Hair: fear causes white hair? Rumor or truth? Let’s discover false myths and how to cover white hair with two DIY recipes

Will it be just an ancient saying handed down by our grandparents or is it the truth? That for which a sudden fear or great sorrow would lead to the premature appearance of white hair. The reasons are not well known, if this ancient saying carries with it some truth or is the fruit only of rumors and beliefs in disuse. Yet in this regard there have been many studies done and not by centennial grandmothers or by old believing aunts, not at all, there is talk of real scholars, scientists who have spent their precious time – and not only – to try to understand the cause premature aging of the hair, or better to say, loss of sudden pigmentation. If by now the saying that fear causes white hair to come is a mere unfounded belief, instead the position of almost all that white hairs would be born not for great fear but for stress! Will it be true or even this is just a lie? Surely there is something true; stress is the cause of many modern ills, including the fall or appearance of white hair. But we find out scientifically if this is the only reason or if our aunts were right about it.

Is fear causing white hair? Scientific studies


Around this “rumor” now rooted in the thought of us all, there are conflicting opinions but, science has shown that fear does not come white hair. The acute graying of hair, known as “Syndrome of Marie Antoinette” (from the legend concerning the French queen, wife of Louis XVI, whose head would have turned white on the night before her beheading), it can simply be caused by severe stress or fear but, more likely, it is the clinical sign of some autoimmune diseases, including aerated alopecia. Chronic stress can, however, accelerate the process of “natural whitening” of the hair, which begins at the age of 30 years. According to the American scholar Tyler Cymet of the Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, in particular, being subjected to continuous stress for at least three years involves a release of free radicals capable of weakening or deactivating the activity of the melanocytes, the cells which produce colored hair pigments. With the result of finding the “gray” head ahead of time. A bit like what happened to Barack Obama during his two US presidential mandates.

The universal said “fear causes white hair” is used especially when a person begins to have the first white hair and it is said that it is the fault of the stress caused by the sorrows of life. In fact, what has been noticed over the centuries by people today has a scientific feedback (and probably a cure) that comes from two prestigious universities: the Japanese university of Tokyo Medical and Dental University And New York University . We discover the studies carried out and their results in this regard

Let’s start by saying that in an organism subjected to stress, sudden fears or strong sorrows creates an accelerated loss of melanocytes the cells that produce melanin the natural pigment that gives color to the skin, hair and hair. We remember that the color has a very important effect also for the protection from solar rays.

The researcher at the Japanese university, Emi Nishimura, explains that every individual is born with a certain number of melanocytes. Over time, as with other cells, these are consumed in number. However, some sudden and prolonged particular stress situations ( tension, fear, sorrows ) damage the melanocyte stem rapidly accelerating the process of discoloration and hair and hair. But there have also been other studies done, even more precise precisely on the occurrence of white hair and their cause (mysterious or almost) such as the results of research conducted by American scientists. They, subjecting some mice to strong and prolonged stress, have shown how stress hormones (especially the receptor Mc1r responsible for the stem cell migration of follicle ) would push the melanocytes away from the hair follicle with the consequent lack of melanin and hair discoloration. “ stress hormones could make this migration excessive and eventually white hair could be the effect of exhaustion of follicle stem melanocytes “, as the author of the study, Rick Sturm.

The results of these researches constitute a starting point not only towards the solution to the problem of white hair (to which the Japanese scientists are already finding a solution) but also for other problems far more important as the treatment against melanoma the notorious skin cancer that every year is gaining more and more victims, especially among young adolescents. A study group made up of British and German researchers, from the respective Universities of Manchester and Lübeck, has already developed a technique that is even able to restore the original color even in hair that has already turned white. This is peptide k (D) PT a molecule with the same characteristics as the MSH hormone, which stimulates the production of melatonin in the hair. The study is still in an experimental phase but the results obtained are really satisfying.

White hair: it’s all guilt of stress?


By now we fear stress like the plague. It is no coincidence that he is charged with increasing the risk of any sort of disease: from a simple immune weakening to cancer. But not only. Apparently our beauty may also depend on how stressed we are. The graying process begins around 28-30 years old but something could go wrong and start even earlier. So p why does stress give white hair?
The reason is very simple and is linked to the increase in the production of free radicals that would weaken or, worse, completely deactivate the activity of some melanocytes, the cells that give the classic color to the hair. So, if something in our life isn’t already going the best way, let’s avoid getting angry or being sick: the resulting stress would also make your hair gray.

False myths related to hair whitening

The first white hair it is often experienced as a tragedy, as the first sign of impending old age. But it is not true that gray and older hair are always connected. There are many myths related to the gray hair: from the classic one, which urges not to detach any white hair if you do not want to risk finding yourself with your head full of silver threads; to the theory that associates stress and graying. In short, are they mere urban legends not to be taken into consideration or is a hint of truth hidden within it? Let’s debunk these false (or almost) myths about it.

