Gray Hair

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gray hair happens to all of us at some point. But why do some people go gray in their 20s while others dont see the first sign of silver until theyre much older? Dr. Edward Hill takes a look at going gray in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Getting gray, silver or white hair is a natural part of growing older. Each hair on our heads is made up of two parts:

The shaft - the colored part we see growing out of our heads and

The root - the bottom part, which keeps the hair anchored under the scalp

The root is surrounded by a tube of tissue under the skin that is called the hair follicle. Each hair follicle contains pigment cells which produce a chemical called melanin that gives the hair shaft its color.

As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles gradually die. When the pigment cells die, the hair strand no longer contains as much melanin and becomes a more transparent color - like gray, silver or white.

Some people go gray at a young age - as early as high school or college. Others may be in their 30s or 40s before they see that first gray hair.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.