It is an accepted part of the ageing process, but experts say understanding how grey hair happens could help find a way to prevent it.
The research has been hailed as a “major breakthrough”.
The scientists worked in collaboration with experts in Mainz and Luebeck in Germany and the discoveries have been published in the FASEB scientific journal, published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology.
Lead researcher Karin Schallreuter said experts examined hair as well as cells from human hair follicles to uncover the findings.
He said: “This discovery is a major breakthrough in the understanding of hair greying and opens up some novel ideas to combat this scenario.
“These are being followed up at the current time in our laboratory.”
Sources:BBC NEWS:3rd.March ’09