So many people ask me questions about gray hair I thought I would try to distinguish some truths from myths.

Gray hair is genetic; however, it can begin showing from a young age. This appearance happens normally around age 30. I know that’s young.

For the majority, it begins with a few gray hairs here and there, usually. Thank goodness these hairs usually begin to show in the front of the head first, at your part or temples. (This is why I will always have work. If gray hair appeared in the back first, I’d be working as a coffee shop barista.)

Each hair grows independently, so as your melanin decreases, so does the pigment in your hair. It can be gradual or more rapid. It depends on many factors.

Stress can accelerate the appearance of gray hair but doesn’t directly cause it. (Your kids don’t know that so you can still blame them.)

Pulling out a gray hair when you see it does not cause a bunch more to grow out of that follicle. One hair per follicle always. Although, if done repeatedly, that follicle will not regrow any color hair, and the follicle will die. So, do not pluck!

The gray hair will have a tendency to be wiry and have a mind of its own. The reason is the outside layer is thicker, which makes it resistant to both color and moisture, as well as oils from your scalp.

The lack of moisture obviously makes it a different texture. It definitely needs more attention both when coloring and styling. (Again, this helps keep me from having to get another job.)

There are some things you can do to stay healthy that will keep your system active in production of melanin, which is beneficial to the overall health and thickness of your hair.

Hair is protein. Therefore, a diet rich in protein helps keep your hair strong, healthy and producing melanin. B complex vitamins and Omega 3 help in the melanin production and keep the scalp healthy.

Fatty acids from the Omega vitamins also help to keep the hair from dryness.

Brushing your hair (only when dry) keeps your scalp healthy because it stimulates the blood vessels that bring the nutrients your hair needs to the hair follicle.

All of these are facts to keep in mind so you realize there are many chemical factors to the hair and its production. This does not mean you can color your own hair! Professionals are needed for that.

I am proud to say I am celebrating my 30th year in the hair industry. Tens of thousands of heads of hair for weddings and other events. Thank you, everyone for keeping me where I want to be – behind the chair.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton.