why does hair turn white under stress

It's been said that Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night before she was beheaded. The assumption is that the stress caused by her impending date with doom caused her locks to lose their color within hours. For what it's worth, most scientists debunk the story but at the same time, do acknowledge that
in the gradual process of hair turning gray. Women start to go gray around age 35; men turn silvery around age 30. Depending on genes and overall health, gray hairs can make their first appearance in high school or come as late as age 50 for some people. To understand whether your teenager can actually be blamed for causing you to go gray, you need to understand a bit of our physiology. A typical human head has about 100,000 follicles, each one capable of sprouting several hairs in a lifetime. At the bottom of each follicle is a little hair-growing factory where cells work together to assemble colored hair. The color comes from a pigment called melanin. Hair that has lost most of its melanin is gray; hair that has lost all of its melanin is white.


But the jury is still out on whether stress actually causes hair to turn gray, and for the most part, at least anecdotally, you'd have to -- ongoing stress that lasts for a few years --б from the kind Marie Antoinette was feeling as the guillotine loomed large. A 2013 New York University study published in claimed a link between long-term ongoing stress and hair color. In that study, the researchers found that hormones produced in response to stress can deplete the melanocyte stem cells that determine hair color. They found that stress causes the stem cells to leave our hair follicles, leaving hair gray or white. б though says that the process of going gray is a multi-variable equation. Stress hormones may impact the survival and/or activity of melanocytes, but no clear link has been found between stress and gray hair, reported. All of which is to say, whether it makes you go gray or not, there are plenty of other reasons to try and reduce the stress in your life. Stress leads to, -- which is why it's called the "silent killer. " And as for Marie Antoinette, one theory is that she had actually been gray all along and merely shunned her wig for the occasion of her beheading. б Yeah, there's that.


White hair is more noticeable in people with a darker hair color. Although white hair is characteristic of aging, colorless hair strands can appear at any age Б even while youБre still in high school or college. If youБre a teenager or in your 20s, you might find one or more strands of white hair. There could be ways to restore pigmentation, but it depends on the cause. Here are common causes of premature white hair. 1. Genetics Your makeup plays a big role in when (or if) you develop white hair. If you notice white hair at an early age, itБs likely that your parents or grandparents also had graying or white hair at an early age. You canБt change genetics. But if you donБt like the way your gray hair looks, you can always color your hair. 2. Stress Everyone deals with stress from time to time. The consequences of chronic stress can include: Stress can also affect your hair.


A found a connection between stress and a depletion of stem cells in the hair follicles of mice. So if youБve noticed a rise in your number of white strands, stress might be the culprit. This theory might also explain why some world leaders appear to age or gray faster while in office. 3. Autoimmune disease An autoimmune disease can also cause premature white hair. This is when the bodyБs immune system attacks its own cells. In the case of and, the immune system can attack hair and cause loss of pigment. 4. Thyroid disorder Hormonal changes caused by a thyroid problem Б such as or Б may also be responsible for premature white hair. The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. It helps control many bodily functions such as metabolism. The health of your thyroid can also influence the color of your hair. An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause your body to produce less melanin. 5. Vitamin B-12 deficiency White hair at an early age can also indicate a.


This vitamin plays an important role in your body. It gives you energy, plus it contributes to healthy hair growth and hair color. A vitamin B-12 deficiency is associated with a condition called, which is when your body canБt absorb enough of this vitamin. Your body needs vitamin B-12 for healthy red blood cells, which carry oxygen to cells in your body, including hair cells. A deficiency can weaken hair cells and affect melanin production. 6. Smoking ThereБs also a link between premature white hair and smoking. One of 107 subjects found a connection between the Бonset of gray hair before the age of 30 and cigarette smoking. Б ItБs well-known that increases the risk for lung cancer and heart disease. The long-term effects, however, can go beyond the heart and lungs and affect hair. Smoking constricts blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow to hair follicles and cause hair loss. Additionally, toxins in cigarettes can damage parts of your body including your hair follicles, causing early white hair.

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