  • Don’t cut off the white hair if not two will grow: who of us has never heard a phrase like that said to us at least once in a lifetime? I am sure that everyone, or at least those who have seen the first white hair appear, have been given this senseless advice. And yes, because it is not true that if you detach a white hair, two will grow in its place. Certain fact is that detaching a white hair will not make it grow several others: in fact, only one follicle is connected to each hair, and the removal of the hair certainly does not multiply the hair bulbs of our head. A white hair therefore does not affect the color of other hair. The risk, however, is that of damaging the follicle and that, therefore, where a hair has been removed, no others grow.
  • The stress does not make the hair gray: I have just mentioned it a little earlier and we repeat it , stress does not affect the onset of white or gray hair. Stress cannot make hair white, but can make it fall out. On the other hand, when they grow back, they generally contain less pigments and this can cause them to turn gray. Stress can therefore contribute, but it is not the direct cause of white hair.
  • White hair depends on genetics: If you want to know at what age the gray hair will start to hang over your head, think of your mother. In fact, white hair is very dependent on genetics. It is therefore important to observe one’s mother or father (depending on whether one is female or male) to find out, roughly, when we too will begin to exhibit salt and pepper.
  • The 50-50 rule -50 is not always right: Some studies say that 50 percent of the population at age 50 has 50 percent of white hair. But a survey has shown that this only applies to a slice of the population between 6 and 23 percent.
  • Too much shade makes the hair gray: the rumor related to the permanent coloring of the hair for which it would appear the first white hair is, obviously, a false myth invented, most likely, by those mothers who so saying, wanted to ward off their daughters to dye their hair at an early age. So even this myth is false! The color would not be linked to the birth of white hair.
  • The sun does not cause the appearance of white hair: Certainly the sun’s rays in the summer are harmful to the hair. UV rays tend to age the hair and turn it yellow, also because of saltiness, but certainly the sun does not cause the appearance of white hair. The hair turns gray when their cells start producing too much hydrogen peroxide. The sun itself does not turn white hair, but gray hair – because the hair contains less melanin – is more susceptible to damage caused by sunlight. Wearing a hat can be a good solution.
  • Smoking can affect hair graying: some studies have shown that the hair of smokers tended to be grayer than those who did not smoke. So in this case smoking could affect the early appearance of white hair. Doctors say that low levels of vitamin B12 can reduce pigment in the hair. Furthermore, the hair of smokers tends to turn gray before the age of 30.

Natural remedies to cover the first white hair


If you notice the appearance of the first white hair, the solutions natural or semi natural are what you need. For example, a semi-permanent or tone-on-tone shade. It does not contain ammonia, so it can be used without fear of marring the hair. and in addition it revives and intensifies the natural color, giving bright reflections. It covers the first white hair, as long as it does not exceed 50 percent of the entire hair. The effect of semi-permanent shades lasts 6 to 8 weeks. The color is progressively eliminated, shampoo after shampoo.

When we talk about natural coloring we cannot fail to mention Henna . Henna is able to color hair in a gentle and natural way. When using this product, in fact, unlike chemical dyes, the consistency and quality of the hair improves, are more nourished and hydrated.

You can buy Henna already premixed or powdered (which generally should be mixed with water boiling). It is very easy to apply, just let it work for about 15 minutes on the hair and then rinse. Even if the package promises a color similar to blond or black, always remember that using henna you get shades with coppery veins, brown to red. It is possible to buy this remedy for herbal white hair, in specialized shops but also in more supplied supermarkets and shopping centers. One of the main advantages of this type of coloring is that it does not damage the hair, so even frequent coloring does not affect its beauty and health!

Exactly like henna, ‘indigo is also a natural vegetable substance that covers white hair and is especially suitable for hair brown and dark. Furthermore, indigo has the ability to make hair bright, shiny and strong. In herbal medicine you will find the indigo natural powder or ready-to-use ready-made preparations. If you have dust you can simply combine it with natural yoghurt and a few drops of apple cider vinegar to make your hair even more shiny. Leave the mixture in place for at least an hour and then proceed with a gentle wash. As for henna, even in the case of the indigo the coverage of white hair is for about a month.

Women with blonde hair have fewer problems when they appear the first white hair. The color of the already naturally light hair will be easier to cover, since the detachment with the white hair will not be as evident as in dark hair. But also for the blond heads the remedy is there is called chamomile and curcuma . A completely natural remedy. Let’s see the first recipe with chamomile, ideal for covering white hair in women with blonde hair

1. Chamomile infusion: the ideal recipe to cover white hair of blondes


Ingredients for one dose of product

  • 4 sachets of organic chamomile
  • 1 liter of water
  • 10 drops of sweet orange essence


  • Bring the liter of water to a boil in a steel pot and then put the four chamomile sachets inside;
  • Leave in infusion until the water has cooled and cover the pot with a lid
  • Add the drops of sweet orange, with an illuminating effect;
  • Continue washing the hair. Once the hair is washed, leave the hair immersed in the pot for at least 10 minutes so that the chamomile pigments stick well to the hair;
  • Once the time is up, dry the hair directly.

This natural remedy will give you very beautiful amber reflections and will help you cover white hair. This treatment can be repeated once every 10 days .

2. Turmeric and Chamomile Infusion: the recipe to cover white hair in blondes

 Turmeric oil, preparation  

The curcuma is a very spice aromatic with an orange-yellow color that has the ability to cover white hair especially with blond hair. You can combine turmeric with chamomile, making this remedy directly at your home.

Ingredients for one dose

  • 10 grams of turmeric powder
  • 15 grams of chamomile flowers
  • 1 liter of water


  • Put the water in a steel pan and bring it to the boil;
  • Add the turmeric and the chamomile flowers and mix with a wooden spoon;
  • Turn off the heat and leave to infuse until cooling
  • Filtered and applied to the hair with the help of a small brush, on areas with white or gray hair
  • This treatment can be done two or three times a week.


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