Does stress turn your hair gray?
Does stress turn your hair gray? (Thinkstock)
Does stress turn your hair gray?
Lexile: 900L

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You asked us, does stress turn your hair gray?

Hair gets its color when two types of pigment called melanin combine. Different proportions create a variety of shades. We don't yet understand the mechanics behind it. But hair follicles the 100,000 or so pits on our heads that sprout our hairs produce less melanin as we age. The result is gray hair.

While we could probably point a finger at stress, the timing of this color change is mostly a function of the genes you inherited from your parents. Stress can definitely trigger a higher rate of hair loss, though. So, if you're no spring chicken, and your hair follicles are producing less pigment, chances are the new strands that grow in will be gray. And you could be sporting a salt-and-pepper look before you know it.

OK. So to summarize on gray hair, one, blame your parents. And two, try not to stress out.

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Critical thinking challenge: Why does it take 100,000 hair follicles to cover our heads?

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Why does it take 100,000 hair follicles to cover our heads?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • genesisl-boo
    5/06/2015 - 11:47 a.m.

    The reason why our heads need 100,000 hair follicles to cover the top of our heads is because they pits in our head is very small but large in numbers so the hair sprouts every where

  • HaileyP1-Ste
    5/06/2015 - 12:56 p.m.

    It takes 100, 000 hair follicles to cover our heads because our hair is thin and you probably tried to count your hair and that is almost impossible.

  • DaiseyB-Ste
    5/06/2015 - 12:57 p.m.

    it takes 100,000 hair follicles to turn you hair grey because they all have to work together for the process to be done and once they get combined and stuff the start to turn grey.

  • pablov918
    5/06/2015 - 01:15 p.m.

    it could you might not even notice and it might turn gray for other reasons so we can find out
    and it kinda cool how it can turn your hair gray just by being stressed

  • rossanan1226
    5/06/2015 - 01:23 p.m.

    Wow , I Never Thought Your Hair Could turn White For Just Being Stressed. This Actually Surprised Me And I Hope I Dont Get Stressed .

  • RaquelC405
    5/06/2015 - 01:25 p.m.

    I don't think it's fair how it's a gene passed on from your parents that you should get gray hair. But some people make it work! But others are bothered by it, and they have to dye their hair. That's not fair!

  • Sandraj-OBr
    5/06/2015 - 01:35 p.m.

    It takes 100,000 hair follicles to cover our heads, because............... WE HAVE BIG HEADS! When we are young, hair follicles start to grow, so we don't have hair. When we are old, the hair follicles start to die off, that causes less hair. So, again......... WE HAVE BIG HEADS so we have to have a lot of hair to cover it! People say if you have no hair, get a wig.

  • vancer-Che
    5/06/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    I've heard stress can make your hair fall out but I've never heard of hair turning gray but great article and will help me out in the future.

  • makaylar-Che
    5/06/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    this is some crazy stuff but its so true because we don't know if you are stressed or not because how can you tell but if your mom or dad have gray hair so maybe you do too and who cares because its your hair and you can dye it back to color that you before and don't have to worry about it when your whole head is covered in gray so yeah you can dye it if you wanted to so yeah.

  • fernandoc-Che
    5/06/2015 - 01:50 p.m.

    I've heard that if you're d

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