Scientists have found a specific gene, called IRF4, that decides our hair color. This same gene is now believed to cause the loss of natural hair pigmentation during the aging process. This means they have now identified the little boogers responsible for having to get your roots done every so many weeks.
Researchers from the University College London examined DNA from 6,500 people with mixed ancestry in this study. They also found the genes that make curly hair, determine the thickness of beards, and cause the unibrow phenomena. The study was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
Every head of hair is different, thus gray density and the speed at which it appears will vary per individual. However, genetics are not the only determining factor for gray hair. About 70% pf gray hair is caused by external factors, such as stress, smoking, and exposure to the sun.
Researchers hope the recent discovery of the gray hair gene will help them discover how to delay or prevent the graying of hair as well as the biology of the aging process.
Oh no! This might turn the hair color industry on its ear!