We’ve mentioned in a previous blog How Does our Hair Change as we Age?  that gray hair is caused by numerous factors such as stress, aging, and even the body not producing the same amount of melanin, the pigment that results in the color of our hair, skin, and eyes. But, for as often as we’ve talked about gray hair in the past, there are still things we haven’t discussed. Today we will be examining two myths and where they might have originated to unveil more about the mysteries of gray hair.

The myth about how plucking gray hair will cause more gray hair to grow

You may have heard the old wives’ tale that if you pluck a gray hair, more will grow in its place. This is an interesting statement that has some truth. Gray hair grows when the pigment cells within the hair follicle die (thus growing hair without color – which will look white or gray). When the pigment cells die, then the only hair color that said follicle would be able to produce will be gray (or white). The saying was likely born because people may have noticed when they plucked a strand of gray hair, other gray hairs start to appear in those locations. In actuality it is likely that the hair follicle was just producing more hair, but because it’s only able to produce gray hair, that’s the color that was grown. Naturally it would grow close to the same spot as the original gray hair (because it was being produced by the same follicle unit). With a single follicular unit being able to produce anywhere from 2 to 5 hairs, it’s understandable how this saying came into existence.

The Marie Antoinette Syndrome

Marie Antoinette Syndrome describes a condition in which a person’s hair turns gray or white in a seemingly short period of time. The story goes that a 38-year-old French Queen by the name of Marie Antoinette was scheduled to be executed sometime in 1793. Supposedly before her execution, all of her hair (which was said to be “ash blond” mysteriously turned white overnight. Whether this is true or not is up for speculation, however, there have been many theories. Some say that perhaps she simply removed her wig; others say that due to stress, her hair may have fallen out, leaving only the lighter strands of her hair visible. While we may not know for certain the truth behind Marie Antoinette’s sudden change in hair color, there are real cases of hair turning gray either prematurely or in a short span of time.

Among the most common reasons for graying hair are things like hormone changes, nutritional deficits, and vitiligo, an autoimmune disease that results in the loss of pigment in the skin and in some cases the hair pigment, as well resulting in a sudden change of hair color. There have also been cases in which people noticed their hair, starting to turn gray after surgery. As for why this occurs, some speculate that it could be due to the trauma of surgery.
Gray hair is beautiful to a lot of people; however some people do want to cover it (which is okay. It’s important that you live in a manner that makes you the happiest and comfortable, regardless of what others say). If you are looking for advice or ways to cover up your gray hair, check out our previous blog Which Hair Dye Types are Best for Covering up Gray Hair?

Learn how to keep your hair healthy and vibrant by visiting our sister site thinedges.com. We have a plethora of products all designed to help you regrow your hair in a safe and natural way. Additionally, you want more information about how you can make the most of your hair growth journey, consider grabbing copies of our journal and booklet. The booklet contains a plethora of information about hair health. The journal allows you to track your hair growth journey. It’s a fun and interactive activity that can help you build positive associations with your hair and easily track your progress. If you haven’t checked out these resources, we highly recommend that you do, and the best part is they’re free!

You can get your copies of the booklet and journal by clicking this link and filling out the short form: https://nomorethinedges.com/get-your-booklet/

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