Why Do We Go Gray? A Scalp Expert Explains All

The discovery of your first gray hair is an emotional experience. Shock, horror, desperation, resignation…chances are you’ll feel one (or all) of those emotions. But we’re here to remind you to take a deep breath, put down the hair dye, and stop freaking out.

First of all, gray hair is totally hot right now (see: the numerous editors and models who have purposely opted for silvery strands, and also, hi Joan Didion, who is the new face of Céline, and Linda Rodin, who is a total bad-ass in general). Second of all, there are some things you can do to prevent them—but first, you need to understand exactly why they happen. We spoke with Elizabeth Cunan Phillips, a trichologist a.k.a. scalp expert over at the Philip Kingsley clinic in NYC, and asked her to explain the science behind going gray. Keep scrolling to see what she said!