Dermatologists claim that there is no scientific evidence that stress affects the premature appearance of gray hair, and that this phenomenon is primarily attributed to genetics and aging.
If you thought that the sudden appearance of white hair on your head was due to a terribly stressful week, month or year behind you, and maybe even a certain person, it seems that you were mistaken, dermatologists claim, because they have no scientific evidence for that.
Hair is usually dyed with melanin, the same pigment that determines the color of the skin and eyes. Melanin is slowly lost with age, which is why it becomes gray over time, so that it would later turn completely white, experts in this field from the American Academy of Dermatology claim. Hair falls out and grows new, and the cells that produce pigment in the hair are activated again and again, however, as we age, they become weak in some way and perform this function much more slowly.
Stress is a known and proven cause of increased and sudden hair loss, but no research has proven that stress is to blame and that hair could suddenly fall out. Although they believe that some connection exists, it does not play a significant role. Also, scientists claim that it is impossible for hair to turn white overnight, which happens in some cases, and this is often associated with stress. Namely, the disappearance of melanin from the hair implies a certain time process, although it is not visible, it lasts, and the visible result comes at the very end: the hair becomes gray, losing pigment.
In most cases, you can “blame” your parents for gray hair, not stress. Genetics plays the biggest role here. In fact, scientists have discovered which gene is responsible for the appearance of gray hair, that is IRF4. However, there is something that can accelerate the appearance of gray hair, and that is smoking. A study from seven years ago found a significant connection between cigarette consumption and the appearance of gray hair before the age of thirty.
Smoking and stress can certainly affect the earlier and greater appearance of gray hair, but they do not cause this phenomenon, scientists claim.