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What causes gray hair?

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Scientists have put a lot of effort into investigating the cause of gray hair, and they believe they've gotten to the root of the problem. Hair gets its color from a pigment called melanin, which is produced by melanocyte cells in the hair follicles.

Researchers have discovered that melanocytes endure cumulative damage over the years, which eventually leaves them unable to produce melanin. Studies have cited DNA damage and a buildup of hydrogen peroxide in the follicles as possible causes of this disruption in melanin production. Without melanin, the new hair that grows in has no pigment, which makes it appear gray, white, or silver.

Some people start to go gray young -- as early as their teens. When graying begins usually is determined by genes, so if your mother or father became gray early, you may, too

From: Hair Problems WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Wood, J.M. published online Feb. 23, 2009. FASEB J.,

Inomata, K. , 2009. Cell

Mosley, J.G. , 1996. BMJ

Mounsey, A.L. , 2009. American Family Physician

American Academy of Dermatology web site: "Hair Loss."

Palladino L., Green, M. , 5th ed., Cengage Learning, 2006. Hairdressing -- the Foundations: The Official Guide to Level 2

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on February 6, 2019

SOURCES:

Wood, J.M. published online Feb. 23, 2009. FASEB J.,

Inomata, K. , 2009. Cell

Mosley, J.G. , 1996. BMJ

Mounsey, A.L. , 2009. American Family Physician

American Academy of Dermatology web site: "Hair Loss."

Palladino L., Green, M. , 5th ed., Cengage Learning, 2006. Hairdressing -- the Foundations: The Official Guide to Level 2

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on February 6, 2019

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