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It’s True: Stress Does Turn Hair Gray (And Redheads, It’s Reversible)

De-Stressing Might be the Key to Keeping Your Hair Vibrantly Red

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We’ve all been taught to believe once your red hair goes gray or white, that’s it. Your only option is to embrace the gray or color it because it’s going to be gray forever. A new study from Columbia University is showing us it might not be true anymore. 

Gray/white hair comes as part of the aging process so it’s normal to have gray hairs later in life, but what about those of us who haven’t even reached “mid-life” yet and are already going gray? One of the main causes of gray hair in younger people is stress. We work stressful jobs and live stressful lives, and our hair suffers from it. 

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When hairs are still under the skin as follicles, they are subject to the influence of stress hormones and other things happening in our mind and body,” says coauthor Martin Picard, an associate professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University’s Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. “Once hairs grow out of the scalp, they harden and permanently crystallize these exposures into a stable form.”

This new study shows that de-stressors such as vacation and relaxation can actually help your hair regain its ability to grow pigmented. The researchers found that some participants’ gray hairs naturally reverted to their prior color when lifestyle stressors dissipated. One participant went on vacation, and five hairs returned to dark color during the holiday. Once beyond the scalp, the hair cannot change color, but newly growing hair in the follicle can. The effect is thought to be from stress changes and you can see it in the video here: 

There’s a lot more research to be done, but for now, sit back, relax and try to de-stress (when you can) because it’s good for your body and your luscious red hair.

Rock it like a Redhead! 

 

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