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Author: szeiger
No. Questions: 5
Created: Feb 21, 2015
Last Modified: 5 years ago

What Makes Hair Turn Gray?

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Have your parents ever told you that you're causing their hair to turn gray?
The good news is you're not the only reason. The bad news is, their hair is still going to turn gray one day.

Your hair is made up of a few different parts. The shaft is the colored part of hair you see on your head. The root is the part of hair that attaches to your head. Each root has a follicle attached to it. This is where your hair gets its color.

When hair turns gray it is because it is losing pigment. All hair actually starts out white. It turns color with the help of a pigment called melanin. The way the melanin is distributed throughout the hair helps determine your individual hair color. Some people have more dark melanin, called eumelanin. Others have more red melanin, called phaeomelanin. People with blonde hair have a mix of both eumelanin and phaemelanin. These create a lighter color of hair when mixed. The melanin is placed at the hair follicles and helps color the hair there.

As people get older, their bodies stop providing as much melanin. As a result, their hair starts to turn gray or even white. For some people, this happens all at once, while others will see their hair gradually change color over time. Genes can help determine when a person's hair will go gray. For example, if your dad started getting gray hair at an early age, chances are you will start to go gray at an early age too.

Factors such as pollution, the climate, and chemical exposure can also help cause hair to turn gray faster. Some people also say stress makes gray hair appear faster. While stress itself doesn't cause gray hair, the hormones connected to stress can.
Grade 3 Nature and Science (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.1, RI.3.1
Grade 3 Nature and Science (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.1, RI.3.1
Grade 3 Nature and Science (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.3, RI.3.3
What is the best way to tell when your hair will turn gray?
  1. Look at the roots of your hair
  2. Look it up on a chart
  3. Look at other family members
  4. Look at how much stress you have
Grade 3 Nature and Science (Stories) CCSS: CCRA.R.4, RI.3.4