Almost every person will get it at some point: gray hair. Currently, there is no medical treatment. The only solution, consists of either monthly trips to the salon or using highlights to hide the gray and white follicles.
A recent study may lead to an insight on the age old mystery on why hair turns gray. A team of researchers found a correleation in gray hair with higher levels of hydrogen peroxide as well as peroxynitirite in the skin. These two substances accumulate in skin and hair as a result of oxidative stress. This is thought to be the reason why patients with vitiligo, a condition of areas of white patches in the skin, prematurely have gray or white hair.
The researchers found that if the patients were given a cream that eliminates the hydrogen peroxide, hair would repigment back to its original hair color. The cream is currently not on the market and goes by the name topical NB-UVB-activated pseudocatalase PC-KUS. Obviously if this comes to market it will have a catchier name.
The take home message from this study is to eliminate oxidative stress, which includes avoiding smoking, sun exposure. This would also include eating a diet rich in antioxidants to help decrease oxidative stress. Finally, it seems that the magic potion for gray hair might be one step closer.