What Type of Differences We Can Find Between White Hair and Gray Hair?

Hair is one of the major contributors that impart beauty to any individual. Hair color is also important and with little exception, black is the preferred color for almost all regardless of the region. The ethnic group is also a key factor governing the hair color.

The hair color is mainly controlled by a specific pigment present in the hair which is called melanin. The difference of the white and grey hair is still a debate and there are two opinions governing the debates.

One group says that the difference of the color is physiological and is a usual behavior which is because of the lack of melanin pigment in the hair follicles. However the other group claims pathological process as a reason of changes in hair color.

Though initially the people were not concerned about the hair color, but nowadays the grey and white hair is being complained by teenagers and this was not the case observed till a few decades ago and very few reports are there which show the teenager’s hair getting white or grey before that.

Almost all age groups and gender are affected by this which alarms the experts in the field and nowadays the research has been going on to understand the etiology and find out the therapeutic intervention against it.

Reasons of Grey and White hairs

difference between white hair and gray hair

Old lady with a combination of Gray and White hair; Image Credit: pixabay

As mentioned above, melanin pigment is responsible for imparting a particular color to the hairs, however, some pathologies have been reported to have an effect on the hair color.

Pathologies that may lead to grey hair

The most well explained reason for the white hair is albinism which occurs due to the genetic abnormality called Albinism.

In albinism the melanin pigment formation is compromised leading to the white hair as well as white skin. Malnutrition and anemia (decreased Hemoglobin) are also shown to contribute to the changes in hair colors

Bad news for smokers

Tobacco smoking along with other different disastrous effects also affects the hair color turning it into grey. So if we consider a physiological process the two extremes of the hair color or black and white. Black represents maximum pigmentation and white the least, however grey could be considered as intermediate between them.

As we grew older there is a decline in the synthesis melanin by hairs and the hair turns grey. When the ability of hair follicles to utilize melanin is least then ultimately we have white hairs. Which we usually don`t need.

Remedies and Future perspectives

Many remedies are there to turn the hairs black and the majority of them relies on dyes that just color the hair black. This doesn’t last long as it just externally polishes the hair however internal matrix is left unchanged. A glimpse of hope for those who have lost hair or just fed up of the comments about the hair colors is the blessing of stem cell research. The scientists at the Harvard University claim hair turned of grey or white color into the black color by stem cells.

Hopefully one day we will be having that technology so that demanding our barber to transform our grey or white colored hairs to black. This seems a far cry, rather a doable one in light of the latest discoveries.

One Response to “What Type of Differences We Can Find Between White Hair and Gray Hair?”

  1. Nelson says:

    It is my opinion that we get white hairs sporadically on our scalp due to a unhealthy life style. This can be attributed to bad habits consisting of smoking, drugs, vitamin deffinciany & low water consumption. Gray hair is plainy old age resulting from genetics & number of years.

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