What causes our silvery strands is becoming less of a gray area to scientists.
Reported in the science journal Cell, researchers noted that gray hair is indeed a result of stress — but not necessarily the emotional stress from a demanding job or an unruly teenager. Instead, gray hair can be caused by cell stress.Stress to the cells surrounding the hair follicles can be caused by damaging agents such as chemicals, ultraviolet light and ionizing radiation. According to the study’s lead author, Emi Nishimura, a single cell may encounter up to 100,000 events a day that damage the DNA of these follicles which are responsible for the hair’s color. It’s this type of “genotoxic stress” that depletes the melanocyte stem cells within hair follicles that are responsible for making pigment-producing cells.
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