Researchers are one step closer to understanding exactly why our hair turns gray. But rather than preventing graying, they’re more interested in how the finding could aid in the fight against cancerous melanoma tumors.
The researchers, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Children’s Hospital Boston in Massachusetts, say they have found the cellular cause of graying hair while investigating the origins of malignant melanoma.
According to the scientists, the loss of our youthful hues is due to the gradual dying off of adult stem cells that spawn a continuous supply of melanocytes, new pigment manufacturing cells.
As the stem cells die, the remaining ones begin to make errors, turning into pigment cells in the wrong place within the hair follicle, where they are useless for any function.