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 its 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 hairs 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
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.
"gray hair" old wives tale
"grey hair" old wives tale
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I hope this information has been of assistance to you!