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Don't Let the Lack of Gray Hair Fool You

I used to believe stress was the reason our hair turned gray but if that was, indeed, the case I'd have a headful about right now.

But don't let the lack of gray hair fool you.

Being the primary caregiver for my three-year-old grandson is as challenging as any obstacle course I would ever compete in. My physical and mental abilities are called into question EVERY DAY. No, he's not a bad child by any means---because grandma don't play that---but he is so full of energy and life and seems to be on overdrive from the moment he wakes up until it's time to go to bed at night. And even then, it's a fight to get him to actually get in bed and close his eyes. Poor grandma has to resort to lying about a make-believe bogeyman who will take him away if he doesn't go to sleep.

OK, so here's what I've discovered...Stress won't turn hair white overnight. That's an old wives' tale. But according to Tyler Cymet, a researcher at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, consistent mental and physical stress—over the course of many years—may cause premature aging of the body, including hair.

Hair turns gray when the cells that produce pigment stop doing their job. Stress doesn't directly cause these cells to bow out, but it does affect how quickly hair is shed. The faster hair falls out and regrows, the more quickly pigment cells break down.

Cymet thinks that on average people today are going gray about five years earlier than they did in 1970. He attributes the difference to a faster lifestyle, poor diet and lack of sleep.

Like I said, don't let the lack of gray hair fool you.


Angie said…
Hi Beverly,

Good blog and informative. I find that hair dye is working wonders for me. Lol!!! Lack of sleep their has been plenty of.
I am looking forward to reading more of your blogs.

Eileen Williams said…
First off, I applaud you for all you do for your grandson. I cannot even imagine taking full time care of a three-year-old. You're right--they are a bundle of energy and, although adorable, must be exhausting as well!

And, secondly, I was fascinated by the gray hair facts. I had no idea that the rate we lose hair affects the color. Amazing! Now, excuse me--I've got to run in and check my hairbrush!!!
Debra Stokes said…
Good to know. My salt and pepper locs always remind me that I have lived fully and that they come with much needed wisdom. However, that doesn't mean that one day I won't develop a close personal relationship with Lady Clairol!!!!

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