© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Scientists Find A Genetic Culprit For Gray Hair


If you're worried that this political season is causing your hair to turn prematurely gray, well, raucous debate language notwithstanding, that might not be the reason - because just last week, scientists identified the first gene for gray hair. The gene is called IRF4 and researchers say it's responsible for light hair color in people of European origin. This is the first time that they've linked it to gray hair. So, blondes might have more fun, but they're going to go gray a little faster. The good news for salon junkies is that therapies might now come along that can prevent grays from sprouting at all, and you can save on that base color. Plus, scientists identified a couple other hairy variants - the balding gene, curly heads and, if Ernie wants Bert to do more personal grooming above the eyes, Bert can blame it on his DNA because there's also a gene for unibrows. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!