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Scientists have discovered that stress is one factor turning our hair grey, white or silver - least, in mice. Stem cell biologists Harvard University in the USA conducted a series of tests mice to ascertain the effects of stress on the rodents. The scientists injected the mice an ingredient found chili peppers that gives them their heat. The compound made the mice stressed. This caused a hair-colouring pigment the mice to go overdrive as a reaction to the stress and deplete colour-regenerating stem cells. This caused the mice's hair to rapidly turn white. Lead researcher, Professor Ya-Chieh Hsu, said: "The detrimental impact stress that we discovered was beyond what I imagined."

People have wondered centuries the link between stress and greying hair. It is believed that France's Queen Marie Antoinette's hair turned white the night she was beheaded the French Revolution in the late-eighteenth century. More recently, we have witnessed the locks presidents and other world leaders quickly lose color. The strains leadership seem to go to the roots things, especially hair follicles. Professor Hsu said the loss the pigment-regenerating stem cells cannot be reversed. She said: "Once they're gone, you can't regenerate pigment any more. The damage is permanent." Worryingly, she hypothesised that stress could be responsible accelerating the aging process.

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