Hair Color

Black Hair Turning Gold | How to Prevent It? What to do after Hair Turns to Gold?

Isn’t it cool to imagine that your hair can turn gold? No matter it’s black, red, or blonde: your hair can turn gold. Many of us are familiar with the chemical highlighting, coloring, lightening, and dyeing of hair: but have you heard of the natural transformation of black hair to gold?

It is pretty cool to imagine our hair transforming into gold naturally: but no, it does not happen to everyone, and neither our entire hair turns golden. It is sort of a gentle natural change that leaves us with many unanswered questions.

This article addresses all the queries as much as possible. So if you are wondering about your black hair turning gold naturally; then, this article serves you the best.

Can my hair go from black to gold?

Yes, absolutely! Your hair can change from black to gold. And the two ways through which it can are natural transformation and chemical method.

The chemical transformation does not require further elaboration as it a fairly simple process where you chemically change your hair color. But, the natural change is where the whole discussion is centered.

What does it mean when your hair turns gold?

The natural transformation of black hair to gold has its own reasons. But, before understanding the science behind why a hair turns to gold, let me tell you how a hair gets its color.

Here is a brief on how a hair gets its color:

A special pigment in the hair gives the hair its color. It is called melanin pigment and, it is produced by melanocyte cells. These cells are present on the shaft of each hair strand.

Melanin pigment is then later incorporated into the whole length of the hair as they grow up. Also, there are two basic types of melanin pigment.

They are pheomelanin and eumelanin. Eumelanin gives a black and brown color to the hair, whereas pheomelanin gives red and yellow color.

The combination and amount of these individual melanin pigments determine the color of the hair. 

             Hair colorProportion of melanin pigment
BlackLarge amount of eumelanin + very small amount of pheomelanin
BrownModerate amount of eumelanin + small amount of pheomelanin
BlondeVery small amount of eumelanin + small amount of pheomelanin
RedLarge amount of pheomelanin + very small amount of eumelanin
GreyNegligible or absence of any melanin pigments

From the above chart, it is quite clear that the proportion of the individual melanin pigments determines the color. And for gold hair, it is considered that pheomelanin is in a larger amount with a moderate amount of eumelanin.

These balance out each other giving gold hair. So, when your naturally black hair starts turning gold, it simply means that the proportion of melanin pigments in your hair is changed. Also, this change could happen on beards, eyebrows, eyelashes, mustaches, and pubes.

Why is my black hair changing color by itself to gold?

The simple answer to this would be the change in the proportion of melanin pigment in your hair. But the catch point is that the genes are the one that determines the amount and proportion of the melanin pigment of an individual. 

Each one of us has a unique gene that we inherit from our parents. This gene has traits from both our parents; and also some traits from our grandparents and ancestors. The gene is the reason why our hair turns out to be similar to our parents.

Here is a detail on how a gene works that you need to know before you understand how a gene causes the change in black hair to gold:

The gene that imparts color to our hair is the MC1R gene. This gene works by giving commands to the melanocytes for producing melanin. Also, these genes are present in two states. 

They are turned on and turn off. Depending upon their state, they work accordingly. A gene in a turn-on state can send commands resulting in the production of melanin. 

But the same gene in a turn-off state won’t send any signal and, there is a decrease in the production of melanin. 

So, any factor that leads to the turning off of the hair gene results in a hair color change. Also, the level to which the gene is turned-off produces a range of hair colors. 

In naturally black hair, the gene that produces eumelanin pigment is turned-on fully, but the gene that produces pheomelanin is not turned-on completely. This lead to dark black hair.

So, for the change of hair color from black to gold, there needs to be any factor that turns on and turns off the gene that produces pheomelanin and eumelanin simultaneously. 

It might occur in one strand of hair or a whole chunk of hair. This change can happen to anyone regardless of their age, gender, and race if they have it in their genes.

Here are some of the factors that might turn your perfect black hair golden:

1. External environment

Turning off and on of the gene is called  a mutation in scientific term. There are various elements present in our surrounding environment that triggers this mutation. 

They may range from dust, particles, pollutants, sunlight, and ionizing radiation. However, the chances of a change of your hair from external environmental mutation remain slim.

2. Nutrition

Besides mutation, the death of the melanocyte cells decreases the melanin count. It occurs due to a lack of optimum nutrients intake. 

Some of the nutrients that serve best for your hair are vitamin B12, copper, and iron.

3. Heredity/ Recessive genes of gold color

If your parents had their black hair turn to gold, then there are chances that you will have your black hair turn to gold too. 

Also, if your grandparents or any of your blood relatives have had this change: then there are still chances that you will have it. It is because you got a recessive gene of gold hair.

A recessive gene is the one whose effect is masked in the presence of a dominant gene. In this case, the gold hair gene is recessive and, the black hair gene is dominant. 

