Have you ever complained that your children are giving you gray hair? You might be right.
Melanin is the pigment that gives color to your hair (skin and eyes), produced by stem cells, called melanocytes, at the base of hair follicles. The change in hair color begins when these cells stop producing melanin in the hair root, and new hairs grow in with little or no pigment. Hair that has lost most of its melanin is gray, and hair that has lost all of this pigment is white.
The link between stress and gray hair has not been proven; however, physicians have observed accelerated graying among patients under stress. Scientists theorize that hormones released by stress cause an increase of free radicals — unstable molecules that harm cells. If these free radicals damage the melanocytes at your hair follicles, melanin production would stop, and your hair would lose its color.