Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

Lately, a lot of women have been telling men that their gray hair looks good on them. “You look more distinguished,” they’ll say. Ladies especially seem to like what’s known as the “salt-n-pepper” look where a man with dark colored hair has some gray or white hairs on the sides.

Why does hair turn gray? Well, it’s a natural process that happens when people get older.

Each piece of hair we have on our heads has two parts– the part under the skin called the root and the part we and others see, popping out of our heads, called the shaft. Now at the root of hair there’s a tube of tissue known as the hair follicle. In here you have a certain number of pigment cells. Normally, these cells make melanin, which is a chemical giving your hair its distinct color. If you’re wondering if this melanin is related to the melanin people have heard about that makes our skin darker, it is!

People with more melanin tend to have darker hair and darker skin. If you’re the type of person who gets a deep tan after spending time in the sun, you’ve got a lot of melanin. If you burn easily, you don’t. So, the more melanin you have, the darker your hair color.

Aging is a process whereas parts of our body either wear out or stop working like they used to… with hair, the older we get the more likely our pigment cells in the hair follicles die off. Without much melanin to work with, a person’s hair turns from darker colors to gray! Or, in some cases, hair turns white or silver, of course.

Interestingly, people can “go gray” at any age. Taylor Hicks won American Idol as a young man, perhaps best known for his gray hair rather than his singing voice. Typically, most people will get their first gray hairs in their 30s or 40s. This is also about the same time they’ll buy and use hair dye to cover it up.

So, to sum it up, the color of our hair is ultimately determined by our genes.

If you’re experiencing hair loss and want to reverse course, contact the experts at NM Hair Replacement Studio today.

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