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What causes premature gray hair?

I’m just 20 and I have gray hairs! Is it normal???

Over the years the content of melanin, a pigment responsible for giving skin, eyes, and hair their color, decreases, and hair begins to turn gray. However, what if you notice the first gray hairs in your 20s or even earlier?

Scientists have repeatedly noted that premature gray hair is pretty common today. More often, people begin to notice their first depigmented hairs in their 20s and earlier –at 15-16. The main reason that leads to this situation is the failure of melanin production. However, there can be other possible causes.

The causes of premature gray hair:

– Heredity.

If anyone in your family had gray hairs in their 20s, don’t be surprised if you find gray hairs so early as well.

– Oxidative stress.

It can be caused by sunlight, as free radicals are produced under its influence. Active forms of oxygen damage the cell membranes of melanocytes, which leads to their death and decrease of pigment secretion.

– Stress for hair.

Those who neglect a headwear in cold seasons are susceptible to blood circulation disorder, which provokes a spasm of blood vessels that nourish the hair roots.

– Some diseases.

Thyroid disorders, changes in hormonal balance, anemia, autoimmune diseases, and gastrointestinal disorders can also cause premature gray hair.

– Emotional shock, chronic fatigue.

Severe stress or emotional overstrain are among the most common reasons for premature graying.

– Vegetarianism, protein deficiency.

Protein is the main building material for hair. It contains tyrosine, an amino acid that is converted to melanin during oxidation.

– Vitamin- and micro-/macronutrient deficiency.

A lack of vitamins and necessary nutrients also impairs the structure of the hair and leads to hair loss.

How to reverse premature graying of hair?

– Stick with a balanced diet and take vitamin-mineral complexes. It’s important to have enough B vitamins: B1, B2, B6, and B10, as well as folic acid in your nutrition. A diet rich in foods that contain the listed complex of nutrients strengthens the body and delays the spread of gray hair. You may try a supplement for hair pigmentation that is called Melaniq – it was proven to show great results in reversing gray hairs.

– Mesotherapy is one more option for reversing premature gray hair. It includes injections of B vitamins, oligo-elements, nicotinic acid, as well as compositions that improve blood circulation in the scalp.

– In sunny weather, protect your hair from UV-rays with a headdress, use hair sunscreen products.

– Daily massage the scalp with a special brush.

– One more option is an ayurvedic treatment with coconut oil infused in fresh curry leaves and amla oil. Regular homemade masks with these oils can prevent premature gray hair, and simply improve and strengthen your locks naturally.

All these tips can help you with the problem of premature graying of hair. However, if some strands became gray completely, then it’s almost impossible to return to the natural pigmentation. In most cases, this process is irreversible. Gray hair can be hidden with tinted shampoos or dyes. But you can prevent new gray hairs and restore the color where it still remains. Premature gray strands are not always a signal that something is wrong in the body, and if you can’t change it, embrace your gray hair gracefully!

Featured Image: Viktor Hanacek –

by Donna Sullivan
Donna is a hairstylist with 8 years of experience. Ask her about any hair-related problem (haircuts, hairstyles, colorings, hair care) and get a pro advice!