Does Stress Cause Gray Hair? Find Out The Scientific Explanation

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Gray Hair

It doesn’t feel so good when you get gray hairs very early in your life, right? However, lots of people feel do get them and there’s a very specific reason as well, and that is nothing but stress. Yes, you have heard it right, stress is one of the prime reasons why we get gray hair early in life. According to scientific research, it’s true that stress is one of the main causes of gray hair in one’s prime. 

However, it doesn’t happen to anyone. If you have seen the Anime, Tokyo Ghoul, then you’d notice how Kaneki’s hair turned completely white at the end of the torture scene. Well, that’s because of ‘stress’. 

Scientists at Harvard University have proven why and how stress can become one of the biggest reasons behind white hair. It happens not only to older people but also to young people on this planet. Stress is a very common problem among the youth of today’s world. It’s an apathy that has pervaded all over the world. 

So, that’s the reason why we must know how to overcome stress or eradicate it. If you want to know the scientific process behind white hair, then you are at the right place. Here we will share all the stuff you need to know about the prime cause of white hair. 

Why Does Stress Cause White Hair In The First Place?

Why Does Stress Cause White Hair

As per the research conducted at Harvard University, it has been proven that stress is one of the causes of white hair. According to Dr. Ya Chieh Hsu, stress can activate the nerves in hair which in turn causes permanent damage to the pigment-regenerating stem cells in the follicles of hair. 

So, it’s true that the Melanocyte stem cells are the one that determines our hair color. Melanocytes or MeSCs are gradually depleted as people age. Therefore, it causes the pigment of the normal white to be replaced with white hair. So, as we know, stress is a phenomenon that affects our whole body. 

So, that’s why the researchers at Harvard had to narrow down which body system was responsible in the first place for connecting ‘stress’ to the color of our hair. According to the research, stress actually attacks the pigment-producing cells in our hair. In fact, let us tell you that the researchers have tried an experiment with rats they injected a resiniferatoxin in mice and discovered that the fur of the mice had turned white in just four weeks. 

They also exposed different animals to various types of stress inducers, including pain and restraint. So, they found out that the stress inducers caused depletion of the MeSCs, and the animals eventually developed patches of white hair. 

Can Stress Permanently Damage Hair?

Can Stress Permanently Damage Hair?

As we already told you in this article, the research has shown that stress can deplete MeSCs in our hair follicles. MeSCs stem cells act as a reservoir of pigment-producing cells in our hair. So, if the MeSCs deplete, it affects the growth of pigment-producing cells as well. In other words, stress can indeed prematurely damage your hair badly. It can turn colored hair into white hair within a very short period of time. 

How To Overcome Stress?

There are a lot of different ways to overcome stress in one’s daily life. Of course, it depends from person to person. However, there are certain ways to make sure that stress doesn’t become a huge problem in your life.

  • Practising Yoga Everyday
  • Eating Healthy Food At The Right Intervals
  • Connecting With Others
  • Meditation
  • Getting Enough Sleep
  • Laughing More

These are some of the most common ways to destress yourself. 

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