Gray hair—it’s bound to happen to all of us. The only real variables in the equation are when it will happen and how dark or light our grays will be. Here are five things that you probably never knew about gray hair.
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Your hair doesn’t “turn” gray.
You won’t go to bed with a head full of dark hair and wake up in the morning completely gray. It just doesn’t happen like that. Hair color doesn’t turn from dark or light to gray. It starts to grow in gray from the follicle. Every time you grow a new hair out of a follicle, there’s less and less pigment. In due time, there’s no pigment left at all, and that’s when you start to see white or gray hairs pop up.
Plucking out grays doesn’t do much of anything.
It’s not uncommon for women to pluck (with tweezers or by pulling the hair out) their first few grays. While some experts say it’s OK to pluck them because the hair in totality is removed from the root, others say it’s better to cut them, which won’t damage the follicle and the scalp. Regardless, once you remove a gray hair, a new one will eventually grow back in its place.
Your natural color dictates whether you’ll be white or gray.
The reason why you may have one color over the other has to do with how much dark melanin is in your hair. When hair is gray, Nyack, NY, dermatologist Wendy Epstein, MD, says it is still making dark pigment. Celebrity colorist Rona O’Connor adds that white hair tends to be more common in those who are naturally blond.
Your hair is usually half gray by age 50.
According to Spring House, MD, dermatologist Margo Weishar, MD, when women hit age 50, on average, about 50 percent of their hair is gray. However, that’s not the case for everyone—there are some women who have just a few scattered grays here and there at age 50 and beyond. And, some have hardly any grays and are still able to wear their natural hair color.
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