Stress is a major contributing factor in turning our hair gray. And since ages, the public has always associated stress with the development of gray hair. But this change is not permanent as the color loss can be reversed.
It was not shocking to note that the new study at Columbia University proved the link between stress and gray hair. But it also says that stress can only impact the new hair as the existing cannot drain off their color, contrary to the popular mythologies. Researchers say that eliminating stress will retrieve originality.
Experiment to study stress and gray hair connection
Researchers experimented with 14 volunteers and compared their hair with the stress diary maintained to keep a track of their weekly stress level.
The documentation explained, hair naturally regains its original color after stress is removed. “There was one individual who went on vacation, and five hairs on that person’s head reverted back to dark during the vacation, synchronized in time,” said Martin Picard professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University.
In the entire study, researchers measured the levels of protein in hairs and how it changes with every strand. Almost 300 changes were observed in protein when hair color changed. Variation in mitochondria due to induced stress is one major factor for gray hair.
No stress, No aging of the hair
Though aging is a biological phenomenon and isn’t linear at all, therefore, eliminating stress can at least halt a part of it or temporarily reverse it.
The rings in a tree hold the information of the past decades similarly our hair contains information about our biological history. Our hair is directly subject to stress hormones and other factors influencing our mind and body. Hence, its solution lies with our stress hormones.
Aging is a natural process and cannot be limited. Similarly, with age, the hair tends to turn gray. This transition has to occur, however, stress management can do so much. Living a stress-free life is a great objective to work for but it won’t surely turn your hair back to normal.
In our middle age, our hair is at the threshold to turn grey because of age and other factors, and being stressed at this point would do no good rather push you over the threshold of this transition.
Keep in mind that reducing stress won’t turn the gray head of a 70-years old person black. Whereas it would help a 10-year-old from getting gray hair.