Lack of Enzyme Catalase Makes Our Hair Grey

A shortage of catalase, a common enzyme found in nearly all living organisms, has been recently found to be the main culprit in causing grey hair. The role of this enzyme is to catalyse the conversion of hydrogen peroxide to water and oxygen.

According to the latest scientific discovery, grey hair is caused by the build-up of hydrogen peroxide, the chemical women use to dye their hair blonde, in hair follicles. A normal healthy follicle produces enough enzyme catalase to break up hydrogen peroxide and protect its hairs from bleaching. However, catalase enzyme levels decline with age and cease to give us protection from greying. As a result we bleach our hair pigment from within, and our hair turns white.

Furthermore, a combination of subsequent events leads to a worsening of this situation. The researchers also found that hair follicles need the enzymes MSR A and B in order to repair damage caused by hydrogen peroxide. Once there is no catalase enzyme, there is more damage caused by hydrogen peroxide and therefore a shortage of those two enzymes to repair the damage. To complicate matters further, low levels of MSR A and B also disrupt the production of the enzyme tyrosinase needed for melanin (hair pigment) production, leading to yet more grey hair.

Following the logic of these findings, it can be assumed that an increased intake of catalase enzyme or the application of a strong antioxidant such as superoxide dismutase to the scalp (which is also used to prevent hair loss) could help prevent hair going grey. However, catalase does not seem to be the sole reason for hair greying, as there are people living in this world who suffer from acatalasia (complete lack of the enzyme catalase) and yet their hair does not seem to be completely grey.

Back to Grey Hair