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Anderson Cooper’s Gray Hair

January 6 2016

Vern Cole

Anderson Cooper’s gray hair looks amazing. And as everyone gets older, our hair turns gray. In Mr. Cooper’s case, his story actually gives a great walk-through of what happens. Essentially, beginning in his mid-twenties, he went from being a brunette to having tufts of gray hair grow through. Eventually the transformation was complete, and he looked like we know him today. If you’re like most people, though, you’ll wonder why did his hair turn gray the way it did? And what caused his hair to go gray so quickly?

The answer, in the case of Anderson Cooper’s gray hair (and everybody else), the short answer is “melanin.” It’s a lovely thing that makes your skin and your hair the color they are. At birth, the cells that produce melanin make hair the color it is begin producing pigments for the cells to “display.” Every time a layer of new hair cells make it into a piece of your hair, a little melanin is released into the cells. It is a fairly simple process, and it doesn’t seem like there would be much room for anything to go wrong, but as with any bodily process, age does take a toll on cells. In this case, as melanin cells age, they are sometimes damaged. While you are young, stem cells react to this damage and help repair it, and the melanin continues to be produced.

Eventually, as your body ages enough, the stem cells that help the damage diminish and ultimately “stop working.” This causes melanin cells that are damaged to cease working, and therefore, your hair becomes gray.

A lot of different factors go into the amount and health of the melanin cells, the multitude of which point to genes. Yes, your parents and grandparents are making you go gray, not your teenagers. Studies have been done that show twins going gray at the same time, and the same is true with brothers and sisters; the only difference is that, just like your looks differ from siblings’, so does the time at which your hair turns gray.

What is probably the most interesting aspect of all this is that there is no scientifically verified link between stress and gray hair (like there is between stress and hair loss). Just genes and age. The only other factors that may play into gray hair are things that you eat and environmental factors (e.g. smoke, whether first- or second-hand). Think of it like body maintenance; take care of your body and it will continue to look good. So there you have it—a brief synopsis of what makes your hair actually turn gray. Our only hope is you pull it off as well as Anderson Cooper.

At HRI, We’re Here to Help

Let’s face it: nobody wants to look older than they really are. And when it comes to hair loss and thinning hair, finding the right solution that works for you can be frustrating and overwhelming. Let a trained hair loss specialist at HRI in Bloomington, Minnesota help you and show you the many amazing solutions to hair loss and thinning hair that are available to you today. We invite you to schedule a free, private, confidential visit today.

Photo Credit: By Tulane Public Relations (Anderson Cooper & Tim Clinton) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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