Gray hair is in most cases thicker and longer than normal hair. It also grows faster and for a longer time than normal hair.
Keratin makes up our nails, skin, and hair. Throughout the years, melanocytes inject pigment into the hair’s keratin, giving it a colorful shade. With age comes a reduction of melanin. The hair turns gray and later white.
When there are less and fewer pigment cells in a hair follicle, that hair strand will no longer contain as much melanin as before and will become a more transparent color — gray, silver, or white. As people get older, fewer pigment cells will be around to produce melanin.
Gray hair is considered premature in Caucasians younger than 20 and African Americans under 30 years of age.
The bad news: The early graying problem is unfortunately genetic. Follicles contain pigment cells that produce melanin, which gives your tresses their color. When your body stops generating melanin, hair shows itself as gray or white.