Premature gray hair is often associated with excessive stress, bad diet, vitamin B deficiency, thyroid problems and smoking. The fact is, however, that the number one cause for premature graying is genetics. The pigment that determines the color of our hair is produced by special cells at the root of our hair called melanocytes. It is the lifespan of melanocytes that determines the beginning of the graying process. Once these cells die, the hair turns white.

There seems to be no essential difference between a premature and a normal age-related graying process. It is by virtue of nature that some people will experience their first white hair in their teens and turn completely gray in their thirties, while others will keep their original hair color for much longer. If more than 50% of a person's hair is white by the age of 40, it is considered premature.

There are some commercial products out there that are believed to be able to rejuvenate the dead pigment-producing cells and reverse gray hair. Such claims, however, are mostly unsubstantiated. The sad truth is that at this point in time no remedy exists that can reverse the graying process. The majority of the anti-gray hair products either use Fo-Ti, referring to the centuries old legend of Mr. He, who recovered his original hair color, youthful appearance and vitality thanks to this traditional Chinese medicinal herb, also known as He Shou Wu or use vitamins B (mostly PABA and folic acid) as their main ingredients, since some forms of premature graying are believed to be caused by vitamin B deficiency. However, such products are ineffective for the majority of gray hair sufferers.

Therefore, the only option for treating gray hair that seems to guarantee noticeable results is camouflage. Women use various types of permanent, semi-permanent and demi-permanent hair dyes but men usually prefer a gradual and less noticeable change in their hair color that does not cover all their gray hair. Such products are usually called progressive hair colorants. It is obvious that none of these products can make the dead cells produce pigmented hair and thus they must be used continuously to cover the gray of fresh hair. Although there are some natural hair dyes that claim to effectively cover your gray, the products that really work well all use certain chemicals. When deciding about hair dyes or progressive hair colorants, you should also consider the potential health risks, as most of them contain substances that can cause poisoning if used inappropriately or can frequently lead to allergic reactions. You should always use a patch test before applying any such product and adhere to the application guidelines in order to minimize exposure to aggressive substances.

Author's Bio: 

This article was written by Dody Gasparik, the editor of GreyHairLoss.com, the website dedicated to treating premature gray hair and hereditary baldness. For more information on available gray hair treatments visit Dody's GreyHairLoss Blog and do not miss the opportunity to share your experiences with treatments you have used, in order to warn other readers about hair scams and recommend treatments that you consider effective. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.