The Truth Behind Gray Hair
FACT OR FICTION?
There are all kinds of stories out there about what causes gray hair—some true, some just old wives’ tales. Let’s separate the facts from the fiction.
First, let’s set things straight: Gray hair isn’t actually gray. In fact, gray hair is colorless. The melanin in certain cells within the hair shaft is what gives hair its distinct color. Over time, these cells produce less pigment, so the hair loses its color altogether.
Now, you’ve probably heard that tweezing or plucking out a gray hair will make two grow in its place. This is one idea that’s definitely not rooted in science. Hairs grow one by one, so the single strand you pull will simply be replaced by another in the exact same spot.
You may also have heard that gray hair is a sign of old age. But in reality, grays can show up at any age. In fact, on average, women begin going gray at a very youthful age 34.
Of course, one of the most popular stories out there is that stress can cause gray hair. Hold on to your hats—this one could actually be true. While there are conflicting opinions about it, high stress or shocking events have been known to cause gray hair. So if your kids are nagging you in the grocery store and you tell them, “You’re making me go gray!”, you may not be far off.