The results of a recent study (conducted on mice) that claimed tension-induced greying permanently surprised
the researchers by showing that grey hair colour can be restored when tension ends.
The study’s senior author is Martin Piccard, Ph.D., an assistant professor of behavioural medicine (in psychiatry and neurology)
at the prestigious Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.
According to Martin Piccard, this study, released on June 22 in eLife, goes beyond merely corroborating prior theories
about how stress affects hair colour.
“Understanding the processes that enable grey hair to regenerate into its vibrant (young) state may provide insight
into how old age is experienced by humans in general. And how stress affects them,” he adds.
In addition to the mounting proof. Data demonstrate that human ageing is not a constant, linear biological process. Additionally, they can be (at least momentarily) stopped or reversed.
Examining hair as a method of ageing screening
According to Picard, “just as the rings in a tree trunk carry information about earlier decades in a tree’s life,
so does our hair carry information about our biological history.” when the follicles that make up the hair under the skin.
Stress hormones’ effects are susceptible to it, besides other mental and physical processes, like hair growth from the scalp. It provides an everlasting and consistent representation of what it has been exposed to.
Although it was once believed that stress could hasten hair greying, scientists have disproved this theory because there is no clear way to correlate stressful times. Involving hair discoloration at the follicle level.
Split Hair to Track the Colour of Grey Hair
The study’s first author, Aylett Rosenberg, a Piccard Laboratory student, has created a novel technique for
taking extremely precise images of tiny slices of human hair to assess the degree of colour loss in each one (each slide represents about 1/20 mm wide, or 60 minutes of hair growth).
If you look at the hair with your eyes, it will appear to be one colour unless there is a significant change, says Piccard. When taking high-resolution photos. You’ll notice slight colour variations, and those are what we measure.
The researchers analyzed 14 volunteers’ hair and then compared the findings to the volunteers’ daily stress levels. Asking people to reflect on their days. And evaluate their level of stress each week. The scientists observed firsthand that some grey hair naturally returned to its original colour. Picard claims that this has never been quantized.
The second author of this study and a researcher in Piccard’s lab discovered strong correlations between stress and hair when Shannon Rosser compared hair and stress diaries to individuals. Also, grey hair. In some instances, people who were de-stressing noticed that the grey had disappeared.
“One of them took a trip. In addition, five dark-coloured hairs from his head were found during the vacation, according to Piccard.
Grey Hair Can Be Returned to Colour
A good objective is to lessen life’s stress. However, returning the hair’s natural colour is not required.”In accordance with our mathematical modelling. We think that hair should reach a certain length before it starts to grow,” says Piccard.
Age-related biological changes and other factors cause hair to be close to this limit in middle age, and greying results when tension exceeds this limit. But on the other hand. A 70-year-old who has been grey for years won’t regain their colour by reducing stress for a child of ten years old. Focusing more will be enough to heal hair to a sufficient extent.
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