What Causes Gray Hair


Published 2009-03-22 (Rev. 2015-01-23) -- Causes of gray hair is not always related to ones age as hair can turn gray as young as teens and range into our late 50s.

Contact Details: For further information please contact Ian Langtree at Disabled World

Quote: "Smokers are 4 times more likely to have gray hair than nonsmokers and smoking has been conclusively linked to accelerated hair loss."

Definition: Defining the Meaning of Hair

Refers to two distinct structures: 1 - the part beneath the skin, called the hair follicle or when pulled from the skin, called the bulb. This organ is located in the dermis and maintains stem cells which not only re-grow the hair after it falls out, but also are recruited to regrow skin after a wound. 2 - the shaft, which is the hard filamentous part that extends above the skin surface.

Main Document

At some stage in our lives, both men and women will experience the on set of gray Hair.

Contrary to popular belief graying hair is not always related to ones age. Gray hair can occur as young as in our teens and range into our late 50's and even older.

Some people start to gray in their early 20's or 30's; this is called premature graying. Their gray hair may look the same when they are older as it did in their 20's or 30's. Some that come to mind are Taylor Hicks from American Idol or Steve Martin, the comedian. Other people do not become gray until they are in their 50's or later.

When there is more salt than pepper in your hair, it is a constant reminder that you are no longer young. This reality can be very upsetting. Reactions vary. Should you decide to concentrate on the salt, accept the inevitable and relegate yourself to being a spectator in life, then no particular action is necessary. However, if the pepper side calls to you, then aggressive steps are needed to retain a high performance.

Everybody is different but the pigment of our hair is generated in the same way.

Initially, hair is white. The cells in our hair follicles called "Melanocytes" generate pigments the main one being Melanin. This gives our hair its "Color".

In general, the more melanin present, the darker the hair color; the less melanin, the lighter the hair color.

When these Melanocytes stop producing the pigment the result is a transparent hair. The transparent hair against your healthier darker hair gives the appearance of Gray hair. In reality the hair is not Gray but transparent.

Harvard scientists propose that a failure of melanocyte stem cells (MSC) to maintain the production of melanocytes could cause the graying of hair.

The main reason for our hair turning grey is heredity.

If your mom or dad started going Gray at a young age then the chances are you may also suffer from premature gray hair. This is not always the case. Age does play a large part in the graying process. The pigment in the hair shaft is generated from cells at the base of the root of the hair and as we get older these cells start producing less pigment until there is no pigment at all in the hair and we end up with the transparent hair. Harvard scientists proposed that a failure of melanocyte stem cells (MSC) to maintain the production of melanocytes could cause the graying of hair.

Gray Hair Facts

  • Pluck one gray hair and two more will grow back - completely false.
  • Gray hair can be harder to color as it is more resistant to hair-color or hair dye due to a decreased amount of melanin.
  • Gray hair can also be the result of a medical condition. If you are deficient in B12 or suffer from a thyroid imbalance it can also cause your hair to go Gray.
  • When your hair is half white and half colored, it's called "salt and pepper"
  • Smokers are 4 times more likely to have gray hair than nonsmokers and smoking has been conclusively linked to accelerated hair loss.
  • In some cases, gray hair may instead be caused by a deficiency of B12 or a thyroid imbalance.
  • Gray hair is more noticeable in people with darker hair because it stands out, but people with naturally lighter hair are just as likely to go gray.
  • Your chance of going gray increases 10-20% every decade after 30 years.
  • Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails.
  • There is no scientific evidence that any diet, herb, supplement, or natural product can prevent or reverse gray hair.
  • Alopecia areata, a condition in which hair is lost from areas of the body, eventually causes round shaped patches of hair loss or complete hair loss called baldness.

Can hair can turn gray over night

Hair turns gray slowly over time. As you get older, the production of your color pigment slows down and gray hair begins to appear.

Can you get grey hair from a fright or psychological shock or trauma

Studies have shown that if this does happen then it's typically due to Alopecia areata. What happens here is that the thicker, darker hairs stop growing before it effects the growth of Gray hairs, giving the impression of Gray hair overnight.

Hiding Gray Hair - There are a number of choices for concealing gray hairs including:

  • Highlights - This is where hair strands are lightened to blend the gray with the rest of your hair.
  • Permanent color - You can use this method when you have 45% to 50% gray. Some people prefer to leave some gray around their face.
  • Semi-permanent or demi-permanent coloring - The color lasts a few weeks and is a good option for people just starting to see gray hairs appearing.
  • Hair products - If you don't want to dye your hair but still want to conceal the gray, try a coloring tool such as spray on airbrush hair makeup, which washes out with a shampoo.

Preventing Gray Hairs

Does Melancor work to prevent gray hair

If you do want to prevent or reverse your gray hair then you can take a tablet called Melancor. This is a new product on the market and works in two ways. Firstly when you get gray hair you have a genetically based tendency to produce less melanin as body pigments. Melancor triggers Melanocytes which helps overcome this tendency by increasing you body's ability to produce melanin pigments.

Secondly Melancor exerts a profound "Mleanocytes" action whereby it mobilizes stored melanin, moving it out of the hair cell and thereby increasing the number and size of the hair strands and pigments in your natural hair color.

Related Information:

Human Hair: Facts & Information - Disabled World
Hair Care Myths and Tips - Hair care tips and facts including some common hair myths and why they are not true.
Dry and Brittle Hair Care Tips - Hair care tips for those who suffer with dry brittle or frizzy hair because the scalp hair is deficient of moisture.
Home Remedies to Treat Oily Hair - List of remedies you can use at home to treat oily or greasy hair that causes hair to look dull and lifeless.
Is Laser Hair Removal a Permanent Solution - Laser hair removal results in long-term removal of target hairs on the body including arms legs and facial hair.

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