There are many different reasons why hair turns gray, but the primary cause is genetics. Each of the hair follicles, where hair is produced, contains cells called melanocytes. These melanocytes produce the melanin needed to color hair; they gradually die in time so that hair will receive less melanin, according to KidsHealth.Know More
Melanin, the same chemical that determines the color of the host's skin, is required to color the hair and, as the cells die, the lower melanin levels in the hair will cause it to become less opaque and become white, gray or silver. Generally, Caucasians' hair will start to go gray during their 30s, those from Asia will start to go gray in their late 30s and African-Americans' hair will start to go gray in their mid-40s. People whose parents and grandparents had gray hair during their youth are also prone to turn gray prematurely. There are, however, medical issues that can cause someone to turn gray at an early age.
A lack of vitamin B-12 or problems with the thyroid or pituitary glands can cause premature graying, however, this is largely reversible with medical help. Alopecia areata, where patches of hair may be lost, may cause hair to grow back gray but the color can return eventually. Vitiligo is a condition, famously suffered by Michael Jackson, where melanocytes in the skin and hair start to die or cease to function,and it can also make hair go gray.Learn more in Conditions & Diseases
Hair loss can be caused by a number of factors including disease, diet or stress. A significant amount of hair loss points to disease, which can be determined by a dermatologist, according to Prevention Magazine.Full Answer >
The most common cause of hair loss in men and women is genetic pattern hair loss, a hereditary condition that causes permanent hair loss. Aging also causes natural hair thinning. Medical conditions that can cause hair loss include thyroid disorders, lupus and scalp infections such as ringworm, according to the Mayo Clinic.Full Answer >
Hair loss on the legs can be caused by several medical conditions, although the two most prominent and prevalent conditions are alopecia areata and peripheral artery disease of the legs. Although the cause of alopecia areata is unknown, peripheral artery disease of the legs is caused by hardening and narrowing of the arteries.Full Answer >
Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that can be triggered by surgery, explains Dr. Marc Glashofer to Fox News. Physical trauma, including surgery, severe illness, car accidents and the flu, can lead to temporary hair loss.Full Answer >