Can Your Hair Turn White Overnight? Sometimes Facts Can Baffle Science!

Hair gone white overnight.
Hair gone white overnight.

There is an old wives tale that if you have a shock or tragedy your hair will turn white over night. This story has been around for generations, but is there any truth in it?

We all know that as we age our hair will start to lose color, sometimes turning grey and even pure white the older we get.

But is it possible to receive such a shock to your system that somehow your hair will lose its color completely and be totally white the next day?

Scientists have been trying to work out this conundrum for many years now. And its not easy to study.

The trouble with stories such as these is the fact that many people will exaggerate and say, yes her hair was dark, but literally within a few hours the hair changed color completely.

Here we will look at a few examples and see if there really is any truth to the stories.

Rose Stone my grandmother in her early 60s her hair turned white at the age of 54
Rose Stone my grandmother in her early 60s her hair turned white at the age of 54

A true story.......

'She knew he had died because she saw and heard him scream her name when she was at the kitchen sink. The starlight shone through the window with a flash of brilliance as though his soul had reached out to touch her, then retreated back into the darkness of eternity.*

She fell to the floor, her voice a scream of anguish, RON!!!! then gently she closed her eyes and closed her mind to the horror.

The next morning with a knock on the front door, she already knew what was about to happen. Her beloved son had been killed in the war.

She went into decline, not eating, drinking or sleeping becoming a whisper of self. Six months later her husband died too.

She fell into silence, seemed to shrink in her space as though trying to escape from the world, and when her daughter went to wake her, she found that her mothers beautiful tawny hair had turned white overnight'.

* Fact.

She had a premonition while washing crockery in the kitchen sink, she heard him scream 'mum' and saw a white light shoot across the sky and into the window'

The facts behind my family's story.

In the second world war her son, Ron, my uncle, was 22 years old. He was a Sergeant in the Royal Air Force. He was a pilot/navigator in a Lancaster bomber. On the 16th November 1942 his airplane crashed after a bombing raid over Germany.

My gran was devastated, as you can imagine. Only a few months later she lost her husband too. My Grandfather.

Over night her hair turned completely white. This fact is true as much as family history can be told without actually seeing it. My mother was also a Sergeant in the WAAFs, the women's Air Force, and all my family were highly intelligent, and not prone to exaggeration.

Listening to the stories since then I couldn't quite get to the bottom of the real story. Did her hair turn white literally overnight? Or was this the way to explain the fact that it happened over a few days or weeks?

We may not lie, but sometimes over the years a few days may turn into 'overnight' as part of the story.

She also developed epilepsy, very badly I have to add, and my aunt spent the rest of my grans life looking after her.

Let's Look At The Science.

What is hair made of?

Hair is made up from a protein called keratin that gets its pigmentation from melanin. If you are healthy and your hair is receiving the right amount of hormones then the hair will stay the color that its been all of your life.

On the other hand if you suffer stress, illness such as some sort of immune deficiency where your body turns on itself, then the hormones will deplete and the hair will turn slowly grey.

If stress occurs there is another explanation to why people believe that their hair has turned grey or white within a few hours. The condition is called diffuse alopecia areata.

The result is that the colored hair will fall out overnight or within a few nights, and the grey that is already there in your hair will stay behind.

When the person looks in the mirror they will only see the resulting grey or white hair left behind. To them, they have turned white overnight.

Of course certain medications can affect hormones and pigmentation in the body too.


Captain Eric Moody at the time of the air incident.
Captain Eric Moody at the time of the air incident.
Eric Moody a few years later.
Eric Moody a few years later.

Even months after the event stress can take its toll.....

It may seem that we have got to the bottom of the stories. Hair cannot change color over night. But is that true?

Back in 1982, an airline Captain by the name of Eric Moody, was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Perth. The flight was perfectly normal, no storms, and the crew were upbeat and looking forward to landing.

Suddenly out of the blue one of the engines failed as they were flying over Java. Within minutes, all four engines had stopped working.

Moody tried not to panic, and calmly told the crew and passengers that 'we have a small problem, the engines have stopped working, but we are trying to get them back and I hope this won't distress you too much' His calm saved the day.

Eric Moody managed to land at Jakarta Airport. Crew and passengers were saved. It turned out that a plume of ash from a Volcano was to blame for the engine failure.

