What is it that makes our hair turn several shades of grey as we get older? I’m sure many of us recall the first streaks of grey and realize we are older whether we like it or not. It’s a time when we start to wonder: Is it age that’s causing the grey? Or have we been doing something wrong? Maybe too much stress or excessive work? Or is the result, according to one 19th-century dermatologist, due to overindulgence in sexual appetite? But why will Hillary Clinton never have white hair if she wins the White House?

We’ve all heard stories about people going grey overnight due to overwhelming anxiety. For instance, there are historical reports this happened to Marie Antoinette the night before she was beheaded by angry mobs in France. The same has been said about Thomas Moore, archbishop of Canterbury, before he, too, was killed by knights faithful to King Henry VIII. There is no hard proof this happened. Nor will there ever be. After all, I’m sure no one will be persuaded to participate in a scientific double-blind study of this problem. Nevertheless, a report in the University of California Wellness Letter says stress can hasten the appearance of grey hair.