Gray hair is not always related to one’s age or maturity. Even though we see mostly people getting gray hair when they age, that is not the only reason for getting gray hair. A person can develop gray hair at any age, even at a young age when a person is child.
One of the main factors of gray hair is heredity. If there are other members in the family who have developed gray hair at an early age, then there is a strong possibility for other youngsters in the family to have gray hair at a young age. Generally the first gray is observed in men at the age of 30 and in women it is at the age of 35. Graying can begin as early as high school for some and as late as 50s for others. The graying begins inside the follicles within the scalp. There are as many as 100,000 follicles in ahead and each follicle is capable of growing several strands of hair during a life time.
At the bottom of the follicle the cells work together to grow hair. Keratinocytes or epidermal cells are responsible for growing hair and melanocytes are the cells that produce the pigment called melanin which is delivered in packages called melanosomes. The melanin comes in two shades dark brown or black, and yellow or red. At any time nearly 80 to 90 percent of hair in the head is in active growth phase. This may last for 2 to 7 years. At the end of this stage the follicle is in a restive phase and the hair falls away.
It is melanin that brings color to the hair. When the hair loses most of the melanin it turns gray. If the hair loses all of the melanin pigment, it turns white. There are several conditions that can cause a child to get gray hair. Vitamin B12 deficiency is one such reason. Sometimes it could be the body’s inability to absorb vitamin B12 also can cause this. Anemia is also one reason to cause gray hair. Thyroid disorders mainly hyperthyroidism can also be a cause for early gray hair. If this health related problem is attended to, it is possible that the gray hair can be reversed and growth of normal hair can be restored.
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