Buckhead Office

3379 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500

Atlanta, GA 30326

Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Roswell Office

11755 Pointe Place, Suite B-2

Roswell, GA 30076

Mon. - Fri.: 7:30 am - 4:30 pm

Why Does Our Hair Turn Gray?

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For the majority of us, getting gray hair is inevitable. Along with losing our hair (alopecia) and getting wrinkles, gray hair is considered a normal response to aging. Typically, white people start going gray in their mid-30s, Asians in their late 30s, and African-Americans in their mid-40s. Half of all people have a significant amount of gray hair by the time they turn 50. The driving factor in when a person will notice their first gray hair is genetics. Contrary to popular belief, stress does not cause gray hair.

If you find that you experience premature graying, it is most likely because your parents or grandparents went gray early. However, in some cases it could be a medical condition that is causing you to go gray. Although we may not be able to control the specific time we go gray, experts do agree that we may have some control over the rate in which we gray. If you have one of the following habits or conditions, you may find that you go gray faster:

  • Smoking habit
  • Anemia
  • Poor Nutrition – with insufficient B vitamins
  • Untreated Thyroid Condition

Why do we go gray as we age?

For a full explanation, we must look at the graying process at the individual hair follicle. The responsible pigment for going gray is melanin, which is the same one that tans your skin during sun exposure. Chemistry expert, Anne Helmenstine PhD explains the process in detail, “All of your hair follicles have pigment cells called melanocytes. The melanocytes produce eumelanin, which is black or dark brown, and pheomelanin, which is reddish-yellow, and pass the melanin to the cells which produce keratin, the chief protein in hair. When the keratin-producing cells (keratinocytes) die, they retain the coloring from the melanin. When you first start to go gray, the melanocytes are still present, but they become less active. Less pigment is deposited into the hair so it appears lighter. As graying progresses, the melanocytes die off until there aren’t any cells left to produce the color.”

Researchers and scientists continue to explore what actually happens with our genes and cells when hair goes gray because this process could reveal useful insights in treating other age-related conditions. Olansky Dermatology Associates helps patients who are faced with a variety of skin and hair conditions as they age.

Whether you choose to cover up your gray with hair color or you embrace this aging attribute, it’s up to you. At least now you will have an understanding as to just what is going on at those hair follicles and perhaps you can make some lifestyle changes to slow down the process.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates

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Olansky Dermatology Associates

3379 Peachtree Rd, Suite 500
Atlanta,GA 30326
(404) 355-5484
American College of Mohs Surgery Atlanta Association for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery American Academy of Dermatology American Medical Association American Medical Association

Buckhead Office

3379 Peachtree Rd NE, Suite 500

Atlanta, GA 30326

Roswell Office

11755 Pointe Place, Suite B-2

Roswell, GA 30076

Our Happy Patients

Olansky Dermatology Associates

4.7/ 5.0

Based on 229 reviews

Jenny S.

The doctors and PA’s are great and very knowledgeable. I never have to wait to long and the office staff is always very nice. I also take my son there and they are great with him as well. I would highly recommend Olansky Dermatology.

Kristen R.

Olansky Dermatology is wonderful! Our whole family goes. My daughter has had terrible eczema through the years and both my kids had mollescum too. They always make things better and spend time explaining whats wrong and how to fix it.

Mike D.

I recently had a couple appointments at Olanksy Dermatology and was seen by Julia Lee. Julie was excellent and quickly took care of the issue I was having with my skin. I would highly recommend Olansky Dermatology and especially Julia Lee to anyone in need of a dermatologist.

Tamima D.

My husband is a patient of PA Sharon Doering I appreciate all she did for my spouse. She’s very down to earth & made him feel comfortable. Sharon communicated in a way that he can understand.
Thank You

Lisa H.

I see the physician assistant Sharon Doering and she has drastically improved my skin! I highly recommend this practice and their brilliant thourough doctors. I finally have glowing skin!

Betty G.

I have had excellent experience at Olansky Dermatology. Dr Burger is meticulous and thorough and has a most pleasant and calm manner. I have every confidence in her and this office.

Cheyenne G.

Very kind and understanding people. Dr. Bellamy and her nurse took the time to listen to all my concerns and never made me feel rushed.

Kishan P.

I was actually running a bit late, but they were very friendly and knowledgeable about what was going on with my skin. And also very timely.I will definitely stick with them!

Khol S.

Very professional and pleasant staff. When I arrived at my appointment this afternoon I was informed that my doctor called out sick and they tried calling to let me know but I just recently changed my number so they were unable to reach me. The receptionist was so sweet and helpful. Instead of leaving and making a new appointment they fit me in without an issue and without any waiting.

Susan H.

Dr. Ilyas was highly recommended to me so I decided to change dermatologists. I am so glad as I am pleased with his expertise and his highly professional manner. I am also delighted with Emily Raville, Aesthetician. She does a wonderful job and I am recommending her to my friends as well. I am completely satisfied – can’t get any better than that!

Lindsay S.

I have been going to Olansky Dematology for many years now, whether for a specific problem, or just for a really great deep facial, and I wouldn’t consider going anywhere else. Every single staff member is knowledgeable and professional. The customer service I receive every visit leaves a positive and lasting impression. I always feel comfortable and at ease while I am there. Great staff!

Janet R.

I seem to live at this place! Whether it’s for an appointment with a doctor or for an aesthetic treatment, I am there frequently. I cannot say enough good things. Efficient, friendly, the best doctors, and a new aesthetic center with the latest in procedures and products to keep us looking almost as young as we feel. It’s always fun to see Emily and she knows just what to recommend.