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The Role That Genetics Plays In Graying

While some people believe that stress and other factors play the biggest role in determining how soon you will start to show gray hair, what it ultimately depends on is your genetic makeup. Have you ever taken a good long look at your parents and grandparents? When did they first start to show those pearly white tendrils? Chances are, you too will begin to notice the same thing happening to your hair when you reach the same age.

Age and Graying Hair
It's been said that some people are able to maintain their dark brown or black hair well into their old age, but for most of us, we tend to go gray rather young. The most common age for Caucasians is the late thirties to early forties, but there are those rare cases where some individuals start to show gray hair as early as their teenage years. An example of early graying can be found in world-renowned journalist, Anderson Cooper, who started seeing his first gray hairs at the young age of twenty.

The process of going gray is clinically known as Achromotrichia, and it currently hasn't been linked to any other abnormalities in the body, such as heart disease or mortality. Some legends suggest that an individual's hair can instantaneously turn gray overnight after they experience a sudden shock or fright, but this simply isn't true. Going gray is basically just a normal part of the aging process and we all must contend with it at some point during our life. Unfortunately, it's something that can't be avoided, but each individual case is different depending on heredity.

Some studies have shown that poor diet and exercise, thyroid disease, anemia, and smoking can cause hair to go gray sooner, but genetics still plays the most vital role in determining at what age it will happen. You might find it surprising, but nose hair is actually the first hair to go gray, followed in order by head hair, beard, body hair, and eyebrows. So, if you happen to notice your nose hairs taking on a silver sheen, then it might not be long before you notice them elsewhere on your body.


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