Why does hair turn grey?

As you grow older your hair starts to turn grey. So why do hair turn grey? Actually, hair never turns grey. Once a hair is produced, the color of that hair strand remains the same. That particular strand of hair will never turn grey. The specialists at Scalp Micro UK explain the reasons behind grey hair.


The hair colour, just like the colour of skin, depends on a pigment called melanin. There is a tube of tissue at the root of each hair strand. It is called a hair follicle. The hair follicle has cells containing melanin chemicals. When new hair strands grow from these hair follicles, the melanin in them gives colour to the hair. It can be black, white, blonde or red. But the melanin levels in hair follicles drop as you grow old. So less colour is produced by hair follicles with age. When new hair grows at an older age it is more likely to have grey colour due to reduced melanin in the follicles.

Generally grey hair starts to appear after the age of thirty five years. But various genetics factors can delay or hurry the onset of grey hair. There are some claims that stress can turn hair grey. A study conducted on mice found that stress can turn their hair grey. But the effect of stress on human hair is still not known. So grey hair appears when in a new hair growth cycle the hair follicles produce less colour.


Aging is the leading cause of grey hair in most people. But in some cases early onset of grey can be a symptom of some underlying illness. This is especially true for young people. Deficiency of B12 vitamins and other essential nutrients can lead to grey hair. Other conditions like thyroid disease, alopecia areata, vitiligo and tuberculosis sclerosis can cause greying of hair. But all these diseases have several other symptoms apart from grey hair.

In most cases your genes determine when your hair will turn grey. But if you are not the fan of grey, there are plenty of options available to keep your hair black.

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