Is your grey hair due to copper dysregulation?
We've all heard it before: as we reach a certain age, silver hair should start to emerge from the scalp and eventually cover our entire head, giving us the appearance of a silver fox. However, is this truly an inherent part of aging that we have come to accept? If there is any reason why some people age more quickly than others, what is it? And why is it that some people seem to be able to turn back the clock on their grey hair but not others? How can everyone learn the secret, and what is it?
Hair Pigmentation and Bio individuality
Our hair tints emerge as unique as our fingerprints in the fascinating world of hair pigmentation, which reveals a fascinating terrain of bio individuality. Research here has highlighted the complex interaction between variances in hair colour and the complex balance of minerals that our bodies need, as demonstrated by research like the one cited. This chromatic symposium is orchestrated by a symphony of components, as demonstrated in the study.Here’s an excerpt from the paper “In males there was more magnesium and less cadmium in black hair than in hair of other colors, less zinc in blond than in black or red, more lead in brown than in black or red and more nickel in red than in brown hair. In females there was less zinc in blond than in brown or red and less magnesium in brown than in red hair.” (Schroeder 1969). As a result of such discoveries, the mosaic of minerals tells the tale of our hair's different hues, which is evidence of the subtle symbiosis between a person's demands and their natural chemistry. The pigment melanin, which is present in our skin, eyes, and hair, is a naturally occurring way for cells to create colour. Additionally, it aids in the sun's damaging UV ray absorption and shields our cells from the harm that UV light exposure can cause.
Melanin Production and Ageing
As we age though, melanin production starts to decrease which can result in things like lighter skin, an inability to tan, duller eye colours, as well as greying of the hair. This pigment defines our natural hair colour, and is formed in the hair by the melanocytes in the hair follicles. If there isn’t enough melanin, instead of this the melanocytes incorporate small air bubbles in the hair’s layers of keratin, which then makes grey hair.
It’s because sometimes it’s not just “lesser melanin” production but an actual stressor that is forcing the body to age quicker or there is a deficiency that is at fault, preventing the melanin from being produced in the first place.
Factors Affecting Grey Hair
Environmental variables including oxidative stress, which can appear as pollution, medications, a poor diet, heavy metal toxicity, endocrine disruptors like pesticides, and more can prevent the formation of melanin. These chemicals can then irritate our DNA by getting into the stem cells of the hair follicles and harming the DNA, which causes the hair to lose its colour. Remember that mental stress, such as the kind we experience from job or relationship problems, may also be included in this. There is no doubt that stress is to blame.
But there's still more. Minerals, what about them?
At Upgraded Formulas, we frequently discuss how minerals are the underlying source of every person's problems, and as was already indicated, melanin appears to be the culprit. But which mineral promotes the synthesis of melanin? Copper.
Copper: The Key Mineral for Melanin Production
As the essential cofactor, copper directs the complex dance of enzyme activity, especially in the production of the enzyme tyrosinase. This enzyme uses our pigmentation as a canvas to paint. It has the ability to elevate the ordinary into the remarkable by adding colours and colours that identify our individual presence in the world.
Tyrosine particularly is used to create melanin, and tyrosinase plays a significant role in this process. Actually, the oxidation of tyrosine by copper was catalyzed by a mixture of nearly 500 amino acids. We may tan so much more readily in the summer than in the winter because exposure to UVB rays from the sun increases the formation of tyrosinase. This is due to the fact that tyrosinase initiates the production of melanin by converting certain substances, such as monophenols, into chinones, which subsequently combine to produce melanin. If there is not enough of this, melanin cannot be produced properly, which causes the hair to go grey.
The Complex Role of Copper in the Body
The aforementioned stressors or nutritional shortages, notably copper deficiency, might hinder this process. However, copper is a picky mineral since humans don’t just always have a shortage in it; instead, they have dysregulated systems and struggle to utilize the copper that is there in their bodies.
If you haven't read any of our articles on copper toxicity, dysregulation, or deficiency, visit this link to catch up. But in general, the body needs a lot of assistance for the mineral copper. It can be absorbed or used on its own, but in order to protect us from harm since copper can function as a heavy metal, comparable to iron, it is almost always bound to another protein.
Ceruloplasmin and other copper-mobilizing and bioavailable proteins are required, but metallothionein is also required to bind to any excess copper that may otherwise result in copper toxicity. These proteins are created precisely in the liver and adrenal glands in both instances, therefore we must always ensure that both organs are functioning at their best.
Strategies for Adrenal Support
Adrenal support can take the form of controlling stress, avoiding overtaxing our systems, eating enough of the minerals essential for the adrenals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C), getting adequate rest, and avoiding the use of stimulants to get through the day.
Regarding the liver, we would want to ensure that we're keeping the emunctory organ pathways open, making sure we're taking some liver support every day or supporting liver detoxification naturally to prevent any sluggishness, maintaining optimal bile flow, avoiding endocrine disruptors that can cause hormonal problems, and maintaining mineral status. Some people can benefit from just adding more copper to their supplement regimen, but there are situations when you may already have enough copper and are simply not utilizing it appropriately.
In conclusion, the journey into understanding greying hair unveils a fascinating interplay between biology, minerals, stress, and overall health. While the notion of greying hair being a natural part of aging holds true to an extent, delving deeper reveals that the rate and onset of this process can be influenced by a myriad of factors. From the intricate role of melanin in safeguarding our cells against UV damage to the pivotal role of copper in melanin production, the science behind greying hair offers a window into the complex symphony of our bodies. Recognizing the impact of stressors, both environmental and psychological, underscores the importance of holistic well-being. By nurturing our adrenals and maintaining optimal liver function, we not only support our body's ability to utilize copper but also enhance our overall health. Embracing this knowledge empowers us to seek personalized solutions, possibly unlocking the secrets to reversing or slowing down the greying process. So, as we navigate the journey of aging, let's embark with curiosity, armed with insights to embrace the shades of life with vitality and understanding.
We can help you determine if your grey hair is caused by stress, copper deficiency, copper dysregulation, or anything else if you conduct a hair test with us, which you can buy right now by clicking here.
Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Practitioner
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Health Coach