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Expert shares the real reason why you should never pull out grey hairs

Mia Williams

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Expert shares the real reason why you should never pull out grey hairs

Featured Image Credit: Prostock-Studio/Alina Humeniuk/Getty Images

A doctor on ITV This Morning has revealed what happens when you pull out a grey hair, as people question whether or not its a bad idea.

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Dr Karan, who answers the nation’s medical questions, has revealed that although pulling out grey hairs - or any hair for that matter - is damaging to the follicle, it might not have the same consequences as the old myth tells us.

Grey hairs are a natural part of ageing and we’re all bound to see more of them as time ticks on.

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But why do they go grey in the first place, you ask?

"Pulling out a grey hair is not going to make all the nearby follicles turn grey.” Credit: Prostock-Studio/Alina Humeniuk/Getty Images
"Pulling out a grey hair is not going to make all the nearby follicles turn grey.” Credit: Prostock-Studio/Alina Humeniuk/Getty Images

The number of melanin granules gradually begin to decrease naturally as we get older.

The ‘grey’ tone is due to the percentage of your natural hair colour left, causing many different shades of grey, silver and eventually white, at which point the hair doesn’t have any melanin left at all.

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The time our hair starts to turn grey depends on genetics, and stress can amplify the greying process.

According to Harvard University, this is because stress can cause hair to shed three times faster than normal and for middle-aged people, when the hair grows back it might be grey, speeding up the process because your hair is falling out at a quicker rate.

"You only have the possibility of one piece of hair in one follicle." Credit: Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash
"You only have the possibility of one piece of hair in one follicle." Credit: Photo by Alexandra Tran on Unsplash

Hair experts are now warning people against reaching for the tweezers as soon as they spot a grey, no matter how tempting it may be.

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Some rascals might even opt to use their bare fingers.

Michael Van Clarke, a London-based hairstylist and founder of 3''' More Inches, explained how hair growth cycles can be affected when a strand of hair is plucked from the head.

“The plucked hair whose life you shortened will rest and start its next growth cycle after about three months,” the hairstylist told Huffington Post about what really happens when you pluck a grey hair.

“At each cycle after about age 20, the hair grows back a little thinner and stays around for a slightly shorter time. Cycles on the head average five years and there are a limited number of growth cycles,” he explained.

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The damage caused by plucking out hair can be difficult to correct.

There is one silver lining, though.

During an episode of This Morning, Dr Karan was asked by Amy from Liverpool: “When you pull out a grey hair, do seven grow back?”

And people are super pleased with the answer.

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Dr Karan revealed on the show that it’s good news if you do accidentally pick out a rogue grey hair.

He said: “It doesn’t grow back, that’s because you only have the possibility of one piece of hair in one follicle, so pulling out a grey hair is not going to make all the nearby follicles turn grey.”

Topics: Hair, Beauty, Health

Mia Williams
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