If you’ve ever been casually brushing your hair in the mirror before being confronted with a few silvery strands, you’ll know the feeling of getting older. This is indeed often a natural loss of melanin which results from aging, but have you ever stopped to think about what this really means for your body?  The answer is probably not and yet, over more recent years an increasing amount of research is being put into determining whether the placement of grey hairs is secretly your body’s way of telling you about the health of your specific organs. 

Whilst greying hair is a natural part of aging, statistics show that around 6-23% of people have 50% grey hair by the time they reach 50. However, 50 is by no means ‘old’ and many people, even at the age of 20 years old have reported finding grey hairs. Whilst this research is being applied to more Western medical practices, both modern and traditional Chinese practices have often looked to the greying of hair, to tell them more about what’s going on inside us.

According to them, not only can grey hairs be used as a signifier of health, but the specific location of them on your head also relates to particular organs. For example, poor kidney health is often associated with grey hairs being scattered at the back of the head. This scattering is associated with kidney function being imbalanced or weak, as they typically function to remove excess toxins and waste from our bloodstream. So, next time you see someone with an abnormal shine at the back of their head, perhaps it could be more than just the shampoo they use. 

So where else are grey hairs a reflection of organ health? Whitening hairs around the temples are said to indicate an unbalanced body chemistry, which specifically relates to the liver. Scientists have already linked smoking and excessive alcoholic tendencies to the greying of hair, and with the liver’s main function being the breakdown of harmful toxins and substances, this could very much be related. Grey hairs at the front of your head have also been associated with gastrointestinal problems such as stomach acid reflux.

Luckily, such issues can usually be fixed or altered with changes to your diet, so make sure to eat slowly and increase your dose of whole grains, root vegetables, unsaturated fats, and ginger!