The Truth Behind Grey Hair


There are all kinds of stories out there about what causes grey hair—some true, some just old wives’ tales. Let’s separate the facts from the fiction.

First, let’s set things straight: grey hair isn’t actually grey. In fact, grey hair is colourless. The melanin in certain cells within the hair shaft is what gives hair its distinct colour. Over time, these cells produce less pigment, so the hair loses its colour altogether.

Now, you’ve probably heard that tweezing or plucking out a grey hair will make two grow in its place. This is one idea that’s definitely not rooted in science. Hairs grow one-by-one, so the single strand you pull will simply be replaced by another in the exact same spot.

You may also have heard grey hair is a sign of old age. But in reality, greys can show up at any age. In fact, on average, women begin going grey at a very youthful age of 34.

Of course, one of the most popular stories out there is that stress can cause grey hair. Hold on to your hats—this one could actually be true. While there are conflicting opinions about it, high stress or shocking events have been known to cause grey hair. So if your kids are nagging you in the supermarket and you tell them, “You’re making me go grey!” you may not be far off.