Even though Eric didn't seem too disturbed, within a few months his hair started to turn white at the front, and by the end of the year his whole head was full of white hair!

Marie Antoinette on the day of her execution white hair showing under the bonnet
Marie Antoinette on the day of her execution white hair showing under the bonnet

The execution....

And its even happened to famous historic figures. Evidently the French Queen, Marie Antoinette was about to be sent to her execution. At the age of 37 its said that her hair turned white the night before her death. Fear had turned her hair completely white!

So is that what happened? Or had her hair been going white throughout her capture only to be noticed on the day of her execution?

Sir Thomas Moore, Councillor to Henry VIII was executed in the Tower of London, and its said that his hair also turned white overnight. He was 57, so its possible he suddenly developed the alopecia mentioned above. Some of his hair was already white? Possibly.

First class steward Alexander James Littlejohn’s hair completely white overnight after surviving the sinking of the Titanic.
First class steward Alexander James Littlejohn’s hair completely white overnight after surviving the sinking of the Titanic.

Alexander James Littlejohn

Alexander James Littlejohn was a first class steward on the tragic ship Titanic. As the ship was sinking, he helped to save hundreds of women and children by quickly placing them into 13 life boats.

After he had finished he was ordered by the Officer in charge of the boat to get in and row away from the disaster which was taking place right in front of his eyes.

In 1912 he gave a statement to the Daily Telegraph stating: 'I got 35 children and women into boat 13, we were shouting for more to come but there were no more that we could see, the officer told two of us to get into the boat and row as quickly as possible. I was one of the fortunate ones'

He went on to say later in his statement: 'As the boat went down there were terrible cries for help, they were both terrifying and heartbreaking'.

Alexander was 40 years old in the above first photograph, and the second was taken six months later.

This account is by his grandson Philip Littlejohn who is patron of the Titanic Heritage Trust in Coventry England.

He goes on to say:

'My grandfather’s hair and eyebrows went white with the effects of the shock'.

Oh Yeah?

Last But Not Least......

Nicola Howe's hair turned white within seven days of giving birth to her daughter Jade. She was in hospital after the traumatic birth and was dark haired before.
Nicola Howe's hair turned white within seven days of giving birth to her daughter Jade. She was in hospital after the traumatic birth and was dark haired before.

Nicola Howe gave birth to her daughter Jade and seven days later her hair had turned completely white! The birth was so traumatic, Nicola had to stay in hospital. The change in her hair color was witnessed by nurses!

So it may not have been literally overnight, but it was pretty close!

Conclusion.

Some say yes, some say no but.....

Even though science has more or less proved that hair cannot turn white over night, the fact that stress and terrible trauma can work on the hair follicles and wipe out all color over the space of weeks or months is just as dramatic I believe.

To think that something so traumatic can happen to make your body literally go chemically mad so to speak is amazing and sad at the same time.

For all we know, hair may turn white overnight but its never been proven completely. What we do know is that in the above cases, the trauma these people and my gran especially had to go through doesn't bear thinking about.

Sometimes science knows all the answers, at other times its still wavering on the edge of truth.

Do You Know Of Anyone Who's Hair Has Turned White Overnight?

Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear your stories!

Do You Know Of Anyone Who's Hair Has Turned 'White Overnight?'

  • Yes! One of my relatives.
  • I have heard the tales but never knew if it was true.
  • No, this is the first time I have heard of it, amazing!
See results without voting

© 2015 Nell Rose

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Comments 128 comments

PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 22 months ago from Dallas, Texas

Hello Nell, These are fascinating stories of strange facts. As a long time hair stylist, I've seen my share of strange things that happen to hair. Our family circulated the story about my grandfather whose hair turned white overnight after suffering from Scarlett Fever. From what I understand and have seen, Alopecia areata is baldness in circular spots. I suffered from this once during a time of great stress. It was quite frightening.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

You always come up with the most interesting facts, figures and lore. This was a great read, Nell, and as an avid reader, I am very appreciative of good and interesting writing.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks Peg, yes I think scientists will latch onto something they understand like alopecia areata as an answer when they can't find a real answer themselves, its only when you know about this in your family or friends are we aware that this strange thing occurs, thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Billy, thanks so much for reading, I love all the weird and wacky so to speak, its amazing how strange and science can sometimes go together! lol! thanks, nell


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 22 months ago from South Africa

Very interesting, Nell! One of my cousins went grey 'overnight' while she was still in her twenties. Of course, 'overnight' means a short period of time. I never revealed my curiosity by asking her if she had a shock, or what, as she was not that close to me to share her personal issues with me. I am still in contact with her, but still don't feel at liberty asking her why she had turned grey. I will not even ask her sister. Why, we were indoctrinated with the saying, "Mind your own business." Of course, everybody knows everything about me as I live with my heart on my arm.

