What Is making My Hair Grey? Is It Safe To Dye It?

Looking in the mirror and seeing your first grey hair is always a shock, and a sign you are getting older!

The ’50-50-50′ rule of thumb states that at 50 years old, 50 per cent of the population has at least 50 per cent grey hair.

But it could also be a sign of a health problem.

Heart disease

According to a recent study grey hair is linked with an increased risk of heart disease in men.1

In the study, 545 adult men were divided into groups based on whether or not they had coronary artery disease and how much grey or white hair they had. The amount of grey hair was graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being almost none and 5 being pure white. Scientists also collected data on the men regarding hypertension, diabetes, smoking habits and family medical history.

Researchers found that a hair score of 3 or more “was associated with increased risk of coronary artery disease independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors.’Participants who already had coronary artery disease had “a statistically significant higher hair whitening score and higher coronary artery calcification” than those that had not.

Premature greying of hair as a risk marker among young smokers has a potential of identifying coronary artery disease (CAD) at a very early stage.

A study showed an association between premature greying of hair and development of CAD in smokers as well as non-smokers. The study postulates that the presence of markers like premature greying of hair can be used as evidence by clinicians for classifying patients at risk for premature CAD especially in smokers. 2



Vitamin and or mineral deficiency

Each hair follicle contains melanin that gives our hair its colour. As we get older, we produce less pigment, resulting in grey hair

White people start going grey in their mid-30s, Asians in their late 30s, and African-Americans in their mid-40s. Earlier than that could indicate a nutritional imbalance.

Serium calcium, Serium Ferritin and vitamin D3 were low in patients with premature greying of hair. There was significant high number of vitamin D3 deficient among the cases compared to the controls.’ 3

Also ‘Low vitamin B12 levels are notorious for causing loss of hair pigment,” says Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy, director of the Dermatology Center’s Cosmetic Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York.

  • Low copper levels can stop hair pigmentation, foods high in copper are
  • 1) Beef liver. 3 oz: 14 mg (over 100% DV)
  • 2) Sunflower seeds. ¼ cup: 0.63 mg (31% DV)
  • 3) Lentils. 1 cup: 0.5mg (25% DV)
  • 4) Almonds. ¼ cup: 0.4 mg (20% DV)
  • 5) Dried apricots. 1 cup: 0.69mg (34% DV)
  • 6) Dark chocolate. 1 square: 0.9 mg (45% DV)
  • 7) Blackstrap molasses. …
  • 8) Asparagus

Too much copper is dangerous, as it is a metal.

Early grey hair also can be a sign of a problem with your thyroid gland either producing too much or too little thyroid hormones.


Oxidative stress

Attack by free radicals can cause hair to turn grey. With age, the production of free radicals increases, while the bodies defence mechanisms decrease 4

Hydrogen peroxide

Your hair cells make hydrogen peroxide, as you age, the amount produced increases, which researchers believe ultimately bleaches out your hair pigment, turning your hair grey and then white. 5


Researchers found that a UVB-activated compound called PC-KUS could reverse the hydrogen peroxide build up and effectively “cure” grey hair. 6


Grey hair could be a sign of an underactive thyroid. When hypothyroid patents with grey hair take T3, there hair colour often repigments. 7

Your genes

A study in 2016 found the gene responsible grey hair-IRF4 which is involved in regulating production and storage of melanin, the pigment that determines hair, skin and eye colour. 8


Grey Hair Can be a Warning Sign for Stroke

The main cause of grey hair is a lack of the essential nutrients, especially vitamin A and B group vitamins, along with the minerals copper, iron and zinc. Copper in particular is not only necessary for hair pigmentation, it’s needed by the body to maintain the health of the artery walls and without it could get elastic fibre breakdown. When this occurs the arterial walls become weak, eventually causing an aneurism , it can burst, resulting in either a severe

Natural Remedies for Grey Hair…

So your first course of action for successfully treating and reversing grey hair is to start taking a good liquid colloidal mineral supplement .

Colloidal copper can be applied topically to the hair.

Supplement with organic blackstrap molasses, rich in essential vitamins and minerals

The Chinese herb Fo-ti herb, supplement may be able to darken hair again.

