Scientists believe they may have discovered why hair turns gray as we age
American scientists believe they may have discovered why hair turns gray as we age.
According to them, stopping the development of cells causes the hair to turn gray. The team from New York University (NYU) studied the process in mice, which have identical hair color cells.
How do you get gray hair?
We grow up and our hair falls out, a normal cycle that occurs throughout life.
New hair grows from hair follicles, found in the skin, where the pigment-producing melanocytes are also located.
Melanocytes are constantly destroyed and renewed. The new ones are made from stem cells and it is these cells that researchers believe "get stuck" in people whose hair has gone gray.
The NYU Langone Health team used special scans and laboratory techniques to study the aging process of cells.
As the hair ages, falls out, and then grows back repeatedly, an increasing number of melanocyte stem cells become sluggish in their work.
The stem cells stop rolling around the follicle and become fixed, thus failing to mature into full-fledged melanocytes. Without producing pigment, the hair turns gray, white or silver.
Scientists suggest that hair graying may be a partially reversible process.
Poor nutrition is a possible and treatable cause of premature greying.
Some researchers claim that stress can contribute to the graying of human hair and have suggested that removing stress can restore the pigmentation process - at least for a while.
Other studies suggest that genetics, or our DNA, partly determines when we go gray.