Many associate grey hairs with the natural process of aging or something that is genetic. However, greying is not limited only to the elderly and is common even in youngsters and kids. Experts are of the opinion that the problem of premature greying is increasing and is as commonly seen as cold and cough.
Early greying can be due to various reasons. While it could be hereditary, it could also be indicative of certain disorders.
Some Common Reasons for Premature Greying are:
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hormonal imbalance
- Thyroid disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
So, if you have premature greying, it is always a good idea to consult your doctor. Managing it at earlier stages can halt or prevent further greying. Your doctor would also help you to treat the underlying cause, if any.
But, can greying be reversed? Or why is premature greying becoming increasingly common?
Do You Also Have Such Questions?
If yes, here are answers to a few commonly asked questions.
Q. Is Your Hair Greying Premature or Natural?
A. Natural greying, which is a part of the aging process, begins around 40 to 50 years of age. Premature greying, on the other hand, can start even in the 20s.
Q. Why Does Your Hair Turn White?
A. Your natural hair color is brown or black and turns white as you age. The pigment melanin is responsible for the color of your hair. Melanin is made up of melanocytes, which are pigment cells present in your hair follicles.
You may be surprised to know that your hair color is white before it emerges out of the scalp. Each hair strand is made up of keratin, a protein that makes your hair shiny and strong. When your hair grows, melanocytes distribute melanin in your hair cells carrying keratin, giving your hair its natural color.
As melanin production reduces as you age, your hair starts becoming grey. Hereditary or any other causes that alter your melanin production can result in the greying of your hair.
Q. Why Is Hair Color Different for Everyone?
A. Melanin pigment in the hair is of two types: pheomelanin and eumelanin.
- Pheomelanin: It is the lighter pigment that gives hair red, yellow, or orange color.
- Eumelanin: It is a dark pigment giving your hair brown or black color.
Genes play an important role in determining the type of melanin you have and thus color of your hair.
Q. What Causes Premature Greying of Hair?
A. Your genetic makeup plays an important role in determining hair color. So, if you have premature greying, it is likely that your grandparents or parents also had the same problem at an early age.
Some other causes of premature greying are:
- Thyroid disorders: Thyroid hormones play an important role in the metabolism of your body. An underactive or an overactive thyroid gland can alter the melanin pigment and cause early hair greying.
- Autoimmune disorders: Here, the body’s immune system wrongly attacks the normal cells. These immune cells can also destroy melanin and cause greying of hair.
- Stress: Higher or long-term stress is seen to destroy hair follicles, which results in the depletion of melanin pigment. So, if you have grey hair and other reasons do not hold true, stress may be the culprit.
- Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is responsible for healthy body cells, including hair cells. The deficiency of vitamin B12 is thus associated with hair loss and premature greying of hair.
- Smoking: Cigarette smoking constricts your blood vessels, which reduces the blood supply to your hair follicles. Studies have also shown that smoking is associated with damage to hair follicles and early hair greying.
Q. Foods To Consume and Avoid To Manage Premature Greying of Hair?
A. There are few types of Foods that help in preventing premature greying of hair due to lack of Melanin pigment. These food items help in nourishing the pigments in the hair, lack of which causes white hair problems.
- Walnuts and Almonds
- Coconut Water
- Antioxidants rich food like green tea, olive oil, fish or fish oil are really helpful in such cases.
- You can find more on the foods and other remedies for premature grey hair in the below article.
Q. Is It Possible To Reverse Hair Greying?
A. Well, the possibility of reversing or preventing greying depends on the underlying cause. So, if it is genetic, there is nothing you do reverse the white color.
However, if you suspect some health reasons for your problem, it is better to consult your doctor as treatment of the disorder may reverse or prevent premature greying.
Research and studies have shown that:
- White hair due to thyroid problem may reverse after hormonal therapy.
- Vitamin B12 supplements help in getting back your natural hair color.
There is not enough evidence to prove that loss of hair color due to stress or smoking can be reversed.