Very interesting hub about hair turning white overnight. Will be back to read the comments.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 22 months ago from Shelton

strange, amazing, and unbelievable.. thank you so much for the entertainment this afternoon Nell Rose


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 22 months ago from Central Florida

Nell, this is fascinating. My dad started turning white when he was about 30. It started with a patch on one side of his head. Soon after, it turned completely white. Well, not really white - more of a silky silver color. It's been that color as long as I can remember. Now he's 76. He's always been a handsome man, even with the silver hair. It never did make him look old. He's got beautiful skin and no wrinkles. Wish I could say the same!


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 22 months ago from Florida

Hi Nell Rose,

I heard my Grandmother and her friends talk about strange events and happenings in their youth. One of Grandmother Knight's friends told about a woman having triplets and it scared her husband who was a farmer so much until his hair turned white.

I believe anything is possible and just because a doctor says it cannot happen---does not give much weight to my own opinion. I suppose I walk to a different beat of the strange and weird society.

Keep giving us these interesting hubs---I love them.

Bobbi Purvis

I will share with Twitter and pin on my re-pin board.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 22 months ago

I've heard the tales, but I've never seen it happen. I think it is an exaggeration. I know of four people, three in my family whose hair turned white within a month. It seems to be that if the person is young, the hair eventually regains its color, at least my family seemed to follow the pattern. My cousin was 14 when my aunt and her husband divorced. The doctor said it was stress when both the husband and my cousin lost their hair and eyebrows, and they grew back in white. My cousin eventually got his color back, but his father didn't. He never did grow all his eyebrows, though, and has gaps in them.

My friend had some checks stolen and written on his account. He was threatened with arrest and during the 3 weeks took to prove the check signatures not his, his hair fell out then it grew back in white. He was 30 and he regained most of his color.

Career problems stressed my dad out when he was young. The same thing allegedly happened to him. He was 38 and white haired the first time I ever saw him . He had been stationed overseas during my babyhood, and I never saw him with any color hair but white. I always attributed that to genetics since my sister and I were 50% gray by the time we were 30. Very interesting. Voted up


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 22 months ago from The Beautiful South

Well you know it seemed my mom turned grey overnight because I just showed up one day and she was completely grey and it really floored me; I couldn't stop staring. Truth was though she decided to give up the Loving Care!

Very interesting tales here and I had never heard of it before. Like you though I know anything is possible! ^+


Becky Katz profile image

Becky Katz 22 months ago from Hereford, AZ

My cousin was a blonde since birth. She got pregnant with her first child when she was in her thirties and her hair turned dark brown. We all accused her of dying it, but she swore she didn't.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 22 months ago from High desert of Nevada.

Hi Nell. I so love reading your interesting hubs. How you come up with these things to write about is amazing.

Throughout reading this article, I thought about American presidents. Every president I can remember in my life began his term with dark hair. By the end of his term, his hair was white. Whether it was gradual or sudden is hard to tell - I just know that to me it seemed sudden.

Also, my mother had black hair till one of her sons became a POW many years ago. She received a powerful message for help and began praying for him. He sensed the help coming from Mother and escaped from his imprisonment, to come home safely. By that time, Mother's air was snow white. Again, whether it was gradual or sudden, I do not recall, but I do know her hair had gone from black to snow white within a few months (between the time of brother's spiritual call for help and his safe return home).

