Going Grey in Your Youth? Know the Causes of Premature Grey Hair

3 min read

Recently, actor Dilip Joshi—who plays Jethalal in the popular sitcom, 'Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah'—posted pictures of his daughter Neeyati's wedding on social media.

In the pictures, one thing about the bride, Neeyati, caught the attention of the viewers.

Decked from head to toe in bridal finaries, Neeyati looked stunning as she also confidently, made no effort to cover up her grey hair.

For a lot of people, grey hair may be a matter of insecurity, but public figures like Niyati inspire us to own our quirks and flaunt our grey tresses confidently!

But what causes some people to start greying earlier than others? Can it be prevented?

FIT speaks to experts to find out.


Why Does Hair Turn White?

It is natural for hair to turn grey when you get past a certain age, but that isn't always the case.

Speaking to FIT, Dr Kashish Kalra, Head of Department and Consultant Dermatology, Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital, Saket, explains, "premature greying of hair means greying of hair before the age of 18. If it happens after the age of 18-20 years, then it is not considered a disease. It is a natural process. . This problem can be seen equally in women and men."

Many studied have tried to get to the bottom of this phenomenon.

One explaination is genetics. If early greying runs in your family, its likely yo may have inheritted the trait too.
"The first reason for premature greying of hair is genetics. If the other elder members of the family also had grey hair before age, then it is kind of a trend.
Dr Kashish Kalra, Head of Department and Consultant Dermatology, Max Smart Super Specialty Hospital

Lack of melanin pigment in the hair follicles can also be a reason behind premature greying.

Other possible causes of early greying of hair are,

  • Mental stress

  • Heavy workload and work stress

  • Bad lifestyle

  • Pollution

  • Hormonal changes

  • Sun exposure

Thyroid dysfunction can also causes this problem. There are some medicines, especially for cancer, due to which this problem sometimes arises as well.

In many cases, mental stress and smoking can be major reasons for premature greying of hair.

According to Dr Manjul Aggarwal, Senior Consultant Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, nutrition can be a silent but vital cause of hair health, including the colour of your hair.

"In my practice, after genetics, the second biggest cause of premature graying I see is nutritional deficiency. That means not eating a balanced diet."
Dr. Manjul Aggarwal, Senior Consultant Dermatology

“The lack of essential nutrients is a big reason for early greying and weakening of hair. If a child has protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, iron or deficiency in other essential nutrients, then it becomes a problem," he explains.

Treatment and Preventive Measures

Premature greying of hair can lead to a lot of stress.

(Photo: iStock)

Due to premature greying of hair at a young age, many young people talk about increased stress and lack of confidence, says Dr Kalra.

According to Dr Manjul Aggarwal, these good practices could help prevent grey hair at an early age.

  • Take care of the amount of essential nutrients in food and drink and avoid junk food.

  • Exercise is essential for every part of the body. Do a brisk walk for at least 45 minutes every day.

  • Fix a stable sleep schedule—and stick to it!

  • Wear a hat or umbrella that will work in the sun for a long time.

  • Try to reduce mental stress.

In his advice, if grey hair is causing you mental distress, you should consult a dermatologist because it may be possible to treat it up to an age limit, but after that there is no special benefit.

However, Dr Kalra also advises caution when it comes to using chemical hair dyes ad treatments. He warns to look out for ammonia and paraphenylenediamine in particular.

"If you have to apply something, then apply green henna because it does not harm," he adds.

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