Went for a haircut today. Had noticed that I had more white hairs for a while, but because I was so busy and focused on work, I didn’t take the time to scrutinize my own appearance.
Sitting down in front of the mirror today for an extended time while the hairdresser was cutting my hair, I noticed to my horror that I had patches of white hair hidden all around underneath, much more than what I could see along my parting!
I began wondering if stress really contributed to white hair, as I doubt my aging process accelerated so quickly in a matter of months. A quick Google search confirmed my worst fears – it did! For those who are curious about the details – check out the article here. Apparently, stress causes a chemical to be released into the hair follicle, which affects the stem cells which produces the pigment that colors hair and turns it white.
The damage caused is permanent, and the stem cells can be lost in just a few days.
Being stressed manifested in different ways for different people. For me, besides an increase in white hairs, I also had a stiff neck, disturbed sleep, persistent dark eye circles and a loss of appetite. Although I was not vain by any measure, I do take some pride in trying to maintain my well-being. This was definitely a wakeup call – the opportunity costs of staying in an unsuitable job may be truly more than I had bargained for.