Blame Grey Hair on Stress

By  , Daily Mail
Jun 12, 2013

portrait of a man with grey hair

If you spot grey hair on your head then this could mean that you are worried and stressed, this according to a new study. Scientists have found that too much of stress is not good for the hair and it can turn white. Researchers working on this have discovered that the cells that give hair its colour disappear when the body gets exposed to stress hormones. And unfortunately for those affected, these ‘colourful’ cells are unlikely to return, leaving the hair grey for good.

The researchers involved began with the premise that the human body is injured, and the stem cells are in fact responsible for the production of melanin. Melanin is a dark pigment that protects us from the sunlight, move from hair follicles to the skin in order to help limit the damage. The tests were carried on a mice and the same permanent draining of colour occurred when the animals were exposed to stress hormones. The researchers also said that this could in fact explain why stress can also cause pigmentation which makes the skin appear darker.

Dr Mayumi Ito from New York University, who led this study said, “We thought it would be interesting to speculate that excessive stress might promote this migration too much.”

The study, which was published in the journal Nature Medicine, concludes: ‘Stress hormones are known to promote skin pigmentation, yet paradoxically and anecdotally, they are believed to promote hair greying.

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