Article by: Perry Romanowski
It is commonly thought that stress causes grey hair but the evidence has been mostly anecdotal. This is unsurprising as many “facts” in the world of beauty are based on anecdotal evidence and are almost always wrong. This grey hair and stress relationship however, may have some basis in science.
According to research recently published in the journal Nature Medice, scientist discovered that melanocyte stem cells (the ones that are ultimately responsible for creating color in the hair) migrate away from the hair follicle when the epidermis is damaged or irradiated. This drawing off of melanocytes to the skin leaves the hair without a pigment producing mechanism and results in that hair becoming grey. The scientists at New York University who did the work believe this explains how stress is related to grey hair.
Interesting. Now how could a cosmetic chemist use this information?
Perhaps this provides a good rational for including sunscreens in your hair formulations. Based on this research, if you can protect the skin from UV damage the melanocytes will not migrate and the hair will not turn grey. At least not as a result of stress.
Just a thought. How do you think this information could improve products for treating/preventing grey hair?