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Effects of Stress On Your Hair

Stress has been proven to manifest itself in many ways in a person's life, namely through such medical conditions as high blood pressure, digestive problems, heart disease, headaches, insomnia, and immune disorders. It can also appear in the form of graying hair. Although most medical experts refute the possibility of a correlation between stress and gray hair, the millions of people who deal with the problem on a day-today- basis tend to disagree.

Stress and Gray Hair: Old Wives Tale or Fact?
On the day Marie Antoinette was beheaded at the guillotine, attendees were shocked when she arrived on the scene with a head full of gray hair. Many agreed it seemed to have appeared overnight, but some historians have commented that Antoinette's change in hair color was due to the stress she endured leading up to her death. Still, no one can ever truly know the real facts from so many centuries past, but there are other instances from the present where stress seems to have played a vital role in the graying process.

Consider the American Presidency. How many new Presidents have taken office with a shiny mane of brown, black, red, or blond hair - only to leave the White House once their term was over with their hair teeming with silver strands? Since we know that the Presidency is probably the most stressful job among all Americans, couldn't it be said then that stress does in fact cause noticeable premature graying?

A Japanese study conducted in 2009 concurred that gray hair is a by-product of a stressful life, but these facts weren't related to normal human stressors, like our children learning how to drive or sending them off to college. According to the study, stress in the form of chemicals, free radicals, and ultraviolet light was a leading cause in the depletion of the pigment that gives hair its color. In most instances though, it's next to impossible not to get gray hair from such toxic stressors, since our ability to deal with such an enormous amount of stress has more to do with our genetics, and unfortunately there is no way for a person to escape their genetic makeup.

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