New findings involving nervous system and stem cells suggest just how stress may trigger the change

History is replete with anecdotes, more and less verified, of individuals whose hair turned white or gray due to stress.

Marie Antoinette’s hair was said to have turned the color of snow overnight while she awaited the guillotine during the French Revolution. The late Sen. John McCain, a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, suffered multiple serious injuries when his plane crashed in North Vietnam and during beatings while a prisoner of war — and lost color in his hair.


Credit: iStock, Mladen Zivkovic

Smiling senior man with weight at gym. Looking at camera.

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