Recent Blog Articles

Men's Health

Can stress really make hair (or fur?) turn gray?

March 6, 2020

About the Author

photo of Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School. … See Full Bio
View all posts by Robert H. Shmerling, MD


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.

No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.


linda roland
March 15, 2020

Interestingly, my husband who is 68 years old, doesn’t have one grey hair in his head. His barber is amazed! He has never dyed his hair. He is always stressed, as he owns his own family business. His natural hair color is brown, blonde and it does turn quite blonde in the summer due to salt and sun. He claims his grandfather was the same way but turned grey overnight at the age of approx. 80! I find this extremely unusual. I was wondering if there is any reliable information on this unusual phenomenon!

March 7, 2020

This is great insight and meticulous dissemination of stressor may be the determinant of of gray hair. Thanks prof.

March 6, 2020

I always found the adamant refusal to believe it quite ridiculous. Many people know of cases like that, and it is patronising (to say the least) to assume that everyone is exaggerating or is just plain ignorant.
I knew a person whose hair turned white literally overnight – i.e. all the new hair growing out turned to be white – at sixteen years of age, during a short period of intense stress (escaping from Nazi Germany).

Commenting has been closed for this post.

You might also be interested in…

Harvard Health Letter

Want to reduce pain in your knees and be more active? Eat smarter and reduce your risk for a heart attack? Improve your flexibility and balance so you don’t fall? Sleep the entire night so you have more energy during the day? Take control of your health right now! In Harvard Health Letter, you’ll find easy remedies and solutions to these common challenges and more.

Read More

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.