Q: What is the biological reason for loss of pigmentation in hair as you age?
A: As a part of the aging process, the various cells in our bodies break down and slowly decrease production or simply stop functioning in
the way they are intended to function. The cells of our body are constantly being replicated and replacing themselves. This is what
allows our bodies to heal and allows us to grow in size from infant to adulthood.
The cells in our body are varied and differ according to the function they serve. There are cells of
countless types in the human body and dozens of types of cells found in the skin alone. Among these are cells that make up the thousands
of follicles that produce the hairs on our bodies. Our hair follicles contain melanocytes which normally produce melanin. Melanin is the
pigment that gives our skin and hair its color.
The cells of our bodies gradually break down after years of reproduction and replication. When the
melanocytes break down due to age (the exact longevity of a particular cell is determined by genetic triggers and vary from individual
to individual) it ceases producing melanin and the hair growing from the follicle will begin to grow white, losing its pigment.