Do These Genes Make Me Look Old?
And, we’re not referring to your favorite pair of Levis, here, we’re talking about the genes your parents gave you. Truth is, your genes definitely play a role in how susceptible you are to developing the typical signs of aging: wrinkles, grey hair and some illnesses and conditions (osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc). However, there are lots of environmental factors in there that can really speed things up with the aging process, like smoking, poor diet, excess sun exposure, bad sleep habits, and so on.
Researchers are now studying the HAS2 gene, found inside our DNA, and it’s production of the enzyme that is a key element that makes up our skin and is vital in tissue and cellular skin repair and regeneration. Though this is very exciting, you shouldn’t be taken in by companies claiming to be able to analyze your genes and how fast you are going to develop wrinkles and advise you on what products to use…technology isn’t quite there yet, but if you want to know more about your predisposition for wrinkles and grey hair, just take a look at your parents, grandparents and other close relatives.
Do I Have Bad Genes?
Take a closer look at your relatives, especially your parents and grandparents. Notice how they look, as well as their particular lifestyle. Here are some things to consider:
- Skin type: dry, oily, normal or combo
- Skin tone: people with darker skin can tolerate higher doses of sun
- How much time do the spend in the sun and outdoors?
- Do they smoke?
- How much alcohol do they drink, if at all?
- Do they live in stressful conditions?
- Amount of skin wrinkling, sagging and drooping
- Are they grey?
- At what age did they first show signs of wrinkles and/or grey hair?
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
- Healthy diet
- Drink at least eight 8oz. glasses of filtered water each day
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night
What Causes Grey Hair?
For a long time it was believed that melanin, or lack of, was responsible for all those grey hairs and not that stress your kids put you through. The thought was that each hair follicle has its own supply of melanin, made up of two shades, dark brown or black and yellow or red, that combine in different proportions to create your specific hair color. As we age, melanin productions stops and the result is grey and then, white. However, more recently it has been discovered that an excess of hydrogen peroxide is responsible for grey hair. In 2009, a study was published in the FASEB that found that as we age, we build up hydrogen peroxide in our hair follicles because of the reduction of the enzyme catalase. When we are younger, the enzyme catalase breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. But, as we age, we lose some of this enzyme, so the hydrogen peroxide builds up and actually bleaches our hair from within.
What Can I Do For My Grey Hair?
If you’re like me and just not “feeling” the grey, there are some alternatives to going natural. First, realize there is no such thing as organic hair dye. There are, however, some natural things like henna and vegetable dyes that are safe, but don’t last as long as synthetic dyes and can have inconsistent results.
Synthetic, or conventional hair dyes, can contain a lot of chemical ingredients. Here’s some of what should be avoided if you decide to go with a conventional hair dye: ammonia, peroxide, PPDs (para-phenylenediamines), coal tar, lead, toluene and resorcinol. Many of these ingredients have been determined to be carcinogenic.
Here’s a list of some pure hair dye and henna brands that you may want to try, they come in all kinds of colors:
- Light Mountain
- Surya Henna
- Rainbow Henna
- Pure Henna Hair Dye Powder by Sahaja Life
- The Henna Guys
You can find all of these at Amazon.com
I really hope you found this article to be of some use. Please feel free to leave your comment below…maybe you have a product you’d like to recommend?
Thanks for visiting! Be well!