Marie Antoinette Syndrome: Can a Person’s Hair Turn White Overnight?

Princess A.
5 Min Read
Marie Antoinette Syndrome: Can a Person's Hair Turn White Overnight?

Marie Antoinette syndrome has always been what everyone talks about. While the mysterious sudden hair whitening was first reported centuries ago in the Talmud (83 AD), a Jewish historical record. This also affected some well-known historical figures, including Sir Thomas Moore and Queen Marie Antoinette of France.

Being to the fact that most people who claim that stress made their hair turn completely white overnight, may have been suffering from canities and other related factors. However, early reports have proven that the more recent cases of hair suddenly turning white in the scientific literature are a result of psychological stress.

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In this article, we are going to examine and talk about the history of Marie Antoinette, the possible reasons why hairs turn white overnight, the causes of Marie Antoinette Syndrome, Symptoms, and Treatments if occur.

Table of Contents


Who is Marie Antoinette

Marie Antoinette was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution (2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793),.

According to the tale, Marie Antoinette was just 37 when she was sentenced to death in 1791. As legend has it, on the eve of her execution by guillotine, her hair turned white. It’s being referred to as Marie Antoinette syndrome. Is this story true? Learn more!

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Marie Antoinette syndrome is a medical condition that occurs when people lose their hair color after receiving a great shock, undergoing a grievous loss, or surviving a life-threatening situation. Marie Antoinette syndrome is known to be an alleged situation of hair suddenly turning white.

Causes of Marie Antoinette syndrome

The following factors might be responsible for the hair turning white overnight:

Canities Subita

This is a condition in which the hair appears like it turned white overnight, but it’s quite different. In this case, however, the hair is already made up of strands of different colors, ranging from gray to dark colored.


If that dark hair suddenly falls out, the gray hair is all that remains, making it seem like the hair changed color overnight.

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Read: Laser hair removal: is it permanent, how does it work?

Autoimmune Disorder

Sometimes, certain changes occur in the way your body reacts to healthy cells. As a result, though your hair would continue to grow, it would be gray or white in color.

Alopecia Areata

Also known as spot baldness, Alopecia Areata is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. In some cases, all the hair on the scalp or all body hair is lost and loss can be permanent.


If you have a family history of prematurely graying hair, chances are that you could be at risk of having Marie Antoinette syndrome.

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Naturally darker hair

If you have naturally darker hair, the hair colors are prone to graying fast even without you knowing because it stands out and would be fast noticeable.

Nutritional deficiencies

A deficiency in Vit B12 might make your hair seem like it turned white overnight.

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Symptoms of Marie Antoinette syndrome

Can Marie Antoinette syndrome be treated?

Hair changes, including color and quantity, are a normal part of the aging process.

It doesn’t necessarily require any type of medical treatment, but if someone is diagnosed with a medical condition, there are several different approaches to treatment, including steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs, and even cosmetic products.

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