Premature Greying of Hair: Causes and Prevention

Spotting your first strand of grey hair could be a moment of pride for some, especially for those who wish to embrace the “phase of wisdom.” However, it can get intimidating for others, especially for those in their 20s. Your hair changing color and turning grey is a natural process of aging and happens to everyone. However, while one may anticipate getting the “greys” in the late 30s or 40s, getting it before the age of 27 can be termed as premature greying of hair.

What causes hair to turn grey?

Our skin is covered with small holes called hair follicles. These hair follicles produce pigment cells called melanin which give color to our hair.  As we age, this production starts ebbing resulting in the hair losing its pigment and turning grey or white.  It is common to notice grey hair sprouting in the 30s or 40s.

What causes premature greying?

There are myriad reasons that can be associated with premature greying of hair.

1. Genetics →
Your genetics plays a major role when the grey hair starts sprouting. If you notice grey hair at an early age, it’s ostensible that your parents/ grandparents may have experienced the same.

You certainly can’t change genetics, but if grey hair is ebbing your confidence; you can always opt for hair color.

2. Stress →
How often have you heard your parents exclaim, “you kids are turning my hair grey”? Well, turns out, there’s some truth in it. Chronic emotional stress has certain physical repercussions, including depletion of melanin in the body further rendering grey hair.

There are symptoms to help you diagnose emotional stress:
- Sleep Problems
- Loss in Appetite
- Increase in Appetite
- Anxiety
- High BP

3. Smoking →
Lifestyle choices matter a great deal when it comes to your outer appearance. Regularly smoking can speed up the aging process leading to grey hair. Studies have revealed that smokers are more likely to get grey hair before the age of 30 than non-smokers.

4. Auto-immune Diseases →
An auto-immune disease can result in premature grey hair. Auto-immune disease refers to when the body’s immunity system attacks its own cells such as vitiligo and alopecia.

5. Vitamin Deficiency →
Vitamin B-12 is the key to long, luscious, and healthy locks. It not only provides you energy but also is responsible for your hair’s health. This vitamin helps pure red blood cells carry oxygen to the other cells in your body, including your hair cells. Thus, a lack of B-12 can plummet melanin production.

Other vitamins such as vitamin B-6, D, and E, and biotin are equally important for your hair’s health.

6. Thyroid Disorder →
Hormonal changes caused by a thyroid problem can be responsible for premature greying of hair. The thyroid gland present in the neck helps control several bodily functions including metabolism. An underactive or overactive thyroid can lead to less production of melanin.

7. Harsh Hair Products →
Using harsh hair products with chemicals and toxic ingredients can deteriorate your hair profusely, leading to several problems such as accelerated hair fall, premature greying of hair, damaged and dry hair, etc.

Prevention of Premature Greying →
We demystify a few ways to tackle premature greying:
1. Ditch toxic, switch to organic
2. Make appropriate changes to lifestyle
3. Take diet rich in vitamins and minerals
4. Follow a proper hair care routine
5. Get thyroid checked
6. Color your hair


Want to know delineated remedies and ways of preventing grey hair? Stay tuned for our next blog!

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