- Squeeze the tweezers together around the hair to get a firm grip.
- Pull the hair out. Make sure to pull straight out. If you pull in one direction or the other, you could cause the hair to break before the root is out, causing an ingrown hair or hair that is too short to tweeze until it grows longer.
Better yet, love your natural gray
Marc Anthony, who has a famed line of hair care products, says "It is better to leave it be. There are so many options for gray hair these days—including just leaving it gray.” And we agree. Allowing your hair to simply grow its natural gray and silver has become an easier option for many men and women, since going in for very regular color treatments can be both costly and timely. Plus we just love the way it looks on women like Instagrammer Chubahkah (pictured above) and NaturalSilvaSista . We just recommend using a purple toning cleanser like Clairol Shimmer Lights to keep your gray fresh and prevent yellowing. But for those who want to continue to cover up their silver streaks, there are a number of options including professional and over the counter color treatments that can be done at home too.
In conclusion, plucking will not lead to more gray hairs or coarser gray hairs, but you do risk damaging the hair follicle.