Grey hair as a senescence detector?

Last I heard (years ago) we didn't know what caused hair to go grey, but recently on a Joe Rogan podcast (YouTube) Dr Rhonda Patrick, a person I follow as she gets in depth on longevity topics (see her FoundYourFitness channel), said that it was caused by senescent cells. This is why grey often comes in as patches of grey, because one senescent cell will 'sicken' the cells around them, as they do. 


Anecdotally I found myself going a little grey in my mid/late 40's, and not too long after started my fasting regime, and what appears to have happened is that I got a bit less grey subsequently, and at least I haven't gotten any more grey (8 years later). 


Anyhow don't know the truth of this and haven't done any research but thought to put it out there. 

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  • FWIW, my understanding is that grey hairs could be related to hydrogen peroxide byproduct build-up.  Obviously, could be wrong, but you could try searching on that topic.

    Like 1
    • DaveM Yes I read that too. And it seems that there's a paradox in that

      the hydrogen peroxide increase reduces predisposition to cancer. I don't know how true this is but that is what the research indicated. In younger people, an enzyme called catalase breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen.

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  • My husband's family go grey in their 20s and live until 100, so I am not sure it is worth paying attention to.

      • MAC
      • MAC
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Kathleen Klosterman Not sure either, but as an n=1, 55yo male, I started lifestyle longevity interventions 4 yrs ago (diet/exercise/meds), and although I have a few greys, NOTHING like my peer group which has gone noticeably grey. And I'd say I'm 99% healthier (physically/biomarkers) than anyone I know. Coincidence, association? my DNAage came back 3 yrs younger. Clearly, there are genetics at play here re grey hair independent of longevity. 

  • Hair turns gray as pigment cells stop producing melanin. Why bother with reversing grey hair? It would be more important to reverse heart, kidneys and brain, for examples. Obviously we can expect that the human body has limited resources and can only do so much.

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      • Chan
      • Chan.1
      • 2 yrs ago
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      Andrew P K Yap 

      Andrew P K Yap said:
      Hair turns gray as pigment cells stop producing melanin. Why bother with reversing grey hair? It would be more important to reverse heart, kidneys and brain, for examples.

       For me, the #1 anti-aging indicator is full natural hair.   Six months ago, I thought that reversing my hair condition is impossible.   Because I persisted, I feel I will have my full natural hair in a year or so.   I do pay attention to reverse aging of critical organs as you indicated.   I think hair health is an important anti aging indicator because we're all shallow, and that includes me.    It's something I look at frequently and get obsessed about, so naturally it drove me to think of it as an important measurement of anti aging.

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    • Chan Taking senolytics, boosting NAD+ levels with niacin, metformin for AMPK... These are low hanging fruits. 

      Turning white hair black, if there's something safe I can take to try that, sure, why not.

      But it's there? I've not read anywhere that you can do that. If you have to do stem cells therapy, for a failed kidney, maybe I'll try stem cells, but I'll not, for turning white hair black, given all that can go wrong and the costs.

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    • Chan I think you are right that hair status is a good visible sign of general cellular health.  Hence if someone's hair is improving then it is quite likely that other cells are also improving.

  • It seems that gray hairs are not a detector of aging because they can appear at age 20 because of the genetic code. Everyone's genetic code is completely different. Because of genetics, I am very prone to hair loss. I have used different products to stop it, but only olaplex 0 and 3 really helped me. I used these shampoos for several months, and my hair stopped falling out. And their structure has visibly strengthened, and they look much better now. I hope to never be bald.

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