Why does your hair turn gray and fall out with age? To answer those questions, you first have to understand some hair basics.

Hair consists of two parts: the follicle and the shaft. Hair follicles lie below the surface of the skin. The hair shaft is what we usually think of as a strand of hair.

Fun facts: The hair shaft is primarily dead cells that contain the protein keratin — the same protein found in nails, feathers, claws, and hooves — as well as the pigment melanin, which gives hair its color. Each shaft contains about 10% to 13% water.

You are born with the largest number of hair follicles you will possess in your lifetime. You don’t grow more as you age. For the average person, this ends up being about 100,000 to 150,000 hair shafts.

So why the graying and balding? It has everything to do with genes, declining hormones, and advancing age. These factors eventually program hair follicles to stop producing pigment (leading to graying) or quit making hair (leading to balding). The speed and severity at which this happens vary, which is why men’s heads can range from thick salt-and-pepper to Mr. Clean.

The bottom line: You can’t stop how your hair changes. It will do what it’s destined to do.

Bible verses for today’s meditation and inspiration: Matthew E. McLaren

Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9 NIV

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NIV

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14 NIV

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37 NIV

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18 NIV

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5 NIV

Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses. Acts 13:38-39 NIV

He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2 NIV

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NIV

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7 NIV

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