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Q: Will white hair grow back? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Will white hair grow back?
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: respree-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 07 Nov 2002 11:52 PST
Expires: 07 Dec 2002 11:52 PST
Question ID: 102072
Is there any scientific evidence that supports the old wives tale "if
you pull out a gray (actually white) hair, that more (white hairs)
will grow back in its place."  Said another way, if you pull out your
white hair, will that produce even more white hair, or will the pulled
out hair simply not grow back (or grow back as the original color, or
grow back as white).

I'm starting to get a few and am wondering if it is a good idea to
remove them, or let nature take its course.
Subject: Re: Will white hair grow back?
Answered By: aceresearcher-ga on 07 Nov 2002 12:25 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

You would be AMAZED at the number of weblogs I found where people said
they were sure there was something to this -- even though they
acknowledged it was "an old wives' tale"!

Fortunately, I also found some that (thankfully) debunk that myth:

"Myths Revealed", by Lynne Chapman, Bella Online
"1) If I pull out a gray hair, I will get three in its place:
This is a tale that seems to have been passed on from generation to
generation. In my educated opinion it is not true. A hair can be
pulled out from the root with no effect to the root itself except at
times to weaken it. Pulling out a hair will not cause the root to
split and produce more than one hair. I think the myth is perpetuated
because often when you find a gray hair, you have come to that age
when your body has begun the graying process and in it’s natural
course more and more hair roots begin to produce gray hair instead of
the former youthful color."

"Hair Facts or Fiction: Surprise" by Gary Callan
"If you pull out a gray hair two will replace it.
Fiction! As I explained in a past column, gray hair is simply the
absence of colour. So pulling out a gray hair will not influence
another gray one to grow out."

"Love your hair: Improve your hair’s appearance with these insider
tips", by Angela Hill
"To cover hair with up to 30 per cent grey, choose a semi-permanent
colour that matches your natural colour, says [stylist Ronald] Chong
[from Public Image in Toronto]. If you decide to just pull out those
few greys, be assured they will not grow back in pairs, as the old
wives’ tale states. However, grey hairs have a different texture, he
says, and when the grey hair grows back, it may stick up or out at an
odd angle."

I found my first gray hair at the age of 23. I pulled it out.
Periodically another gray hair appeared, and I pulled it out as well.
I did not get 3 gray hairs growing in where I pulled one out. What I
got, eventually, was a little bald spot near the front of the top of
my head where all these gray hairs were trying to grow in and kept
being pulled out.

Finally, I had to admit defeat, force myself to STOP pulling out gray
hairs, and hie me to a salon, where a skillful stylist administered a
"foil" highlight, which I get renewed every 3 months. Now I actually
have a small "skunk stripe" in that spot, but it is nearly
undistinguishable because of the highlights in the rest of my hair. At
least I don't have a bald spot there!

A highlight works well if you have normally dark hair and a few gray
or white hairs.

If your hair has become predominantly gray or white, you can have it
colored back to your natural, or some other, color. Or you can get a
"reverse highlight", which will put a lot of darker color back into
your hair, without eliminating gray entirely.

I am just vain enough that I will probably never let my hair go gray.
My spouse is 8 years younger than me, so I prefer not to look any
older than necessary. (It's bad enough that he keeps reminding me that
my favorite college "party" songs came out while he was in grade
school!) However, many people quite gracefully let their hair go gray
naturally, and they simply look more distinguished and wise. The
choice is a very personal one, and should only be made by you, based
on how you feel about the way you look with or without the white hair.

Search Strategy

"gray hair" old wives tale

"grey hair" old wives tale

Before Rating my Answer, if you need additional information, please
post a Request for Clarification, and I will be glad to see what I can
do for you.

I hope this information has been of assistance to you!



Clarification of Answer by aceresearcher-ga on 07 Nov 2002 13:55 PST

Thanks for the generous tip! I enjoyed researching your question, and
your comments made my day!

A stylist might be willing to do the gray hair extraction for you, if
you're willing to pay for that service. A sympathetic family member
might be willing to do this as well. Another option is "Grecian
Formula" or a similar product:

"Restore Your Natural Hair Color in Just 3 Weeks!
- Gradually restores lost color to graying hair...naturally 
- Works on any color hair 
- Available in three easy-to-use forms:
  Grecian Liquid - clear, colorless
  Grecian Cream - grooms and conditions hair
  Grecian Plus - Foam that thickens and conditions gray, thinning

Best wishes,

respree-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00
Thank you for your excellent work, aceresearcher. I'm sure I'm not the
only one in this boat, so I think others will benefit from your
answers.  Luckily, I still have plenty of hair left, so I think I'll
save the 'distinguished' look for my later years. Being a man, I
really didn't consider dying my hair.  It seems like a lot of
maintenance, which is what gave me the idea to simply pull them out. 
Now, if I can only figure out how to reach the ones in the back. =)

Thanks again!

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