I have learned (probably in high school?) that hairs turning white is caused by the part of the folicle which produces the pigment dying and being replaced by an air bubble. This sounds very irreversible.
I have long dark brown hair, and since I turned 25, I have had a few white hairs here and there. It is not unusual to find hairs which have a dark tip but are white at the root, which fits the above theory.
But I also have hairs which are the opposite: the lower ten centimeters are pure white, but at some point, there is an abrupt transition to dark brown, and the hair is dark again up to the root. This is all a natural phenomenon, I haven't used dyes or bleaches.
So what makes white hair white, if it can turn back to dark? Why would a single hair turn back?