Why does hair turn gray?

Hair colour, including gray hair, is dictated by Wnt signaling between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells, according to research from the New York University Langone Medical Center.

“We have known for decades that hair follicle stem cells and pigment-producing melanocycte cells collaborate to produce colored hair, but the underlying reasons were unknown,” said researcher Dr. Ito. “We discovered Wnt signaling is essential for coordinated actions of these two stem cell lineages and critical for hair pigmentation.”

Depleted, inhibited or abnormal Wnt signaling limits hair growth and prevents the production of hair colour, causing gray hair.

The research may suggest a new strategy for targeting pigmentation such as graying hair, as well as more general tissue regeneration.

Read more at New York University Langone Medical Center