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Hair whitening is part of the natural aging process, but no matter how natural, white hair can make us unhappy. A new study will make the face of those who suffer from bleached hair laugh. According to research, it is possible that bleached hair can return to its former color…

As we get older, the original color of our hair loses its color and turns gray. This is due to the loss of the pigment called melanin. But research shows that the process of greying hair can be restored, at least temporarily.

We have all witnessed people who say,” my hair became White from stress, my hair became white overnight from sadness.” Due to the natural aging process and the influence of our genetics, our hair begins to whiten from our 30s. But in this process, stress is also thought to be effective in whitening hair, and a lot of research is being done on this issue.

One of these studies was conducted by Columbia University in the United States, and it was found that it is possible for whitening hair to return to its former natural color without staining. In this study to find evidence of” Natural re-pigmentation, ” the researchers created a computer model to find the connection of hair whitening with stress and age.

As part of the study, 323 proteins were identified, which primarily indicate whether any hair strand is gray, white or colored during a certain period. The original hair of the participants, consisting of 7 women and 7 men, was analyzed as part of the study.

According to the study, some findings were found that the color change in hair is related to stress. Dr. from the research team “One of the participants went on vacation and during this time we saw that the color of 5 strands of hair had darkened again,” said. Reducing stress and going on vacation had restored the color of the whitening hair. But researchers emphasize that the return of hair to its original color is only seen at a certain age, the hair must reach a threshold before it becomes gray, while the color of hair that is already white cannot change. In middle age, our biology and other factors, such as stress, cause hair color to whiten.

The lead author of the study, says that according to the results of the study, there is no change over the age of 40, reducing the stress of someone whose hair has been white for years in Old Age will not be enough to restore the old hair color.

In recent years, similar studies of researchers from Sao Paolo and Harvard universities on hair whitening have been published in the journal Nature. Harvard University researcher Prof. said that” we are now confident that stress is the biggest responsible for the changes in hair and skin.”

According to research, adrenaline and cortisol released in the bodies of suffering mice affect their nervous systems, causing severe stress, their hearts to beat faster and their blood pressure to rise. This condition affects the hormone melanin, which forms in the hair follicles, leading to an increase in the reduction of hair follicles.

Professor says the research findings show that the damaging effect of stress is greater than predicted.

In another experiment, the researchers observed that changes in hair were prevented when they gave mice some drugs used for high blood pressure patients that prevent hypersensitivity.

In that experiment, they compared the suffering mouse with the non-suffering mice to detect a protein that is formed along with stress and damages stem cells.

So how does stress whiten hair?
Can bleached hair return to its former color without staining it?
Is the role of stress in hair whitening too big?

The results of these studies were carried out shows that the reduction or disappearance of the production capacity of pigment (melanin) and the amount of melanin in the hair root causes bleaching in the hair, and the production of melanin in the body decreases as age progresses. “Since hair bleaching is perceived as a sign of old age, early bleaching can also put a person in psychological distress due to aesthetic concerns,” he says. Doctor in Turkey notes that it is not yet known exactly how early bleaching of hair develops, but genetic predisposition is one of the main causes.

“Vitiligo disease is another factor in hair whitening. Other causes are premature aging disorders, Vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid problems, atopy, i.e. allergic structure, some chemotherapy drugs and autoimmune diseases. Insufficient functioning of the thyroid gland can lead to conditions such as hair whitening or hair loss. Deficiency of B12, calcium, vitamin C and D, copper, iron and iron store (ferritin) are vitamin and mineral deficiencies that cause hair whitening.”he says.


Emphasizing that hair whitening is more common in smokers, Turk Doctor notes that unbalanced and malnutrition, chronic diseases that cause protein loss, also cause bleaching. “Recently, many scientific studies have focused on the effect of free oxygen radicals on the greying of hair,” said, who said that the average age of greying and whitening of hair in the white race is around 34 years old. Oxidative stress in hair follicles can also occur in ultraviolet, environmental pollution, psychological factors and inflammatory diseases of the scalp.”he says.

As said in this study, will the color of the bleached hair return? when we ask, ”there is a chance that the hair that has become White will return to its old color, but the probability is low, ” he answers and adds.

