Why Does Hair Turn Gray with Age … or at Any Age?

Typically, our hair turns gray as we age, and there are factors that determine how soon. Three such factors are genetics, nutritional deficiency, and medical conditions.

This should be no surprise, as it is in keeping with the changes we go through in life in general.

Shades will vary, individuals will decide how comfortable they are with it. If they are not, they will choose to apply some type of hair coloring product.

Overall, the question, “Why does hair turn gray with age?” is ongoing.

Gray-Hair

Is It Gray, Silver or White? Shades of Gray …

… and can it be reversed?

Some people say gray hair, some say silver, and some say white. Well, it could be either … it’s no longer colored or black.

The variations of hue in hair with little or no pigment is caused by how it is reflected by light or the color of other strands it’s surrounded by.

Another determinant is the individual’s natural hair color. All colors will not look exactly the same.

If you are asking, “Why does hair turn gray as we age?” you may also ask if it can be reversed. Maybe …

… If this is due to a nutritional deficiency or medical condition, changes in the diet or improvement in health may allow the hair to revert to its natural color.

One nutritional deficiency that may affect hair color is Vitamin B12. This is essential for providing oxygen via red blood cells throughout the body. Hair suffers in more ways than one when there is a shortage of this essential vitamin.

A medical condition is vitiligo which is known for its white patches of skin and hair. It may occur when an irregularity causes the non production of melanin in the hair follicle.

What Is a Typical Time Frame? Generally Speaking …

There is no set time frame when someone will start to go gray. A reasonable range could be from 20 years old to the late 40s. Some people begin much earlier while others later.

So, why does hair turn gray with age in the first place? The pigmentation-causing melanin is mainly responsible. More accurately, the lack of this substance.

Hydrogen peroxide is found in hair follicles. This causes melanin to fade over time, resulting in the hair getting lighter. Just as in the absence of the cortex (the layer of the hair shaft containing melanin), vellus hair which covers the body is light in color.

Hair on different parts of our bodies do not all turn gray at the same time.

Gray-Hair

To Color or Not to Color … Your Choice.

Aging gracefully with gray hair is not acceptable by everyone. To some, it may be a nightmare, ghastly at worst. For others, it’s, yes … graceful.

What makes the difference? Perception, perhaps. Not everyone wants to be perceived as being old or older. Despite its association with wisdom, this tends to be dismissed as a myth.

One way to look at it is that wisdom is achieved overtime. A wise person usually draws on and learns from experiences in their personal lives and from others. This may take years to accomplish.

Various types of hair coloring products have come to the rescue of both men and women who do not care to or are not ready to embrace gray hair.

From temporary to permanent, the categories are …

  • Rinse or Temporary: This is the least permanent and will even rub off on your clothes and pillow. It does not enter the hair shaft, and tends to fade after as little as one wash.
  • Semi-permanent: This minimally affects the hair shaft internally and will wash away in a few days.
  • Demi-permanent: This falls in the middle of semi and permanent. The chemical used, penetrates the hair shaft but is milder than that used in permanent hair colors. It will last for a few weeks. Touch up of the roots need to be done.
  • Permanent: This is not affected by shampooing. New growth will need to be touched up as needed.

The type of hair, genetics, and other factors such as medical condition may determine the effectiveness of any color treatment. Naturally, the result will be different for everyone.

There are also a vast range of colors to choose from, very light to extremely dark. Sometimes coloring the hair may be a fashion statement, or just a statement … period!

Whatever the reason, you choose how subtle or wild you want to go.

Coloring-Hair

Why Do Some Children Get Gray Hairs … Even Babies?

Some babies are even born with a few strands or patches of gray hair. This is rare but not unusual.

In utero (embryo or fetus in womb), there is no melanin until the later stages of the embryonic development. Therefore, the hairs are initially white or very light in color.

Upon birth, the hair may have strands or patches of gray. Or it can be a variety of shades, even though it may change at different stages of the individual’s life. In adulthood, the cycle continues.

Bear in mind, however, that it could be a sign of an irregularity. The medical professionals should check to ensure there isn’t a problem.

Baby-with-White-Hair

Gray, Silver or White, It’s the Process.

So here’s the thing: We age and our hair color changes along with everything else that takes place with our bodies. If it is reversible by nutrition or supplements, that’s only temporary. Ultimately, the time will come for a more permanent change.