Very interesting hub, Nell. I enjoyed reading it.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 22 months ago from USA

This is interesting. I know my BIL went half gray in a short time, because of too much stress.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 22 months ago from New York

I just love your hubs Nell. Not just fun to read but educational and debatable. You really know how to pick your topics and so great to read.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Frank, thanks so much for reading, its amazing stuff isn't it? glad you liked it, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi bravewarrior, he sounds lovely! my grandad went grey early too, but that was a natural process, then he just went whiter as he got older, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Bobbi, thanks so much, yes I agree with you, doctors and scientists seem to have this idea that if they believe its not possible then they come up with all sorts of tales to dismiss it. I seem to remember them saying that little people didn't exist then they found the bones of homo floresiensis on the island of Flores! lol! can't argue now can they? thanks, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Miz, Wow that's amazing about your aunt and her husband! but yes as it seems to run in the family it must be genetic that the second they get stress their hair falls out then grows back white! amazing to read, thank you!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

lol! trust you Jackie! Haha! thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Becky, that's amazing! the surge of hormones when she was pregnant probably kick started her hair growth! thanks for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Phyllis, this is proving to be positive on the side of hair going white if not necessarily overnight but really quickly, your mother's hair after such a trauma says it all doesn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Barbara, thanks for reading, its amazing how many there are isn't it? nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Mary, aw thanks! lol! glad you liked it, strange isn't it? nell


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 22 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Absolutely awesome. Happened to my grandma. Thanks for sharing and passing this on.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks Gypsy, it happened to your grandma too? Amazing! thanks for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks Martie, for some reason I had to retrieve your comment from spam, phew! lol! not sure what happened there! the story of your cousin does sound strange, maybe it was an illness? it would be interesting to know exactly what happened, thanks as always, nell


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 22 months ago from New Jersey

Hi Nell Rose,

I've been coloring my hair for a long time, and do have some gray, but not a lot, it doesn't run in my family. My husband passed on very suddenly last year, and a few months later, I could see the area of hair grown out from that few weeks afterwards, and it was much grayer.


lovedoctor926 22 months ago

Wow! this is interesting, but odd at the same time. It could be genetics. Great hub!


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 22 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

My husbands friends mothers hair turned completely white. She had 5 boys and each one went to Vietnam about the same time. Within a few weeks her hair was white. My husband came home from the Army and could not believe it was her.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Jean, I am so sorry for your loss, I am sure the stress did make your hair turn grayer, it must have been such a hard time for you, thank you so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi lovedoc, yes genetics could make it worse I am sure too, thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Ladyguitar, Wow! I am not surprised that her hair turned white! that's enough to cause anyone complete stress! I hope they all came home safely? thanks, nell


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 22 months ago from USA

Although certainly not overnight, I do know that my brother's hair has rapidly turned white. I think the five kids he has don't help. He is younger than I am but I have far darker hair (and only one child). Stress will do it to you. Such an interesting hub, Nell!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks so much Flourish, yes it definitely seems that stress in all forms turns the hair white, that's why I believe the more stress the quicker the hair color turn, glad you liked it, nell


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

Oh, I believe this, Nell, for I had natural childbirth with my first child, my daughter, and overnight, although my hair did not turn white, it went the other way and turned completely dark! So strange! It has gradually lightened back up over time and now trying to get some gray! I was quite taken aback when I saw it, for I am a natural dishwater blonde and during the summer the blond gets brighter naturally. I had to make amends back then and now lol. It still lightens up a great deal during the summer, especially living in southern USA where it is so very hot and the sun shines all the time here.

Thanks for sharing your interesting family stories too.

Up +++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 22 months ago from Oakley, CA

You certainly come up with unusual and interesting topics, Nell!

I've heard of this, of course, but I have my doubts. The follicles may well suddenly stop producing color, but there is really no way for that to affect the hair already showing on the outside of your head.

That hair is essentially "dead," otherwise, it would hurt when you cut your hair. The hair 'looks healthy' or not because of keeping it clean, and shiny, at least in part from the oils on the scalp, which get distributed down the hair shafts by brushing.

The entire head of hair turning white "overnight" or even within a few days? I don't think so. The existing hair would have to fall out first, and the new, 'colorless' hair re-grow back to the original length. That's going to take quite some time. I just don't see how this "overnight white" is at all possible.

Voted up, interesting and useful.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 22 months ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Nell,

I read your article with great interest. I know a woman whose hair is completely white ... not grey ... white. She says that she had had a great emotional shock, and her hair turned white within a very short period of time.


