It is normal for hair color to change, as people age. But white hair can appear at almost any time in life. Even teenagers and other people in their 20s may notice strands of white hair.
The figure has variant hair follicles or small sacs lining the skin. The follicles generate hair and color or pigment cells that contain melanin. Over time, hair follicles lose pigment cells, leading to white hair color.
In this article, we glance at some common causes of prematurely white hair, together with ways to slow the graying process down or prevent it, in some instances.
Causes of white hair
There may be many causes besides age that end in a person’s hair turning white.
White and grey hairs may start to grow at any age, and will be caused by a variety of various factors.
Any deficiencies of vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, vitamin D, or vitamin E can contribute to premature graying.
One 2015 report within the journal Development notes various deficiency studies on vitamin D-3, vitamin B-12, and copper and their connection to graying hair. It finds nutritional deficiencies affect pigmentation, suggesting color can return with vitamin supplementation.
A 2016 study reported within the International Journal of Trichology looked to factors associated with premature graying in young Indians under 25 years old.
It found low levels of serum ferritin, which stores iron within the body, vitamin B-12, and therefore the good cholesterol HDL-C were common in participants with premature hair graying.
Premature graying of a person’s hair is basically connected to genetics, per a 2013 report within the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology.
Race and ethnicity play roles, as well. Premature graying in Caucasoid race can start as early as 20 years old, while someone may be as young as 25 years old among Asians, and 30 years in African-Americans populations, per the identical 2013 study.
While graying is generally genetic, oxidative stress within the body may play part when the method happens prematurely.
Oxidative stress causes imbalances when antioxidants don’t seem to be enough to counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that damage cells, contributing to aging and disease.
Too much oxidative stress can promote the event of diseases, including the skin-pigment condition vitiligo. Vitiligo may turn the hair white because of melanin death or the loss of cell function.
Certain medical conditions
Some medical conditions, including autoimmune diseases, may increase a person’s risk for graying early. In fact, research published in 2008 showed a connection between hair abnormalities and thyroid dysfunction.
White hair is additionally common in alopecia, an autoimmune skin condition that causes hair loss on the scalp, face and other parts of the body. When the hair grows back, it tends to be white thanks to melanin deficiency.
It is commonly thought that stress may result in hair becoming white prematurely. However, studies haven’t conclusively proved this.
There are conflicting research studies on real-life stress, like that caused by injury, resulting in premature graying.
One study from big apple University, reported in Nature Medicine, finds that the cells liable for hair color will be depleted when the body is under stress.
Other studies indicate that while stress may play part, it’s only a little a part of a much bigger picture where disease and other factors contribute.