Babies, children, young and older adults are candidates for gray hair. Typically, it may start between 20 and the late 40s due mainly to genetics.

Aging gracefully does not include embracing gray hairs by everyone so using any degree of hair coloring products is very popular, but …

… as it was in the beginning, so it shall be in the end.

That’s it in a nutshell.

I hope this short article has helped you in some way. There is a vast amount of information on the subject and related matter. This is just an introduction especially for those who are at a loss and need to be pointed in the right direction.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.

(As an Amazon Associate I earn on qualifying purchases.)

What is the Composition of Hair? An Introduction

In this article, “What is the Composition of Hair? An Introduction,” we will look at the different elements, structure, and types of human hair.

A shaft of hair comprises three main layers, cuticle, cortex, and medulla. Each layer has different characteristics and function. We will also include the surrounding components.

The shape of the follicle determines the pattern of the hair shaft, while the width determines its thickness and strength. Additionally, different types of hair grow on different parts of the body.

How is hair affected by electrolysis? We’ll take a brief look.

Hair

Got Hair? What is It?

Hair is an outgrowth of skin similar to fingernails and toenails, though not as hard. It can be found on most areas of the body except mucous membranes, the lips, tongue, palms, and soles of feet.

The only living part of hair is in the follicle below the skin. The visible shaft has no life.

Lanugo: This is fine hair covering an embryo. It is usually shed before birth.

Vellus: It covers most of the body, is soft, short, and has no pigment due to the absence of the medulla. It is formed in the sebaceous lobe.

Terminal: These hairs are found on the scalp, underarms, pubic regions, men’s face, and other areas of the body. Abnormalities in women may cause “male-pattern” hair on the face, shoulders, chest, and back … hirsutism.

A vellus hair, on occasions, when stimulated by a hormonal imbalance or external irritation, may start growing downwards into the follicle and become a terminal hair.

In the dermis, the second layer of skin, terminal hair begins its cycle in the follicle. This is an extension of the skin forming a pocket in which are found the components directly or indirectly a part of hair structure.

Why is hair straight, wavy, curly, or kinky? That’s a common question.

Curly-Hair
Curly Hair

Straight: When hair comes out of a follicle that is round, it is straight.

Wavy: An oval follicle produces wavy hair.

Curly: Hair from a flat follicle comes out curly.

Kinky: This type of hair is usually tightly curled and is produced from a flat follicle.

Ethnicity tends to play a significant role in the type of hair an individual has. It may not always be evident especially when persons are from mixed nationalities.

It is important for dermatologists, electrologists, and laser technicians to know their clients’ background before treatment.

Composition: Elements

What is the composition of hair? You may have heard of keratin, a protein found in hair.

There are at least five main elements that make up keratin … carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen are gases, while carbon and sulfur are solids.

Keratin is made up of several amino acids, the building blocks of proteins.

Composition: Cross Section

When a strand of terminal hair is dissected, we will see three layers. From outer to inner, they are cuticle, cortex, and medulla.

Cuticle: This hard, scaly outer layer overlaps in a shingle-like manner. It gives hair its elasticity and transparency.

Cortex: Here we will find elongated, keratinized cells and the pigment, melanin, which gives hair its color.

Medulla: This innermost layer is mainly hollow, contains some cells, and found only in terminal hair.

Brown-Hair

 

 

 

 

 

Surrounding each strand of hair are …

Follicle: This is where activities of the hair shaft take place. A follicle is a continuation of the epidermis which forms a pocket in the dermis.

Inner Sheath: The cuticle overlaps with this lining securing it to the follicle.

Outer Sheath: This outer lining helps to protect and form the hair shaft below the skin.

Papilla: The blood supply providing nourishment is found here. Nerve endings are also in this region.

Bulb: The end of the hair root which fits over the cone-shaped papilla.

Sebaceous Glands: These glands produce sebum, oils which lubricate the skin and hair.

Pilosebaceous Unit: It comprises the follicle, sebaceous glands, and arrector pili muscle. The units together form the pilosebaceous system.

When a person is cold or frightened, the arrector pili muscle contracts causing “goosebumps” and hair to stand straight.

The more knowledgeable we are, we’ll have a better understanding of things that affect it negatively or positively. Imbalances, diseases, and external influences will affect the growth and well-being of hair.

Professionals such as dermatologists, endocrinologists, and hair removal specialists, including electrologists, have a special interest in the composition of hair.

