Overview of Grey Hair Treatment Options
Given the current medical options, it seems very certain that the age-related greying process cannot be reversed or even halted, despite the claims made by a number of commercial, grey hair treatment manufacturers and their marketers. The age-related greying process is genetically determined and no remedy exists at the moment that can either rejuvenate the pigment-producing cells or extend their productive lives. Having said that, it appears that reversing grey hair is at least as difficult as reversing baldness. In both cases, one needs to rejuvenate dead or dying cells. There are some grey hair remedies out there containing vitamins B in their formula that might be useful for patients whose white hair is due to a deficiency of one of such vitamins but, in the majority of people, the onset of grey hair is determined by their genetic make-up, irrespective of their diet or lifestyle. Hence, you need to accept the fact that, at this point in time, the only option is to change the colour of your existing hair. The fresh hair growing from the follicle will continue to be white.
There are several corrective measures to tackle this problem. The first option is to dye your hair. Whether you use a permanent, semi-permanent or a demi-permanent hair dye, the result will be the colouring of all your hair, white and pigmented, and the change will be sudden. The hair dyes will give you homogeneous coverage that is recognisable from a distance. They may be quite aggressive and work fast, so you need to use plastic gloves to apply them. The good thing about them is that you can always choose a shade that best suits your original hair colour.
The second option is the use of progressive hair colorants. Their mechanism of action is to replace the missing pigment in your hair with a synthetic substitute. This allows their manufacturers to make the claim that they work naturally by generating a pigment to replace the missing pigment in your white hair. Some of them use a metallic component in their formula, such as lead acetate or bismuth citrate and some are organic based. They need to coat and penetrate your hair. As the mixture dries in the air, the chemical reaction in the presence of atmospheric oxygen turns the components into synthetic pigment. They only change the colour of your white hair, both from outside and inside, by replacing the missing pigment with a synthetic substitute. Progressive hair colorants need to be applied several times in order to cover all your grey hair. The benefit is that the change is slow and less noticeable, allowing you to focus only on certain areas and control how much grey hair remains untreated. This gives you a more natural look. Another good thing about progressive hair colorants is that the chemical reaction is slow and you do not need plastic gloves to apply them. The weakness is the need to apply them several times to achieve the desired coverage and the fact that they are suitable only for shades between dark blond and black. Progressive hair colorants only work fast on porous light hair. Another disadvantage is that they do not allow you to wash your hair too often as you have to give them time to work.
The progressive hair colorants, as mentioned before, can be split into metallic-based and organic-based products. The metallic hair colorants work as described above. The organic-based products are different in that they react fast and are only applied for five to ten minutes. You need to use plastic gloves to put them on. Everything else said before applies to them too. The benefit of using organic hair colorants is that you can wash your hair as often as you like, while they continue changing the colour of your white hair for several days after the day of application. The most famous metallic-based colorants include Grecian formula, GreyBan, Restoria and Youthair, whereas Poly Re-Nature is the best-known representative of the organic category.
And there is a third category, somewhere between hair dyes and progressive hair colorants. Its best representative is Touch of Gray. This product is, in its composition and principle action, a permanent hair dye but you need to apply it several times in order to achieve the desired shade. The change in colour is sudden but due to the need for multiple applications to achieve the final effect it makes the change less noticeable than permanent hair dyes. Another variation within this category is the hair colouring shampoo, such as Grey Away shampoo, which works in a similar fashion. One important and frequently-discussed factor with all hair colouring agents is the safety of these applications. Please read the post “Grey Hair or Allergy?” in order to better understand the health-related issues connected with the use of grey hair products.