Scientists say going grey could become a thing of the past 96



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Whether you embrace your grey hair or try to cover it up, this research published in the journal of Natural Communications, may interest you.

Researchers from the University College of London, have been able to pinpoint a gene which will affect the likelihood of whether a person will go grey. They analysed DNA from more than 6,300 individuals from five Latin American countries to establish that the gene, IRF4, is involved in regulating melanin.

SMH reports the study was able to identify that those with a certain version of this gene are predisposed to greying hair.

“This is really the first study on the genetics of hair greying in humans,” Kautshubh Adhikari of the University College London, told SMH.

Kautshubh is confident that the results of this study may be able to find ways of reducing or postponing the likelihood of grey hair without hair-dye in the future.

“A drug that has effects on the malanin-production pathway in hair follicles as the follicles develop internally might reduce the need to apply external hair dyes on the scalp hair after it comes out. This is certainly a research avenue worth Pursuing,” Kaustubh said.

The participants in the study were men and women in countries like Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru with a combination of African, European and native American ancestry.

Interestingly, the variant gene which predisposes people to early greying was only really seen in those with a European ancestry. Andres Ruiz-Linares, human geneticist from the University was a researcher in the study, he claims “this might, to some extent, explain why hair greying is more common in Europeans than other populations.”

Ruiz-Linares also said that although this gene has been identified greying hair is not a result of genetics alone, with other factors like stress or traumatic events influencing the process. 

Tell us your thoughts. Would you take medication to stop from going grey?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I am not taking unnecessary medication to change what nature intended, and the side effects may be a lot worse than having grey hair

  2. Too bloody late for me!! My hairdresser says women are paying to have silver hair my colour these days so I am ok with it.

  3. Grey hair softens the wrinkles we all end up with. There is nothing worse than a very old woman or man with pitch black dyed hair and a face full of wrinkles!

    3 REPLY
  4. At 67 I can’t wait for my hair to go grey, my natural brown hair is now to dark for me so I have to have my hair lightened a few shades.

    2 REPLY
    • At 62, same here Trish mine is very dark brown so I lighten it back to the colour it was in my 30’s and my few greys are perfect highlights.

    • I wont let my hair go grey untill i feel old enough i am only 63 just!!Dont think grey hair becomes anyone that i have seen, but white hair looks b eautiful like my mum and my Grandmother.

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