A new study shows that if you notice that you are losing your natural hair color, you can get rid of white hair by living a less stressful life.
Scientists in New York found that when people with gray hair avoid stress, new hair growth is closer to their natural color.
The team took whiskers from the heads of volunteers. They created an imaging method that reveals the pigment throughout the hair, from the base to the tips.
They say that the changes it causes stress Mitochondria – the powerhouse of every human cell – cause changes to hundreds of proteins in hair. Which leads to the appearance of gray hair.
The study was led by experts at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan, New York. who claim to have provided the first quantitative evidence linking psychological stress to hair graying in humans.
Lead researcher Professor Martin Pickard said: ‘Understanding the mechanisms that allow old gray hair to return to its youthful pigmented state could give new clues about human aging susceptibility in general and how it is affected by stress.
“Our data add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating that human aging is not a linear and fixed biological process, but that it can, at least in part, be halted or even temporarily reversed,” he asserts.
Researchers note that reducing stress won’t necessarily turn your hair back to its natural color if you’re older.
“We don’t think reducing stress in a 70-year-old who has been gray for years will make their hair darker,” the professor said.
He explains, “As we age, melanocytes gradually become less active, so less pigment is produced, the color fades, and gray hair grows instead.”
In their study, the researchers analyzed individual hairs from 14 volunteers — seven females and seven males — with an average age of 35.
The team took highly detailed images of tiny ‘slices’ of human hair to determine the extent of white hair loss in each slice.
Each strip, measuring one twenty millimeters across, represents about an hour of hair growth.
The results were compared with the contents of the stress diary completed by each volunteer. Individuals were asked to review their calendars and assess their stress level each week in the diary.
When hair was aligned with a stress diary, a surprising link between stress and graying of hair was revealed.