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The Mystery of Gray Hair

People experience their hair turning gray at some points of their lives. Some individuals' hair may turn gray when they are old and this is considered quite natural. However, there are those whose hair loses its color earlier, even during their 20s. That being said, we need to look further into this mystery.

The Human Hair

First of all, our hair consists of two major parts. One is, the root of our hair, being hidden inside our scalp. From the root, we have our external part, the very hair, growing and being full of different qualities like color, shape, length etc. There is also a part of our hair root called a follicle, which is in charge of dying and producing the hair initially. Thus, every hair on our head has its own root and follicle and needs these in order to exist and function normally.

The follicles deliver melanin to the hair, which is a coloring material found in the cells of the follicles. Melanin gives our hair specific color through pigmentation. Therefore, different type of melanin will give different hair coloring. Unfortunately, in time, these follicles produce less and less melanin, eventually stopping the production of color for our hair, and sometimes even the hair itself. From the onset of graying, it takes about 10 years for our entire hair to become gray, taking into consideration that this is an individual process and that we have more than 100,000 hairs on our head.

Some of many reasons for experiencing gray hair is the genetic factor, where those who have premature graying in family may experience it themselves. Secondly, poor eating habits may lead to deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other crucial nutrients for our hair and the rest of our organism, leading to gray hair too. Surely, alcohol, smoking and substance abuse do not help at all.

Additionally, anemia, thyroid gland problems, chemotherapy and simple aging all belong to the list of possible causes as well.

Finally, graying of the hair usually starts with the area around the temples, spreading over the crown and onto the rest of our scalp.

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