Why Does Hair Turn Grey?

Lao Tzu once said that life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.

Everyone ages. It’s the body’s natural reaction to being around for so long on this earth. Specifically, it’s a result of a breakdown or an inability of your body to create new cells. It’s an inevitable fact of life that old age will get the best of us.

One very obvious sign of aging is when our hair starts to turn grey. This isn’t always the case when our hair turns grey, there may be other facts as a result, so why then does hair turn grey? In order to answer this question, we need to know what gives hair its colour in the first place. Our hair is made up of cells called melanocytes.

These cells are located inside of our skin, and they produce melanin that gives our skin, eyes, and yes, our hair its colour. When our hair starts to turn grey as a sign of aging, according to Wikipedia, this is because the melanocytes in your hair follicles are beginning to fail to produce melanin. Thus, they fail to produce hair colour.

Although it’s a classic story in history, hair colour change cannot necessarily be proven by certain stress factors or ‘holy sightings’ as what happened to Moses after he stepped down from Mount Sinai. However, hair follicles can be damaged as a result of injury, which sometimes results in a small patch of white hair on the scalp.

Other diseases like Vitiligo or Alopecia may also result in loss of pigment in the hair. Despite popular belief, you cannot ‘give’ yourself grey hair unless you purposefully dye it.

Plucking hairs, over-dying, or certain lifestyle choices have no real bearing on whether or not your hair turns grey. The one true factor that you can thank for your grey hairs is genetics.

Taking a long hard look at your family, including your parents and their parents will tell you more about your own hair. When it comes to something like baldness, these genetics are usually inherited from your mother, but other things might be a factor. Just be thankful that if your hair is turning grey, at least you still have your hair!

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