Some believe stress affects hair while others believe that the two are uncorrelated. The two views somehow compliment each other in the world of science. But, does it lead us to answer the question of whether stress affects hair or not? Let’s find out.
The folks who believe that stress is not a factor in graying or loss of hair believe that this sort of damage is caused by damage to the pigment producing cells in the hair. These cells produce the natural color of your hair through DNA and things like sun damage are proven to cause this gradual damage.
Another factor that many people may take into account when discussing non-stress related causes of gray hair is Alopecia Areata. This is a condition in which a person loses patches of hair in one or more places of his or her body. Although this condition clearly causes hair loss many question whether or not it produces an increase in gray hair. Since Alopecia Areata mainly targets darker hair the grays that are already in your quiff remain unharmed. With the decrease in volume of hair on your head, the ratio of gray hairs to dark hairs increases and makes the gray hairs stand out more.
This may seem like a solid explanation for why stress does not harm hair in anyway but the studies conducted by the opposing side are quite contradicting.
Traumatic experiences cause a chemical shift in the body, which is able to attack the pigment and volume of hair. This shift means a change in the cycle of hair and it may appear instantly in the roots or even up to 3 months after the event to show up. The late arrival of the hair loss or graying is called telogen effluvium. But this damage is not permanent. As the stress level gets lower the volume of and pigment-producing cells in your hair will get higher.
There are some other things that can cause hair loss and/or graying. A couple of examples come to mind. When hair is wet it is at its most vulnerable state, which means it is more prone to breakage when being brushed. Try brushing your hair after it has been completely dried. Another factor is eating the wrong foods. If your diet is not high in iron and protein the cells in your body will become weak and unable to produce the proper nutrients for hair growth. But fear not, for this is reversible with a dietary change.
For tips from our barbers on how to work with less hair up there, look out for our upcoming post!