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Why Gray Hair Goes Gray

There's no fighting it: We're all destined to become gray ladies in time. Thanks to Tara Parker-Pope's blog, here's a bit more about what makes that so.

We know that hair turns gray as we age, but scientists are beginning to understand exactly how it happens. Our hair cells produce hydrogen peroxide, and over time, it builds up, blocking the synthesis of melanin (which provides the natural color to our hair). So when our hair turns gray, it's like a bleaching process from the inside out. That's only one part of the process, though. Researchers are using this discovery to examine whether stress can cause accelerated graying, which may sound like a vain pursuit — but that's not the case. By studying the stem cells involved in graying, scientists hope to discover treatments for melanoma. Think of that the next time a silver hair surfaces on your head.


kmf kmf 8 years
For the best information about gray hair, including tips on makeup and clothing to enhance it, there's a terrific website called It's answered all my questions and allowed me to go through the graying process with ease. It's run by Diana Jewell---a beauty expert and author. The site provides info, support and a real sisterhood. Jewell is organizing a large gathering of gray gals in NY in June. Three days of activities specifically for us. Lectures, make-overs and prizes. For more info you can go to her site---it's all there.
Tabloid Tabloid 8 years
VERY late for this fact.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I love that so many of you have embraced your grays :-) I didn't start coloring because of the grays, I started because I love my hair auburn. I've thought about letting it go but at this point I don't have young features and would look anything but magical (I love that btw!) ;-) My fear would be that people would ask if I was my one year old's grandma (that might be extreme but that's my fear). What's a girl to do?
jelibeann jelibeann 8 years
i'm in my late 20's and had my first gray hair at like 18...i'm nowhere near going completely gray, but i know it's only going to get worse...dying is expensive and time consuming, plus my hair is healthy and i would hate to ruin hair grows so fast that two weeks after i dye, there are new grays and roots popping through my dark, dark brown hair...sooo frustrating...i'm trying to not care about the gray and embrace some kind of hokey fact about how aging = wisdom :)
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I'm early 30's and I have a bit of gray. At first I was horrified, but now it's no big deal. :shrug: Never dyed my hair...not sure I will either!
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I'm fairly young, and I have a large amounts of gray hair. I've posted about this before, but graying prematurely runs in my family. I have an uncle and cousin who were completely gray in their thirties. I'm heading in that direction. But you know what, I don't mind. My gray hairs are thick and healthy (more so than my dark ones). I like my grays. Incidentally, hubbie likes them, too. He says that my gray hair (with my young features) makes me look magical. LOL
agrepina agrepina 8 years
im 20 and ive noticed some grey very tempted to pull them out
ThePerfectScore ThePerfectScore 8 years
crazy.... my mom's gray resists dye... lol she hates it. Why is gray so resistant.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I'm probably a third or more gray and have been coloring my hair for over a decade. I am finding that the bulk of my gray is at my part which is so annoying. Thank god for colormark to get me between hair appointments as I end up looking like a skunk with my bright gray part :-(
kclulu kclulu 8 years
Yeah, I am 28 and have quite a few gray hairs already, especially around my face. My dad started to go gray in his 30's so it will only get worse. My hair is also naturally dark so it is quite the noticeable contrast. I guess thats what they make hair dye for!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I never knew.
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