An Overview of Marie Antoinette Syndrome

An Overview of Marie Antoinette Syndrome

Getting gradual grey or white hair is a natural process but getting white hair all of a sudden is not normal. But the people who are born with white hair can take this as an exception. If we ignore these individuals, you can still see so many people having white hairs at their early age. Dermatologists refer to it as Marie Antoinette Syndrome.

In this guide by Healthclubfinder, you will get a detailed overview of Marie Antoinette Syndrome, its symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Do you want to know how the name Marie Antoinette Syndrome comes in this picture?

There is an interesting story behind it. There was a French queen Marie Antoinette. At that time French Revolution was at its highest peak. So, authorities had given the execution order of the queen in 1793. People said the one night before the execution, the queen’s hair was black, but due to excess stress, her hair turned into white within a night. That’s the reason the syndrome got its name as ‘Marie Antoinette Syndrome”.

Symptoms of Marie Antoinette SyndromeAn Overview of Marie Antoinette Syndrome 1

The common symptom of Marie Antoinette Syndrome is the whitening of hair. Some disease conditions like alopecia or vitiligo often cause whitening of hair. Researchers at the University of Zurich observed a case where a 54-year-old lady’s hair had turned white. However, the woman was healthy and was not dealing with stress or trauma. The case led researchers to think that Marie Antoinette syndrome can also occur with the gradual use of drugs.

Causes of Marie Antoinette Syndrome

Researchers predict autoimmune disorder as the leading cause of Marie Antoinette syndrome. In this condition, your body acts against healthy cells and inhibits the process of normal hair pigmentation. You can check with other causes as:

  • Loss of Melanin Pigments

The prime reason for hair whitening is the loss of melanin pigments. Melanin pigments are needed for hair color. As we proceed to the advanced age, our body starts producing less melanin, resulting in white or grey hair.

The cells which produce melanin also produce hydrogen peroxide that is responsible for hair bleaching. Our body system produces catalase enzymes that prevent hydrogen peroxide from affecting the hair strands.

  • Stress

Stress is one of the most notable causes of the whitening of hair. But, only stress is not the reason when one or more reasons are complexed with it, then premature greying of hair occurs.

  • Genes

If someone from your family history suffers from premature graying hair, then you are at high risk. According to Mayo Clinic, a gene ‘IRF4’ can play an important role in greying or whitening of hair.

  • Hormonal Changes

Sometimes it happens that you might affect Marie Antionette syndrome because of thyroid disease, menopause, and changes in testosterone levels. Consult your doctor and refer to the medicine that will help you save with premature hair greying.

  • Nutritional Deficiencies 

Some doctors think that a lack of vitamin B-12 can also lead to Marie Antoinette Syndrome. A blood test can reveal this deficiency. So, getting enough doses of vitamin B-12 will save you from premature whitening of hair.

  1. Vitiligo

It occurs when you have several white patches on your skin. It may come to your hair, and you can notice white patches. It can also include one of the factors but not the important factor for Marie Antoinette Syndrome. The treatment of vitiligo can effectively change your hair color.

Alopecia areata 

It is the prime cause of pattern baldness. In this case, hair follicles stop producing new hair. It might be the reason for the premature greying of hair. It can be reversed by effective treatment.

Diagnosis of Marie Antoinette Syndrome

Diagnosis of hair whitening disease is complex.

Doctors may ask these type of questions

  1.  How many days have you seen your hair color white?
  2. What kind of shampoo, conditioner, hair oil have you used for the past couple of months?
  3. Are you currently suffering from mental stress or other health problems?

After analyzing the pre-checkups, the doctor asks you to do the following tests for better clarity.

  1. Hormone & Thyroid levels
  2. Blood counts, electrolytes, and chemistry
  3. Inflammatory or other specific markers for autoimmune diseases.

However, these tests can tell the patient’s overall health, but unable to say the reason why your hair has turned white all of a sudden? For better consultation, refer to a dermatologist or allergist that can tell you the solution to your premature greying of hair.

Treatment for Marie Antoinette Syndrome 

There is no specific treatment for Marie Antoinette Syndrome, but you can cure yourself by adopting some strategies.

  • Distress Yourself

Stress is the prime factor for this disease. So, always distress yourself by doing yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

  • Liver issue treatment

Your liver issue can also make a reason for the sudden whitening of hair. Consult your doctor with your liver problem and eat a healthy diet. Your diet should include all the nutrients like proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats.

  • Take good care of your hair

Never ignore the hair and take good care of your hair. Wash your hair regularly and give massage to it. Use a good quality of hair oil.


Premature greying/whitening of hair occurs with a combined effect of several factors. If you get a small count of white hair in your twenties or thirties, then it is normal. But when the count of white hair increases rapidly, you need to consult with a dermatologist or an allergist. Still, there is no remedy for Marie Antoinette Syndrome. You can dye your hair with herbal color or take good care of your hair. Eat a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle. If hair whitening occurs due to Alopecia or Vitiligo, then after the treatment, you will get black hair.

Changes in hair color and volume are a natural process. Don’t take severe stress on it. But if you think hair color has changed because of this disease, you can consult with a specialist doctor who can treat your premature graying of hair.

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