Why does our Hair turn Grey?

Going grey is one of life’s great stresses, as many see it as sign of looking “old”. Today there is a huge trend to dying your hair grey or silver, which is helping more people to embrace their naturally greying hair.

Grey hairs can start to grow at any age, with most people noticing their first grey hair by their 30th birthday. And by the age of 50, 50% of the population will have 50% of their hairs turned grey already. This process can much more traumatic for women than men, with the majority of women dying their hair to cover their greys.

The colour of your hair pigment is determined by the two different types of melanins (pigments) known as eumelanins and pheomelanins. Over time the cells that produce these melanins die and the stem cell reservoir at the top of the hair follicle will send replacement cells to continue the melanin production. Eventually that bank of stem cells will become depleted and the hair bulb will produce hairs without pigment.

Stress is quoted as being a key contributor to greying hair. While it may play a small part, genetic factors are the most likely cause. For now there aren’t any proven ways to prevent your hair going grey. Lifestyle factors such as a healthy balanced diet and not smoking will help. These may help to prevent premature greying but won’t stop it altogether. For now the only remedy is to dye your hair, but scientists are always working to find a way to prevent greying hairs. One day soon grey hairs may be a thing of the past.

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