Should men dye their gray hair or enjoy it??

Can gray hair make a man look older than he feels or isn't? What to do with gray hair? To dye or not to dye a man's hair? Can gray hair be cured?

Gray hair sneaks up on you sometimes literally. I first discovered a few gray hairs when I was in my 30s. Then more and more of them appeared.

Anatomy of gray hair.

It was not long before the lumberjack began to be associated with something very old.

It wasn't just the image that bothered me. I felt that way. Of course, gray hair makes a man stand out from the crowd. Gives him a degree. Look at Bill Clinton. Look at news anchor Anderson Cooper, he has the face of a young boy, his early gray must have helped him get a job at CNN.

But going gray can make you look older than you feel or you aren't.

According to the teachings of the Buddha - "The gray hairs are angels-forerunners sent by the god of death." Or, as Cooper quipped, "Translation: Gray hair is nature's whisper, 'You're dying'."

Away with the beard.

George Clooney is an American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter.
“Wow, you look much younger,” my friends used to say—until gray hair appeared in my dark brown sideburns, and then at the temples. Salt and pepper, I told myself. A bit of gray hair can be sexy. Look at George Clooney. If he's going gray, why should I be worried? Why? Well, look at him. Clooney would have looked amazing even playing a Mohawk and wearing a robe. More and more greyed reflection, looked at me from the mirror...

It's time for research.

The causes of gray hair are still not known.

I have found that graying can be one of the signs of aging, but scientists still do not fully understand why it occurs. One of the world's gray hair experts is Desmond Tobin, Ph. D., research fellow at the University of Bradford in England. When I contacted him, he kindly sent me a bunch of scientific papers with titles like “Gray hair: gerontobiology of the hair follicle pigment unit” and “Hair cycle and pigmentation: dynamic interactions and changes associated with aging”.

I plunged into the study, encouraged by the fact that science is taking the problem of gray hair so seriously.

Christopher Guy Denis Lambert - French actor, laureate of the "Cesar" award (1986).
The essence of what I have learned is this: the hair shaft is colorless. The cells in the follicle are called melanocytes and they produce the pigment. A pigment called melanin comes in two different forms, eumelanin and pheomelanin, which combine in varying proportions to create a vast range of hair colors, from jet black to ash white. For a long time, scientists assumed that as we age, melanocytes simply become less efficient at making pigment. This may be partly true. But recent research from Harvard University has shown that pigment-producing cells decline with age.

Contrary to popular belief, having children or strenuous work does not cause gray hair. But oxidation, the damaging effects of fickle oxygen molecules that are associated with many aspects of aging, may be one cause of gray hair. In 2006, scientists at the Humboldt University in Berlin reported that during the synthesis of melanin, a large number of unstable oxygen molecules are formed. When the Humboldt University team oxidized the healthy, pigment-producing cells of the hair follicle, the cells began to die.

Omar Sharif was born Michel Demitri Shalhoub on 04/10/1932 in Alexandria, Egypt. Born a Christian, he changed his name and religion to marry actress Faten Hammam.
Of course heredity plays a role, as early graying tends to run in families. There are also racial differences. Among white men, hair usually turns gray after 30, according to Tobin. In Asians, it starts after 35, and in African Americans, after 40. From this age, the risk of going gray increases by 10 to 20% every decade. Tobin states, "The famous ironclad rule about gray hair is that by age 50, 50% of the population has 50% gray hair."

I am in this 50%.

To dye or not to dye a man's hair?

Gray hair, alas, is almost inevitable for most men. But that doesn't mean we have to live with it. Drugstore shelves are crammed with hair color-enhancing products that promise to remove gray hair and restore hair to its original color. David Kennell, senior vice president of R&D at L'Oreal USA, one of the world's leading manufacturers of hair products, advises you to choose from a huge number of options. “Products for men fall into four categories,” states Kennell:

Gradual coloration. The "Greek Formula" uses lead acetate, which darkens when exposed to air. Hair is dyed gradually, and you can stop when you reach the desired shade.

Direct staining. It lies in the fact that the colored molecules cover the hair. The paint is very easy to apply. Disadvantage: The color is usually washed off after 6 - 10 washes. But on the other hand, you don't have to worry about gray roots. The paint washes off before they grow back.

Pseudo-permanent color. Also called tone-on-tone, it uses peroxide to allow dye molecules to spread throughout the hair shaft, thus creating a more permanent color. The dyeing process usually takes 5 to 15 minutes, and the paint lasts twice as long as direct dyeing.

Lasting color. Both peroxide and ammonia are used, which can lighten the natural pigmentation of the hair, allowing a man to choose a shade lighter than his natural hair color. This category of products is also used for highlighting. Disadvantage: if you don't like the color, you will have to endure it until the hair grows back, or you will have to dye it again, which will be more difficult.

Fight on your own or turn to a professional?

If possible, you can dye your hair yourself, but when should you contact a hair stylist? Standard homemade hair dyes work well if you're using them to cover up or cover a small amount of gray hair, says Kennell. But if you have a lot of gray hair, then you will probably get the best result by turning to professionals.

Even professional hair coloring is not eternal. When the gray roots grow back, you will have to re-paint. You may even have to dye your hair every 4 weeks if your hair is pretty gray.

Is it possible to cure gray hair?

Sir Thomas Sean Connery is a Scottish film actor and producer.
Are paint molecules the best tool science has to offer? And what about fundamental research in the field of “gerontobiology of the pigment unit of the hair follicle”? Can't scientists do something to stop the gray hair in the first place?

Perhaps someday they will be able to. According to Kennell, “The deciphering of the human genome led to the study of genes responsible for the structure and color of hair. If scientists figure out what code melanocytes use to produce pigment, they may be able to stop or delay the graying process.”

Theoretically, anything is possible. But not soon. In the near future, most likely, hair coloring products will become the only way out. At least men have a lot to choose from, but in the nearest pharmacy I found a wide range of products - from coloring shampoos to rubbing gels, and in terms of shades - from sandy blonde to natural black. There are even products for coloring sideburns or mustaches with handy spatulas.

Of course, there is another way out: proudly wear gray hair. In fact, more and more men are doing just that. A survey conducted by Experian Simmons Research in Florida in 2002 showed that 5.8% of men dye their hair at home. In 2006, their percentage dropped to 4.8%. “Gray hair is the crown of glory,” says one proverb. Perhaps people like Clinton and Clooney convinced more men to wear their gray hair with pride.

After much thought about whether my natural hair color is light brown or ash brown, not to mention the choice of cream color or gel, I began to wonder if the game was worth the candle. On the other hand, what if I become like the guy on the box that says “For Men. Light brown... "

Photo: Stuart Crawford