Why We Get Gray Hair

Researchers have gotten down to the root of the mystery of why out hair turns gray. The color of a person's hair is determined by stem cells that make and store pigments in the skin. These pigments produce the hair color of blondes, brunettes and redheads. As we age, these pigments start to die off. A distinguished look may not set in so soon if it was not for the cells that produce hair-color did not start to place them in the wrong location, rendering it useless, and thus resulting in premature graying.

Studies have also been conducted on mice whose hairs have turned gray. As a result further research has been performed by inspecting human scalps for a possible cause of premature graying. Unfortunately, any discoveries will not lead to the reversal of graying in human hair. However, there is the possibility of gaining a better understanding of melanoma, a form of skin cancer, which kills approximately 8,000 people annually.

Although not directly related, melanoma and gray hair fall under the same category. Pigment cells or otherwise called melanocytes give the hair its youthful color when they work properly. As they die off or develop in the wrong part of the hair follicle, gray hair inevitably develops. Furthermore, melanocytes can go entirely the other way by multiplying out of control to form tumors of malignant melanoma.

Things that everyone should know about why our hair turns gray:

* The largest culprit for getting gray hair is the normal aging process. Like skin, as we age the texture of our hair changes too. Dermatologists have coined the phrase or rule that 50% of the people will have about 50% gray hair by the age of 50.

* A person's ethnicity can make a difference in whether or not they will get gray hair. Scientists have yet to figure out why ethnicity determines the order:

1. Caucasians, with redheads earliest of all

2. Asians

3. African-American

* Stress has an impact on our skin as well as hair issues. Think of those people who have had chemotherapy, lost all their hair and then grows back a different color. Illness and stress play important role in getting gray hair.

* Just like everything else, our lifestyle can make a difference. Certain low vitamin levels can be attributed to the loss of hair pigment. Selecting foods high in certain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants may help to protect cells against toxins, thus preventing cancer, heart disease, other ailments and yes even gray hair.

* The myth that hair turns gray is only a myth. A single strand of hair grows for approximately 1 to 3 years at which time it is shed. When a new one grows, depending on your age, will most likely be white. As hair regenerates it has to re-pigment-forming cells and ever they wear out.

The good news is that scientists are working hard on finding the cure and the prevention for gray hair.