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From: "Steve Harris" <>
Subject: Re: White hair question - please bear with me...
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2002 13:05:28 -0700
Message-ID: <af59nf$3bg$>

Rachael Nex wrote in message
>Most people have heard the stories about people's hair going white overnight
>from shock. And the possible answers as to why - said hair actually being
>salt and pepper already and the pigmented hair falling out, leaving only
>white hair, being one theory, rather than the dead hair turning white
>itself. And although that is interesting, it doesn't exactly cover what has
>happened to me.
>I am twenty nine, and have died my hair red for a few years on and off
>(various methods), but about three months ago I decided not to dye it
>anymore - so I dyed the existing hair back to a darkish brown (my natural
>colour) so I wouldn't have a noticeable regrowth when I let the roots come
>in. With me so far ? The roots grew in to my natural colour (which is very
>slightly darker, so only slightly noticeable under scrutiny). And all was
>Then about a month ago we had a very traumatic death in my family. To cut a
>long story short, on discovering this I lost my mind for a few hours (I
>don't remember much about it to be honest) due to shock and grief, and
>haven't really got over it since. I now notice, a month on, that I have hair
>that has grown in white - pure white, not gray. When my husband pulled some
>of these out, we examined them and you can see the colour differences - at
>the lengths and ends I have the dye job (I have quite long hair), then the
>slighty darker regrowth where my natural colour came in for a few months,
>then a pure white bit of about a month's worth of growth - like it has been
>dipped in white paint. I have a few of those - more around my temples where
>it is bizarrely noticable, some on the very top of my head in the parting,
>none elsewhere.

Quite normal. This just means you're starting to get gray hair, and it's
started in the years since you've been dyeing it, and haven't therefore

When people start to go gray they often "stutter" -- the first part of hair
shafts come out normal pigment, then the next and remaining part gray
(before it falls out and starts over, as each hair does every 3 years or
so).  You can see this on the hair itself.  That's happening to you, and it
will keep happening, even with no more deaths in the family. (Look closely--
I'm sure you have a few hairs on your head NOW, that have just a thin grey
band close the scalp, which would have come out much later than your
emotional shock).

Hair color can stutter the other way-- with an individual hair starting grey
and picking up pigment finally as it grows. This is less common, but has led
to a lot of reports of people thinking some medicine or other is making
their hair come in colored again, or de-aging them. Sorry, it isn't.


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