Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

Upon seeing the first gray hair many men will question: why does hair turn gray? Sagging skin, wrinkles, muscle loss, weight gain and gray hair are all signs of aging. As a man ages, he will start to look older because his cells will start dying. Almost all the pigment-producing cells of the hair will die, so the hair will become a white or gray color. The melanin production, which is production of a dark pigment that controls the color of hair, slows down and gradually stops as men reach an older age. From the first time a gray hair is seen, it will take up to ten years for all the hair to turn gray.

Sometimes a man will notice premature graying, and he will wonder why he is plagued with it. He will ask questions: why does hair turn gray early for some men? Caucasian males with gray hair before the age of thirty and African American men with gray hair before the age of 40 have premature graying. Most men often blame stress for gray hair. Unbeknownst to most men, there are several causes for premature graying. Poor nutrition, lack of vitamin B, thyroid problems, medications, anemia, and treatments for AIDS and cancer can cause premature graying. Smokers are four times more likely to gray at an early age than non-smokers. Premature graying can be blamed on bad genes.

Genes will determine when and how much melanin stops producing. If a parent has premature graying, it is likely that the offspring will have premature graying. The same applies to late graying. If parents did not start graying until they were old, offspring will usually gray late in life. Caucasians will start graying when they are between the ages of 30 and 50 years; African Americans usually begin graying between the ages of 40. Look at facial hair to determine when hair starts graying. The beard will usually start graying first, so seeing gray facial hair is an early sign of decreased melanin production.

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