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Have you gone grey too early?

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Welcome to my blog, about me and my grey hair. I’ve been dying my hair for years, to the extent I wasn’t sure of my original colour. I suppose it could be described as mousey or mid brown. In an attempt to save money I started dying my own hair and it was at this point I realised that I was going grey as I would have to do my roots every ten days. What a rigmarole!

I had been thinking about stopping dying my hair for a couple of years. I’m not sure whether it was to reduce my impact on the planet or because I was fed up with dying it. I’d like to think it was one small thing I could do for the planet. When I got made redundant, it seemed to give me the perfect opportunity to stop, so I dyed my hair for the last time on 18th January 2019, the day before we went snowboarding.

What a slow process, it felt like my hair was growing about a millimetre a month, although it was probably more like 2 centimetres. The problem was that I was dying it a cherry brown. Within two months of stopping all the brown left the strands and I was bright red, it was shocking, see the yoga shot below! I nearly caved in, but it started to lessen in brightness until I was looking like I had gone rusty.

My darling husband hated it and would make some interesting comments, but he has also gone grey, so my argument was that if he could go “eau naturelle” then so could I! So, I just let it grow. I have been at it for 18 months and I have one haircut to go! That’s not the reason for this blog, however.

Why is it that I am only 53 and I have probably been greying considerably for 5 years, but my sisters aren’t? They have a few grey hairs, but nothing like I have. So that got me thinking, what if there is something wrong with me and that this is caused by a process within me not functioning properly. I have a background in IT and understand that things can usually be fixed, so I started to google “can you reverse grey hair”. But first I needed to try to understand the process.

Wikipedia state that low levels of catalase (which is an enzyme) may cause grey hair. [1] Catalase [2] works to break down hydrogen peroxide H₂O₂ into Water H₂O and Oxygen O. Hydrogen peroxide is a by-product of aerobic respiration. If the catalase production reduces then it is harder for the body to breakdown hydrogen peroxide. It is believed that this excess can interfere with Melanin [3] production which determines skin colour and hair colour, melanin is used in many other places within the body.

Hydrogen peroxide is a potentially harmful oxidizing agent [4] and catalase plays a central role in the body’s defences against oxidative stress. Catalase is a hemeprotein [5] which aids oxygen transport around the body. So, if my biology serves me correctly, Catalase is an anti-oxidant? Yes! [6] It is. It’s an anti-oxidant enzyme. Anti-oxidants are important for the body. [7] Whilst researching this I discover that Glutathione Peroxidase is another enzyme that breaks down Hydrogen Peroxide, this is produced by the liver.

Glutathione is a simple molecule that is produced naturally by your body. It is a combination of three simple building blocks of protein or amino acids — cysteine, glycine and glutamine.

I would recommend reading this article from Mark Hyman, MD, about Glutathione. I can’t better it. [8] It gives advice on what it does and what can impact it. Please come back and finish my article once you have read it!

I first discovered the possibility that grey hair can be caused by the body’s inability to breakdown Hydrogen Peroxide in July 2020 and my research at that time found that there are some things I could do, so here’s what I actioned:

  1. Take a Glutathione supplement, I have taken this for 6 months to boost my Glutathione levels, but I am now moving on to N-Acetyl Cysteine, which is one of the building blocks of Glutathione, as I should be generating my own with all the work I have put in. I also take ALA Alpha Lipoic Acid to help detoxify my body

  2. Improve your exercise routine. you need to get your heart rate up, so I started cycling during the summer, thoroughly enjoying it. Find something that works for you. It improves your body’s antioxidant levels.

  3. Eat foods rich in vitamin C, which raises glutathione in red blood cells, try this article for 10 foods rich in Vitamin C.[9]

  4. To increase catalase production, increase your anti-oxidant intake, by adding Ashwaganda, curcumin and Vitamin E, or eating broccoli, kale, cucumbers, radishes, fresh turmeric and celery. (There are other foods that contain Vitamin E)

  5. Massaging an oil such as coconut oil into the hair and scalp. Don’t leave it on too long though. [10]

  6. Take a multi vitamin that contains Selenium (helps recycle Glutathione), Folate, B vitamins

  7. Vitamin D, the best form is sunshine on the skin, but you can also take a D3 Supplement. D3 appears to be a catalyst for Glutathione production

It’s 3 months since I started and here’s a before and after photo, what do you think?

I didn’t discover the document by Mark Hyman until I started to write this document, so I recommend you read that too as there are nine things you could consider to improve your Glutathione levels, some of which I have listed, but there are a few others.

Please be aware of your current medical conditions, this article was written by me, for me. I am not aware of your medical history, so you may need to consult a Medical Doctor or Nutritional Therapist/Dietician. Please be aware I am a Nutritional Therapist.

I would love to hear if this subject interests you and how you get on, and If you make any changes for the better. Let me know by adding comments below. I will pop back in 6 months to add an updated photo. Please like my website so you can see any other posts/blogs I add. If you would like information on which supplements I used and where I got them from, please send me a message.

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