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 22 months ago from USA

I love your hubs when you take a story that most of us believe is just that - a story- and make us rethink the possibility of it's truth. I don't personally know of anyone who has turned white overnight, though some of my friends might think I did when I gave up dying my hair and cut off the dark colored ends! Viola! I was white haired! :)


DDE profile image

DDE 22 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I had no idea of one's hair going white in such a period. Interesting and fascinating indeed!


annart profile image

annart 22 months ago from SW England

I've heard of this happening but have no personal knowledge of it. I do believe, though, that stress can do amazing things. It can greatly affect our health so why not our hair?!

Great hub, Nell, full of fascinating research and excellent writing.

A great read.

Ann


always exploring profile image

always exploring 22 months ago from Southern Illinois

I was told a story about a marine whose hair turned white overnight in a foxhole on Iwo Jima Island. He said that he was young in his 20's. I have not seen this. Nell, your hub is very interesting. I think anything is possible. Thank God for ' nice and easy. ' Hee.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Faith, dark? Wow! now that is different! you must have had a burst of hormones there then! I would love to be naturally blond, been blond since I was 18! lol! thank goodness for L'oreal! LOL! thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Lizzy, I think what they mean by 'hair turning white overnight' is an actual reality. but not in the way we think. If you think about it, the hair as you said on the head is already out there, but the follicles underneath the skin can be zapped, for a better word, the second it happens, of course it won't show for a few days or even weeks but it does in fact turn white overnight, just not on the surface, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Daisy, yes I can quite believe that! my gran, (above) had the same thing happen, I am sure it was over a few weeks waiting for the hair to grow, but the follicles obviously lost their color overnight, so in that sense I totally believe it, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Stephanie, lol! I bet they were all gossiping! I am glad you liked it, and thanks so much, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks DDE yes it does seem as though science can sometimes get it wrong! thanks for reading, nell


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Hmmm well my hair is brown in colour with one silver grey strand which i developed from stress from our Director at work. He is a pure ......... "complete the sentence with any desired word that would fit a braying animal " :) .

Luckily i am not there anymore because my hair would have sure turned grey overnight in my 20's :( what a site, I think it would have completed it with all my presents aches and pains.

On another note you look like your granny just a younger version.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 22 months ago from United States

I have heard of this happening, but have no personal experience with the overnight change. This was a very interesting article, and I wonder if it might happen very rarely. I think genetics have something to do with the age your hair starts changing to gray. I know a man that is 72 and doesn't have more than a couple of strands of gray hair in his full head of dark brown hair. Great article and shared!


mary615 profile image

mary615 22 months ago from Florida

I have no first hand knowledge of hair turning white overnight, but I would not doubt it could happen after a horrific shock of some kind.

Very interesting read! Voted Up, etc and shared.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 22 months ago from California

I have heard tales but never really met anyone who knew someone whose hair had turned that quickly--


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 22 months ago from Sunny Florida

I was absolutely fascinated by your article. I had hear about the occurrence but had always wondered.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks Ann, I have always wondered about this, and its interesting to see the different stories, as they say truth is stranger than fiction! lol!


MsDora profile image

MsDora 22 months ago from The Caribbean

Nell, I bet your blood type is "amazing." Never heard of any such thing as hair turning white overnight, but I'll be inquiring. Interesting article (as always).


schoolgirlforreal profile image

schoolgirlforreal 22 months ago from USA

Nell, you write an interesting article as usual! Never heard of this before till now!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Ruby, lol! yes nice and easy is really, well easy! I use it all the time.....lol! interesting story about the marine, and yes I quite believe it! thanks as always, nell


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 22 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting and enjoyable hub, as always, Nell. I love hubs that give me things to think about!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 22 months ago from southern USA

Yes, L'oreal is great and the ones with the word natural in it is best LOL ....dark "natural" blond; medium "natural" blond and light or lightest "natural" blond. I wish I could put photos in a comment to show you the before and after having my first baby. Crazy!


Larry Fields profile image

Larry Fields 22 months ago from Northern California

Hi Nell,

Extraordinary hub, as always. Again, I appreciate your balanced treatment of the subject. Voted up and interesting.

On a related note, I had a housemate during part of the Vietnam War. Gary was sweating out The Draft (conscription), and desperately wanted to avoid killing innocent people in SE Asia. (The Vietnam War was very different from WW2.)

Gary was nearing the cutoff point at age 26. He had taken all of the usual precautions -- including getting braces for his teeth. (How many people have absolutely perfect teeth?)

