What was your reaction when you caught that first grey in your locks? Will you just let it be or will you be tempted to uproot it at the very first sight?
All of us have heard the old wives tale about how plucking one white hair will cause more white hair! But is there any hint of truth in it? Keep reading to find out how your hair turns white and what happens if you pull out the white hair from your head.
Does Plucking White Hair Make More To Grow?
The one word answer to this question is “no”! Plucking white hair does not give you more white hair. Each of your hair strands grows out of a single hair follicle. So if you pull out the white hair only one hair can grow back in its place and possibly it will be white too. On extremely rare occasions though, the new hair growing out may be darker or shinier than its predecessor.
Greying of hair is brought about by many factors such as ageing, genetics, makeup, and stress to name some. So, when your hair starts turning grey irrespective of whether you have plucked it or not, there might be other hair that have started losing their colour as well. So, while it may seem to you that plucking has brought more white hair, that is definitely not the case.
Additionally, the white hair tends to be a little coarser than your natural coloured hair, which makes the new strand of white hair more prominent than the rest of your hair. This is because of the reduction in oil secretion around the hair follicles of white hair.
How Does Your Hair Turn Grey?
A hair follicle is a bulb like structure at the root of your hair that lies embedded in your scalp. It is from this follicle that your hair grows out and the melanocytes around the hair follicles produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that gives your hair its natural color.
When there is a reduction of melanin production, the hair due to factors such as ageing, stress, etc. your hair loses its natural pigmentation and turns grey.  Melanocytes, the pigment producing cells, may migrate away from the hair follicles due to ageing. Free radicals produced due to oxidative stress can also damage the cells in your scalp and lead to premature greying. 
What Happens To The Hair Follicle After Plucking White Hair?
The hair follicle is traumatised when you pluck out a hair. But it slowly heals and a new strand of hair emerges from the follicle. But if you go on plucking on the same spot over and over again, the hair follicle will be eventually damaged. The cells around the follicle will die and the follicle will shrink altogether. So you will not get any new hair on that spot and it will lead to a bald patch on your scalp.
So the next time you spot a white hair and can’t resist the urge to get rid of it, carefully cut it off with a pair of scissors instead of plucking it. Or resort to other means like using hair colours to cover it up.
Side Effects Of Plucking White Hair
The experts’ verdict is do not pluck your white hair as it does you no good, but can surely cause certain undesirable effects such as:
1. Damage to your scalp
Repeated plucking of that white hair hurts the cells in your scalp and may cause scarring or even infection.
2. Thinning of your hair
If you keep on plucking at the same spot, the hair follicles will shrink or die out. So there will be no new hair on that spot, leading ultimately to thinning of your hair. What would you prefer, a few grey hair or less hair altogether?
3. Altering hair texture
Plucking can alter the natural texture of your hair. The new hair that grows after plucking may be wiry and coarse.
Tips To Prevent Premature Greying Of Hair
Greying is an irreversible process. So hair which have already lost their natural color cannot be reverted back to their normal coloration. But you can certainly take some steps to prevent certain forms of premature greying.
1. Nutritional Supplements
Deficiencies of certain vitamins such as vitamin B12, B6, vitamin D and E can be responsible for premature greying of your hair . Also, low levels of iron and the good cholesterol HDL-C are seen to be associated with premature greying.
So if you are under 30 and have already started noticing the greys it may be a good idea to consult your doctor and start on nutritional supplements to prevent premature greying.
2. Avoid Psychological Stress
Mental stress can be a major contributing factor to premature greying. Life will throw curveballs and you may not be able to dodge them altogether. But you can definitely do some self care like getting enough sleep at night and a few minutes of meditation everyday to enhance your mental health.
3. Protect Your Hair From External Factors
External factors such as sunlight and pollution can hasten the aging of your hair making them loose color faster. Wear a scarf or hat when outdoors to save your precious tresses from losing their color.
4. Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Certain chemicals in your shampoos and hair dyes such as phthalates, ammonia, hydrogen peroxide can be the culprit for your hair losing its pigments. Consider carefully before choosing a hair product and choose brands which avoid using harsh chemicals like SkinKraft.
5. Quit Smoking
White hair is inevitable with advancing age. Plucking off white hair from your head does not bring up more white hair. Nevertheless you should not pluck hair on your crown to avoid damage to your scalp. It is totally up to you if you choose to flaunt your greys with grace or cover it up for fun. But do not let it make you feel any less of yourself.
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