Why do some people get grey hair at a young age?

Dr. Jagatjit Singh Kohli

By Dr. Jagatjit Singh Kohli
MBBS, DHMS-Harvard, Masters in Clinical Dermatology

March 9th, 2023

Even though grey hair is a natural part of aging, why do some people develop their natural grey hair earlier than others? In recent days, it is usual to see people in their teenage or early 20s having grey hair. This premature grey hair is caused by many things, from genetics to environmental factors. 

In this blog, you will clearly understand why some people get grey hair at a younger age, its causes, and its prevention.

What is grey hair?         

Our natural hair gets its colour from a pigment called melanin. Each person’s hair colour depends on the type and quantity of melanin in their body. Cells called melanocytes produce melanin. These melanocyte cells are located just above the hair papilla in the skin’s deepest basal layer and the bottom part of the hair follicles. 

Two varieties of melanin exist. Eumelanin is a dark pigment that gives brown and black hair their colours. A reddish pigment, pheomelanin, is responsible for the strawberry blond and ginger hair colours when melanocytes produce less melanin, which results in blond hair. 

What causes grey hair at an early age?

Turning grey doesn’t mean you have medical issues in rare exceptional cases. In contrast to popular belief, stress does not appear to be a factor that causes grey hair. Although the exact cause of the early age of grey hair is unknown, genetics plays a significant role. 

The other common causes of grey hair are the following:

  • Aging
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • Issues with your pituitary or thyroid glands can also cause premature aging, which is reversible. 
  • Vitiligo
  • Smoking
  • Nutrients deficiencies
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Using chemicals containing hair products

Can grey hair be prevented?

The capacity to reverse or prevent your grey hair depends on the cause. If the reason is your genetics, there is no chance to permanently reverse or prevent the hair colour change. 

If you have any health issues, see a dermatologist to determine whether the reason for your grey hair is linked to those issues. There might be a possibility to prevent or reverse your early grey hair if you treat your underlying health issues. But there is no assurance. 

You might love and enjoy the new grey hair nature has given you. But if you don’t,  you have plenty of choices to conceal them as real black hair. 

Embracing your grey hair by using 

  • hair dye
  • colouring your hair
  • conceal spray
  • touch up pen
  • Getting a modern cut

Ensure to get a good balance of minerals and vitamins in your diet to get healthy hair. These nutrients play an essential role in cellular metabolism. 

Consume foods with vitamins A, B (especially B-12 and biotin), D, and E. They are rich in copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc, which help you get healthy black hair.

Bottom line

Beauty is not determined by skin or hair colour. As we age older, our hair follicles age too, producing less melanin which causes grey or white hair. But the early age of grey hair is influenced by genetics, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, and other medical conditions. Identifying the cause and treatment to slow down its process is necessary.

No matter what, don’t let your hair colour make you feel insecure. 

Why do some people get grey hair at a young age?
Why do some people get grey hair at a young age?
Phone Call
Whatsapp Chat