Science Podcasts

Question of the Week episode

Mon, 10th Nov 2014

Why is my Movember moustache white?

bearded lady (c) Unknown

Facial hair a different colour to that on your head? We stroke our beards to ponder why. Plus we ask, what happens when you get swallowed by a whale?

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I can't say I've ever noticed this.  I do have both grey and brown hair, in some places more salt than pepper, and in other places, more pepper than salt.

I wonder if in your case, the grey hair is a bit more vigorous growing than the brown, so trimming the grey reveals the slower growing brown.

Perhaps some hair follicles are slower growing than others.  Notes I'm seeing about grey hair indicates that over time the melanocytes die off, or produce less colorant.  Perhaps it is also related to the amount of hair that grows.  So, in your case, the follicles with the most vigorous growth turn grey quicker while the slower growing ones retain their natural color longer.

Assuming a reasonable amount of symmetry, grey does often come in around the edges of the hair, or in certain areas before hitting the entire head. CliffordK, Thu, 13th Nov 2014

Isn't it the same reason people go grey at the temples first , ( rather than vitiligo ),
possibly due to the way cells-migrate and features-grow as the face forms ... RD, Thu, 13th Nov 2014

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