Within a few 'overnights', the hair on the top of his head had all fallen out. When Gary got the good news that he had failed the Draft physical, his hair quickly grew back.

Conventional wisdom has it that when men go bald, it's because of high levels of the hormone, DHT. Does emotional stress increase DHT to that extent?


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 22 months ago from New Delhi, India

Very interesting hub and very well written!

I have read in a story that in ancient times there was a king, who was so shocked to learn about his wife's death that he closed himself in the room where her body was lying and that overnight his hair turned white. This might be true, who knows!

But going through your hub is always interesting for sure! Thanks and voted up!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hiya Jo, lol! your director souns like an ass himself! and yes everyone says my mum gran and me all look alike! its in the genes lol! especially the crooked nose!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Pamela, yes many people say they have grey hair from an early age in their family, or even dark hair until they are older, in fact I remember reading about one guy, Chinese man I think, who was totally grey until he got to his mid 90s then he went dark again! lol! thanks for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi mary, thanks as always, yes the story of my gran was something we grew up with, have a great day!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Audrey, thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Gals, great to see you, and thanks so much for reading, nell


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Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi MsDora, aw thanks so much! lol! hope your having a wonderful day, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks schoolgirl, long time no see? glad you haven't left, thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Alicia, thanks so much, yes it's a strange thing isn't it? not something I would have thought of if it hadn't happened to my gran, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Faith, LOL! yes I tend to go for the light natural blond! lol!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Larry, I would imagine the hormone does have that effect, I remember working with a young girl a few years ago, some sort of stress happened in her family and she got alopecia, all her hair fell out! not sure if it ever grew back, but the last time I saw here she was still wearing a wig, so maybe not! great to see you!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Chitrandada, thanks so much, amazing how much this info is around the world but never really been looked into before!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 22 months ago from Dubai

Interesting, I have heard hair going gray over years but in such a short time, no. Enjoy reading your hubs because it has something so new that I have never heard of and your present amazing facts that totally baffle me! Voted up.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 22 months ago from Nashville Tn.

I had a friend who's hair turned gray at age 16. The kids would tease her in school. I would eat lunch with her to give her support.

This is such a fascinating hub that I'm going to share!


Dressage Husband profile image

Dressage Husband 22 months ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

I have heard of these stories, but never seen anyone where it happened that fast. There were a pair of Swedish twins at school with me that both turned grey by their teens, but that took several years to happen starting with just a few greys when they were still under eleven.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 22 months ago from Home Sweet Home

Wow i didn't know that extreme stress coyld turn our hair white overnight, must be careful


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

lol well Nell your descriptive word was just fitting :) he he he. Or okay yeah well I haven't seen your mum but you look like grandma Elsie lol.

Hope you are having a swell time.... well I a freezing in the ac at work and when i get out the sun is cooking your skin.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 22 months ago from London UK

I know some guy who bought an ounce of crack and stayed in and smoked the whole lot over the weekend and his hair turned all grey/white, just like that!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Vellur, thanks so much for reading, yes its amazing isn't it? sometimes science doesn't always get it right, thanks, nell


travmaj profile image

travmaj 22 months ago from australia

Nell - I do agree with you. When I was a kid, (yikes, many moons ago) but I do recall many hush hush conversations of trauma and hair turning grey instantly. It always seemed to me that it was an expected occurrence.

Have to giggle a bit - I mean, my hair might have turned grey under stress but no-one would notice under the (cough/splutter) enhanced colour. Don't think I want to find out. Cheers, Maj


kittythedreamer profile image

kittythedreamer 22 months ago from the Ether

I've never heard of this actually happening...always saw it in cartoons as a child that when someone was scared their hair would turn "white as a ghost". And you hear of it in folklore and such...very intriguing that it actually happens to people overnight! Thanks for sharing.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Audrey, wow, thats' such an early age! I wonder why that happened? I bet those kids didn't leave the poor kid alone, glad you looked after her, thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Dressage, that's very young to go grey, amazing isn't it? I never knew that people could go grey that early in life, I learned something new, so thanks!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Thanks Peach, yes its a weird thing isn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Jo, LOL! Grandma Elsie? LOL! thanks for making me laugh! then again you always do! have a wonderful weekend, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Compu-smart now are you kidding me or not? lol! thanks for reading, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi travmaj, lol! me too! my hair has been dyed since I was 18 years old! thanks as always, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi kitty, yes not sure about the actual overnight for hair on the head, but definitely in the follicles under the skin, hence the hair grows through white, thanks as always, nell


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 22 months ago

Very interesting hub! I got cousin that has gray hair at age 20 but they say it is in the genes.

