Why Does Hair Turn Gray At A Young Age?

Why Does Hair Turn Gray At A Young Age?

Whenever you hear “gray” hair, the next thing which comes to mind is an old person. To your surprise, gray hair is much more widespread now even in young and middle age people. It strikes both men and women equally.

The high time to check a gray outbreak in our hair is 30 years of age, which for most of us is the midway of life span. This color changing pattern is different for all. Some may feel a long gray strand sneaking somewhere in black hair. Others may see black and white, salt and pepper look hair. Another common thing is half gray half dark hair. All these show one same thing which appears differently for everyone.

The general aspect of having gray hair is that whenever anyone reaches to 50, he is more likely to face excessive hair fall and gray hair. It happens to 50% of the population. The lucky ones which are not a part of this statistics are even less than 25% people. Men are more affected with this gray to white hair coloration than women. Caucasians have the highest ratio of having gray hair earlier than Asians and Africans. Typically,  Americans start having gray hair in mid 30’s, Asians in late 30’s and Africans in mid 40’s.

The new pattern of gray hair shows that people at younger ages are now susceptible to this problem. Initially, it was considered rare phenomena to have gray hair at an early age, but it is common now. The nutritional and lifestyle changes do impact the physical outlook of a person, But what determines the premature hair graying?

What’s Premature Graying Of Hair?

Gray hair can be a problem especially when you are way younger to have them. It is a condition in which the color producing cells do not make the pigment anymore. An accumulation of hydrogen peroxide in hair also bleaches the hair, turning it gray. If the hair starts turning gray before 20 years of age, this condition is called premature graying of hair.

It This A Medical Issue?

If you have premature gray hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a medical condition. The traditional myths believe that taking extreme stress causes the hair to lose its color which is not true. There is not an exact reason for it. But somehow, nutritional deficiency plays a role in it.

The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes premature graying of hair. If the thyroid or pituitary gland is not working well, it can also cause the hair to change color. The premature gray hair is also a symptom of some rare disease such as Hutchinson’s-progeria and Werner syndrome. However, this chance is slight. However, this is still under study that what causes this problem. It doesn’t create a health issue, so it’s not exactly a medical problem.

What Makes The Hair Colored?

Hair color is due to specific cells called melanocytes. They are present in the hair follicle naturally. These melanocytes produce the chemical which is transmitted into the new hair fiber and gives the natural shade to our hair. Which shade the new hair will have depends upon two groups of melanin.

One is called Eumelanin which gives black and brown shades. Pheomelanin is the second type of melanin which gives red and combination tones. Usually, the eyelashes have high amounts of eumelanin in them for which they are the darkest hair of the body.

Scalp hair color may vary. Other than these compounds, certain hormones such as melanocyte-stimulating hormone can cause the hair shade to be darker. Hair can become lighter as a side effect of certain medicines too.

How Is The Color Lost?

There is not one particular reason for it. Genetic factors may also play a part in it. Although there is not success yet to determine the active gene for it. The evidence suggests that it is linked to diet, lifestyle, medication, diseases such as alopecia, vitiligo, etc. and much more.

The growth of hair follows a complete cycle. Melanocytes sometimes are damaged, and they stop producing the color which results in hair shading. Sometimes they are broken and are completely abolished which causes the hair to become pure white. It suggests that prevention of gray hair means that we need to take care of the melanocytes and prevent its damage. The new research is under process to formulate the natural trying treatments for premature gray hair.

How To Cover Gray Hair

The best way to deal with your gray hair is to accept and embrace them. Many people don’t like coloring their hair. They feel no shame in having gray hair because it’s part of life, like other things. This strategy is the best, tension free and relaxed. The other options to try are as follows.

  • Semi-permanent or demi-permanent color

You can always choose to color them. It lasts for 3-4 weeks, and it’s the right thing if you are a fashion follower. There are so many options to try. Even the natural ones have so many shades. So this way provides you multiple options to try. One can experiment with the shades and select the best one for long term use. This color treatment can be done by a hair professional at a salon or home if you are good in it.

  • Highlights

The visible hues of colored highlights so good that they easily cover up the gray hair. With one base color, you can try any bright shade for highlights. It lasts for months.

  • Permanent color

Permanent color treatment is the new therapy which is only done when half head turns gray. However, there are certain stylish patterns which make a style statement with gray and dark hair.

  • One Time Hair products

The market is full of one-time hair colors such as spray paints, hair mascaras and colored chalks to give instant color to your gray hair. They only last for a couple of hours and are less damaging than all treatments which last longer.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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