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The Role Ethnicity Plays In Graying

In today's society, there are three main hair classifications based on ethnicity - Caucasian hair, Afro-Caribbean hair, and Asian hair. Of course, there are other differences from region to region, but for the three main types, hair growth speed, the shape of the hair follicle, and the density of the hair creates certain identifiable traits.

Hair Follicle Shape
Basically, the shape of the follicle is what determines the shape of the hair. For Asian people, the follicle is round and creates a bone straight appearance. For Afro-Caribbean's, the follicle has a more oval shape and grows in spirals, but with Caucasians, the hair follicle can vary and create many types of hair textures from wavy to straight and even frizzy.

Hair Growth and Density Rates
As far as hair growth speed is concerned, this varies greatly between each race. The slowest growth rate belongs to the Afro-Caribbean hair type, with a speed of only 0.9 cm per month. Next in line is Caucasian hair with a rate of 1.2 cm a month. The fastest growth rate belongs to Asian hair, which grows at a remarkable 1.3 cm per month.

Caucasians have the greatest hair density of all three types, with brunettes having around 100,000 hairs on their head, while blondes have 146,000 and redheads have close to 86,000. People with black hair normally have around 110,000. Although Asian hair grows the longest and fastest, it is the densest of all hair types, even with an estimated 80,000 to 150,000 scalp hairs per person.

For people of mixed race, the individual's hair type will depend on the parents. For example, the child of a black parent and white parent will have hair that looks and feels like Afro-textured hair, since this type is the most dominant between Afro and Caucasian hair. Of course, this varies with each person, but this is the most common outcome.

Despite the numerous differences in hair types, the causes of graying hair do not vary between the races. Genetics still plays the most vital role in determining when a person will start to go gray. With closer evaluation of parents and grandparents, each race can gather an idea of when they can expect to see gray hair. The treatment is also the same between all types, with hair coloring being the most popular.


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