Researchers have been able to find scientific evidence for a link between stress and hair bleaching, as well as proteins in human hair that trigger such a process. It seems that this process can be reversible.
Researchers conducted a recent study to examine items that they did not consider in previous research. Although scientists have long reported the link between stress and hair bleaching, finding a link between them has been difficult.
To find out, the researchers looked at a calendar of 14 volunteers writing down their stressful events. The scientists then collected the volunteers’ hair samples and cut them into smaller sections to analyze the amount of graying.
“Ilet Rosenberg, the lead researcher, says:
“If you use your eyes to see the hair, the color will look normal unless the color has changed completely. “But under a high-resolution scanner, you see small, subtle changes in color, and that’s what we measure.”
Interesting information was obtained after comparing these changes with the volunteers’ stressful notes. Not only is there a significant correlation between stress and hair bleaching, but sometimes with a reduction in stress, the process of hair bleaching is reversed. According to researchers, for the first time white hair was restored to its natural color:
“One of the volunteers was on vacation in his program and his five hairs returned to their former dark color at this time.”
By looking in more detail, the group measured the levels of thousands of different proteins along the hair and were able to detect changes in 300 proteins as the hair turned white. They then used a mathematical model to link the changes in these proteins to stress-induced changes in mitochondria.
Mitochondria are actually located inside the cell like small antennas and respond to various signals, including stress. The role of mitochondria in the relationship between stress and hair color is what makes this research unique.