Gray Hair: Age Isn’t the Only Reason it Starts to Happen

For many men and women, spotting a few strands of gray hair is a reminder that as you age, your body begins to change.

Although the thought of aging and going gray may be daunting, an expert at Baylor College of Medicine says there are several factors that play a role in developing gray hair.

“Hair can go gray for several different reasons,” said Rajani Katta, M.D., clinical assistant professor of medicine at Baylor.

“The primary reason is genetics, and a lot of it depends on what age your parents went gray.”

Ethnic background also is a factor in going gray, Katta said. Individuals who are Caucasian tend to go gray in their mid-30s, Asians often begin to grow gray hair in their late 30s and African-Americans normally develop gray in their early to mid-40s.

Physical and emotional stress to the body is another cause of developing gray hair.

“People who are smokers have a higher risk of turning gray at an earlier age. There have also been studies that link things that cause stress to our body to premature graying, and that includes emotional stress and even pollution and ultraviolet light,” she said.

Medical conditions also have been linked... More...

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