Great information. :-)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi ignugent, thanks so much for reading, yes sometimes genetics makes hair go grey early, our family were mainly reds! lol!


CASE1WORKER profile image

CASE1WORKER 22 months ago from UNITED KINGDOM

I had a neighbour who used to live in Beirut and she had a white streak in her jet black hair- she said it appeared shortly after a rocket attack had decimated where she lives- so maybe it is true


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Case, there you go then! it seems that it does work! that must have been horrifying for her, poor woman! thanks as always, nell


Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

Glimmer Twin Fan 22 months ago

Hi Nell - I've heard this a number of times before, but have never seen these stories. I'm especially intrigued by the man from the Titanic. It does make some sense that trauma can change hair color. It can do all sorts of things to the body.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 22 months ago from London UK

It's true Nell.! btw, I said friend but I meant acquaintance.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 22 months ago from England Author

Hi Glimmer, yes the Titanic guy was proof wasn't he? that must have been so traumatic for him, no wonder his hair turned white, glad you liked it, and thanks so much, nell


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 22 months ago from Houston, Texas

There may be a hereditary factor at work also. My grandmother was completely white haired at age 35. Several people I know from that side of her family were also white haired at very young ages. I have my fair share of graying to white hair but I am decades older before it started appearing.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

Hi Peggy, yes its amazing isn't it? my grandad went white very early on, but the rest of my family didn't, mind you my mum and me both dyed our hair so maybe underneath this lovely blond head is pure white or grey! lol! thanks as always, nell


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 21 months ago from Stillwater, OK

It sure is food for thought. Another mystery to decipher. You always make us think about the possibilities.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

Hi Deb, thanks so much for reading, yes its a strange thing isn't it?


Frances 21 months ago

I have a mystery for you Nell. Some background info first. My father who is 87 years old went white within a few months at the age of 35 when my mother became very ill. Since then fifty two years have passed. My father had a leg amputated at the age of 80 due to a soft tissue Sarcoma and my mother died of dementia two years ago after they had been married for sixty years. All of a sudden last year we noticed his hair around his hairline at the sides and back, his eyebrows, his beard and a little on top of his head has started to go black again. We are baffled. Any ideas?


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

Hi Frances, fascinating story, I tried to look it up but couldn't find the explanation I was looking for. But I do remember reading a few years ago of a man, Chinese, if I remember, who reached the grand old age of 112 I think it was, his hair was grey, but as he aged his hair turned black again! I can't find the story on here, but I remember it being something that surprised me at the time, not sure how it worked though, thanks again, and if I can find it I will let you know, nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

Hi Frances, took another look, and I found this, maybe it will help?

http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/14919/w...


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 21 months ago from The Beautiful South

Been meaning to stop by all day to say I saw an 8th month picture of Kate; carrying low...means a girl. I hear Charles is getting jealous of the Middletons! lol

Yesterday was my birthday and I got my spine fixed (Myelopathy); came home today! Medicine is just miraculous isn't it? Still get 30 days in a collar though!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

Hi Jackie, lol! yes he is getting a bit annoyed I think! Kates family are pretty strange though, a bit of an embarrassment! Sorry I missed your Birthday! Happy Birthday! that's great that you have got your spine sorted out, my ex partner had to wear a collar for a while too, hope its not too uncomfortable, at least you are on the mend, that's great!


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 21 months ago from The Beautiful South

Oops sorry Nell; this may be a first; I left a comment I thought on my hub on yours! SO so sorry; lol. I am really out of it.

Yea on the collar it is really bad but worth the price!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 21 months ago from England Author

LOL! that's okay Jackie! we all have a brain freeze sometimes! I just deleted it, okay?


Besarien profile image

Besarien 20 months ago

Hi Nell Rose! This is said to have happened to my grandmother. She woke up with one white streak in her otherwise black hair. All in one clump in the front about the diameter of a quarter maybe. This was when she was in her twenties. Her sisters would not for the longest time believe she hadn't bleached it. She never got anymore grey hair than that and lived into her sixties. She didn't like it. She thought it made her look like a skunk but wasn't bothered enough to dye her hair.

