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What Causes Gray Hair

  • Publish Date : 2009/03/22 - (Rev. 2019/05/24)
  • Author : Disabled World
  • Contact : www.disabled-world.com

Synopsis: 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. When your body stops generating melanin, hair presents itself as gray, white, or silver. If you are deficient in B12, or suffer from a thyroid imbalance, it can also cause your hair to go gray.

Main Document

At some stage in our lives, both men and women will experience the on set of gray hair. Blame your family tree, as the main cause for hair turning grey is heredity. If your mom or dad started going gray at a young age then the chances are you may also have premature 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.

Initially Hair is White

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

Gray Hair Facts

Close-up photo of the back of a male head showing wavy gray hair and the beginning of baldness.
Close-up photo of the back of a male head showing wavy gray hair and the beginning of baldness.

  • 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.

a) 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.

b) 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.

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