Thursday, October 27, 2011

Obama: Genetics, Not Stress Behind Gray Hair

During an interview this week President Obama, 50, made a comment about his gray hair, which he noted disappears after he gets a haircut. While some media outlets jumped on the comment as an opportunity to talk about how he handles the stress of the job. Obama quickly clarified that his gray hair was the result of genetics, and not stress, explaining that his grandfather was gray by 29. 

While stress may play a role in the appearance of gray hair, in the end, it really comes down to genetics and aging. Which means, if you want to know your risk level, take a look at your parents and grandparents and when they grayed, it can give you an idea of what you can expect. 

Though it varies by individual, on average, the onset of gray hair can usually be seen around age 30 for men and age 35 for women, but for others, it can occur much earlier, and some, much later. 

As of right now, there isn't a lot we can do to prevent or delay the onset of gray hair, but that may change in the near future. Cosmetic company L'Oreal announced last month they are working on a pill to reverse the process of graying hair, but the catch is, it only works after the process has started, so it can't prevent gray hair from appearing altogether. Regardless of how or when it gets rid of gray hair, the pill, which they say won't hit the market until 2015, is already garnering national attention. We'll have to stay tuned to learn more about how the pill works and whether or not it is a viable option for consumers.