Researchers Say Stress-Induced Gray Hair Can Now Be Reversed!

Written by Anil Bajnath, MD
Posted June 28, 2021

Dear Longevity Insider,

I’ve always been more of a fine, dry wine type of guy. 

Aside from fine wine, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, healthy eating, meditation… Travel is another way I decompress, de-stress, and make the most of life. A healthy life includes amazing moments and strong, healthy relationships. I don’t just share research for others to live happier, longer lives.

Guys, I apply this to my own life. I too want to live as long as possible in the best way possible. So I’ve dedicated my recent time to self-care. On the heels of spending time in South Florida with my family, today I enjoy another part of the country.

The views from Napa Valley take my breath away every single time. 

Anil drinking wineDr. Anil Bajnath winetasting in Napa Valley

As a doctor, business owner, and family man… My schedule requires so much from me. And if I didn’t take care of myself… I would be of no use to anyone else.

So I recently took a family trip out to the Napa Valley in California. I must admit, I’ve been on cloud nine. A happy, healthy life melts the years away from my appearance. It keeps me young. I’m proud to say that I have not a single gray hair in sight!

Which brings me to more research...

How would like to turn all of your gray hairs back to their original color? It sounds near to impossible. In fact, many medical professionals would say that "once gray, always gray."

But a recent study suggests otherwise... 

In comparison with one study that suggested that stress-induced gray hairs are permanent, this Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons study has proof that once stress is eliminated, hair color can be restored.

Martin Picard, PhD, the study's senior author, PhD, associate professor of behavioral medicine (in psychiatry and neurology) at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, adds:

"Understanding the mechanisms that allow 'old' gray hairs to return to their 'young' pigmented states could yield new clues about the malleability of human aging in general and how it is influenced by stress.

"Just as the rings in a tree trunk hold information about past decades in the life of a tree, our hair contains information about our biological history.

"When hairs are still under the skin as follicles, they are subject to the influence of stress hormones and other things happening in our mind and body. Once hairs grow out of the scalp, they harden and permanently crystallize these exposures into a stable form."

But there's one caveat...

The researchers pointed out that the hair re-pigmentation is only possible for some. It is not 100% certain that if you reduce your stress that your hair will definitely turn to its original color. According to the researchers: "Based on our mathematical modeling, we think hair needs to reach a threshold before it turns gray," Picard says. "In middle age, when the hair is near that threshold because of biological age and other factors, stress will push it over the threshold and it transitions to gray. But we don't think that reducing stress in a 70-year-old who's been gray for years will darken their hair or increasing stress in a 10-year-old will be enough to tip their hair over the gray threshold."

At the end of the day, I strongly believe you should embrace your beauty no matter where you are in the spectrum of life.

Until tomorrow, I leave you with this picture as a reminder to do what makes you happy. Life is to short. Take the trip, explore a winery, visit your family.

Anil picking grapes                                                                                             Dr. Anil Bajnath exploring the vineyard in Napa Valley

Life is meant to be enjoyed with those who we love. Just stay safe!

To your longevity,

Anil Bajnath MD
CEO/Founder, Institute for Human Optimization
Chief Medical Officer, Longevity Insider HQ