Grey Hair Genetics: Products to Reverse Greying
May 05, 2023 | By Queenie
The Role of Grey Hair Genetics and Hair Products In Premature Greying
Genetic differences don't only result in character and physical differences; they also play a significant role in the development of grey hair. Pigmentation associated genes or melanocytes, specialized cells in the skin and hair follicles, produce melanin, which determines our hair color.
As we age, the melanocyte stem cells gradually stop producing melanin, leading to a loss of hair color and the development of grey or white hair. Your black hair may slowly lose its color, or blonde hair may turn lighter, which is a normal part of human aging.
Research has shown that genetics can influence the rate at which melanocytes stop producing melanin. Specifically, variations in several genes, including the melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R) gene, have been linked to the development of grey hairs. MC1R is involved in melanin production, and mutations in this gene can decrease pigment production, leading to significant greying.
Other factors like stress, nutritional deficiencies, sun exposure, and toxins can also cause aging hair. However, genetic component remains the primary factor in determining the onset of the premature graying of hair.
The Role of Genetics in Grey Hair Development
As mentioned earlier, genetic predisposition plays a significant role in developing grey hair. Specifically, variations in gene expression of several genes have been linked to the onset and progression of hair graying, including the melanocortin one receptor (MC1R) gene.
MC1R is a protein found on the surface of melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for melanin synthesis. Melanin gives human hair its color, and it comes in two forms: eumelanin (brown or black) and pheomelanin (red or blonde). The activity of the MC1R protein regulates the production of melanin.
How Mutations in the MC1R Gene Cause Premature Hair Greying
Mutations in the MC1R gene can decrease melanin production, leading to premature greying premature gray hair. Specifically, some mutations cause the MC1R protein to become less responsive to signals, usually stimulating melanin production. Gray or white hair results from a decrease in the amount of melanin that melanocytes produce.
While genetics is the primary factor in determining the onset and progression of grey hair, other factors can also contribute to the development. For example, oxidative stress, nutritional deficiencies, and exposure to environmental toxins can all damage melanocytes and interfere with melanin production.
Reversing Gray Hair with Hair Products
There is currently no known cure for grey hair, and reversing the process can be challenging. However, some hair products may help protect gray hair, slow the progression of premature grey hair and even restore some natural hair color.
Here are some hair products that may help reverse grey hair: