Contrary to popular belief, grey hair can appear at any point in time. Its not always a result of ageing and can be experienced by people of any age. Although many of you may share a rational fear regarding grey hair, it’s nothing to feel embarrassed about.
Sometimes, the millions of hair follicles that generate hair on the human body lose their pigment cells that create hair color, resulting in white hair color. To find out more about the reasons which cause grey hair at an early age and how to control it, keep reading!
Causes of Grey Hair
1. Age: As we get older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles start to wither. As a result, the presence of melanin slowly starts to reduce in the hair strands, and they start to turn grey.
2. Vitamin Deficiencies: There is a direct relationship between a deficiency of vitamins such as B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, and vitamin E and premature greying. Vegetarians or vegans often face a deficiency of vitamin B12 as it is found in animal products. Therefore, they should include food items like cereal, soya, and nutritional yeast to overcome this deficiency.
3. Genetics: Premature greying of hair is also determined by your genetics. That is why most of us start to experience grey hair around the same age that our parents or grandparents first did.
4. Oxidative stress: Oxidative stress generates an imbalance in the body. Antioxidants are not enough to counteract the damaging effect caused by free radicals, which may lead to premature greying hair. Excess oxidative stress can also cause the development of diseases such as Vitiligo.
Vitiligo is a skin pigmentation condition in which there is a loss of pigmentation in hair due to decreased melanin production. As a result of which, the new hair follicles that grow after melanin loss has no color.
5. Certain medical conditions: Some medical conditions, which include autoimmune diseases like thyroid and alopecia areata, may also cause premature greying of hair.
6. Real-life stressors: Although stress is not a primary factor and plays a small part in the early greying of hair when other diseases and vitamin deficiencies are considered. But research suggests that under stress, cells responsible for hair color depletes and speed up the process of greying in children who are already susceptible to the condition due to genetic factors or vitamin deficiencies.
7. Smoking: Research suggests that smoking is directly linked to premature greying of hair. People who smoke are up to four times more likely to cause grey hair early than their non-smoking counterparts.
8. Chemical hair dyes and hair products: Chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide present in hair products like hair dyes, bleach, and shampoos can lead to premature greying of hair. Hydrogen peroxide is known to be a harmful chemical that decreases melanin.
9. Pollution: Pollutants, chemicals, ultraviolet (UV) light, free radicals, and by-products of chemical processes can also lead to ageing and tissue damage which affects melanin production while also altering your hair’s natural pigmentation. This trigger greying of hair.
What Can We Do to Prevent This Process?
Although some people might embrace the grey, others might find it intimidating, mainly if they occur in the 20s instead of the late thirties and forties. So here are some lifestyle changes, home remedies, and other ways in which you can slow down greying of hair:
1. Lifestyle changes like getting enough vitamins and minerals, protecting hair from the sun, not using hair products with hard chemicals, and stop smoking can make a difference and slow down the process of premature greying of hair.
2. Home remedies like applying curry leaves and hair oil to the scalp can retain the natural hair color and even prevent premature greying. Besides that, consuming natural food items like amla, ginger, blackstrap molasses, black sesame seeds, or wheatgrass juice may also make a difference. Applying ghee or onion juice into the scalp is also known to help.
3. If nothing seems to work out, getting a hair dye or color is the best way to getting rid of grey hair.
As we grow older, our follicles age too. With age, it starts to produce less melanin and pigmentation, because of which the hair begins to turn grey or white. The natural process of greying hair can be influenced by genetics, vitamin deficiencies, stress, smoking, pollution, harsh chemicals, and other medical conditions.
There are several ways to slow down or reverse this process if you prefer your hair to have color. Besides using hair color and making lifestyle changes, many of these are home remedies. Although home remedies are promoted, they are not always clinically tested, so before using a home remedy, ensure that you are not allergic to the ingredients and consult your doctor as well.
It is necessary to know the causes of grey hair and the remedies to slow down the process of grey hair. It is imperative to keep in mind that no matter what, don’t let your hair color make you insecure in any way.