II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Go Away Gray!!!

While I was blow-drying my hair today (and thinking how MUCH gray I have) I began thinking about how many of my (young)friends have to color their hair to cover over the gray. I have had gray hair since I was a young teenager and had to start coloring it to cover the gray when I was about 20. I am on a mission now...I want to research and find out just why it is that some of us turn gray SO early. I'm sure some of it is genetics, but is that it or is it something we are doing (or not doing?) Everyone associates gray hair with "old" but when people in their early twenties are turning gray, you certainly can't call them old! So, if any of you know anything about this...please do tell. Otherwise, I will be researching the subject and will let you know what I find out!

Okay, I did my research and I decided to just attach it to this post from yesterday rather than create a new one. It's rather boring---what I found out. Apparently, we can't blame ANY of our gray on our kids or husbands or stress. It's pretty much ALL our parent's faults! ha ha Anyway, here is my mini-research paper on gray hair.

Contrary to popular belief, gray hair is not always related to ones age. Gray hair can occur as young as in our teens and continue on throughout our lives.

Everybody is different, but the pigment of our hair is generated in the same way. The cells in our hair follicles generate a pigment called Melanin. This gives our hair its "Color". when these cells stop producing the pigment the result is transparent hair. The transparent hair agaisnt your healthier, darker hair gives the appearance of gray. In reality, the hair is not gray but transparent.

The main reason for our hair behaving this way is heredity. If your mom or dad started going gray at a young age then the chances are you may also suffer from premature gray hair. As we get older the cells in our hair start producing less pigment until there is no pigment at all in the hair.

While age does play a large part in the graying process, there are other factors that can change the pigmentation of hair, making it lighter or darker. Scientists have divided them by intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external).
Intrinsic factors include: Genetic defects, hormones, body distribution and age.
Extrinsic factors include: Climate, pollutants, toxins, chemical exposure.

Here are some hair-raising facts I discovered:

* An average scalp has 100,000-150,000 hairs.

* Hair is so strong that each hair can withstand the strain of 100 grams (3.5 oz). An average head of hair could hold 10-15 tons if only the scalp was strong enough!

* Human hair grows autonomously, that is each hair is on its own individual cycle. If all our hair were on the same cycle, we would molt!

* Hair has the highest rate of mitosis (cell division). An average hair grows 0.3 mm a day and 1 cm per month.

So, not all that interesting. Nothing I found cited stress as a cause of gray hair, which really surprised me. Usually stress "hurts" all parts of our being...but I guess not our hair. Anyway, hope you found this to be a little enlightening!


Logzie said...

For your fact gathering...I have had just a few strands of grey that maybe started around age 25 or so...BUT then this year (age 31) I have been noticing so many more. I have always heard it's from having kids and how they stress you out but I always thought that was more of a myth but now I am not too sure.

P.S.-I can look back at pictures of our golden retreiver dog and there is one of him sitting next to Logan in his bouncy chair and there is no grey. Then I look at pics of around the time of Logan's 1st birthday and he is grey...maybe that is proof that stress or kids can cause it...???

I am curious what you find out!

P.S.S.-How in the world do you have time to research this? :-)

Jen said...

okay...to answer your P.S.S...I don't have the time to do this. However, as weird as it is, researching things and writing papers over them was one of my favorite things to do in school and I am going to use some of very precious, limited quiet time to research this. Probably while everyone else is snoozing away I'll be sitting up at my computer reading about hair. What a life! ha ha

KC said...

None of the women in our family (on my Mom's side) have gray hair. My Nanny (who just lost my Papa to Cancer) is 65 and there is not one gray hair on her head! Then my Mother, who has dark brunett hair, has no gray either. Her sister, who has blondish brown hair, has no gray. None of us do! They said it is hereditary...but it is something the women in our family have never had.

Now don't get me started on the stretch marks ALL of the women in my family have! Arrh! If I could choose I would definitely rather have Gray hair!

Logzie said...

Cool...thanks for the info. It was interesting to find out that the hair is actually transparent and not gray. I can totally see that now. So...why does it seem that men go bald far more than women do??? I am not complaining...it looks WAY better on them than it would on a woman ANY day! he he