Scientists May Have Finally Figured Out Why Hair Turns Gray — And How to Stop It

Researchers at NYU have unlocked fresh evidence as to why human hair loses its natural color over time — which could help prevent people from graying.

The new study, conducted using mice and published in Nature, a peer-reviewed journal, closely examined the melanocyte stem cells known to control hair color.

Earlier in life, these cells can be remarkably dynamic, but with age, as hair is lost and regrown, the McSCs tend to slow down, getting trapped in what’s known as the hair follicle bulge, meaning they don’t get a chance to finish the job they were created to do.

Finding a way to get them moving again, which appears to be entirely possible, could mean the end of gray hair — not just in mice, but in people too, according to the team at NYU’s Grossman School of Medicine.

“[This] adds to our basic understanding of how melanocyte stem cells work to color hair,” said study lead Qi Sun, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at NYU Langone Health. “The newfound mechanisms raise the possibility that the same fixed positioning of melanocyte stem cells may exist in humans.” (Read more from “Scientists May Have Finally Figured Out Why Hair Turns Gray — And How to Stop It” HERE)

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