Is There Really A Link Between Stress And Gray Hair?

December 14, 2015  |  

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Our bodies react to stress in a plethora of different ways. Even some forms of hair loss are associated with high-stress levels. But what about graying hair? Is it true that these physical and mental burdens also cause your hair to change color, perhaps prematurely? It appears that the answer could be both yes and no, depending on how you interpret things.

“Hair follicles contain melanocytes, which are cells that produce pigment, called melanin,” New York-based dermatologist Dr. Hadley King told Good Housekeeping.

The older you get, the less melanin your body produces, which results in gray and white hair. According to King, the age at which melanin production drops off is mainly determined by genetics; however poor habits like smoking or skipping on vitamin B can accelerate this process in some instances. As for stress, Dr. King had this to say:

“Stress may accelerate the demise of the melanocyte population though no clear link has been established between gray hair and stress,” says Dr. King. “Stress hormones could cause inflammation that drives the production of free radicals and it is possible that these free radicals could influence melanin production.”

Whether gray hair is a concern for you or not, there are countless reasons why you should minimize stress when possible. Click here to learn how.

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