Researchers have finally come up with the reason behind grey hairs which is ‘stress’. Although stress and discoloring of hair were always interrelated there was no as such scientific evidence of it. The latest research from Columbia University has revealed a secret to reverse greying of hair.
Reducing the levels of stress can effectively slow the process of discoloration of hair and after a longer period, it could reverse greying of hair completely.
This research team hopes that pharmaceutical companies develop such drugs that effectively do this role.
This applies to hair from all over the scalp and not just the crown area. In addition to this, the study also explained that even beard and even public hair can also reverse greying of hair which is common with age.
The researchers assume that this process of greying hair has links with differences in the metabolic process which gradually makes protein molecules inside the body and changes hair color.
These metabolic processes are directly influenced by certain hormones that are released when the body is under stress. Therefore, the process of driving the body reverse greying of hair is possible by reducing the stress.
This detailed study is available online but currently under review by a peer-review journal for publication, explaining how certain medicines can reverse the greying of hair.
During this experiment, the researchers from Columbia University investigated some volunteers. They used a new imaging technology on hair obtained from volunteers. This technique can easily identify the complete pigmentation in any sample hair.
It sounds like finding the age of a tree by analyzing the rings inside its stem. Analyzing the hair pigment to predict stress levels is somehow the same.
Every year, the tree adds one more wring into its rings, and this process is called dendrochronology. Using this same method, hair length and shaft analysis tell the physical changes and damage to it. It is literally a time scale that could tell the time when hair follicle was produce. Also, the shaft length shows its age.
Also, the assessment of melanin inside the hair predicts the greying pattern and time of the hair. For example, analyzing a young person’s hair would tell how many and what types of proteins are present inside different hair parts. In this way, researchers can predict the lowering of these proteins.
By this, it is possible to control the factors which affect melanin content. Hence makes it possible for a person to reverse greying of hair. However, when they checked some 400 hair samples from 14 volunteers, the results were the opposite. Hairs were turning grey from the tip and were complete without any color at its base.
This greying of hair has a link with stress. And this transition of grey to colored takes place when stress levels are high.
The study didn’t provide an extensive answer to whether it is possible to reverse the aging of hair by removing stress completely. But the research team is sure that it is most likely to do the same.
They wrote in their study that this data supports the cause that the human aging process is probably not linear and even some ‘irreversible’ processes could be stopped or reversed.
In addition to stress, other factors also play a role such as genetics and habits (smoking, alcohol). If the hair discoloration is due to any other factor than stress, the process of reverse greying of hair may not be possible with alleviating stress.