Reviewed by Michael Smith on January 26, 2016
Kidshealth.org; "Why Does Hair Turn Gray?"; PubMed: "Aging of the Hair Follicle Pigmentation System."; Leah Curney, host.; Noah Forman, host.; Sound Effects: freeSFX.
© 2016 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Noah: It's a sure sign that we're getting older. Or is it?
Leah: Actually, it is.
Noah: Yeah, we were just trying to put a positive spin on it.
Leah: Each strand of hair has two parts, the shaft, that's what we see, and the roots, which is anchored under the scalp.
Noah: A follicle, a tube of tissue under the skin surrounds each root. Every hair follicle contains pigment cells that continuously produce a chemical called melanin.
Leah: And melanin gives the growing shaft of hair it's color.
Noah: As we age, the follicles pigment cells gradually die off, just like our hopes and dreams.
Leah: Wait. What?
Noah: Just keeping it real. Anyway the fewer pigment cells in a follicle, the strand of hair no longer contains as much melanin, becoming a more transparent color as it grows, like gray, silver, or white.
Leah: So basically, gray hair is just a part of the aging process.
Noah: Nature's way of signaling to the world that our best years are behind us.
Leah: Wait. That is not what it signals. It signals wisdom and experience.
Noah: Really? Would you let your hair go gray?
Leah: Never. Never, ever.
Noah: Yeah. I didn't think so. I think you actually have a little gray right there.
Leah: I do? Wait. Where?
Leah: No. He's just kidding. Get it. Get it out now.