Gray hairsaren't super-common for women in their twenties and thirties, so it's natural that you might start to freak out a little if you spot some. Unfortunately, premature grays happen, and there are a few reasons for them.
First, some basics: Gray hair is caused by lack of melanin pigment in the hair follicles, saysGary Goldenberg, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The follicles still have a normal number of melanocytes (cells that make pigment), but these cells stop working over time, and the hair turns gray or white.
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It's not super common to go gray at a young age since gray hair usually follows the 50-50 rule, Goldenberg says 50 percent of the population will go gray by 50 years old.
But, again, gray hair happens in younger people, too. Genetics plays a big role, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist. If your mom or dad developed early gray hairs, you likely will too, he says. And, of course, you cant do anything about that.