It is normal for people’s hair colors to change as they age even though white hair can appear at almost any age. Even teenagers and people in their twenties may notice white hair strands. Millions of hair follicles or small sacs line the skin of the human body. Hair and pigment cells containing melanin are produced by the follicles. Hair follicles lose pigment cells over time, resulting in white hair. In this article, we will look at some of the most common causes of prematurely white hair, as well as ways to slow or prevent greying in some cases.
Causes of white hair
There can be many causes besides age that result in a person’s hair turning white.
Vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, and vitamin E deficiencies can all contribute to premature greying. According to a 2015 report published in the journal Development, various deficiency studies on vitamin D-3, vitamin B-12, and copper and their relationship to greying hair have been conducted. It discovers that nutritional deficiencies affect pigmentation, implying that color can be restored with vitamin supplementation.
A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Trichology investigated factors associated with premature greying in young Indians under the age of 25. It discovered that participants with premature hair greying had low levels of serum ferritin, which stores iron in the body, vitamin B-12, and the good cholesterol HDL-C.
Premature graying of a person’s hair is largely connected to genetics, according to a 2013 report in the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology.
Race and ethnicity play roles, as well. Premature graying in white people can start as early as 20 years old, while a person can be as young as 25 years old among Asians, and 30 years in African-Americans populations, according to the same 2013 study.
While greying is mostly genetic, oxidative stress in the body may play a role when it occurs prematurely. When antioxidants are insufficient to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals, oxidative stress occurs. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cell damage and contribute to aging and disease.
Excessive oxidative stress can promote the development of diseases, including the skin-pigment condition vitiligo. Vitiligo can also cause white hair due to melanin cell death or loss of cell function.
Certain medical conditions
A person’s risk of greying early may be increased by certain medical conditions, such as autoimmune diseases. Hair abnormalities and thyroid dysfunction are linked, according to research published in 2008. Alopecia areata, an autoimmune skin condition that causes hair loss on the scalp, face, and other parts of the body, is also associated with white hair. Because of the lack of melanin in the hair, it grows back white.
Real-life stress, such as that caused by injury, has been linked to premature greying in research studies. When the body is under stress, the cells that control hair color can be depleted, according to a study published in Nature Medicine by New York University.
Other research suggests that, while stress may play a role, it is only a small part of a larger picture that includes disease and other factors.
According to a 2013 study published in the Italian Dermatology Online Journal, smokers are 2 1/2 times more likely than non-smokers to begin greying before the age of 30.
Smoking is also linked to premature white hair in young men, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Hair dyes and products containing chemicals Chemical hair dyes and hair products, including shampoos, can cause premature greying of the hair. Many of these products contain ingredients that reduce melanin production.
One such harmful chemical is hydrogen peroxide, which is found in many hair dyes. Excessive use of bleaching products will eventually cause hair to turn white.
Can white hair be prevented?
White hair can be reversed or prevented depending on the cause. There is nothing you can do to prevent or permanently reverse the color change if the cause is genetic.
If you suspect a health problem, see a doctor see if white hair is caused by an underlying condition. Pigmentation may return if the underlying health problem is addressed, but there are no guarantees.
If a thyroid problem causes white hair, re-pigmentation may occur after hormone therapy treatment, according to one study trusted Source. Correcting a vitamin B-12 deficiency with shots or pills may also improve the health of hair follicles and restore your natural color. There is no evidence to support the return of pigmentation after quitting smoking or reducing stress if white hair occurs as a result of stress or smoking.
Prevention and reversing premature white hair
Nothing can stop or reverse the process if it is caused by genetics or aging. If the loss is due to a medical condition, however, treating greying hair may allow color pigmentation to return. Correcting dietary and vitamin deficiencies that cause prematurely white hair may help to reverse the problem or prevent it from worsening.
Eating more antioxidants
White hair can be prevented by changing one’s diet. Antioxidant-rich foods can help to reduce oxidative stress.
