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Home / Health & Science

Grey hair not so bad after all

HEALTH & SCIENCEBy SAADA HASSAN | Mon,Aug 09 2021 14:00:00 EAT
By SAADA HASSAN | Mon,Aug 09 2021 14:00:00 EAT

Grey hair could be a sign of aging that many do not want to be associated with. Some curse, do whatever is humanly possible to clear out any grey strands of hair while some embrace and nurture it.

A joke is told of how stressful the president’s job can be. Potraits of the life of Barrack Obama, the 44th president of the USA, show a young man stepping into White House in 2008 and coming out 2017  full of grey hair.

Christine Mwangi, a 24-year-old woman says she has always had grey hair and nothing bothers her about it.

“Since my time in primary school, patches of grey hair would appear at the center and back of my head. I thought they would fade away but they kept on increasing,” she says.

Dr Winnie Njenga a dermatologist, says that greying of hair is a concept that is not well understood.

“Situations vary across board where some people start greying earlier and are in perfect health while for some, underlying issues contribute to greying of hair.”

In the African tradition, greying is viewed as a sign of wealth in future, or as a sign of wisdom or that one would get married to a rich person. Genetics contribute to a large percentage of early grey hair. In Christine’s’ case, her mother had grey hair in her youth and the trend has been passed down generations.

 “All my sisters have grey hair and it is more concentrated on the center for all of us,” Christine says.

According to experts, hormones affect the growth of your hair and so does stress and diet. 

“Conditions or diseases affecting your immunity are likely to contribute to greying and it is important to see a doctor to conduct an assessment,” Dr Njenga adds.

Children who are malnourished tend to present weak hair and poor hair colourations as well as in cases of thyroid or conditions like vitiligo.

To manage the grey hairs, many hair products have been introduced but there is no evidence that any works to fully reverse greying. “Although I get comments about my hair like it makes me look older than my age I am not bothered. I have embraced my look and I love the nice blend it portrays on my head,” shares Christine.

 According to a science publication, a white person is considered to be prematurely gray if their hair turns gray by age 20. Dr Njenga adds that among Africans its around 43 years of age but the margin is set at plus or minus 10.


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