What Causes Hair To Go Gray Early? 6 Possible Reasons Why It Happens

Date March 15, 2018 10:07

Everybody's hair eventually turns gray, that's a fact of life. Whatever you choose to do about it, you probably want to know what causes hair to go gray early. Certain factors are known to cause premature graying, and there's not much you can do to stop this process, but it may be useful to learn about them in case your hair is going gray for a medical reason.

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Below are six factors that can cause premature hair graying:

1. Genes

If your mother or father went gray early, you're more likely to start growing gray hairs early, too. If you are Caucasian, you'll probably notice gray hairs earlier than Asians and African-Americans do. Your original hair color doesn't influence the age when you start to grow gray hairs, but, obviously, strands of gray hair are less noticeable in blond people.

2. Stress

It's a common belief that stress can cause your hair to turn gray, but there's not much scientific evidence to support it. Health Magazine cites a study that found a link between stress and discolored hairs in mice. More human studies are needed to find out whether the effect of stress on the hair is the same in people.

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3. Vitamin B12 deficiency

Lack of vitamin B12 in your body puts you at risk of pernicious anemia, which can contribute to premature hair graying. People with malabsorption, vegans, and vegetarians are at an increased risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency, but that can be corrected by taking a supplement (or vitamin B12 injections, if the deficiency is serious).

4. Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a rare disorder that interferes with the production of melanin, a pigment that gives you hair and skin their color. The effect of vitiligo is more noticeable in people with dark skin color, but white people can also be affected by it.

Joh Hamm, who is best known for playing Don Draper in Mad Men, reportedly has vitiligo.

5. Thyroid disorders

Both underactive and overactive thyroid can cause the hair to become thinner and start turning gray early. If you suspect you may have a thyroid disorder, ask your doctor about having a thyroid blood test.

6. Smoking

Substances found in cigarette smoke can accumulate in your body and contribute to all sorts of issues, including premature hair graying. The longer someone smokes, the more likely he or she is to start going gray early.

Source: Health Magazine, WebMD, India Times

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.