What causes Gray Hair

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At some stage in our lives, both men and women will experience the on set of Gray Hair. Contrary to popular belief Gray 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.

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”. 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.

The main reason for our hair behaving this way 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.

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.

The sudden appearance of Gray hair is not due to 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. Alopecia areata eventually causes round shaped patches of hair loss or complete hair loss.

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Author: Piyawut Sutthiruk

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