Antioxidant-rich foods include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Green tea
- Olive oil
Anyone with white hair due to a vitamin deficiency should eat more vitamin-rich foods.
Vitamin B-12 can be found in seafood, eggs, and meats, while vitamin D can be found in milk, salmon, and cheese. Deficiencies can also be corrected with over-the-counter vitamin supplements.
Smoking has negative health effects and contributes to white hair. Researchers have discovered a link between the habit and hair pigmentation loss.
There are many hair dyes on the market that cover the white hair, but many of them cause premature greying and allergic reactions. Natural remedies are an option for slowing down hair whitening without causing harm to the body or further hair pigment damage.
Curry leaves have been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. These, when mixed with hair oil and applied to the scalp, can help to prevent premature greying. These have been used traditionally to keep black hair color and even prevent premature greying, according to a study published in the International Journal of Pharm Tech Research. Curry leaves can be found in both Indian supermarkets and regular grocery stores.
According to some reports, the false daisy or bhringaraj will darken hair from trusted Sources and keep it from becoming white early. The juice of the leaves is boiled in coconut oil or sesame oil and massaged into the hair.
Bhringraj leaves are available in oil form.
This herbal supplement, also known as amla, is known for reversing premature greying by promoting pigmentation. The gooseberry’s anti-aging and antioxidant properties are thought to be the reason for its effectiveness.
Amla is a fruit that can be found in Indian supermarkets. It’s also available online or in traditional health food stores as a powder or supplement. The powder can be combined with coconut oil and applied to the scalp directly.
Black tea can darken, shine, and soften hair. 3 to 5 tea bags can be steeped in 2 cups of boiling water, cooled, and applied to clean, wet hair. Tea can also be mixed with conditioner and applied to the hair for an hour before rinsing.
According to one 2012 study, low copper levels can cause premature graying trusted sources. Beef liver, lentils, almonds, dark chocolate, and asparagus are all good sources of copper.
The ridge gourd has a reputation for restoring hair pigment and stimulating hair roots. The use of ridge gourd oil on a regular basis can help prevent hair from turning white. The oil is available for purchase online.
How to slow the onset of gray hair.
There is no clear-cut way to prevent greying hair unless you have an underlying nutritional deficiency or medical condition spite, however, some treatments you can try to help slow the onset:
Stress management, as stress hormones can disrupt melanin production in hair follicles. Quitting smoking, which can be difficult, but with the help of a doctor, you can develop a plan that works for you. Keep your weight in check. Lowering your chemical and pollution exposure. Wearing hats and scarves to protect your hair from the sun
What you can do if you don’t like your gray hair
There is no way to reverse melanin loss in your hair if it is caused by genetics. If you don’t want to let your hair go grey, talk to your hairstylist about permanent and semi-permanent dye options. If you’re trying to hide a few greys, root touch-up powders and creams might help.
Natural hair dyes are another option to consider if you want to avoid the damage that commercial hair dyes can cause. Henna and Indian gooseberry are two options. Gray hair care products, on the other hand, allow you to embrace your greying hair whereas these not only make your hair look better but also keep your grey hairs from turning yellow and becoming brittle.
Is white hair normal?
It’s not unusual for your hair to change as you age. Maybe you used to have a full head of brown, black, red, or blonde hair when you were younger. You may notice thinning in certain areas of your head as you get older, or your hair may turn grey or white from its original color. Hair follicles are small sacs that line the skin cells of your body. Melanin-producing cells are found in hair follicles. These cells are responsible for the color of your hair. Hair follicles can lose pigment over time, resulting in white hair.
White hair progression can be slowed. Or reversed in some cases with the right diagnosis and treatment. A healthy diet and hair care routine can also help but in some cases, the process is irreversible. Natural remedies can help to slow down and even reverse the onset of white hair. However, everyone’s hair eventually turns white, and the individual must decide whether they are comfortable with this or prefer to try to slow down the natural aging process.
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