Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Experts uncover cause of greyness

Grey hair
Experts found grey hair was caused by a build-up of hydrogen peroxide

Scientists at Bradford University believe they have uncovered the root cause of why hair turns grey.

It is an accepted part of the ageing process, but experts say understanding how grey hair happens could help find a way to prevent it.

Experiments found it is caused by a massive build-up of hydrogen peroxide due to wear and tear of hair follicles, which blocks hair's natural pigment.

The research has been hailed as a "major breakthrough".

The scientists worked in collaboration with experts in Mainz and Luebeck in Germany and the discoveries have been published in the FASEB scientific journal, published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.

Lead researcher Karin Schallreuter said experts examined hair as well as cells from human hair follicles to uncover the findings.

She said: "This discovery is a major breakthrough in the understanding of hair greying and opens up some novel ideas to combat this scenario.

"These are being followed up at the current time in our laboratory."

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