Would Plucking Gray Hair Make More Grow Back? A Cosmetic Scientist Answers

What do you usually do when you suddenly find gray hair growing on your scalp? Do you pluck it or do you just ignore it? Most people actually believe that it is not good to pluck them because it would make more of them grow. So, is there any truth to it? A cosmetic scientist finally gives light to this old wives’ tale.

Randy Schueller, a cosmetic scientist and author of the book “It’s okay to have lead on your lipstick”, says that plucking will not make more gray hairs grow. However, plucking them will not do you any good either.

That’s a complete myth because what you do to one follicle doesn’t affect its neighbors.

gray hair

To pluck or not to pluck gray hairs? We finally got the answer!
Photo Credit: Positive Med

However, Schueller says that when we pluck gray hair, there is a chance that the new hair growth will be little less gray than the one we pulled out.

There is some good news: If you’re lucky, when the new hair grows back it may be a little less gray than its predecessor. That’s because melanogenesis (the process by which hair follicles make the pigment that gives hair its color) is not totally consistent from hair to hair.

Schueller also said that if one is a serious plucker, plucking those gray hairs may damage the follicle to the point where it will no longer grow any hair at all. It may make your hair thinner if you are too much into plucking your gray hairs!

So, what should we do next time we see those gray hairs growing? We could just let them grow out!

Does stress really cause gray hairs to grow?

Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips and Sandra Gilman, trichologists from the U.S., says it does not. “Stress is more likely to cause hair loss and an increase in shedding than cause gray or white hair. Gray hair is largely influenced by genetics and a complex series of cell chemistries”, Cunnane Phillips stated.

However, if one is already predisposed to gray hair and that person gets stressed, there is a higher chance that stress will make gray hairs appear sooner. Gilman says, “As the hair grows out of the follicle, various processes take place in a timely fashion to produce a shaft of hair with the correct color (genetically speaking). One of these processes involves the melanin-producing cells that are present and whose job it is to provide color to the hair during the hair-growth cycle. During this cycle, anything that interrupts the flow of events can cause the non-pigmentation of the hair shaft.”

Sources: Today, Huffington Post