MAR 08, 2017 06:13 PM PST

The Many Factors at the Root of Greying Hair

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Grey hair seems to remind most people of aging, but there is more to the process than just getting old. "Hair can go gray for several different reasons," explained Dr. Rajani Katta, a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. "The primary reason is genetics, and a lot of it depends on what age your parents went gray."

Environmental influences from physical and emotional stress also cause the hair to go grey. Smokers go grey earlier, and there is evidence that implicates emotional stress, ultraviolet light and pollution in the process. Some medical problems can also lead to grey hair; disrupted thyroid levels are another cause.

Katta also said there is no evidence that plucking the grey hairs will lead to additional growth of grey hairs, so pluck away. Reducing stress and limiting exposure to cigarette smoke may help prevent or might limit grey hairs. Ethnicity can also play an (unchangeable) role; Caucasians tend to go grey in their mid-thirties while it's the late-thirties as an average for Asians, and mid-forties in African-Americans.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
How NASA's Dragonfly Mission Will Teach Us More About Titan
If you haven’t already heard, NASA is planning to launch a new mission dubbed Project Dragonfly, which will study Saturn’s moon Titan to learn...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
What Can the Moon's Craters Tell Us?
The Moon is littered with craters, and each one tells an important story about its past. Some of those craters are large, but others are somewhat small. Th...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
The Science Behind the First Powered Flight on Another Planet
NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 mission involves much more than just another land-based rover – it will also pioneer the very first powered flight on...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
3D Printing Could Be the Answer for Habitats on Mars
Deep space missions, such as those to the Moon and Mars, are in our future. NASA, SpaceX, and other top-tier entities in the business of space exploration...
OCT 20, 2019
Plants & Animals
OCT 20, 2019
All Squirrels Enjoy Nuts, and Some Shamelessly Steal Them
It’s no secret that squirrels enjoy eating nuts, but a lesser known fact is that many of these cunning rodents also enjoy the thrill and easy reward...
OCT 20, 2019
Space & Astronomy
OCT 20, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Learn More About Metallic Asteroids
NASA’s Psyche mission will investigate the properties of a unique metallic asteroid residing between Mars and Jupiter as it orbits the Sun. It’...
Loading Comments...