Common Habits That Actually Make Hair Go Gray Prematurely

Ah, gray hair. As we get older, it becomes a familiar sight when looking in the mirror. Yet plenty of people will start to notice these problematic follicles much earlier in their life. Why? Well, as it turns out, certain routines from your daily regimen could be responsible for premature graying. And they’re sure to surprise you.

Gray hair doesn't always mean you're old

Yes, it’s not always down to natural causes when gray hair begins to emerge at a younger age. But that’s got us wondering – what actually happens to your mane as it loses its color? What’s the internal process behind the change? In truth, it isn’t as complex as you might think.

Three years old

First things first, though, we need to clarify something. You see, as your body produces hair, it doesn’t start out with a set color. Instead, the shade comes from “pigment-forming stem cells.” Pretty cool fact, right? But here’s where it gets really intriguing. Each follicle on your head has no more than three years worth of growing time.

The lifespan of a follicle

The hair falls out at that stage, before it’s replaced by a brand new follicle. But there’s just one problem. The synchronicity that we just touched upon doesn’t last forever, so those fledgling hairs won’t have the same color when you get older. Yep, there’s a very good chance they’ll emerge as gray or white.

Take it from a doctor

To go into more detail on that front, Dr. Anthony Oro spoke to Good Housekeeping in July 2018. He plied his trade at Stanford University, teaching dermatology. Oro said, “Every time the hair regenerates, you have to re-form these pigment-forming cells, and they wear out.” It really is as straightforward as that!