Why Does Hair Color Change As You Age?

Why Does Hair Color Change As You Age?

Guess what, it’s all related to your genes! Just like how your hair and eye color is determined by your genes, your hair color can change over time and you have the pigment melanin to thank for that. Melanin can be separated into two types: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Depending on the amount of each type, it will produce blonde, red, brown, black. Eumelanin creates a brown or black color while pheomelanin creates a red or yellow color. Hair color is produced by cells called melanocytes which is the root of the hair follicle. Melanocyte produces melanin pigments to give color. 

Changes in color can be from hormones, nutrition, temperature, or various external factors. Just like our skin gets wrinkly, our hair will turn white or gray because of wearing out. Everything is a cycle and your hair cycle will eventually come to an end and die. The melanocytes will not produce as much pigment to be passed onto the hair cells. When you’re young, you can produce new cells at a faster age. But as you grow older, it starts to slow down. So if your parents tell you to pull their gray hair out, the new hair follicle will stay gray because the melanocytes aren’t producing pigment anymore. 

Some people gray earlier but it is only more noticeable on people with darker hair. It all comes down to your genes, so don’t just blame it on your stress or lifestyle!