It’s a commonly accepted idea among older adults and middle aged people that those gray hairs that pop up every now and then and make us panic and rethink our whole life are linked to high stress levels. Some of us out there are probably actively trying to keep their stress levels low in order to push off gray hair much as possible.
Well, research has now shown that there is very little correlation between your silver locks and stress. In fact, the biggest factor in the appearance of gray hair is genetic and totally beyond our control. Gray hair is the result we see when our hair starts to lose its color and it will happen despite your best efforts given that you are one of those with the genetic predisposition for it happening sooner rather than later.
The reason why we have the misconception that stress is somehow responsible for gray hair is that multiple studies on rodents found that the link does exist and that stress affects DNA in ways that change the rodent hair’s hue. However, these tests were never conducted on humans due to a lack of evidence that such a process would apply to us the same way it does to mice.
Moreover, a 2009 research mentions that as humans get older, a specific protein that counters the natural bleaching of hair is produced in smaller quantities which in turn makes the decoloration happen faster exponentially.
So far, no scientific research supports the theory that gray hair appearance can be controlled, slowed down or stopped by active life choices. An Australian dermatology professor confirmed this by saying that “There is no proof that the graying of hair is linked to stress, diet or lifestyle”, in a post he submitted to The Conversation.
This means that your life choices and habits will not affect your hair color, not naturally anyway. So go on doing what you’re doing and your hair will do its thing too.