Test-Tubes

The Moisture Factor: Permanent Hair Removal

We must look at the relationship between hair composition and permanent hair removal methods.

When an electrologist or laser hair removal specialist is presented with a client, she is concerned with more than just removing hair. Several factors must be taken into consideration in order to deliver effective treatment.

This is why a thorough consultation is essential. There will be questions about genetics, water intake, nutrition, health, medication, lifestyle, and abnormalities.

During treatment, the moisture factor at the base of the follicle will determine how easily the hair comes out. The amount of water the client drinks, the skin type, and genetics play a role in the moisture content.

This may seem insignificant; however, the moisture also contains salt. This is important in the creation of lye, sodium hydroxide. Lye aides in the destruction of hair follicles in an effective electrolysis treatment.

The Whole Matter

So here’s the thing: A study of hair includes its origin, growth, texture, surroundings components, and factors that affect it.

Hair is made up of several elements, comprised of smaller units. Keratinized protein is the major component. It also comprises different structures coming together to form one unit.

Specialists in the treatment of skin and hair removal must be knowledgeable about its components. Individuals will benefit also from knowing as much as possible for their own sake.

I hope this short article, “The Composition of Hair: An Introduction,” has benefited you in some way. There is a vast amount of information on the subject and related matter.

This was not intended to go into greater scientific details. It serves only as an introduction especially to those who are at a loss and need to be pointed in the right direction.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.

Fully Electric Adjustable Facial Bed/Massage Table Review

  1. Now that you are on your way to completing the setup of your salon or spa, one thing is missing … your facial bed.

This fully electric adjustable facial bed/massage table may be what you’re looking for. It is versatile, comfortable, and comes with a free matching technician stool.

It will be the perfect complement to your space.

LCL-Beauty-Facial-Bed
Fully Electric Adjustable Facial Bed/Massage Table on Amazon

(As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases.)

Overall Features

Product: Fully Electric Adjustable Facial Bed/Massage Table Review

Sold by: Amazon

Price: $599.88 (retail, no wholesale price available from manufacturers). Free shipping.

Color: White

Guarantee: 1-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

My Rating: 9

A Closer Look at the Features & Description

This versatile treatment bed/table has …

3-Port-Power-Strip
3-Port Power Strip with 2 USB Ports
  • A 3-Port Powerstrip with 2 USB Ports
  • Easily Removable Arms
  • 4″ High Density Foam Padding for Extra Comfort
  • Whisper Quiet Movement
  • Digital Touch-Sensor Remote Control
  • Dimensions: Height – 26 1/4″ to 32 1/4″, Length – 74 1/4″ to 81 1/4″, Width – 14 1/4″

Bonus: Matching Pneumatic Technician Stool

What Are the Benefits?

  • The customizable feature provides a more comfortable customer experience.
  • The face opening when the headrest pillow is removed makes it more comfortable for back treatments.
  • It is easy to assemble.
  • Ease of operation with the press of a button to lower or raise headrest, footrest, and height.
  • Enjoy a free matching technician stool.
  • Check out your manual online and save the trees!
  • Enjoy the guarantee that comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pneumatic-Technician-Stool
Free Pneumatic Technician Stool

Why Is It Right for You and Your Business?

It makes sense. A facial bed that can be converted to a massage table is an ideal fit. If you’re an esthetician, the face opening gives your client a better option when doing a back “facial.”

If your client is short, medium, or tall, it customizes to suit each person’s needs.

Check out the features and benefits. This may just be what you need.

This Sums It Up.

So here’s the thing: Get that missing item into your salon or spa.

If you are an electrologist, laser hair removal specialist, esthetician, massage therapist or any salon and spa beautician, chances are you need a treatment bed or table. I hope this review will help you to make a decision.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.

What Are the Stages of Hair Growth? An Introduction.

Hair-Growth

Many things in life take place in a cyclical manner. Hair growth is one of them. It has a beginning, middle, and end stage. There are three main cycles from the moment a shaft of hair is born to when it dies.

The texture, where on the body the hair is, and genetics are the most common factors determining how long it takes to grow. For example, fine, shallow hair (vellus) covering most of the body will not have a typical cycle.

Eyebrows and eyelashes do not continue to grow indefinitely. Scalp hairs and men’s beards tend to grow the longest and on a continuous basis.

