The Reason We Get White Hair As We Grow Older

Babies do not have white hair, but they will get white hair gradually as they grow older, until their hair is completely white. Do you know what the reason for this is?

Actually, the natural colour of human hair is white, even when we are young. However, as pigment is added to white hair, it becomes black, brown, blonde and sometimes ginger.

When we are young, we have the full ability to produce pigment to dye our hair. However, as we get older, our ability declines, which makes our hair white. Therefore, lack of sleep, malnutrition and illness can also lead to our hair turning white.

You may have heard or read about the stories of some historical figures whose hair turned white over a night because of incredible despair or heartbreak; for example, Mary Antoinette. It sounds very tragic, or even fascinating that a person got that distressed because of losing love. However, scientifically it cannot happen because once a hair is pigmented, the colour does not go away.

Lina  Writer/Translator
Writing articles and essays based on my experience working in medical and space exploration fields as well as literature and history major at Waseda University. Based in Tokyo.

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