gray hair vs white hair

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keannu

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I wonder why they say "gray hair" instead of "white hair" when such hair's color is actually "white" not "gray".
In Korean, we say "white hair", but I'd like to know if "gray hair" is just an idiom without any reason or it just has the "gray" color nuance.
 

Rover_KE

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This is white hair, and this is grey (BE spelling) hair.

Rover
 

keannu

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So do they usually get gray hair as they age?
 

5jj

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So do they usually get gray hair as they age?
Some people start going grey at a very early age. My first grey hairs appeared when I was in my twenties. Others go grey a lot later. I have a 64-year-old cousin who has not a single grey hair. Pure white hair is not all that common, though, as people are now living longer than they used to, it may become more common.
 

Tdol

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Also, the older the person is, the more likely their hair is going to be described as white.
 

5jj

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Also, the older the person is, the more likely their hair is going to be described as white.
I wish you hadn't said that.
 

BobK

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....And there are stories about people's hair going 'white with fright' (usually after a night spent in a supposedly haunted house) - I think the rhyme is probably more important than the precise colour.

An incidental bit of vocab: a 'grey-hair' is an old man.

b
 

emsr2d2

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....And there are stories about people's hair going 'white with fright' (usually after a night spent in a supposedly haunted house) - I think the rhyme is probably more important than the precise colour.

An incidental bit of vocab: a 'grey-hair' is an old man.

b

There is some truth in those stories. Pigmentation in hair can be linked to stress levels - I can't remember which vitamin/mineral/enzyme it is which supports the pigmentation of hair, but whichever one it is can become severely depleted by stress and can cause the hair to lose its colour. Whether it can happen overnight is a matter of some conjecture but it can happen.
 

5jj

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OK, Whistler.
 

keannu

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I was purely interested in the color of "gray hair" and reading through the teachers' explanation, it seems "gray hair" = "black hair" + "white hair", but as I'm quite accustomed to the notion of "pointing out" only "white hair" in Korean, I couldn't understand it.
Maybe I'm throwing a wet blanket on the flow of the discussion. :oops::oops:
 

5jj

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I was purely interested in the color of "gray hair" and reading through the teachers' explanation, it seems "gray hair" = "black hair" + "white hair",
No, it means Grey,Grey, grey, grey, grey
 

emsr2d2

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Someone who has some dark hair still, but quite a lot of grey mixed in with it, is said to have "salt and pepper hair". Grey hair is just that - grey. I can't see any of the explanations giving the idea that "grey hair = black hair + white hair". Which posts do you think suggested that?
 

Tdol

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I was purely interested in the color of "gray hair" and reading through the teachers' explanation, it seems "gray hair" = "black hair" + "white hair", but as I'm quite accustomed to the notion of "pointing out" only "white hair" in Korean, I couldn't understand it.
Maybe I'm throwing a wet blanket on the flow of the discussion. :oops::oops:

We don't dye our hair as much as people in Asia. Our seventy-year-old politicians are grey (or white), not black. There may be a cultural issue here too. ;-)
 

keannu

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Maybe I was mistaken. In Korean tranlsations of "grey hair", it's always "white hair", which confused me.
Now I realize we should know it from the scientific point of view. I never realized grey hair is there - Whenever I took out my white hair to look younger, it always looked white - but now I think I didn't take a closer look.
 

Grumpy

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On a related topic, what about the equine convention that there are no such things as white horses; only greys?
 

Amigos4

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On a related topic, what about the equine convention that there are no such things as white horses; only greys?
Ahhhhhh, but now you are talking about a horse of a different color! ;-)
 

dawnngcm

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but as I'm quite accustomed to the notion of "pointing out" only "white hair" in Korean, I couldn't understand it.
Also, the older the person is, the more likely their hair is going to be described as white.
I think Chinese share the same thought. We usually say his/her hair is white. We won’t say people’s (or eldely people's) hair is grey.
 

emsr2d2

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I think Chinese share the same thought. We usually say his/her hair is white. We won’t say people’s (or eldely people's) hair is grey.

Interesting! Perhaps hair of different races goes a different colour.

By the way, dawnngcm, your signature line says "I fond of learning English!" You have missed out the verb after "I".
 
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