It is a well-known fact that human hairs began to turn grey and white as we grow old. There is no definite age when graying starts and even the amount of grey hair varies for each individual.
But what is the mystery behind this? As we grow old what changes in our body that cause hairs to loose its color. Let’s find out.
Our hair gets its color from a pigment called melanin which is produced inside a human body. Melanin is made of pigment cells called melanocytes. There are two types of melanin in our hairs – dark (enumelanin) and light (phaeomelanin). It’s the mixture of these two pigments that imparts a wide range of hair colors. Hair color depends on the type and amount of melanin present in the hair follicle.
As each strand of hair began to grow out of the hair follicle,melacytes cells inject melanin into hair’s keratin. Keratin is a protein responsible for forming hair, skin, and nail.
Each strand of hair then undergoes the three phases of hair growth.
It’s the first stage which is most active which is why this is also termed as growing stage. The cells at the root of the hair divide rapidly causing the hair to grow. During this phase, the hairs can grow up to 1 cm in a span of 28 days.
The next stage is the catagen phase in which the growing of the hair strands stops. The hair follicle doesn’t get the blood supply necessary for the growth of hair strand.
This is the last stage also known as resting stage where the hair follicle does nothing and the hairs in this stage are considered to have attained their maximum length. After remaining in this stage for few days/weeks the hairs finally began to shed away.
Why Grey hair?
As we know that the color of our hairs is dependent on the pigment melanin, with age the formation of melanin in the body goes down. Due to this, our hair starts to get grey and finally turn white when the production of melanin completely stops.