Research shows how to reduce gray hair: reduce stress levels
Are you staring in the mirror anxiously to see if you have wrong gray hair, which is usually the first sign of aging? Although getting old is inevitable, some of us show signs of aging earlier than others.
The reason behind this is not fully understood, but scientists say that genetics has played a role. The same is true for external factors such as pressure.
A kind New research It not only confirms the long-standing belief that psychological stress can cause hair to turn gray, but also includes a surprising discovery: when the stress is reduced, the color of the hair can be restored, at least temporarily. This Columbia University study contradicts earlier studies, which found that gray hair caused by stress is permanent.
“Understanding the mechanism that restores the’young’ pigmented state of’old’ gray hair may provide new clues about the overall malleability of human aging and how it is affected by stress,” Say Martin Picard, Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine, Columbia University.
“Our data adds more and more evidence that human aging is not a linear and fixed biological process, but it can be at least partially stopped or even temporarily reversed.”
In addition to genetics, people’s physical and social environment, including their ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle, can affect the aging process. World Health Organization.
Picard explained that the hair follicles under the skin are susceptible to stress hormones and other changes in our physical and mental health. These changes can make hair grow from the scalp and reduce pigmentation. As the transition to gray occurs or resumes, the hair strands can even become two colors.
The researchers analyzed the hair of 14 volunteers between the ages of 9 and 65 by measuring the effect of stress on the level of individual hair follicles. This is the first study to do so.
Ayelet Rosenberg, a student in the Picard lab, developed a method to quantify pigment changes by taking detailed images of hair slices. The researchers analyzed slices approximately 1/20 mm wide. Each piece is equivalent to about one hour of hair growth.
Picard said: “If you look at the hair with your eyes, unless there is a major change, it always seems to be the same color.” “Under a high-resolution scanner, you will see subtle changes in color. This is what we are measuring. of.”
The researchers compared their findings with volunteers’ stress diaries, in which they were asked to assess their stress levels on a weekly basis.
Researchers have found that in some cases, a reduction in stress can cause a temporary reversal of gray hair. Ten volunteers—all between 9 and 39 years old—have some gray hair back to color. A 35-year-old man experienced a graying reversal in 5 strands during a two-week holiday.
In contrast, a 30-year-old black-haired woman had her hair turned white in the two months she was separated from her spouse, which was the most stressful period of the year.
However, the researchers emphasized that the recovery Not everyone is suitable for dyeing hair. Biological age and other factors that affect aging also play a role.
If a person has been gray for years, then reducing their stress levels will not be a panacea, at least not in terms of hair color. But limiting stress may slow down the aging process of middle-aged people.
“The most striking thing is that they were able to show convincingly that gray hair is actually reversible at the individual hair level,” said Matt Kaeberlein, a biogerontologist at the University of Washington. One of the editors of the paper, but did not participate in the work, told Scientific american“We learned that not only in the hair, but also in various tissues, the biological changes that occur with age are reversible in many cases-this is a good example.”
The researchers also found that the change in hair color caused by stress may be the result of changes in mitochondria.They found that when Hair changes caused by stress have occurred, and the 300 proteins in the hair follicles have also changed.
“The mitochondria are actually like small antennae inside the cell, responding to many different signals, including psychological stress,” Picard said.
The researchers pointed out that this finding is particularly inconsistent with earlier mouse studies, which showed that the loss of stem cells can cause whitening caused by stress.
Picard said more research is needed to explore the long-term effects of stress on hair follicles. Researchers are conducting a new study in which they can track participants’ stress more closely, rather than relying on their memories of past events.
Their research results are published in Electronic life.