This article originally appeared on HelloGiggles.
You may not think about gray hair when you’re blow drying your locks every day, but it’s a reality that will happen to us all at some point. There are many myths floating around about what gives you gray hair, so let’s talk about what actually causes your strands to turn into that lovely silver color.
First of all, let’s address the elephant in the room. Although you may have heard otherwise, there isn’t any conclusive evidence showing that chronic stress gives you gray hair. Dr. James Kirkland, director of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic told the New York Times that there isn’t enough research showing the direct connection between the two, so you don’t have to let that worry you anymore.
The number-one factor that determines when you’ll get gray hair is genetics.
If one or both of your parents went gray when they were younger, it’s very likely that you will, too. Another factor that could give you grays is smoking on the regular.
However, there are some cases in which gray hair is caused by something entirely different, such as heart disease. “If you’ve got heart disease and your hair is gray, it’s a sign of worse heart disease,” Dr. Kirkland said. Autoimmune or thyroid issues are also known to cause gray hair.
If you have any inquiries about how your hair color relates to your health, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor. Gray hair happens differently for every person, so don’t think something will happen to you just because it happened to someone you know.