beauty

Once And For All, Does Pulling Out Gray Hair Cause More To Grow Back?

April 29, 2016 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Of all the beauty myths that never made a whole lot of sense, this old wives’ tale probably takes the cake: if you pull out one gray hair, a bunch more will grow back.

Once and for all, here’s the truth. Not only is this weird saying totally false–it’s also biologically impossible.

“The hair follicle (the little tube beneath the skin that contains the root of the hair) only contains one hair,” says Carly Bowers, expert for Latest-Hairstyles.com. “Pulling out one gray hair won’t cause two hairs to grow in its place; it will simply eliminate the hair until another one grows back in it’s place.”

I’m afraid there is a bit of bad news, however: if you happen to find a single gray hair, pulling it so you can get on with your life isn’t a good solution. “Plucking each hair will just cause them to grow back and they will grow back gray,” says Dr. David E. Bank, founder of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “The reason? The pigment-producing cells at the hair follicle are most likely worn out so matter what you do, the hair will grow back gray.”

Gray hair occurs when melanocytes in the hair stop producing melanin, causing pigment loss, Bank explains. “This is mainly caused by genetics, but it can occur with prolonged illness or stress. Even medications such as chemo-therapeutics, Ferritin, Vitamin D3, Methotrexate, Lithium, Echinacea and Vitamin E may lead to gray hair,” Bank says.

In addition to not being effective, plucking hairs can also cause permanent damage and scarring to the hair follicle, says Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse at Rapaport Dermatology of Beverly Hills. “In this case, the hair would be unable to grow back at all, and you would have a bald spot where that hair was,” Shainhouse says. “True, it would be small, but if you keep plucking out the grays, you could cause permanent thinning of your hair.”

Your best bet when trying to cover up a few grays is to use a permanent marker, says Shainhouse, or a temporary hair color like L’Oreal Paris Root Rescue, which comes with a special applicator designed to make root application a breeze.

“If a person finds one or two gray hairs and doesn’t want to have to change her color, there are plenty of very temporary solutions,” Bowers says. “Using a colored hair powder only on the area where the gray hairs are will work. Bumble and Bumble makes a great one. Or, you can have your hairstylist put just a touch of color on the area with grays.”

Whatever you do: keep your tweezers far, far away from your scalp.

For more beauty news and tips, check out the one thing girls with color-treated hair should never do and 4 natural (and foolproof) ways to lighten your hair.

Follow me at @lisacfogarty on Twitter.

SheFinds receives commissions for purchases made through the links in this post.

 

Tags:

Beauty, hair

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

From Our Partners

Learn more about RevenueStripe...

beauty

Here's Every Holiday Beauty Launch That NEEDS To Be On Your Radar

November 13, 2018 by SHEfinds Editors
They're already on our wish lists!

beauty

Amazon Can’t Keep This $12 Anti-Aging Serum In Stock

November 13, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
It's almost ALWAYS sold out!

beauty

The One Leave-In Conditioner You Should NEVER Use Because It Causes Thinning Hair

November 13, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Good thing we saw this now!

beauty

This $24 Retinol Serum Basically Gets Rid Of Acne For GOOD

November 13, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
We're loving this price tag!

beauty

Shop This Year's Best Gifts That Give Back Before They're All Gone

November 12, 2018 by Jeanine Edwards
'Tis the season.

beauty

The One Drink You Should Have Every Morning To Prevent Hair Loss, According To A Dermatologist

November 12, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
The results will stun you!

beauty

The $6 Drugstore Product Celebrities Swear By To Look 10 Years Younger

November 11, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's SO good!

beauty

The $16 Anti-Aging Product That Basically Gets Rid Of Dark Spots For Good

November 11, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's amazing!

beauty

The $8 Anti-Aging Eye Cream That’s ALWAYS Selling Out At Target

November 10, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
It's THAT Good!

beauty

The One Tea You Should Have Every Morning For Thinning Hair, According To Experts

November 10, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Your hair will thank you for this!

beauty

The One Drink Dermatologists Say You Should Avoid If You Have Thinning Hair

November 9, 2018 by Jessica Harrington
This is so important!
LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS