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Your Healthy Family: How stress plays a role in graying hair

Posted at 7:23 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 12:52:44-04

If you’ve ever found a gray hair while looking in the mirror, you may think it’s just a sign you’re getting older. But researchers say stress could also be playing a role.

“We often joke about stressful events turning your hair gray, but in reality, stress has been scientifically shown to accelerate the graying process," Dr. Susan Albers, a Psychologist for Cleveland Clinic said.

She said a small study shows it might be possible to reverse the graying process by eliminating stress, but it may not work for everyone.

Dr. Albers does have some tips to reduce stress:

  • Pay attention to when you're upset and mark it on a calendar to spot any trends
  • Go on a vacation or take some kind of break
  • Do things to help you relax, like a bubble bath, journaling or meditating

"Even giving yourself a few minutes to take a mindful moment to decompress at the end of the day, to take a few breaths, can help to lower your blood pressure and improve your health," Dr. Albers said.

She said if you feel like your stress is becoming hard to control, don’t be afraid to reach out to a healthcare professional for advice; it'll help you with more than just preventing gray hair.