Can hair turn white from fear?

Everyone has already heard a traditional superstition that a person`s hair can turn white from intense fear. However, medical research shows that it is quite difficult to give a definite answer about the truth of such stories. Can hair turn white from fear? Let us figure it out!

Can hair turn white from fear?

Hair obtains color from the two types of melanin pigments:

  • Eumelanin. It determines the degree of hair darkness
  • Pheomelanin. It determines the extent of natural hair color.

Over time, the hair follicles stop producing these pigments and hair becomes colorless or of a grayish color.

Melanin pigments

Can hair turn white from fear?

To be precise, your hair can become white severe stress, which is a kind of fear. Presently, this issue has been studied well enough. When a person experiences intense fear or another form of stress, a spasm of the blood vessels occurs that feed the hair follicle. Because of this, melanin stops flowing into the hair. It is an instantaneous process. Therefore, white hair growth begins immediately and usually continues on an ongoing basis. The probability of hair recovery increases, if a person carries out high-quality psychotherapy on time, which should help to remove the effects of somatic fear.

Can hair turn white from fear?

Can hair turn white from fear in one night?

From conventional medicine, hair is impossible to turn white in one night. At least as long as there is no theory which would allow and explained the possibility of such a phenomenon. After hair stops receiving melanin, it grows colorless, i.e. white, starting from the place, which corresponds to the time of fear experience. The part of the hair, which was formed earlier, will remain painted as pigments stay in hair.

Can hair turn white from fear in one night?

There is a huge mass of evidence that people`s hair turned white from fear in on night or in several hours. How to explain this? We can confidently say that the white color of hair can become visible very quickly on short hair. It often occurs in soldiers, because they often become victims of stress. Therefore, even one millimeter of white hair on the head is already clearly visible, that gives food to talk about instant white hair from stress.

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Another purely psychological explanation for the rapid graying states that intense fear can cause not only a violation of hair follicle supply but also hair loss. In addition, if a man has white hair, at the expense of loss of colored hair, it may seem white. However, this version seems a little far-fetched. Firstly, the loss of hair from fear for a short time is not described in medicine. Secondly, it is unclear why dyed hair falls out. Logically, the white and already problematic hair has to fall out first.

White hair in woman


From a medical point of view, hair is impossible to turn white in one night. As soon as hair goes out from a person`s head, it is no longer under the influence of either psychological or physiological processes in the human body (including shock and fear).

Shock and fear

Even if any injury, illness or sudden shock made your hair turn white, it would be seen not less than in several weeks. This is because the impact occurs directly on the root of new hair. Therefore, hair cannot promptly turn white from fear.

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