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Why Does Gray Hair Turn Yellow? 7 Tricks to Avoid This

In this text, we’ll explain the explanation why gray hair turns yellow, in addition to some tricks to avoid this problem.

Last update: 29 August, 2023

The health of the hair depends to a big extent on the condition of its cuticle, which provides flexibility and elasticity. However, this layer may be affected by various aspects, similar to heat applied by equipment (flat iron or hair dryer), in addition to elements present in hair dyes. That’s when gray hair turns yellow.

In these cases, the scales may separate or flatten, giving the hair a frizzy or weak and brittle appearance. In addition, when the cuticle is broken and the cortex is exposed, it loses moisture, dehydrating the hair and resulting in the looks of hairpins.

At a certain age, from 50 or maybe even a bit of earlier, most individuals can have white hair. Others could have all their hair. However, there are cases wherein gray hair turns yellow without knowing the explanation for it.

Here’s why this happens, in addition to some tips about learn how to prevent or fight it.

Why does gray hair turn yellow?

For one thing, the quantity of melanin decreases with age. First, the hair turns gray, then white. Of course, this varies from individual to individual and, aside from age, can depend upon aspects similar to stress and genetics.

In fact, some people have already got gray hair before the age of 30.

However, it’s common for gray hair to show yellow resulting from certain external aspects that affect the cuticle, modifying its structure. One of those is exposure to the sun, which contributes to the oxidation of eumelanin, causing it to lose its color.

Similarly, sunlight can alter the composition of fatty acids or lipids, that are found between the scales. Thus, when these are oxidized, the hair acquires a slight yellow color, which is more noticeable in individuals with gray hair.

An important factor, already mentioned, is the warmth of the hair dryer or straightening iron. These elements not only dehydrate the cuticle, but additionally soften it and alter its structure. Do not forget that in dry hair the scales are open, so that they can absorb any substance.

On the opposite hand, there are chemicals present in shampoos and hair conditioners that contribute to the looks of this problem. In some cases, substances similar to silicones adhere to the hair, accumulating on the cuticle and making it less transparent.

It also occurs in consequence of the mineral salts present within the chlorine in swimming pools and even within the water that comes out of the faucets and shower. This causes an alteration of the lipids between the scales, causing them to lose transparency.

The same situation occurs with the ingredients in hair dyes, including sodium hydroxide, ethanolamine, guanidine, ammonia, and ammonium thioglyconate. These could cause cracks within the cuticle, with the aforementioned effects.

Although it might not appear to be it, gray hair also turns yellow even due to smoke within the environment, whether from smoking or burning, in addition to other pollutants suspended within the air.

We think chances are you’ll also enjoy reading this text: 4 Reasons Why You Might Get Gray Hairs When You’re Young

7 suggestions to stop gray hair from turning yellow

We have already known the explanation why gray hair turns yellow. So what we will do to combat the issue or avoid it, is to maintain the hair cared for and clean, through the next suggestions.

1. Moisturize your hair

To avoid losing moisture, the hair have to be properly hydrated. This may be done with natural oils similar to jojoba oil, borage, or macadamia. You may also do that by applying shampoos and conditioners with glycerin or hyaluronic acid.

According to research, the addition of hyaluronic acid was found to improve the strength of biopolymer movies in hair care cosmetics.

2. Use protein and vitamins

When gray hair turns yellow, it’s a sign of nutrient-deficient hair. To help repair it, we will resort to shampoos or preparations (masks) based on proteins, in addition to vitamins, including A, C, and B5 (panthenol), which protect against the results of environmental elements.

3. Maintain a rather acidic pH

Another point that’s noted for strengthening cuticles is that hair products used must have a rather acidic pH , between 4.5 and 5. This contributes higher to making sure that the cuticles remain closed.

4. Avoid certain ingredients

Avoid products with ingredients similar to those mentioned above (sodium hydroxide, guanidine, ammonia, etc.). Instead, products with mild surfactants similar to taurates, betaines, glycosides, or sarcosinates must be used.

5. Apply antioxidant products

Flavonoids protect the hair from the results of solar radiation. Filters may be added to shampoo or use natural products similar to green tea, aloe vera, or ginkgo biloba, which in accordance with research has a high antioxidant potential.

6. Protect your hair from the sun

In addition to the above, it’s vital to avoid continuous exposure to the sun. Hair that lacks melanin is more sensitive.

Among the precautions to guard yourself we will highlight the next: use umbrellas, hats, or caps; and preferably, don’t exit throughout the hours when solar radiation is more intense.

7. Use shampoos with pigments

To get well the colour of white hair and neutralize yellow highlights, you may as well apply shampoos that produce dark coloring. Preferably those with natural pigments. To do that, you should use plants similar to rosemary.

Like this text? You might also prefer to read: Here are the Myths and Facts About Gray Hair

Remember: Healthy hair looks healthy

When gray hair turns yellow, it’s an indication of a hair health problem, because it happens, largely, resulting from the weakening of the cuticle. So that is something we’d like to handle, and never only for aesthetic reasons.

Of course, because the cause can vary, the best is to see a hair specialist. First, you need to with a dermatologist, after which with a stylist. Then, be certain to all the time follow their recommendations.

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