Health Symptoms & Causes

Is Marie Antoinette syndrome a myth or reality?

marie antoinette syndrome
marie antoinette syndrome

What is Marie Antoinette syndrome?

Marie Antoinette syndrome is associated with the late French Queen Marie Antoinette whose hair suddenly turned white when she was captured in 1793 during the French Revolution. According to the storytellers, the entire situation was traumatic and a great shock for Marie that her hair turned white. What causes Marie Antoinette syndrome is still not known but the actual reason behind the greying of hair is something else. A person experiences grey hair when melanin pigment that is the reason behind the natural color of your hair begins to lose. Loss of melanin is related to alopecia areata in which a person loses his hair all of a sudden.

Marie Antoinette syndrome causes:

According to the health experts, this sudden greying of hair is not possible and the folklore of Queen Marie Antoinette is still a myth. In Literature, there are so many examples of people’s sudden whiteness of hair. It is not the truth that a person can lose his hair overnight or he experiences sudden hair whitening. The actual cause of Marie Antoinette syndrome is still not clear but this type of hair greying is often caused by an autoimmune disorder. In Marie Antoinette syndrome condition, the normal hair pigment is lost and then you get white hair as they grow further.

Alopecia areata:

The major cause behind the greying of hair is alopecia areata. In this condition, the growth of new hair is halted. So the pigmented hairs that are existed begin to fall. Then a person gets bald patches on the scalp. This greying of hair which is mistaken for Queen Marie syndrome is actually due to alopecia areata. In just a few days you can have noticeable bald patches. Initially, you will see that the hairs will become very thin after that they begin to fall suddenly.


Your genes are also responsible for the premature greying of hair. So, if you have this genetic issue then this greying of hair is independent of your age and you can have grey hair no matter you are young. This premature greying of hair is a hereditary factor. This means that you can have hair loss at any stage. The people who think that hair loss can occur only at old age are unaware of the fact that you can have a sudden thinning of hair just because of your genes.

Hormonal changes:

A person can have premature greying of hair due to changes in the hormones. The doctors explain that the reduction in the level of testosterone or the thyroid problem in people results in hair whitening. So, you need to look for your hormonal changes otherwise you will experience hair loss due to hormonal imbalances.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency:

If your diet is poor then you can notice hair greying. According to the experts when you have a lack of vitamin B12 in your diet then there is every likelihood that you get white hair because of this deficiency. Apart from vitamin B12 deficiency, vitamin D, vitamin A and biotin deficiencies can also lead to hair loss.

Is Marie Antoinette syndrome real?

The health experts are not agreed with the overnight greying of hair. Although there are notable examples from the history in which people experienced sudden hair whitening. The famous personality Thomas More also had sudden whitening of hair before he was executed in 1535 but in reality, the sudden whitening of hair is not because of Marie Antoinette syndrome but actually, it is because of alopecia areata.

Is Marie Antoinette syndrome permanent?

In Marie Antoinette syndrome, the whitening of hair is permanent irrespective of the fact that a person gets older. It is something completely different from the natural hair whitening process. History tells us that all those historical figures whose hair turned white had common causes such as life-threatening situations, stress, and other serious problems. People who think that is Marie Antoinette syndrome reversible are mistaken because once you get grey hair then you can’t have the original color of your hair unless and until you use a hair dye. But doctors say that this sudden greying of hair is referred to as a condition named canities subita.

Marie Antoinette syndrome and stress:

Most people think that sudden greying of hair is because of stress but this is not the case. A person can have white hair overnight due to a condition named alopecia areata in which a person loses his pigmented hair and as a result, the grey hairs are left behind and it appears as if a person has lost his hair overnight. So, it gives a false impression that a person had overnight greying of hair because of stress.

Marie Antoinette syndrome cure:

Studies have shown that the number of people who have suffered from this syndrome is significantly very less. Initial symptoms of alopecia are the thinning of hair and patchy bald spots. Once you get these initial symptoms then you need to consult your doctor. As it is an autoimmune disease so the doctor will prescribe the medicines to increase or to suppress your immune system. After a few days, you will see that the hair loss has recovered this hair disease is cured.

Final words:

Some important figures of history such as Queen Marie of France and Thomas More had sudden greying of hair. The actual reason behind this sudden whitening of hair is not known but health experts explain this condition like alopecia areata in which the pigmented hair is affected and lost as a result and grey hair is left behind. Once all the pigmented hair is fallen then it appears as if the hairs have turned white overnight. There can be some other factors involved such as poor diet, hormonal changes, nutritional deficiencies and so on that is why it is a bit complex to find the exact reason behind Marie Antoinette syndrome and it is still considered a myth because overnight greying of hair is not possible. read this article as precordial catch syndrome

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About the author

Jennifer K. Garcia

Jennifer K. Garcia is a is a health consultant form last 6 year. She is finally decided to run a blog to help people online.You can contact her via Email or follow her on Facebook. Also add him on