Subject: Re: Head bangin' In article +lt;1991Aug21.160323.5822@aus.intel.com+gt; robin@aus

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From: twcaps@tennyson.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) Subject: Re: Head bangin' In article <1991Aug21.160323.5822@aus.intel.com> robin@aus.intel.com (robin rosenbaum) writes: +In article <16661@dog.ee.lbl.gov> twc@dante.lbl.gov (Terry Chan) writes: + +>Finally, I'll add that he notes that the girl *always* looks back +>(like Orpheus in the underworld) and in some variations, her hair +>turns white. + +Okay, what about people whose hair turns white "overnight"? Is +this supposed to mean it went *poof* you are now a platinum blonde? +Or that if you look closely you can see white growing at the roots +instead of whatever color was there last week? Are there any +documented cases? Well, we haven't talked about this in a few months, so what the heck. In _More of the Straight Dope_, Cecil notes that there's been stories of hair turning white "overnight" going back a long ways (including Thomas Moore, Marie Antoinette, etc.). But most, if not all, are legend. The essential problem being that hair is dead tissue and so shouldn't be able to turn white "overnight" until it grows out from the roots. He does note however that there is a condition called "diffuse alopecia areata" which can occur in people with a mix of dark and gray hairs. This condition can cause substantial hair loss, but for some reason, primarily affects pigmented hairs. Thus one can get the impression of instant hair loss (the shock of which may cause one to overlook the relative loss of hair as a whole). Cece notes that the process by which this condition works is unknown, but emotional stress is thought to be a contributing factor. Terry "Gray hair is still better than no hair" Chan

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