When you fight with your better half or your son does not study well, as a parent, you get gray hair. It is a popular belief amongst all cultures around the world. But does stress make hair gray or are there completely different factors responsible for the graying of hair? Let’s find out.
Hair turns gray when so-called melanocytes recede. These cells produce the pigment melanin, which is responsible for the coloring of the hair. The reduction of melanin can be observed at ages as early as 10 years. Can this really happen through anger or stress? There is no scientific evidence of such a connection. There is evidence that stress can cause metabolic changes but not changes like graying hair.
In the course of human life, as we age, melanocytes produce less melanin, which means that gray hair forms increasingly. From what age and to what extent someone gets gray hair is mainly genetically determined. So, there is a higher chance that if your parents had gray hair at a young age, you might too.
As with other aging processes of the body, it would be conceivable that a healthy lifestyle could also delay the graying of the hair. Wrinkling of the skin is also genetically determined but can be accelerated by smoking, sun, or an unhealthy lifestyle. So far, however, there is no evidence that gray hair is similar.
The Fairy Tale of Graying Overnight – Does Stress Make Hair Gray
Health reasons like vitamin or iron deficiency can very well be the reason for premature graying. However, timely treatment can preserve the color pigments or at least slow down the process. Then again, gray hair can be a fashion statement or a part of your personality. You just have to turn your weakness into your strength.
There are several stories about these strange cases in which people’s hair turned gray by a horrible experience overnight. However, this is not because the hair suddenly discolored, but because of an extreme loss of pigmented hair.
These cases are extremely rare, and here too the connection between the shock and the loss of hair has not been established. Maybe, worrying just leads to a general feeling of aging faster and this is how we associate the stress with gray hair. So, don’t let anyone guilt talk into your mouth.