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Psychosocial stress levels are linked with hair greying and reversal

Human hair greying dynamics is associated with biobehavioral factors


Key points from article :

Graying process can be undone—at least temporarily.

Researchers provide the most robust evidence of this phenomenon.

Ralf Paus, study co-author says "...graying is probably much more reversible ...".

Martin Picard, mitochondrial psychobiologist says, "...Maybe the hairs that turn white first are more vulnerable or least resilient".

Researchers found 14 people, ranging from 9 to 65 years old with various ethnic backgrounds.

They developed a technique to digitize and quantify the subtle changes in color.

Which they dubbed hair pigmentation patterns, along each strand.

In 10 participants between age 9 and 39, some graying hairs regained color.

This occurred not just on the head but in other bodily regions as well.

In late 20s and early 30s when graying has just begun, is probably when the process is most reversible.

Association between hair graying and psychological stress also investigated.

Times when graying or reversal occurred corresponded to periods of significant stress or relaxation.

Research by Columbia University Irving Medical Center published in eLife.

Mentioned in this article:

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Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)

Columbia University's Medical Center.

eLife Sciences

Non-profit journal publishing work in all areas of biology and medicine

Martin Picard

Department of Psychiatry, Division of Behavioral Medicine, Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Ralf Paus

Director, Dermatology Academic Training Program, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Topics mentioned on this page:
Hair loss, Stress