Why does hair turn gray with age?

Saggy skin, (premature) wrinkles, and a stray or gray patch of hair are tell-tale signs of aging. A graying hairline is the most common sign related to chronological aging as the body begins to undergo visible changes. While the arrival of the silver mane is either celebrated or dreaded, we begin to wonder, what exactly causes our hair to turn gray as we age? Life Noggin’s YouTube video, “Why Your Hair Will Turn Gray,” sheds some light on the matter.

Similar to skin, hair texture changes as the body ages. Internal and external influences, especially genetics, help determine the exact moment our hair turns gray. For example, we tend to grow gray at the time either our parents or grandparents saw their first gray strand. Hormones, age, the climate we live in, toxins, and even chemical exposure can also affect hair pigmentation over the years.

Genetics is a strong indicator of why our hair turns gray, but how exactly does hair lose its pigmentation? The pigments of dark and light hair color are composed of melanocytes, which inject melanin into cells that contain keratin — the protein of our hair. Life Noggin suggests the defective maintenance of melanocyte stem cells means the less melatin is injected, the more gray our hair starts to produce.

Read full, original article: What Causes Gray Hair? The Influence Of Genetics And Other Factors On Hair Color

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