Yes, your grey hairs are probably your parents’ fault

For those of us who started finding grey hairs in our twenties (like our EARLY twenties, harumph), we now have someone to blame—dear old mom and dad!


Yes, as CBS News reports, researchers have discovered the first gene linked with grey hair.

“We already know several genes involved in balding and hair color, but this is the first time a gene for greying has been identified in humans, as well as other genes influencing hair shape and density,” said study author Kaustubh Adhikari, in a University College London news release. “It was only possible because we analyzed a diverse melting pot of people, which hasn’t been done before on this scale. These findings have potential forensic and cosmetic applications as we increase our knowledge on how genes influence the way we look.”

As it turns out, grey hairs turn up more frequently for people of European descent, because the variant for grey hair, IRF4, is associated with blonde/lighter color hair. Interestingly, as Adhikari told NPR, people of Asian and African descent go grey less frequently than those of European descent, but as of now, Adhikari and the team haven’t found the genes that influence greying in people of Asian and African ancestry.

So is it time to officially blame our parents for the streak of grey running through out hair?


Well, we can throw about 30% of the blame our parents’ way, because as Adhikari explains, that’s about how much of grey hair can be attributed to genetics, with the rest of that grey hair being a result of environmental factors like stress.

Look, as long as we can blame our parents for SOMETHING, that’s all we’re asking…