Why Are Some Hair Roots Black? Color Variations Explained

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

Have you ever noticed some hair roots appearing blacker than the rest, particularly after a period of hair shedding or growth? There's a fascinating biology behind this phenomenon, which is related to our body's production of melanin and the stages of hair growth. Let's delve into the topic of "Why are some hair roots black?"

Why Are Some Hair Roots Black?

The color of our hair roots is determined by the melanin produced by cells called melanocytes located in the hair follicles. When these melanocytes are functioning normally, they infuse the growing hair with melanin, giving it color. So, if you notice black hair roots, it's because your melanocytes have been producing melanin normally. Interestingly, melanin production can restart after a period of dormancy, which can lead to a strand of hair that's white or gray on the tip and black closer to the root.

The Science Behind Black Hair Roots

There are several factors that contribute to the color of our hair and its roots. Genetics play a significant role, as they dictate the type and amount of melanin our bodies produce. However, age, health, and even stress can affect our melanin production, sometimes leading to the graying of hair. Surprisingly, recent studies have found evidence of the hair graying process reversing under certain conditions, with the hair regaining its original color, beginning from the roots.

Club Hair and The Role of Melanin

During the final stage of the hair growth cycle, a strand of hair, known as a 'club hair', is formed. This strand features a bulb of keratin protein at the root tip, which keeps the hair anchored in the follicle until it eventually sheds. The dark color at the root of this hair type can be attributed to the presence of melanin.


In conclusion, the black color of some hair roots is a sign of active melanin production by your melanocytes. This normal biological process can be influenced by a range of factors, including genetics, age, stress, and overall health. So the next time you spot a black hair root, you'll know there's a whole lot of science at work behind the scenes.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.