We have all joked for years about our hair turning grey due to stress from work, the children etc, but last week some research was published that did confirm that stress really does turn your hair grey.

Apparently we actually start greying on average from the age of 25, but exactly when it starts and how quickly it progresses depends on genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. My father for example didn’t start going grey until he was nearly 70 despite a stressful job, but his best friend had white hair form the age of 21.

91 years of life

The study from scientists at New York University and published in Nature Medicine demonstrated that stress causes the stem cells that cause hair colour to migrate to other parts of the body. Once they have left they are not replaced so hair turns white. This is the first study to provide concrete evidence of this and how stress can cause visible physical effects on the body. The study actually began with the hypothesis that when the body was injured stem cells moved to the skin. In the study mice were exposed to stress hormones and their fur lost colour.

Of course what causes one person to be stressed, may not be stressful to someone else because we all have different resilience. So if you want to avoid grey hair learn as early as possible how to build up resilience to stress and learn how to calm down under pressure.

If you would like to find out more about how to cope with stress contact me for a 30 minute consultation.


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