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Old 11-01-2009, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,192 posts, read 47,521,812 times
Reputation: 19702

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The phenomenon of hair turning white from fright (or shock or grief or stress) persists in literature, poetry and even a handful of medical journals.

But is there any truth to the rumor that we can actually scare our hair?

Yes and no, says dermatologist Dr. David Orentreich, associate director of the Orentreich Medical Group in New York and assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Can hair really turn white from fright? - The Body Odd - msnbc.com
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Columbus, Indiana
957 posts, read 1,935,008 times
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When my father died very suddenly, I remember my mom had a small section of her hair that turned white. So yes, I believe it can happen.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:50 PM
 
183 posts, read 698,461 times
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I believe it can happen too. I had a friend when I was a senior in high school (18 years ago) that was trying to get into Harvard. She was so stressed and overworked that a strip of her hair on the top of her head turned white/grey. She got in, so I think it was worth the grey hair.

I also have a friend whose dog is epileptic. Every time she has a seizure, a little patch of hair on her head or back turns grey/white. I don't know if it is the same or not...but definitely interesting!
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Wherever I want to be... ;)
2,539 posts, read 8,812,388 times
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It sort of makes sense when you think about it. Sudden stress on one's body can certainly mess with someone's immune system, and can cause the body to react to itself in strange ways. I know that I have eczema/psoriasis, and when I'm really stressed, it gets much much worse.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:03 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,777 posts, read 7,115,012 times
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I remember my summer neighbor from NY returning after 9/11 . Seems like he went from salt and pepper to white overnight.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:58 AM
 
1,995 posts, read 2,964,814 times
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I have seen it happen from extreme stress not fright to a relative of mine. I don't think it happened overnight but within a very short time after the stress began. I have also noticed how much Presidents age in the four years in office.
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:18 AM
 
6,039 posts, read 9,437,199 times
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It doesn't happen to hair that is already grown. One could start growing white hair, but anything previous to that point would not turn white without help from a bottle of peroxide.
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Old 11-02-2009, 07:18 PM
 
1,312 posts, read 4,279,026 times
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I believe it. My mother used to tell me about when my grandpa went to Vietnam...he was there during the Tet Offensive when he was a Lt. Colonel, in his mid 40's. When he left the US, his hair was brown. When he returned, stark white. Military buzz cut, of course. I've seen the pictures to prove it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:07 AM
 
Location: NoVa
2,116 posts, read 2,900,516 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandhillian View Post
I have also noticed how much Presidents age in the four years in office.
Oh yes! I remember making the comment to my husband about Bush during the last years of his presidency. He looked so old and his hair looked whiter and whiter everytime he appeared on TV.
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