Contrary to popular perception, the gray people have been reversible. According to the study, a Preprint of which is published on the bioRxiv website, gray hair often regain the original color, and do it in only a few months. According to the researchers, this process is closely linked to levels of stress: severe emotional stress causes the hair to become discolored, but when they stop, graying reversed. This gives hope for a therapy that will permanently eliminate grey hair and eliminates the need to constantly paint obestsvechivaya strands.
Gray hair — one of the most obvious signs of aging. Most people the first gray hairs begin to appear between thirty and forty years, after which their number is rapidly growing. While the exact causes of this process remain poorly understood. For example, despite the popular idea that you can turn white from fear, the link between gray hair and stress has been confirmed only for mice but not for humans.
The researchers, led by Martin Picard (Martin Picard) at Columbia University have developed a new technique that allows to study the graying at the level of individual hair. The proposed approach is a bit like the one used in dendrochronology for reconstruction of ancient climate using the rings of trees. Now, knowing the average rate of hair growth (about a centimeter a month), scientists can compare the color certain areas with certain periods of life and what was happening at this time events.
The analysis of the 397 individual hairs taken from 14 healthy volunteers of different origins has revealed three types of pigmentation: dark, transitional and gray. On the dark areas of the hair was noted a large number of supporting pigments by melanosome and gray these structures are almost absent.
Proteomic analysis showed that graying hair significantly increased the expression of genes related to mitochondrial function, resistance to oxidative stress and protein synthesis. Simultaneously, they reduced the production of proteins that are involved in the formation of melanosome and their transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes. Interestingly, the gray portions of the hair were identified 13 proteins that are not synthesized in the dark.
Still the graying was considered an irreversible process. Was aware of only two documented case where gray hair back to its original state. However, a careful analysis showed that this phenomenon may be widespread. Researchers have identified a reversible graying of hair in both sexes and of different origin ranging in age from nine to thirty-nine years. Most often, repigmentation was observed on the scalp of the head, but to restore the coloration could and body hair. Return gray hair to normal color occurred as fast as and loss of color — the median speed of this process was three months. Moreover, it was discovered a few cases where after a quick pigmentation hair again saddles. This happened within a few weeks or months, that is, one cycle of growth.
New technique made it possible to study the relationship of hair graying with stress. Until now it was assumed that stress increases the rate of aging of the organism, which affects the color of hair. However, the team was able to confirm that life circumstances can directly affect the work of hair follicles and pigmentation.
The researchers analyzed five separate hair with traces of pigmentation from the head of a 35-year-old male of European descent. The color of individual sections of hair compared to the stress levels in corresponding periods of life. It turned out that the gray hair has disappeared after the stress levels decreased. A similar result was shown by the study plots streaked hair thirty women of Asian origin. The formation of a gray segment with a length of two centimeters coincided with a period of high stress due to family conflicts, divorce and relocation. After the return to normal hair color was completely restored.