The Cause of Stray White Hair

Preface: there is no such thing as grey hair; itís merely an illusion where some hairs have turned white while other hairs remain pigmented. With that out of the wayÖ I hypothesize that stray white hair is caused by acute physical trauma to the root of the hair. In 99.9% cases, this is done with the fingernails digging into the root of the hair to scratch an itch. One way to imagine my hypothesis is that at the root of every strand of hair is a mini tank of ink. Heavy scratching will dislodge the hair from the ink tank. This hypothesis only applies to hair on the head. It seems that body hair (e.g. chest, armpit, and pubes) is not prone to white hairs. This hypothesis is based on years of personal experience and a few facts.

Fact 1: different areas of the head are afflicted with different degrees of itchiness. For men, by far the itchiest area is the sides/back of the head. This is probably followed by his beard, then the top of the head, then the mustache, and lastly the eyebrows. Fact 2: for men, stray white hairs, by far, most commonly occur along the sides/back of the scalp. A distant second is the beard, then top of the head, then the mustache, and lastly the eyebrows. This order of incidence cannot just be a coincidence. To me, it seems that itching is correlated with stray white hairs.

Fact 3: in todayís society, most men have short hair, especially on the sides/back of the head, while most women have long hair. Fact 4: men have much more white hair on the sides/back of the head than women. This is also not just a coincidence to me; I believe having short hair leads to stray white hairs. How? Short, stubby hair is itchy. Why? Short hair gets caught onto materials very easily. E.g. pillow covers, bed sheets, clothes, etc. This causes the scalp skin that directly surrounds the follicles to stretch, squeeze, and, if dry, flake. I believe this causes the itch sensation. Since many men have short hair on the sides/back of the scalp, this should mean that men scratch the sides/back of the scalp more frequently than women. Furthermore, men are able to use their fingernails to dig deep into the root of the hair follicle. It is more difficult for women to do so because there is a tangle of long hair to get past. As I originally hypothesized, it takes acute physical trauma to induce a strand of white hair. It is the greater frequency and intensity with which men scratch their scalp that explains why men have a lot more stray white hairs than women.

Solution: do not intensely scratch your scalp. As many will agree, itís impossible to just ignore the itchy sensation on the scalp, or scratch it softly. It must be quelled, 100%. Thus, the solution is to avoid itchy situations in the first place. This means keeping your hair naturally long, rather than getting buzz cuts on the side. If you must have that trendy male haircut, then you should invest in silk or satin pillow cases and bed sheets. Hairs wonít get caught and bring disarray to your scalp and the itch will not develop.




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