Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

Hair Dye-smallWe never really had a good answer to why hair turns gray, other than a simple “it loses pigment,” but we do now! In the process of researching malignant melanoma, cancer researchers have discovered exactly what makes hair turn gray. It is a stem cell thing, but rather than me mucking it all up, let me show you what they say:

Melanocytes, which manufacture and store the pigment that combines with hair-making cells called keratinocytes to color the hair, are specialized cells spawned by colorless melanocyte stem cells.

What actually happens during the graying process is that the melanocyte cells not only become depleted, they also make errors as they age, turning into ‘fully committed’ pigment cells that position themselves in the wrong part of the hair follicle, thus leading to a loss of pigmentation. [source]

This group of researchers is not going to stop their important melanoma research to go into repairing our gray hairs, but hopefully someone will take their discovery and run with it in the beauty sector. Can some of you imagine keeping your youthful hair color forever? I can’t – I am far too hooked on coloring my hair. But it would be mighty nice to just be able to accentuate what I have rather than fight with those wiry gray hairs, no? This sounds like another good reason to be supportive of stem cell research to me. ;)

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    • http://www.temptalia.com/ Christine

      Great post!

    • http://thebeautybrains.com Left Brain

      Nice post. You beat the Brains to it :)

      This looks like yet another thing that could be cured with stem cells. Hmmm.

    • j’shri

      TOPIC: why hair turns gray?

      Nousishment is the answer. Lots of green drinks organic of course and supplement MSM and BIOSIL.
      prevents hair from graying . Magnesium and copper plus vitamin E. Vitamin B complex, folic acid and flax seed oil or you can get 3,6.9. omegaoils usually found with acidopholous in the cool keeper section of the health food store.

      I am 45 yrs and I have ten gray hairs. I can count them yes. Before there were about 15 to 20.
      Change of diet helps to regenerate your hair back to it’s original colour. Dyeing your hair with chemical dyes only make your hair grayer and
      other chemical treatments, plus shampoos …over the counter types contribute to your hair going gray.
      Nourishing shampoos can be found at the health food stores and make sure you read the ingre.
      They must be paraben free and sodium lauryl sulphate free.. I wash my hair everyday and I use pure oraganic shampoos and conditioners.

      Yes I blow-dry my hair everyday ……but with very low heat and with a ceramic ion blow dryer.
      hope this helps.
      By the way I drink Kyo greens and amazing grass and they have made a big difference in my health and energy. My urge for sweets or carbs have become obsolete.And I find I dont crave food but just nourishment .
      When the body is nourshed with mineral and vital nutrients , that is when it starts to regenerate itself.
      Your skin begins to look younger and you have extra energy and your body itself starts to regenerate, every organ ,blood vessel, and every cell from the automic to the cellular levels start to restart. In other words your whole body heals and repelishes itself and it is like you were reborn. Why Just the other night I got carded when we were going out and it was for me the biggest compliment and my nephew who is now 13 thought I was 19………can you imagine? Now that is not the point . Point is you are as young as you feel and I have never in my growing years felt Oh I am getting old. Once you can bring out the child spirit within you , how can you age? So simple huh?
      j’shri

      We are our own healers, all we have to do is beleive that we are. That is all it is. Amen.

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    • Lesley

      I’m going to proudly go out on a limb and say that I love my grey hair. It’s become my trademark. No, I can’t lie about my age, but it’s a look not many people can carry off. I had my first grey hairs in high school. I colored for a while, but got tired of the skunk stripe down my head, so I let it grow out a bit and cut it all off. I’ve never looked back.

    • Melissa

      It’s very simple. Too many chemicals digested and lack of exercise ‘age’ you. People who age well know this secret. The reason hair cells can not reproduce correctly is the same reason any cell in your body can’t…lack of proper nutrients, AND too many chemicals to fight off. Chemicals are seen as foreign invaders which keeps body in constant low-grade stress zone from fighting them off. Chemicals in food are the worst! Which friends is everything non-organic. Cigarettes, Alcohol, Drugs(yes your prescription drugs too) will all also make you age drastically, but food is still the worst b/c your body uses this to repair(can’t use chemicals to repair!). Educate yourself…Get Healthy. All this you will NOT here from medical community/gov’t(who support food/drug companys)