Hair, Skin & Nails 6 MIN READ 190 VIEWS June 27, 2022

All You Need to Know About Grey Hair at Young Age

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Grey Hair at Young Age
Reasons for Grey Hair at Young Age
Is Premature Greying Reversible?
Tips to Prevent Greying of Hair at Young Age
Conclusion

self-esteem. While greying of hair is the mark of experience, it becomes a cause of concern when it appears very early in age. Greying of hair is considered premature when it happens before the age of 20. The hair starts greying naturally after the age of 50. Though there is no looking back for greying of hair after 50, there are remedies for greying at young age. Knowing the reasons for grey hair at young age is crucial before any remedy is suggested.

Reasons for Grey Hair at Young Age

At a young age, you would have flaunted thick, bouncy, and black hair but as you age it is normal for the hair to turn grey or white. You are perceived as more experienced or ageing with grace if your hair turns grey normally as you grow older. But grey hair at young age is an abnormal condition and a cause of concern as well.

Your body consists of hair follicles that layer the skin cells. These follicles have pigment cells called melanin that give colour to your hair. As you grow old, loss of melanin turns your hair grey. This is a normal phenomenon. But if this happens in the early stages, then the cause has to be identified. Let us understand the various reasons for grey hair at young age and the ways to arrest it at the onset itself.

1. Heredity

If premature greying runs in the family, then nothing much can be done about it. If your hair turns grey at a young age, then your ancestors might also have had grey strands at a young age. In such cases, cosmetic correction will only be the way out i.e., you can choose to colour your hair to make it look young and healthy again.

2. Anxiety and Stress

The reduction of stem cells in hair follicles turns the hair strands grey. Anxiety and stress that we are living with are the main reasons for this depletion. Though anxiety and stress can cause various other issues like sleep disorder, disrupted appetite, and imbalance in blood pressure, it can strongly affect hair health as well. You may often notice grey hair in young people who have stressful jobs.

3. Immunological Disorder

An immunological disorder (Autoimmune disease) is a condition when the body’s immune system attacks its own cells. When the immune system attacks hair, you will be prone to grey hair at young age due to loss of melanin.

4. Hormonal Imbalance

A thyroid problem causes hormonal imbalance i.e., hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism which leads to premature greying. Thyroid glands control most of the bodily functions and so the health of the thyroid glands is very crucial. Dysfunction of thyroid glands will lead to restricted melanin production that can give you grey strands at an early age.

5. Nutritional Deficiency

Vitamin B12 boosts your energy and is also responsible for your hair health and colour. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a condition wherein absorption of vitamins into the body is restricted. Healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen to the entire cells in the body, including hair cells are a result of adequate levels of  Vitamin B12. Deficiency in Vitamin B12 weakens these blood cells which in turn causes depletion in melanin production.

6. Smoking

Smoking increases free radicals which tend to damage melanin cells that are responsible for the hair colour. The toxins present in cigarettes damage hair follicles which results in premature grey hair. Narrowing of blood vessels due to smoking restricts blood flow to hair follicles that cause hair loss. The overall health of the hair is affected by smoking.

Is Premature Greying Reversible?

Identifying the cause of premature greying can help in finding ways to reverse the condition. The remedies for grey hair at young age depending on the reason for premature greying are given below:

  1. If any underlying medical condition is the cause of grey hair at young age, then treating the condition may help in bringing back the pigmentation to the hair.
  2. Hormonal imbalance due to thyroid problems is one of the reasons for grey hair at young age. A therapy for setting right the hormonal imbalance can boost pigmentation production to reverse or prevent premature greying.
  3. Premature greying due to Vitamin B12 deficiency is also treatable. Enhance the consumption of food rich in Vitamin B12 or include Vitamin B12 supplements in your regular diet to take care of the deficiency. This will not help in re-pigmentation but will also improve hair health.
  4. There is no guarantee of repair to melanin damage caused by smoking or stress. Restoration of hair colour on quitting smoking is only a myth.
  5. Melanin loss occurs naturally after you cross 30. The rate at which hair colour loss occurs depends on your genes. If your parents and grandparents experienced premature greying, then you cannot escape the condition. It is highly impossible to restore hair colour if premature greying is genetic. If hair follicles lose melanin, they will be unable to produce them on their own. Slowing down of melanin production causes grey hair and the hair becomes totally white when there is zero production of melanin.

Tips to Prevent Greying of Hair at Young Age

Prevention is better than cure. It is better to work towards preventing grey hair instead of looking for remedies for grey hair at young age after the damage is done. Here are a few easy tips that can take care of premature greying:

  1. Make a paste of curry leaves and henna and add to the oil of your choice. Massage the mixture into your scalp and hair. Curry leaves and henna benefit a lot in dealing with grey hair. This can also be used as an anti-ageing mask for your hair.
  2. Proteins and vitamins are highly essential for overall hair health. Use almond oil to massage your hair and scalp as it is a rich source of proteins and Vitamin E.
  3. Avoid harsh shampoos and conditioners. As far as possible, use mild shampoos and even better if you use organic shampoos made of natural ingredients. Chemicals in shampoos and conditioners damage the hair follicles and cause hair loss and grey hair.
  4. Wash your hair with a mixture of shikakai, reetha, and amla powder after massaging your hair with your favourite oil. This will benefit the upkeep of hair health and prevent greying.
  5. Make a concoction of black tea leaves with water and mix it with your regular hair conditioner. Apply it to your hair and leave it on for 1 to 2 hours before washing. This will help cover grey hair.
  6. Omega 3 is highly beneficial for hair health. You can either include Omega 3 supplements in your regular diet or cook your food with mustard oil. Mustard oil is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 not only helps in hair growth but also helps in preventing premature greying. 
  7. Include a lot of green vegetables in your diet. Spinach, cabbage, celery, capsicum, cucumber, and other green vegetables in your daily diet will immensely benefit hair health.
  8. Increase the consumption of fruits rich in Vitamin C like oranges, melons, and strawberries. This will help in effectively slowing down premature greying.
  9. Vitamin B7 or Biotin strengthens the hair follicles to enhance hair growth and prevent premature greying. Include walnuts which are a rich source of biotin to prevent the occurrence of grey hair at young age and also to improve hair health.
  10. Manage premature greying by including almonds and other nuts that are rich sources of protein and Vitamin E which is highly essential for overall hair health.
  11. You can also use potato skin for your hair to reduce greying. It is believed that the starch in potato skin is effective in darkening your hair roots after prolonged use.
  12. Protect your hair from UV rays when you set out by wearing hats and scarfs to prevent damage to your hair follicles.

Conclusion

Your hair colour largely depends on how much melanin your hair follicles produce. There are a lot of reasons for depleted production of melanin that result in grey hair at young age. The lifestyle you follow could be one of the reasons. Nutritional deficiencies, hormonal imbalance, stress or anxiety, and smoking can be other reasons. You will be able to restore melanin production by identifying the issue and dealing with it in the right way. Also, you can follow the easy remedies mentioned in this article to successfully prevent or reverse premature greying.

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