Why sometimes hair turns grey at an early age?
Ever noticed someone with grey hair at a younger age? Ever wondered why it happens?
At an old age, hair turns grey because body starts losing pigments which gives hair colour. But, hair turning grey at an early age is of concern to some people.
It seems science has finally got an answer to this. A study at Harvard University found that stress activates certain nerves which permanently damages stem cells.
This conclusion was drawn after an experiment conducted on mice. A hypothesis was assumed that stress causes an immune attack on pigment producing cells but found that mice without immune cells also showed same results of hair turning grey. Thus, researchers finally drew a conclusion that body reacts to a threatening situation and prepares the body to face it.
So, exactly what happens? A chemical called norepinephrine is released by sympathetic nerves. This chemical activates stem cells and convert it into pigment producing cells, thus, depleting the reservoir. Once these pigments are lost, they can’t be regenerated.
But can a stress experiment on mice be similar to that for humans?For this, more research needs to be carried out. However, researchers assume it to be similar because the pigment producing stem cells and sympathetic nerves are very similar in mice and humans.
This study, however, shows an impact of stress on stem cells. It is wondered if other stem cells in the body are affected in the same way. This research will be critical to further studies and developing a clear picture of stress impacting the hair colour.