Nothing Wrong With A Silver Fox: Science Explains Why Hair Turns Grey

by Emily Arata

No matter how much brown dye you purchase, there will always be one grey hair that slips through.

Instead of rushing to pluck it out before someone notices you're aging, consider the steely strand for a minute.

Have you ever wondered why your hair insists on turning colors?

In a recent article published to The Conversation, Australian dermatologist Rodney Sinclair breaks down the facts behind greying hair.

Aging hair cells acquire a buildup of naturally-produced hydrogen peroxide, which interrupts regular melanin production.

As a result, the hair will become grey or white, even though the strands themselves may be healthy.

As Sinclair explains it, hair grows in cycles, continuously getting longer in the anagen phase and shedding strands during the telogen phase before starting over once more.

If your scalp stops producing pigment as the anagen phase restarts, the newest strands of your hair will take on a gunmetal hue.

But, it's not just pigment changing hair color.

In 2009, The New York Times reported the age of greying differs between races. White people often experience color change several years after age 30, while it doesn't hit Asian and African people until later on in life.

There's also some element of stress involved, according to Wired.

A 2011 study indicated frequent fight-or-flight responses triggered by trauma or illness could age the body, resulting in DNA changes cueing the body to prematurely produce grey or white hair.

Whatever the case, experts recommend sticking to a healthy lifestyle to stave off the greys.

Keep your levels of vitamin B12 high, and avoid toxic habits, like smoking, to keep that mane of brunette or blonde hair as long as possible.

Citations: Why Does Hair Change Colour And Turn Grey? (IFL Science)