“If there is a condition such as vitiligo, vitamin deficiencies, stress and depression that causes bleaching, and this problem is treated, the hair may return to its former color. The earlier the cause is eliminated, the faster the hair returns to its former state. It’s more effective in young people. Especially in older people, solving the problem may not cure hair whitening, if it does not work, cosmetic solutions such as hair coloring or henna from natural dyes may be preferred. Another method is PRP. We take one’s own blood, decompose it into its cells, and inject it into the scalp. Here, the goal is for secreted growth factors to stimulate the synthesis of melanin.”

At a young age, the number of cells that make melanin pigments in the hair follicle is about 1000 – 2000/mm2, over time, the number of cells that produce melanin and the production of cells decreases.

Doctor said that when the pigment decreases, the quality of the hair that turns white is impaired with signs of aging rather than color, but if these disadvantages are eliminated, it will be possible to return to the hair that begins to turn gray.


Doctor says that this research was done for cosmetic purposes, and that sudden bleaching of hair in the face of severe stress, also known as Marie Antonette syndrome, is one of the psychosomatic phenomena because body and mental health complement each other like half an Apple.

He notes that Harvard University researchers recently conducted a study on the mechanism of this phenomenon, and describes the details of the study.

“It was known that the release of the hormone cortisol, i.e. adrenaline, from the adrenal gland after stress, had negative effects on all body Tues. But these researchers found that even though they disabled the release of cortisol (removing the adrenal gland), the bleaching in TUEs did not stop. They found that the pigments in the hair follicle, which give the hair its color, go to each hair follicle through the “sympathetic nervous system” and consume stem cells that replenish the pigments. As a result of this functioning mechanism, these stem cells act as a drain of pigment stores where they will produce pigment, preventing hair coloring. Therefore, he turned to research that reducing stress can prevent premature bleaching in the hair.”

Guest underlines that premature-premature hair whitening does not always indicate an illness or stress. He adds that factors other than genetic factors or stress can produce the same result.


Contrary to what is known, doctor notes that hair coloring does not cause premature bleaching of hair, although some experts claim that a number of substances contained in hair dyes will facilitate bleaching; it is not a scientifically proven fact.

Again, one of the most common mistakes is that it is very wrong to think that plucking white hair will multiply white strands of hair, Turkish doctor emphasizes that the plucked hair strand will not affect other hair follicles, and there is no need to worry about it.


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President of Organ Transplant Center at MedicalPark Hospital Antalya

Turkey's world-renowned organ transplant specialist. Dr. Demirbaş has 104 international publications and 102 national publications.

Physician's Resume:

Born on August 7, 1963 in Çorum, Prof. Dr. Alper Demirbaş has been continuing his work as the President of MedicalPark Antalya Hospital Organ Transplantation Center since 2008.

Prof. who performed the first tissue incompatible kidney transplant in Turkey, the first blood type incompatible kidney transplant, the first kidney-pancreas transplant program and the first cadaveric donor and live donor liver transplant in Antalya. Dr. As of August 2016, Alper Demirbaş has performed 4900 kidney transplants, 500 liver transplants and 95 pancreas transplants.

In addition to being the chairman of 6 national congresses, he has also been an invited speaker at 12 international and 65 national scientific congresses. Dr. Alper Demirbaş was married and the father of 1 girl and 1 boy.


Eczacibasi Medical Award of 2002, Akdeniz University Service Award of 2005, Izder Medical Man of the Year Award of 2006, BÖHAK Medical Man of the Year Award of 2007, Sabah Mediterranean Newspaper Scientist of the Year Award of 2007, ANTIKAD Scientist of the Year Award of 2009, Social Ethics Association Award of 2010, Işık University Medical Man of the Year Award of 2015, VTV Antalya's Brand Value Award of 2015.


Doctor of Medicine Degree Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine Ankara, General Surgeon Ministry of Health Turkey EKFMG (0-477-343-8), University of Miami School of Medicine Member of Multiple Organ Transplant, ASTS Multiorgan Transplant Scholarship. Lecturer at Kyoto University. Lecturer at University of Essen, Research assistant at the University of Cambridge .

Professional Members:

American Society of Transplant Surgeons, American Transplantation Society Nominated, Middle East and Southern Africa Council Transplantation Society 2007, International Liver Transplantation Association, Turkish Transplantation Association, Turkish Society of Surgery, Turkish Hepatobiliary Surgery Association.


Our website contents consist of articles approved by our Web and Medical Editorial Board with the contributions of our physicians. Our contents are prepared only for informational purposes for public benefit. Be sure to consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.
Medically Reviewed by Professor Doctor Alper Demirbaş
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