Q:

Why is my hair turning white?

A:

Quick Answer

White hair is the result of a reduction in the body's production of melanin, which naturally occurs as the human body ages. According to the Library of Congress, scientists still do not fully understand why this occurs in humans.

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Why is my hair turning white?
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Full Answer

Scientific American explains that loss of hair color does not indicate the presence of a health problem. Instead, the pigment known as melanin simply stops entering hair cells with age. Some people even experience this phenomenon very young in life. While genetic factors play a role in the process, as of 2014, researchers are still trying to understand the specifics behind the loss of pigmentation in the hair. The only difference between white and gray hair is simply that white hair has no pigmentation whatsoever, while gray hair still has traces of melanin.

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Related Questions

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    What are some ways to keep white hair from turning yellow?

    A:

    White and gray hair can be kept from turning yellow by using non-yellow tinted shampoos and conditioners, avoiding chemicals in water and sunlight, dying hair and ensuring that there is not excess scalp oil. Excess scalp oil can cause the hair to take on a yellowish cast, so keeping the scalp reasonably dry if it is oily can help.

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    How do you get white hair?

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    There are temporary and permanent methods to get white hair. Certain methods may be more effective depending on the hair's natural color and its condition.

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    Is a natural white streak in hair something to worry about?

    A:

    A natural white streak that occurs in the hair is known as poliosis, and if it was present at birth, chances are it is nothing to worry about; however, if it was acquired later in life, it could be the symptom of an underlying medical condition. Most cases of poliosis are found on the scalp, but the white streaks or patches of hair can be found on any part of the body.

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    Is it best to have your hair clean or dirty before you dye it?

    A:

    Hair should be neither too clean nor too dirty before being dyed, so Allure magazine recommends washing it eight to twelve hours before dyeing to get the truest color. Hair that is squeaky clean or exceptionally oily or dirty can interfere with the coloring process when dye is applied.

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