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Is This Your Unlucky Day?

Find out how Friday the 13th got its reputation — and the stories behind other popular superstitions

Superstition is: pull one gray hair, three grow back

The old gray hair ain't what it used to be. — Photo by Dirk Westphal/Corbis

Pull out 1 gray hair and 10 will grow back

No one's sure where this old wives' tale originated, but it's been passed down from generation to generation and shows no sign of letting up. That's despite the fact that pretty much everyone agrees it isn't true. If you pull out a strand, the same follicle will grow a single new one. What does account for the fact that your hair is turning white? Blame it on genetics — and the fact that, as we age, hair follicles stop producing the cells that color our locks.

Next: A bird in your house portends death. »

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