Two things make men’s hair gray faster than anything; being the President and being a Dad. But there’s no point in stressing about it. Literally. According to a new scientific study, some graying hair isn’t a permanent thing, it can be reversed. And it’s linked to stress (which is why you can’t stress about the gray hair, because then it becomes like a “Who’s on first?” situation but for hair follicles).
Here are the sciency-specifics: a team of researchers from Columbia University (very prestigious) published their study in a medical journal that is the first of its kind to offer quantitative evidence linking psychological stress to graying hair in people (others have tried something similar with mice-gross).
The biggest takeaway here is from lead researcher Martin Picard: “Our data add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating that human aging is not a linear, fixed biological process but may, at least in part, be halted or even temporarily reversed.”
Human Hair Graying is Naturally Reversible and Linked to Stress https://t.co/Wj1cJvKvH9
— Martin Picard (@MitoPsychoBio) May 19, 2020
So, there you have it. All the stress from supporting a family, raising kids, existing in this time and place, etc., etc., could be what’s turning your hair gray early. But don’t worry about it! (or anything else?) because that…will just make it worse.
It is reassuring to know it’s not like having a particularly difficult child is kick-starting something irreversible, and that once you all get to chill out a little bit and life gets easy (it has to eventually…right???), your gray hairs will give way back to your natural, young color it started with.
The whole study is kind of interesting, but they do say you get to a certain age and there’s nothing you can do really. So you pretty much have a narrow window of 5-to-10 years when your hair is starting to gray where you can clamp down on the stress in your life (tell your coworkers to take it easy on you for a few years) and keep that color as long as you can.
Or, you can just accept it, knowing that graying in your 30s is just a sign of your vast and infinite wisdom.