 

Cycle
Hair Grows in a Cycle

So, what are the stages of hair growth? Here they are …

Anagen: First Things First

In the beginning, was …

… a hair follicle. In this sac-like vacuum, hair germinates by way of an organized structure. This includes the bulge, connective tissue sheath, inner and outer root sheaths, matrix, bulb, and dermal papilla in the lower layer of the skin.

Capillaries, tiny blood vessels, are found in the papilla and nourish the cells as they form the hair shaft. The matrix is responsible for the activities which result in the birth and growth of hair.

Hair in this phase lasts between two and eight years actively growing. There is a short active phase when hair growth is slow versus a long active phase when hair grows rapidly.

While genetics is one factor that determines growth rate, there are two active phases … short and long. Examples in the short active phase are eyebrows, eyelashes, arms, and legs. Scalp hair is an example in the long active phase.

Eyebrow-&-Eylash
Eyebrow and Eyelash

Hair in each follicle grows at different stages and do not all fall out at the same time. In the anagen phase, approximately 90 percent of hair is present at any given time.

Hair growth may be further stimulated when there are hormonal imbalances usually causing irregularities. This may result in hirsutism, superfluous hair growth.

Catagen: It Pushes Through

Having seen the light of day …

… the hair detaches from its main source of sustenance. At this point, it has reached or is approaching its maximum growth while still being nourished by the follicle walls. After its detachment, it continues to push through the surface of the skin.

This is a very short phase lasting between one and four weeks with about 2 to 3 percent at any given time. They can easily be pulled out during combing and brushing.

The end forms a club hair which is dry and brittle. It can be found in the upper part of the hair follicle. This is because the follicle shrinks after its degeneration and moves upwards.

Sometimes another hair begins the anagen phase after a new follicle is regenerated in the lower section. In this case, two shafts will be present in the same follicle.

Telogen: Oops! It Dies.

Once upon a time …

… there was a natural source of nourishment. As it dies, each shaft of hair is totally free from its anchored origin in the dermis. The shriveled follicle goes through a period of rest … telogen. This lasts from one to three months or even longer.

At any given time, 8 to 10 percent of hair in this phase will be present. The hair will fall out by itself or comes out during combing or brushing.

Once the hair follicle has regenerated, a new hair forms in the anagen stage. If the old hair has not shed, two hairs will also be seen in the same follicle.

Cut Off, Uprooted, or Destroyed

You want it gone …

… but how? Hair isn’t always welcome by everyone. Some people will not even tolerate fine vellus hair on the body. They resort to a method of hair removal that suits them.

Sometimes hair is troublesome due to hormone imbalance or other reasons. As mentioned above, hirsutism may result. At other times, the decision to get rid of hair is just a matter of personal preference.

Cut Off by Shaving: The portion of hair that is visible above the surface of the skin is cut off horizontally. This emerges in a short period of time, a day or two, and the process has to be repeated.

Uprooted by Tweezing or Waxing: These methods forcibly pull the hairs out from the base of the hair follicle, unless they are already loosened during the second or third phase of the cycle.

Destroyed by Chemical Reaction or Electricity: Laser Hair Removal and Electrolysis are methods used to destroy hair in the follicle. The effectiveness of the treatment will determine permanent reduction, removal or regrowth.

Threading-Eyebrow
Threading is an Alternative to Waxing or Other Hair Removal Methods.

A Hair is Born, Then Dies

So here’s the thing: A shaft of hair is born, it pushes through, then it dies. That is the cycle in the life of a hair … shaft by shaft. It would not be logical for all the hairs to go through each cycle at the same time.

The three cycles, Anagen, Catagen, and Telogen take place in the hair follicle in the dermis. The cycles tend to follow each other; however, sometimes another anagen phase will begin while a club hair is yet to be shed.

Hair growth is natural; however, some people do not like to have hair on different parts of their bodies. This may be due to hair growth abnormalities or personal preference.

We looked at five main methods of removing hair … shaving, tweezing, waxing, electrolysis, and laser. Other articles on this site go into more details about hair removal methods.

I hope this short article, “What Are the Stages of Hair Growth: An Introduction,” has helped you in some way. There is a vast amount of information on the subject and related matter. This is just an introduction especially for those who are at a loss and need to be pointed in the right direction.

Feel free to leave your questions and comments below. I will do my best to address them.

… The End …