Discovering why gray hair appears can be a fascinating endeavor. It can reveal not only the causes of its appearance but also provide insight into how our hair changes color over time. In fact, understanding the science behind gray hair helps to explain why some people age more gracefully than others. For example, if you know the environmental and lifestyle factors that contribute to gray hair, then you can also address those cause and delay the process.
As the years go by, our hair turns gray and then white, a process that is often considered a sign of aging. However, scientists recently discovered that the reason why our hair turns gray.
What is the reason for gray hair?
Researchers discovered that the cause of graying hair is not simply a lack of pigmentation. Rather, it is a disruption of the biological process that produces hair pigment.
Understanding this process and its regulation may change the information known so far about aging in general. It may lead to new treatments to prevent premature graying of hair. Therefore, it is important to continue research to better understand the patterns of aging and their implications.
The study was published in the journal Nature, by a team of researchers from the Grossman School of Medicine in the United States.
Scientific discovery uncovers the reason for the appearance of gray hairs
The study indicates that stem cells are cells capable of mutating into several different cell types. They have the ability to move freely within the growth cycle of hair follicles.
Although, over time, they become trapped within the growth compartments and lose the ability to maintain color as they are unable to mature.
That study is based on research on melanocyte stem cells (McSCs), present in humans and mice. They found that McSCs that do not have a specific function, although they divide within the hair follicles, transform into mature cells that give color to the hair.
Furthermore, they detected that, as we age, more and more McSCs become trapped inside hair follicles without being able to mature. Thus, they stop producing pigment and the hair turns gray or white.
A hope that may mark a before and after in science.
Finally, they will test whether the treatment can be applied in humans. If this is possible, the fact that the scientists have tested it on mouse cells represents a breakthrough in cellular aging research.
According to them, it should be investigated whether the position of melanocyte stem cells is the same in mice as in humans. If they obtain a positive result, it would be possible to reverse the process of hair graying prematurely or as part of the aging process.
In addition, the research team is conducting further studies to restore the movement of McSCs. In this way they can mature and continue to produce the pigment that gives color to the hair.