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Hair Facts: 40 Gray Hair Facts Including Myths About Graying

All the facts about hair you were looking for.

Gray hair is one of the top beauty concerns for women and men. There are so many myths about going gray that we decided to round up some facts. Keep reading because we’re not leaving anything out. Find out the anatomy of grays, gray hair facts, myths, and how we can learn to embrace them.

1. Hair turns gray because of age and genetics.

2. Hair graying is the most known sign of human aging.

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3. Genetically, hair is white. It gets its natural color from a pigment called melanin.

4. Hair has two types of pigments: dark (eumelanin) and light (phaeomelanin).

5. Eumelanin and phaeomelanin blend together to make up a wide range of hair colors.

6. Melanin is made up of specialized pigment cells called melanocytes.

7. Genetically speaking, melanocytes inject pigment (melanin) into capillary cells containing keratin when hair is formed.

8. Keratin is the protein that makes up our hair, skin, and nails.

9. As we age, over the years, melanocytes continue to inject pigment into the hair’s keratin, giving it color.

10. The aging process reduces melanin production. Hair turns gray and eventually white.

11. Hair follicles have a melanogenic time that slows down or stops melanocyte activity, decreasing the pigment our hair receives as we age.

12. There are other factors that can change the pigmentation of hair, making it lighter or darker.

13. Scientists have divided such factors into intrinsic or internal and extrinsic or external factors.

14. Intrinsic factors include genetic defects, hormones, body distribution, and age.

15. Extrinsic factors include weather conditions, pollutants, toxins, and chemical exposure.

16. Gray or white hair has no pigment.

17. Gray hair results from a reduction of pigment or melanin in the hair.

18. Everyone’s hair will turn gray at some point.

19. An individual’s chances of going gray increase by 10-20% every decade after age 30.

20. Hair follicles produce less color as they age, so when hair goes through its natural cycle of dying and regenerating, it’s more likely to grow gray beginning after age 35.

21. Genetics plays a role when the graying process starts.

22. In some rare cases, graying hair indicates an illness, primarily if it occurs at an exceptionally young age.

23. Health problems related to early graying include vitamin B deficiency, tuberous sclerosis, thyroid disease, vitiligo, and alopecia areata.

24. Genes inherited from your parents determine when and how hair turns gray.

25. Stress might play a role in the graying hair process.

26. Gray hair is thinner than hair with pigment because gray hair’s cuticle is thinner.

27. Gray hair needs deep conditioning because gray hair tends to be drier.

 

28. Plucking one gray hair strand will make more grow out. This is not true; new hair grows at its own pace regardless of pulling it.

29. Gray hair accelerates when parenting teenage children.

30. Dyeing your hair causes premature graying.

31. Chemical hair treatments such as perms or hair strengthening cause premature graying.

32. Excessive UV sunrays exposure can turn your hair gray.

33. Gray hair is naturally coarse in texture.

34. Gray hair is hard to style.

35. Gray hair doesn’t grow long.

36. Stress can make turn your entire hair gray overnight.

37. Only permanent hair color covers up gray hair.

38. Excessive hair dyeing turns your hair gray faster.

39. Getting highlights are the only way to conceal gray hair strands.

40. Hair can turn gray after a fright or an extremely scary situation.

 

Sources: loc.gov, National Library of Medicine, Harvard Health Publishing, Vegamour, Southern Living, WebMD.

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