Hair Turned Yellow

Woman with gray hair wearing glasses
Q: I have gray hair that I'm hoping will turn white. I've worn titanium glasses for the past year. Recently, the hair where my glasses go has turned yellow. The whole strand, not just where the glasses go. It is both sides and my hair dresser said it was probably my glasses. It has only been like that for about a month now.
I haven't done anything different inside or out. It seems strange that the glasses would do that now after almost a year and especially since they're titanium. Is there any other explanation? It isn't yellow anywhere else but it's the whole strand on both sides. It looks horrible and the "blue" shampoos etc, don't seem to do anything. Please help me.

A: I would tend to think that the glasses aren't causing the discoloration directly because otherwise, the effect would be only on one area of the hair strands where the hair comes in contact with the titanium.
My initial thought would be to ask if you have been eating a lot of foods or taking vitamin supplements rich in beta carotene (carrots and other yellow vegetables) or if you are taking any new medications in the last 6 months or so. Both of these can often result in some discoloration of the hair.
Before you discount the "blueing" shampoos, make sure you are using them correctly. These products need to be applied to the wet hair and massaged into lather then allowed to sit on the hair for 3-5 minutes at each shampooing.
Most often, you will see some improvement in the discoloration after the initial use, but depending on your hair and whether or not it is resistant, it may take several uses before any real effect is seen. (If you think your hair is resistant, try leaving the shampoo on for longer periods - up to ten minutes.)
Finally, if the blueing shampoos simply are not helping the situation, you can talk to your hairdresser about bleaching the discolored hair to remove the yellow. Given that the discoloration is relatively light in color (I presume you would have said otherwise) it should be fairly simple to disperse it with peroxide or a mild bleaching agent.
Photo: Goodluz/Shutterstock
See also:
Color resistant gray hair
How bleaching hair works
Medications and the side effects that affect our hair
What can I use to remove the yellow from my gray hair?