This recessive gene can get turned on due to some external factors or simultaneously at any time. It also clears why the transformation of black hair to gold is not age biased and rather random.

4. Sunlight and UV rays

When your hair comes in contact with sunlight or UV rays along with the presence of oxygen, it bleaches out the hair and decolorizes the melanin pigment. 

It disbalances the level of different melanin pigment in the hair and may change the hair color to gold. 

Also, this change may be due to the triggering of a gene by the UV rays. It mainly occurs on few strands of hair rather than chunks of hair.

5. Exposure to harsh chemicals

Using hair products containing harsh chemicals not only damages the hair strand but also the melanocyte cells. 

Some chemicals present in a hair product might also act as a mutagen and induce the hair to change its color to gold.

6. Mineral deposit due to hard water

Hard water contains many minerals like sulfur, calcium, zinc, and some metals. These minerals sit on your hair while you wash your hair and results in brassy golden hair.

7. Hormonal imbalance

Hormones play a big role in melanin production. These are the chemical messenger that sends signals to produce different kinds of melanin. 

So, any change in your hormonal level will increase or decrease the production of melanin accordingly. 

Some of the factors that could alter the hormonal levels are stress, puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, and hormonal disease.

How can I prevent my black hair turning to gold?

There are various things that you can do to prevent your black hair from turning gold. Here are them listed below.

1. Proper Nutrition

The lack of nutrition leads to decreased melanin production due to damage and death of the melanocyte cells. So, proper nutrition is required for this prevention and also to get healthy locks.

Listed below are some foods with their nutrition component.

  1. Vitamin B12 rich food- meat, fish, egg, cheese, milk
  2. Iron-rich food – green vegetables, cashew nuts, dark chocolate, nuts, pumpkin seeds, red meat, beans
  3. Catalase rich food – onions, radish, broccoli, cucumber, grapes, peaches, sprouts, lentils, zucchini, apples
  4. Copper rich food – green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, chickpeas, dark chocolate, avocado, sweet potatoes, wheat, whole grain products.

2. Nourish your hair

Proper nourishment prevents a seend slows down the change of black hair to gold. It also strengthens the hair.

For nourishment of your hair, you can use various hair oils that increase the amount of melanin. Here are them listed below:

3. Protect your hair from triggering factors

Environmental triggering factors that your hair might come across change the black hair to gold. These factors range variably and may also differ from person to person.

Some of them may be chemicals, dust, pollutants, UV rays, and ionizing radiation. 

4. Use Natural Hair Products

Some of the hair products with harsh chemical content might destroy the melanocytes resulting in the hair lightening.

Using a natural hair product will limit this change. Here are some of the herbal hair products that you can use:

5. Prevent from sunlight and UV rays

Sun damage to the hair is not a new thing that we have come across. There is also a chance of your hair turning gold due to sunlight.

For the prevention of hair from sunlight, you can use hair sunblock or sunscreen. Here are them listed below:

You can also use an umbrella, hats, caps, and scarf to prevent the hair from sun damage.

6. Switch from hard water to soft water for hair wash

Hard water contains minerals that might build up in your hair, in the long run, giving brassy golden hair color.

It not only changes the color of the hair but also damages the hair quality. So, using soft water to wash your hair will prevent this change.

For this, you could use shower filters, boiled water, water softener, or clarifying/chelating shampoo.

Here are some of the best clarifying shampoo:

7. Melanin supplements

Melanin supplements are one of the best prevention methods. It provides formed melanin directly and, the melanin count remains at the optimum level maintaining the black color of the hair.

However, as melanin supplement is not FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved, the decision to take melanin is solely upon the individual.

Best melanin supplements in the market: 

What to do after my hair turns to gold?

Hair turning gold is a natural process. On top of that, in many cases: only a few strands of black hair change to gold. So, there is nothing much to worry about. However, you can still consult with a professional. 

Listed below are few things you can do after your black hair changes its color:

1. Flaunt it 

No matter what color your hair is: it is still your hair and, it is still you so, flaunt your new hairstyle. 

2. Consult with a medical professional

Consulting with a professional will give you a wider view of the topic. Also, if the change was due to nutritional deficiency, you will be able to work on it sooner.

3. Use color-correcting Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo eliminates the extra tone from your hair. It won’t remove the gold color but will slightly even out your hair color. 

Listed below are some of the best purple shampoos:

4. Dyeing

You can always dye your hair if you do not want them uneven gold strands.

Final Words:

The natural transformation of black hair to gold mostly occurs due to genetic causes. However, consulting with a professional is always a good idea.

Also, the change of black hair to gold only involves a few hair strands, which do not interfere with the entire look. So, embrace your naturally gifted transformation as much as possible.

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