I know I can’t speak first hand about letting hair gray naturally. I’m still in my 30s, more concerned with shampoo chemicals linked to Alzheimer’s than I am with what color my hair is – but I ask:
Why do we fight gray hair? It’s a baby boomer/senior hair war out there! Oh the the anger at the silver; the hatred of the shine!
Peace, love – let the gray hairs live!
Why do I think we fight the war?
We’re hiding our age, denying it on a subconscious level.
Scientistsâ€™ recent discovery of how hair turns gray (results published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology) got me thinking. Hair, it seems, turns gray, because our bodies naturally produce hydrogen peroxide that interferes with melanin, the pigment that colors hair and skin. There is more:
The body also produces the enzyme catalase, which breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Or at least it does for a while. As we age, catalase production tails off, leaving nothing to transform the hydrogen peroxide into chemicals the body can release. So, as hydrogen peroxide builds up, we go gray.
In addition to lacking catalase, the follicles of gray-haired people also had far fewer hair-repair enzymes, which in turn drove down production of melanin, the scientists found. (quote source here).
People are partying, because the discovery might lead to ways of attacking poor, innocent gray hair. Predictions have been made, based on this discovery, that the hair care industry will soon launch new products that remove hydrogen peroxide from hair.
But who cares!?
What about gray hair rights!? Gray hair should be celebrated! We’re denying our communal aging process by trying to hide it. We’re reinforcing societyâ€™s obsession with youth. Think about it. Peace, love – let the gray hairs live!
But hey, maybe my mind will change when grays start sproutin’ . . . . .