Why does our hair turn gray with age?

American scientists claim that they have discovered the reason why hair turns gray with age.

These scientists have claimed that when the cells that keep the hair black lose their ability to mature, the hair begins to turn white.

If these cells mature, they turn into melanocytes, which maintain the hair’s natural color. A team of researchers from New York University has done this research on mice. Mice have the same type of hair cells.

The research scientists claim that it will help start the process of re-darkening gray hair. According to the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), the study of melanocytes will help find treatments for certain types of cancer and other health conditions.

How does hair turn white?

We grow old and lose hair. It is a normal process of our life which continues throughout our life. Hair grows from hair glands in the skin, where the cells that keep the hair dark are located.

These cells are formed and destroyed regularly. These cells are formed from stem cells.

Scientists at New York University believe that when the process of making these cells from stem cells stops for any reason, people’s hair starts to turn white.

New York University’s Langwan Health team has studied the formation and development of these cells with the help of special scanning and lab techniques. When hair ages and begins to fall out, hair continues to grow. But later the cells of the melanocytes start to slow down.

The stem cells stabilize in place but the melanocytes do not improve. Due to this, the process of color formation stops and the hair starts turning white.

Can white hair turn black again?

“Our study helps us understand how melanocyte stem cells work to keep hair dark,” Dr. Si Sun, a PhD scholar at New York University Langone Health and leader of the research team, told Nature Journal.

This is not the first time that scientists have hoped to turn white hair back to black. However, malnutrition is also considered to be one of the causes of premature graying of hair.

On the other hand, some other researchers believe that stress also causes graying of hair. According to these experts, the graying of hair can be stopped for some time by removing stress.

On the other hand, according to some researchers, there are genetic reasons for gray hair.

Some people start to dye their hair white or gray prematurely. According to Glamor magazine, the silver hair trend is very popular among young women, besides the shiny and pearly color oyster gray has also become quite popular on Instagram.

Hair stylist Luke Hirschson recently told British Vogue, ‘There was a time when people didn’t want to have gray hair, but we don’t associate gray hair with being ‘old’ anymore, a lot of people do.’

After the lockdown, many people have turned gray hair as the business of hair dyeing has ended and many people are happy with this change.

Usually, people try to remove a hair when it turns gray. According to experts, it is not possible to stop other hairs coming from the same cells from turning white.

Damage to the hair follicles also stops the growth of new hair, in which case the hair begins to recede or become bald.

How big is the hair coloring business?

Dr Leila Asfour of the British Association of Dermatologists told the BBC that hair coloring is big business. He further said, ‘By 2030, the global hair color market will reach 33.7 billion dollars. There is clearly a demand in the market for hair color.

“This research gives a clear indication, from a layman’s point of view, that we are one step closer to turning white hair black again, while from a medical point of view, other hair-related issues are becoming more common,” he said. The complications are better understood.

“It will also help us understand the nature of the disease, for example, melanoma or serious skin cancer,” he said.

This research may be helpful in understanding the disease of ‘hair loss’

According to Dr Leela, it may also help to understand a medical condition known as ‘baldness’. In this condition, the body’s own immune system attacks the hair itself and due to this, the hair falls out. Sometimes these patients have white spots.

According to Dr Leela, ‘this research may provide more information about vitiligo, the appearance of white patches on any part of the skin. To maintain the natural color of the skin, scientists can try transplanting hair follicles into the affected area. However, more research is needed on this.

Dr. Yusser Al Naimi, from the British Hair and Nail Society, said that scalp health becomes important as we age for good hair growth.

“Recent research in mice has increased our understanding of hair follicles and the cells that keep hair black,” he added. More information is being gained about the potential of stem cell therapy for hair loss and other conditions.

In such a scenario, the new research could pave the way for future treatments for patients with pigment-producing cell disorders.

Courtesy BBC/URDU