Barley and wheat grass wheat are a good sources of vitamin A and the B group vitamins, along with copper, iron, silica and zinc and should taken regularly.

A friend of mine in his 60s has dark hair, I asked him if it was natural. He said he takes a table spoon of apple cider every day, if it stops it becomes grey.

According to Webmed apple cider vinegar contains  vitamins B1, B2, and B6; biotin; folic acid; niacin ;pantothenic acid; and vitamin C. It also contains small amounts of the minerals sodium, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron, and magnesium.

So maybe those are the vitamins and minerals your body is lacking, which gives grey hair.

There are natural topical cures, but you need to correct the deficiency, not hide it. But until it grows back rubbing onions and lemon juice on the scalp is an old remedy for colouring hair. The catalase in onion neutralises the peroxide produced by the hair

Topical Home Remedies for Grey Hair

If you really don’t like the idea of having different pigmented hair until your original colour returns, here are some topical remedies .


Onion Juice Mixed With Lemon Juice

Onion juice is rich in the enzyme catalase and has been used for centuries as a topical treatment and remedy for grey hair

In 2009, Bradford University in the UK discovered that a build up of hydrogen peroxide in the hair follicles and scalp caused thinning and grey hair. They also discovered that the catalase enzyme neutralizes hydrogen peroxide and reverses grey hair.

Wheat grass and barley grass are also rich in catalase, so mix up a paste and rub this onto your scalp everyday as well.

You can now buy catalase in supplemental form to take orally for extra benefit. And if you find you really can’t stand the smell of the onion juice, you can always open or crush one or two catalase capsules and apply these directly to your scalp instead (mixed with a slight amount of water.


Henna –

Mix up some castor oil and lemon juice until it goes frothy then add some henna Apply the mixture to your hair and scalp and leave it on for at least an hour before washing and shampooing your hair. Repeat every day. This will turn blonde hair brown.


Rosemary and Sage

Take half a cup of rosemary and half a cup of sage and boil in water for 30 minutes. Allow then apply to your hair and scalp. Leave on until it dries then shampoo off with a natural shampoo. Repeat every week and eventually all grey hairs will be gone.

I am not sure how this works on blonde hair, it might give a green tinge, test a small part first.


Black Seed Oil and Olive Oil

Black seed oil and olive oil have both been used for thousands of years to treat and cure grey hair. They also promote the growth of new hair follicles. Simply mix up an equal amount of olive oil and black seed oil and massage into the scalp. Wash out with warm water after an hour. Repeat daily.

As a blonde, I will test this on a small lock of hair first, I don’t want to darken my hair!

Dangers of dyes

There are many chemicals found in most hair dyes, the darker the colour, the more toxin. Permanent dyes are worse then semi-permanent. 9

These can increase you risk of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cause neurotoxicity, allergies and irritations.

According to pubmed-

Long duration of permanent dye use may have a larger impact on the risk of adult acute leukaemia and other hematopoietic cancers than prior epidemiologic data suggest. 10

The majority of hair dyes contain –Paraphenylenediamine and tetrahydro-6-nitroquinoxaline,which causes cancer in animals.

Coal tar, Formaldehyde, and Eugenol, all known to be carcinogenic. 11

And various other chemicals whose long term effects we don’t yet know about!

There is a link between dyeing hair while pregnant and the development of several childhood malignancies in offspring. Pregnant women should avoid all chemical hair colouring. 12

Whilst some studies on hair dyes failed to find a definite link between hair dye and cancer, many studies do, so why risk it?


To be safe use henna or natural plant based hair dyes.




1 https://www.escardio.org/Sub-specialty-communities/European-Association-of-Preventive-Cardiology-(EAPC)/News/grey-hair-linked-with-increased-heart-disease-risk-in-men

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4478263/

3 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746220/

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929555/

5  FASEB J. 2009 Jul;23(7):2065-75.

619  Medical News Today July 13, 2015


8 Kaustubh Adhikari et al. 2016. A genome-wide association scan in admixed Latin Americans identifies loci influencing facial and scalp hair features. Nature Communications 7, article number: 10815; doi: 10.1038/ncomms10815

9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3543291/

10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15229113

  • 11 IARC Monographs, Volume 99










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