Gray Matter: What To Do When You Spot Your First Gray Hair


First of all, congratulations you ol’ duff!  You’ve made it to one of the prime hallmarks of the aging process- your very first gray hair. Spotting your first gray hair is a simultaneously proud and petrifying moment. You look exactly the way you did a second before spotting the silver sliver of duffdom, however, everything immediately changes. Getting your first gray hair is a bit like entering puberty. There’s a wonder that your body can actually do that, followed by the realization that honey, we ain’t getting any younger here. Take a good look at yourself and start loving every inch, because this is your prime. Yes, now. Right now. As in Right.This.Moment. You’ve peaked genetically speaking, and it’s all downhill from here. But that doesn’t mean the immediate future is full of Clairol Root Touch-Up and brown mascara wands. Maintenance is key, so that’s what we’ll focus on.

So, what causes gray hair? Genetics and aging, obviously, but the process can be accelerated by poor diet, stress, smoking and poor lifestyle choices. Not hitting up KFC, freaking out over next week’s deadline, smoking a pack a day or laying facedown in a pile of Ruffles on the sofa, while channeling surfing for a 4 hours straight, and still spotting freakin’ grays, you say? Relax and read on for tips to keep those grays at bay for as long as genetically possible.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Best to get the hardest one out in the open first (kinda like ripping off a band-aid). Apparently, guzzling coffee like water and slurping down bottles of wine on the regular is bad for one’s appearance. (But great for one’s social life. Always an optimist!). Limiting your caffeine and alcohol will ensure that you’ll keep getting carded at the liquor store for at least another year. Score one, doctors and medical reports.

Hydrate Thine Self

With water. Only water. And a lot of it. Aim for the standard 8 glasses a day, and if you fall short of that, you’ve probably drank more than enough.

B Ready for Gray

B vitamins are natures way of saying “This seat’s taken, Gray. TAKEN!”. Simply speaking, eating a diet rich in vitamin B2, B6, and B12 will keep new gray hairs from setting up camp on your pretty little head. Stock up on seafood, beef and eggs for B12, mushrooms, spinach and nuts for B2 and vegetables, whole grains and legumes for B6. Basically, ditch the fast-food and eat like Momma told you.

Eat Like A Pro(tein)

Getting enough lean protein produces melanin, the pigment that provides colour to your hair and skin. Eat it. Get less grays. Simple enough.

Move This 

In the eloquent words of a cyclist whizzing past me at a crosswalk, “Move your slow ass!”. Direct? Yes. Accurate? Possibly, at the time. I did indeed move my former slow ass, and was a good idea. Exercise improves blood flow, which helps distribute all those healthy nutrients you’ve been consuming to your scalp and hair follicles. Get up and get moving to get a handle on gray.

Pop Your Copper

No, don’t go sucking on copper pennies (unless a nasty bout of hepatitis C is your idea of a good time.) Instead, consume foods like spinach, liver, sunflower seeds and almonds which all contain sufficient amounts of copper to momentarily limit grays.

Butt Out

Still smoking? Gross, but what can you do, right? Try quitting. Smoking is the number one cause of premature graying and aging. Spend saved money on celebratory teeth whitening treatment. You win.


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