Factors Causing Premature Graying of Hair

Those first strands of gray hair often leave us feeling stunned and depressed. Our first reaction to this problem is to pluck out the unsightly strands of grey hair.

However we soon discover that the faster we pluck those grey hairs, the quicker they seem to appear.



Grey hairs are often associated with older people. Today more and more young people are taking refuge behind hair dyes to hide their natural grey locks. Premature graying is on the rise and there are several factors which are causing it.

Natural hair comprises of cells called melanocytes. A pigment called melanin is produced by these melanocytes and they determine our hair and skin color. The greater the melanin production, the darker is the hair color.



With age the amount of melanin produced by these melanocytes decrease naturally. As a result of this de-pigmentation process, the hair appears gray.

Heredity plays a deciding role in causing hair to grey prematurely. Individuals who come from families where there have been instances of premature graying are twice as likely to develop gray hair in their youth as compared to other people.

People with a poor nutritional profile and those suffering from vitamin B-12 deficiency have a greater chance of going grey prematurely. Individuals suffering from anemia also notice signs of premature hair graying.



Increasing our iron and Vitamin B-12 intake can reverse this condition. Premature graying can also be triggered by thyroid conditions like hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Women with lower bone mineral densities are more likely to go grey prematurely than women with normal bone mineral density. These women began to grey in their late teens and early twenties.

Smoking from an early age has far reaching health consequences. One of the major causes for premature graying is smoking. People who are undergoing extreme physical or emotional stress are twice as likely to develop gray hairs at a young age as compared to their peers.

Pollutants and other harmful chemicals can also contribute towards premature hair graying. Constant usage of low quality hair dyes, strong shampoos, and other harmful hair care products can also cause premature graying.

Exposure to harsh UV rays and skin conditions like vitiligo could be the other factors contributing to premature graying.



LakshmiN