Q. Is It True That Plucking A Grey Hair Results In More Grey Hair?
A. This is a common myth that if you remove a grey hair, more will grow. But this is not true. Only one hair can emerge from a hair follicle.
However, plucking a hair destroys the hair follicle, and frequent plucking may retard hair growth of the strand. So, avoid plucking of hair if you do not wish your hair volume to go down.
Q. If Your White Hair turns Black Again, What Does It Suggest?
A. As we discussed above, there are various reasons for premature greying of hair. Many times, an underlying condition is a culprit for this problem.
Once the cause is treated, a new hair that emerges from the same follicle may have natural hair color.
For instance, vitamin B12 deficiency damages the hair follicle and the pigment melanin. Taking supplements reverses the effects, promoting the growth of natural-colored hair.
Q. What Can Be the Cause for Premature Greying of Pubic Hair?
A. While it can be surprising to see a white hair in your pubic region, the hair in this region is no different than in other body parts.
So, the cause of premature greying of pubic hair remains the same as that of the scalp, such as stress, vitamin deficiency, or hormonal disorders.
Q. How Can You Manage Early Hair Greying?
A. If your greying is not hereditary, the following may help in managing the condition.
- Antioxidant-rich foods: Consuming foods rich in antioxidants reduces oxidative stress, and thus preventing or reducing white hair. Foods rich in antioxidants are green tea, fish, fruits and vegetables, and olive oil.
- Quitting smoking: Smoking reduces the blood flow to the scalp and has multiple effects on your day.
- Correcting Vitamin Deficiencies: If a vitamin deficiency is a cause for your premature white hair, loading yourself with foods rich in those vitamins. Vitamin B12 deficiency is a common cause for premature greying, and foods rich in B12 are salmon, milk, and cheese. Over-the-counter vitamin supplements can also help to correct vitamin deficiency.
Some other factors that help prevent early greying of hair are:
- Consume a healthy and balanced diet
- Avoid the consumption of caffeinated drinks
- Avoid alcohol consumption
- Cleanse hair with lukewarm water and not hot water
- Try and stay away from chemicals used for styling and dyeing your hair
- Wear protective wear on your head while going in a chlorinated swimming pool
- Avoid heat-styling
Q. What Are Some Home Remedies to Prevent Or Reverse White Hair?
A. There are many good solutions available to try at home for preventing early greying of hair due to multiple reasons. One should try these natural ways before going for any medical treatment. Various Oil massage, food items and yoga can help in dealing with the problem of premature greying of hair. Find out more about the same in the Article below.
Q. Does Yoga Help?
A. Stress and reduced blood supply to the brain are among common reasons for premature greying of hair. Yoga poses improve blood circulation to all parts of the body, including the scalp. It also aids in the release of endorphins (the happy hormone) and reduces stress.
So, yoga does help in preventing or delaying the greying of hair.
Some poses that can help are:
- Camel pose
- Plough pose
- Cobra poses
- Triangle pose
- Downward facing dog pose
If you are doing yoga for the first time, it is recommended to do it under the supervision of a trained professional.
If you want to know the complete details about these yoga poses then you can check the below article.
Q. Can Your Lifestyle Be A Reason Behind White Hair?
A. The short answer to the question is a “Yes.” Certain nutritional and environmental factors can cause premature greying of hair. Some of these factors include smoking, stress, alcohol consumption, and an unhealthy diet.
Q. Is It True That Stress Is The Most Common Factor?
A. While it is not true for everyone, stress may be the culprit in certain cases. When your body undergoes stress, it may damage healthy cells. Animal studies have also proven the association of stress and grey hair. But not everyone who is stressed would have grey hair.
Q. Which Nutrients Can Help In Managing Grey Hair?
A. Vitamin B12 is the most important nutrient that is responsible for white hair.
Some other nutrients are:
- Para-amino benzoic acid
- Amino acids and proteins
We hope your doubts got cleared or atleast you have got the information you needed. If you are still having doubts and questions in your mind, you can ask them in the comment section below and we will surely help you get the correct answers.
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