Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

Written by Dr. Veena Madhankumar and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team

2

A head full of hair and its natural color is considered one of the greatest assets for some when it comes to beauty. But once we start aging, our hair starts turning white or gray, which is natural. But this phenomenon of graying is also commonly observed in young people. This can be due to several unhealthy practices you follow in your everyday life.

Here are the most common reasons as to why your hair starts turning gray much earlier than usual.

 
 

gif1

1. Genetic

3

Genetics can be a significant reason for premature graying. A young adult is more prone to suffer from premature graying if their parents or grandparents had the same pattern. Your genes determine the time when your hair starts turning gray. In case you have noticed that you have premature graying though it is not in your family, you might have to meet a doctor and get yourself evaluated. You might have to evaluate your vitamin levels and thyroid levels so that you can rule out anemia. Anemia can be a result of there being a deficiency of hemoglobin in your blood.

2. Autoimmune conditions

4

 
 

Autoimmune diseases can damage the cells within your body, which include your hair follicles. This makes it possible for a person to suffer from premature whitening or graying.

To give a few examples:

  • In case you are affected by alopecia areata, a condition that creates round bald patches in your scalp, the hair which regrows in that area is either white or depigmented.
  • Vitiligo is a condition that damages and destroys the pigment making cells in your body. Its symptoms reflect by showing discolorations in both your skin and your hair.

3. Smoking

5

Smoking can result in the production of a lot of free radicals in your body. These free radicals can affect the production of melanin in your body, which causes premature graying or whitening of your hair. Smoking is known to fasten the aging process of your body on the whole as well.

4. Chronic stress

6

Premature graying and hair loss are one of the several harmful effects of stress in a person. Anxiety, shock and sorrow can reduce the melanin count in your hair follicles. This naturally makes your hair turn gray.

gif2

5. Vitamin deficiency

7

A deficiency of vitamin B12 in your body can result in premature graying of your hair. A combination of copper, zinc and vitamin B12 are required to keep your hair nourished. Lack of vitamins E and C in your body can also turn your hair gray. This is because such a condition brings down the melanin-producing capacity of your body. Diet restrictions of people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet also have a high risk of suffering from premature graying. People who are on medication for digestive issues, gastro problems, even people who take birth control pills regularly, are suffering from the risk of premature graying.

6. Dirty scalp

8

When you do not maintain your scalp and it is too dirty, it can also be a reason for premature graying. Make sure to take proper care of your scalp and hair.

7. Environment

9

Environmental toxins and pollutants can make your hair turn gray much faster. Several researchers suggest that even toxins and pollutants can create free radicals and oxidative stress in your body. This can also damage your hair and fasten its aging process.


Do you have a question to ask a doctor online?

Ask a Doctor Online Now »






Recommended Links
Q: How to cure my fibroadenomas present in breast and PCOD?
For fibroadenomas, it is better to discuss with a breast specialist. Many things happen due to genetics or due to use of any specific product. Check your family history regarding gray hairs. Use natural products to color... Read more »
Q: What happens when something gets stuck in between teeth?
When we pluck out a hair, we feel a slight sharp pain at that point of time. The hair usually breaks along with its follicle, thus that space remains hairless in the future. But if the hair breaks in between with its fol... Read more »
Article: Hair Care Through Ayurveda
Ayurveda does miracles in hair fall, and in maintenance of healthy hair and scalp. This article discusses the causes for hair fall and the steps to prevent loss of hair.... Read more »
Ask a Doctor Online? Ask Now!