Why our hair really turns gray!


| 4 Comments
One thing you always see in an aging process is the changing of hair color from your natural color to the non-appealing gray shade. People always seem to associate this with a disease or sickness of some sort that causes one's hair to turn gray. For example, people think stress causes gray hair, like that of certain presidents after their first term in office in result of being in charge of the most powerful country in the world. To the surprise of many, one's hair turning gray is simply just apart of the aging process and it turning that silver color is already predetermined. The exception of your hair turning gray earlier may be the disease vitiligo which is a disease that causes uneven pigmentation. Other than that our hair turning gray is just part of the process of life. george_clooney_caesar_cutb.jpg

Hair comes from the pigment melanin and has two hues that determine your individual shade. Hair with no melanin is just completely white. The pigment is produced in cells called melanocytes and they inject pigment into the hair. At some point in everyone's life those cells just slow down and stop producing pigment into people's hair, a process called apoptosis. A study of more than 4,000 men and woman in over 20 countries shows that 75% of people between the ages of 45 and 65, have some gray hair. Beginning at the age of 30 your chances of gray hair go up 10-20%! For all you good looking people out there, wanting to keep your lovely locks forever, I'm sorry to inform you, you may not be able to escape the inevitable. On the bright side, you know not to freak out when you get some gray hair because you think you may have a disease. So when you're 56 years old sporting a nice gray touch to your lovely hair, embrace the look because it's bound to happen to us all!

4 Comments

Hey Bob!I just found we are in the same major!i.e.broadcast journalism.In regards to this article,I found it interesting to read.However,I think there is what we called light spectrum meddling with the process here.Certainly the pigmentation of hairs have happened to the aged,but the final grey appearance still attributes to that physics phenomenon.

I really enjoyed this blog, cause I have always wondered myself why the presidents all turn gray. You make some very valid points but after I have done some research there are studies going on currently that indicate that there may be a relationship between stress and hurrying up the "graying" process. Check out the link below for the website of the study!

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=fact-or-fiction-stress-causes-gray-hair&page=2

You had some really interesting statistics! I do have a question though. You're blog only discussed why we get gray hairs when we age, but I have a single gray hair and i'm only 19. It really baffles me because it's literally a single strand. When the hair follicle goes through apoptosis, does that mean it just dies? I assume thats' what you meant when you said that it stops producing melanin. So maybe only this one strand of my hair has no melanin? Based on your findings, I'm hoping this doesn't mean my entire head of hair will turn grey any time soon....

I have similar thoughts as Carolyn, as for the past couple years, I have been finding grey hairs and they drive me crazy! I've heard that if you pull them out (Which I do) it causes you to get even more grey hairs, but I wonder if that is the truth or just a myth?

Also, I feel that genetics must have something to do with it, as my brother has a similar problem (he is only 3 years older than me and always has some grey strands of hair like me) and if I remember correctly, I think my father greyed decently early as well.

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