Why does hair turn gray

The natural graying of a person’s hair is a process that finds its roots in the standard cycles of our own bodies and is a by-product of a chemical process simply breaking down over time. This is a natural occurrence that takes place at the base of each hair, or the deep-embedded “root”, and can be seen in the long stalk or “follicle” that is visible outside of the skin. Further, it is a process that can begin taking place at any number of times in a person’s life and is not always a sign of age or stress – rather instead it is regulated by a person’s genetic code and can occur at any time regardless of a person’s particular chosen lifestyle (meaning stress is not a proven indicator of a cause of gray hair).

While most people tend to begin developing some gray hair between 30 and 40 years of age, with some not even beginning until they are 50, others may begin developing gray hairs as early as their teenage years. These are particularly apparent for individuals with darker hair due to the fact that the lack of pigmentation can easily be seen as contrasting against a strong background.

The hair coloring itself that drives the graying of the hair is the result of deteriorating pigment production that takes place within the root of each hair follicle. Based on the chemical known as melatonin, the pigmentation generated within the root of each hair can cause our natural coloration to vary from blonds to brunettes to striking red hues. This same pigmentation is found in our skin and is responsible for regulating our natural skin tone as well as protecting us from the harmful rays of the sun when exposed for too long.

As human bodies age the pigment producing aspects found within the roots of our hair follicles begins to function less and less efficiently, eventually stopping melatonin production all together. This lack of a pigmentation “injected” into each follicle results in hair taking on a gray or white color rather than whatever color an individual may have originally had.

Graying hair can take place for any individuals, regardless of whatever original color someone may have had. While some individuals may believe that this is not the case for particularly light blond individuals that is simply because the lack of the melatonin pigmentation is simply not as prominent as it is for other colors. Additionally, once the deterioration of the hair pigmentation begins the average individual can expect to have roughly 10 years before the majority of their hair follicles have reached the same stage, meaning that an individual beginning to turn gray at 40 should expect prominent gray coloration by 50 or 55 at the latest.