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.