Why Does Gray Hair Turn Yellow? Causes & Solutions
External causes of yellowing gray hair:
1. Sun: Because white hair still contains pigment, that pigment can be bleached by the sun and the natural molecules that contain more blue are removed leaving the molecules with more yellow to become more prominent. Sun damage, unfortunately, cannot be removed or undone.
Solution: Wear a hat when in the sun and protect your hair and your scalp from sun damage. Use an SPF Spray for your scalp when you cannot wear a hat. Violet and Purple Shampoos can help with the permanent damage because they deposit that opposite color from yellow helping to neutralize it. Once you wash again, though, that purple pigment is gone.
2- Water: Minerals in your well and some city water, and chemicals in swimming pools can deposit and attach to the hair shaft.
Solution: Some minerals can be removed from the hair with specialty mineral or well water Clarifying Shampoos (just make sure they are safe for your white or gray hair). Others need to be filtered out with a Shower attachment filter. And specialty Swimmer’s Shampoos will help with swimmer’s yellowing. Wash your hair less, many of us shampoo every day, in most cases this is not necessary.
3- Hot Irons and Hair Dryers: Not everyone with gray hair will have trouble with irons and dryers causing gray hair to turn yellow. Heat damage can be caused by reactions to the minerals in your water, or ingredients in your hair products reacting to the heat.
Solution: Lower the temperature on your iron or dryer to the lowest needed to obtain your styles. Towel drying your hair with The Perfect Haircare Microfiber Towel (get the pink or teal one, the black transfers dye) it prevents frizz, removes water rapidly, and lowers your drying time. Switch your products out and see if one of them might have been the cause. Or ditch the dryer and hot irons all together, if you can. If you cannot stop using heat use a Heat Protectant.
4- Air pollution: Where you work (places that allow smoking, bars, restaurants, factories, etc.) and your air quality where you live may influence the deposits of yellowing on your gray hair.
Solution: To deyellow use a Clarifying Shampoos once a week at least. Keeping your hair moisturized will also help prevent yellowing in these situations; dry hair is more prone to the elements.
5- Smoking: Smoke has tar in it, among other things, and it will discolor your hair, skin, nails, and clothing.
Solution: Obviously, if you smoke, stopping smoking is the ideal solution.
6- Hair Products: Check your products, if they have silicones and sulfates, those can cause some of the discolorations. Some silicones bind to the hair and with repeated use will build up over time. That build-up will alter the reflective colors in your hair and may become dingy, dull, or yellowy.
Solution: Use all-natural products if you can, as with your food the less ingredients the healthier it probably is. Make sure your product is not a dark or yellow color. If you prefer salon-based products just check the ingredients try for sulfate and silicone-free brands.
7- Hair Accessories: Believe it or not, your hair ties, leather bun wraps, and headbands could be dyed with chemical dyes that when you sweat or put your hair up wet will then transfer that color to your hair.
Solution: Hand wash your hair accessories with warm water and gentle shampoo regularly. If you notice a particular accessory is bleeding dye into your wash water…ditch it.
Internal causes of gray hair turning yellow (medications, supplements, etc)
Internal Influences that cause you to go gray can also cause your hair to go darker again, while there are no solutions that will deyellow your gray hair if this is the case, I felt they were worth mentioning before you chase around looking for ways to enhance your gray hair.
1. Medications: Malaria and chemotherapy drugs can change your hair color. Some report their thyroid and hormone medications have also changed their hair color.
Solutions: Limited, it may be that you have to wait out your treatment before you know what is going to happen with your hair color.
2. Medicated Shampoos: A medicated shampoo like Minoxidil or Rogaine can discolor your hair.
Solutions: Unfortunately, the only way to stop the discoloration is to stop the medicated shampoo.
3. Supplements: Some supplements are reported to change gray hair or decrease it; among them are biotin, pantothenic acid, iron, and PABA.
Solutions: Find alternatives to these supplements if possible, or embrace what the nutrition is doing for your melanin levels.