Also one of my friends told me about an uncle who underwent chemo for a tumor on his lung. He lost all his grey hair but when it grew back it was the same brown he had started out with in life. Everyone took it as a good omen for his recovery.

Great hub! Your topics are always fascinating. Your writing is always a joy to read.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England Author

Hi Besarien, that's amazing! especially about the guy who's hair turned back to normal! thanks so much for reading, nell


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 20 months ago from United States

Nell, I always love to read your hubs as you choose such interesting topics to write about. I have heard of this happening, but I have no personal experience. Great hub!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England Author

Hi Pamela, thanks so much for reading, I am glad you liked it, nell


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 20 months ago from The Beautiful South

Yes; please always delete me when I come rambling in talking crazy!! lol


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England Author

lol! Jackie, just commented on your hub then noticed that you had sneaked over to mine! and yes I will let you ramble on its fine, I am used to it....LOL! take care of your neck, and hope it gets better soon, nell


molometer profile image

molometer 20 months ago

Mine feels like it went white overnight for sure lol.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England Author

LOL! trust you Michael! thanks for the laugh!


darciefrench profile image

darciefrench 20 months ago from BC Canada

A good deal of hair in my bangs turned white within weeks of a high spiritual state of deep surrender.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 20 months ago from England Author

Wow, that sounds fascinating! thanks so much again, nell


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 19 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

You always have interesting hubs Nell. Well, my hair started greying in my 30's. My dad had grey hair in his 20's. Grandma always had greyish/whitish hair. Did they turn grey overnight? Guess not, but I believed it's in the genes and I'd leave it that way.

L'Oreal is my friend now. :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 19 months ago from England Author

Hi Cris, yes sometimes our genes can make our hair go grey early, I have no idea what color my hair is, I always dye it! lol! thanks


Ariel Laur profile image

Ariel Laur 19 months ago from New York

Maybe add another choice to your poll because my answer would have been that I have family members whose hair has gone gray, I believe due to stress, and then gone back to its original color but over months, not overnight. It is because of this that I don't believe that aging is the singular cause of graying. It seems like when the word "overnight" is used it is merely an exaggeration.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 19 months ago from England Author

Hi Ariel, yes I believe you are right, it is an exaggeration, and after reading your comment and my family too I think that's true, stress can cause so grey hair, funny how our bodies react to stress, isn't it? thanks so much for reading, nell


grand old lady profile image

grand old lady 16 months ago from Philippines

What an interesting story! I like how you showed both sides of the issue, but I think it would be reasonable for someone's hair to turn grey overnight if s/he has undergone a lot of stress. This was a compelling article:)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 16 months ago from England Author

Thanks grand old lady, yes its more that the hair grows through white than the actual head of hair turning white, but its still amazing though isn't it, thanks, nell


Colleen Diemer profile image

Colleen Diemer 16 months ago from Florida

Thanks for a great post. My beautiful grandmother's hair was completely white by 25. I do not know much about her childhood but I can't imagine it was easy. I think her sister died from a terrible disease. I did witness a friends mother at my friends funeral look like she had aged 20 years. it was so frightening and shocking. yes her dark hair was mostly white. Very tragic. I was a hairdresser and went to cosmetology school and this article fascinates me.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 16 months ago from England Author

Hiya Colleen, thanks for reading, yes its amazing isn't it? science is strange sometimes, I suppose its peoples hormones that kick these things into place, nell


Colleen Diemer profile image

Colleen Diemer 16 months ago from Florida

Sure is strange. the body can only handle so much. You take care my friend. Make sure you get your rest. Colleen


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 16 months ago from England Author

Hi Colleen, thanks you too, nell


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 14 months ago

I've heard the expression but not seen it actually happen to someone. I think it can happen within months. Our presidents seem to age and turn gray within a short time after being in office. Stress related jobs can cause this. You kept my interest throughout the article. Well done!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 14 months ago from England Author

Thanks Dianna, yes it was strange just how quickly my grans hair changed to white, stress really is the main culprit, thanks for reading, nell


quicksand profile image

quicksand 14 months ago

GOD bless L'oreal!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 14 months ago from England Author

LOL! thanks quicksand, now that made me laugh!

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