Science confirms grey hair is triggered by stress

Stress-induced grey hair

The results of a recent scientific research project undertaken by Harvard University and published in Nature show that greying hair is directly correlated to stress, not just ageing. Whilst hair doesn’t lose its colour instantly, over time stress significantly speeds things up.

Harvard’s findings are scientifically important for several reasons, primarily by demonstrating accelerated greying, it’s raised hopes for anti-ageing therapies described as ‘pharmaceutical foundations of youth’.

To get technical, the stem cell biologists involved in the study discovered that stress causes nerves triggered in the fight-or-flight response – part of the sympathetic nervous system – to release hormones – called noradrenaline or norepinephrine – which kill the stem cells – these being melanocytes – used to make hair pigments. Essentially, the reservoir of stem cells is depleted forever.

Furthermore, the same type of mechanism is responsible for age-related greying too. There’s more to the study than this though. Read further details on the Guardian website.

If stress (or age!) has turned your hair grey and you’re planning to dye it, or if you’re trying to achieve the grey hair trend by bleaching, choose your hairdresser carefully, and ensure you’re given patch and strand tests prior to any treatment. Failure to do so can result in over processed hair falling out and the need to claim compensation for hair damage.


If your hairdresser ruins your hair with bleach or dye, contact our legal team in confidence. To get in touch for a free, no obligation discussion today please email enquiries@beautytreatmentclaims.co.uk, call 0800 141 3682 or 0333 202 6560, or complete our online enquiry form.

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