CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Harvard University has released a new study that says stress can cause hair to turn gray.
The Harvard Gazette reports this is caused by a chemical, called norepinephrine, which is released by nerves when a body goes into a fight-or-flight response.
The research, conducted on mice, found this chemical can cause pigment in hair to be depleted.
Throughout history, there have been many examples of people's hair losing color during difficult times—such as some accounts that say Marie Antoinette's hair turned white before she was taken to the guillotine. This study, however, is the first scientific evidence of this.
Harvard's Office of Technology has applied for a provisional patent on the research, according to the Harvard Gazette.