Can stress cause gray hair? This is a hotly debated topic. While men suffer less social disapproval from graying temples than women (men with graying strands are even regarded as sexy), both males and females often wish to ditch those pesky grays.
Yes, there's more of a social trend in 2008 (with both men and women) to love those grays and accept them proudly. However, if you're not one of those guys who love their gray, you need to know stress may play a part in speeding up the snowy strands popping out in your hair.
An article in late 2007 by Coco Ballantyne in Scientific American examined the part that daily stress plays in speeding up the graying machine in male genes.
The bottom line? Scientists say stress may indeed play a role in the graying process. Those scientists are gathering clues about the role stress and lifestyle play in speeding up or slowing down the appearance of gray.
They are evaluating whether stress and lifestyle can impact the appearance of gray strands by a plus or minus of 5 to 10 years.
Can a period of intense stress cause your hair to turn gray overnight? Unlikely. According to experts, gray or white strands evolve from a "gradual depletion of (melanocyte) stem cells that eventually lead to the loss of pigment. Not from an overnight shock, except in very rare cases.
There are other suspicions and hypotheses that exist regarding the idea that graying hair could actually be the result of free radical damage that may damage the melanin production of hair color resulting in the arrival of gray or white strands.
Scientific American Report
As reported by Scientific American, practice physicians have observed accelerated graying among patients under stress, says Tyler Cymet, head of family medicine at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.
Cymet conducted a small retrospective study on hair graying among patients at Sinai. "We've seen that people who are stressed two to three years report that they turn gray sooner," he says.
Genetically Pre-Determined Gray Strands
What does this all mean? It means you might have a chance to slow down the arrival of those genetically predetermined gray strands by living a healthy lifestyle and taking a good vitamin supplement which fights free radicals and nourishes the hair root. Also, taking time out to relax and enjoy life may also help slow down the arrival of gray strands.
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