Some factors cause people to develop grey hair at a young age. Although it is natural for hair colour to fluctuate as people age, white hair can emerge at any age.
Grey hair is to be expected as you get older, but when you detect it in your early 30s or even early 20s, it’s discouraging. If you don’t find a solution, more will appear as you begin to notice them. Some people remark that you have white hair, which they interpret as wisdom in a young man. After a while, those reasons will no longer make you feel better.
- Hormones – According to research, hormonal imbalances can cause or exacerbate premature hair greying. If you have a lot of grey hair and aren’t sure if it’s due to a hormone imbalance, see a doctor.
- Deficiency of melanin – Melanin is the pigment that gives hair its colour, whether it’s black, red, blonde, brown or any other colour in between. This pigment is a component of the hair creation process and is present in hair follicles, or the sheath of cells and tissue that surrounds the hair root.
A lack of melanin is the most common reason of hair whitening in most situations. Melanin production is reliant on proper nutrition and protein supplements. Melanin levels fall below safe levels due to a lack of essential nutrients. It’s natural for people’s hair colours to fluctuate as they get older. White hair, on the other hand, can appear at any age. Even teenagers and people in their twenties may notice white hair strands. The skin of the human body is lined with millions of hair follicles or tiny sacs. Hair and colour or pigment cells containing melanin are produced by the follicles. Hair follicles lose pigment cells over time, resulting in white hair.
- Genetics – According to a 2013 study published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology, heredity has a big role in hair greying. Race and ethnicity also play a role. According to the same 2013 study, premature greying in white people can begin as early as 20 years old, whereas it can begin as early as 25 years old in Asians and 30 years in African-Americans.
- Oxidative stress – While greying is largely determined by genetics, oxidative stress in the body may have a role when it occurs prematurely. When antioxidants are insufficient to prevent the detrimental effects of free radicals, oxidative stress occurs. Free radicals are unstable chemicals that cause cell damage and contribute to disease and ageing. Excessive oxidative stress can encourage the development of illnesses, such as vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder. Due to melanin cell death or loss of function, vitiligo can cause hair to turn white.
- Vitamin and mineral deficiency – Hair follicle whitening can also be caused by a lack of iron, vitamin D, folate, vitamin B12, or selenium. People with premature greying of hair had Vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies, as well as reduced levels of biotin.
- Chemical hair dyes and hair products – Chemical hair colours and hair products, including shampoos, can cause premature greying of the hair. Many of these products contain chemicals that reduce melanin production. One such dangerous ingredient is hydrogen peroxide, which is included in many hair colours. Excessive use of bleaching agents will eventually cause hair to turn white.
Prevention and Reversing Premature White Hair
Nothing can stop or reverse the process if it is caused by heredity or ageing. If the loss is related to a medical issue, however, addressing greying hair may allow colour pigments to return. Correcting dietary and vitamin deficiencies, which are often the cause of prematurely white hair, can help to reverse the problem or prevent it from getting worse.
- Eating more antioxidants – White hair can be prevented by changing one’s diet. Antioxidant-rich foods can help to minimise oxidative stress. Antioxidant-rich foods include fresh fruits and vegetables, green tea, olive oil, fish.
- Addressing deficiencies – Anyone with white hair due to a vitamin shortage should eat more meals that are high in those vitamins. Seafood, eggs, and meats, for example, are high in vitamin B-12, while milk, salmon, and cheese are high in vitamin D.
Over-the-counter vitamin pills can also help to rectify deficits.
- Quitting smoking – Smoking has negative health consequences and contributes to the development of white hair. Researchers have discovered a link between this practice and hair colour loss.
- Natural remedies – There are various hair colours on the market that conceal white hair, but many of them induce premature greying and allergic responses.
Natural therapies are an option for slowing down hair whitening without causing harm to the body or further hair pigment damage.
Curry leaves are a type of herb and they have been used for therapeutic purposes for millennia. Curry leaves, when mixed with hair oil and applied to the scalp, can help to prevent premature greying. Curry leaves have been used traditionally to keep black hair colour and even prevent premature greying, according to a study published in the International Journal of PharmTech Research. Curry leaves can be found at both Indian supermarkets and regular grocery stores.
White hair progression can be slowed or reversed in some cases with the appropriate diagnosis and treatment. A well-balanced diet and proper hair care might also be beneficial. However, in rare situations, the procedure is irreversible. The use of natural therapies on a regular basis may help to slow down and potentially reverse the onset of white hair. However, everyone’s hair ultimately turns white, and the individual must decide whether they are happy with the white or desire to try to slow down the natural ageing process.