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Columbia University: Stress Does Turn Hair Gray (And It’s Reversible)

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Saturday night I was washing my hair so it would be curly for brunch on Sunday and I got so grumpy because I was noticing so many new gray hairs. I went out and got some Clairol because they weren’t even in a cute spot — just random gray hairs hanging out for no reason. I told Travis I was annoyed about it Sunday and look what he found!

Legend has it that Marie Antoinette’s hair turned gray overnight just before her beheading in 1791.

Though the legend is inaccurate—hair that has already grown out of the follicle does not change color—a new study. from researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons is the first to offer quantitative evidence linking psychological stress to graying hair in people.

And while it may seem intuitive that stress can accelerate graying, the researchers were surprised to discover that hair color can be restored when stress is eliminated, a finding that contrasts with a recent study in mice that suggested that stressed-induced gray hairs are permanent.

(cont.)

The working theory here in our little corner of the world is that the stress of the past few years has prematurely grayed me out! But now that there is so much peace in my life, they might all change back.

So please don’t ask me to do anything stressful for the next year or two, like respond to a text or confirm plans. I have to think about my hair. Thank you for your understanding.

 

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