All Topics

Profile: White/Gray Hair (Canities)

Definition: The natural phenomenon of hair graying or whitening, both for head hair and body hair. Generally, the first white hairs appear on average around the age of 35. Indeed, canities can be premature and appear earlier, between 20 and 25 years old, sometimes even during adolescence. The whitening of hair can result from a progressive inability to synthesize melanin by the melanocytes contained in the hair bulb, either due to "exhaustion" of the cells, their disappearance, or the non-transfer of pigments from the melanocytes to the keratinocytes that make up the hair shaft. Therefore, the hair no longer receives enough pigment and grows in a white shade.
Internal and external causes: Aging process, heredity, certain autoimmune diseases (pernicious anemia, hypothyroidism, progeria, pangeria...).
How to reduce or eliminate: As of today, there are no treatments with proven effectiveness that can stimulate the activity of melanocytes and thus promote the natural repigmentation of depigmented hair. However, it is possible to conceal them with hair dye, a temporary solution that must be regularly renewed.
Preventative steps to take: Various environmental factors are likely to exacerbate the phenomenon of gray hair (pollution, smoking, obesity, UV rays, stress, etc...). To delay the onset of the first white hairs: quit smoking, maintain a balanced diet, protect your hair from the sun with the use of suitable care (sun protection oil, sun mist...).

Related articles: Cheveux blancs/gris (canitie).