The hair turning gray is not necessarily a sign of getting old, but it’s surely unpleasant if it happens too soon – in your ‘20s, for instance. As time passes, the pigment cells from our hair gradually die, resulting in less melanin and therefore, the hair turns into a more transparent color such as silver, gray, and even white.
Stress is a widespread problem nowadays. Whether it kicks in due to hard work, lacking enough sleep, or depression, stress is hard to defeat, and a common rumor claims that it can lead to the person’s hair turning gray. But according to a new study done by researchers from Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons that MedicalXpress.com writes about, the rumor is indeed true.
The problem can still be fixed
However, the new study also brings some good news: the old hair color can be restored when the person gets rid of stress. This conclusion took the researchers by surprise.
Martin Picard, Ph.D., the senior author of the new research and also an associate professor for behavioral medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, declared as cited by MedicalXpress.com:
Understanding the mechanisms that allow ‘old’ gray hairs to return to their ‘young’ pigmented states could yield new clues about the malleability of human aging in general and how it is influenced by stress,
Our data add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating that human aging is not a linear, fixed biological process, but may, at least in part, be halted or even temporarily reversed.
Picard further explained that hair contains information about the biological history of a person. When hair remains as follicles under the skin, they are influenced by stress hormones and other processes that unfold in the mind and body.
The new study was published June 22 in eLife.