What Is The Cause Of Premature Greying Of Hair
It’s always an alarming moment when you find your first grey hair. Either you find it when combing your hair in the mirror, or someone points it out to you. But knowing why grey hairs develop early helps you to prevent premature greying from happening in the first place.
Unfortunately, hair greying is just a natural process that happens to all of us at some point or another. However, there are things you can do to at least postpone the process from beginning.
After all, we associate grey hairs with old age. So when we develop a few sprouts when we’re in the prime of our lives, we have every reason to get a little distressed. Nobody wants to look old before their time!
If you ask any doctor or scientist why hair greys, and why it’s a natural process that befalls even stunning celebrities, they’ll tell you that it’s because your body has produced as much melanin as it’s ever going too. Once your body stops producing it, your hair begins to grey.
Eventually, it turns to silver and then to white. Not cool.
Ageing is another fact of life. We humans age, and so do animals plants. Just as you’ll get older, so will your pets and the frogs and birds that live outside your home.
Nobody is immune to ageing. But while there are some who are very accepting of the fact that they have to age and can thus take “trivial things” like grey hairs on the chin, others are less accepting.
Especially when grey hairs appear a little too soon. Instead, we choose to fight the ageing process because we know it’s come a little too early. We’re still in our thirties, it’s our right to not be grey just yet!
The truth is that it’s up to you how you face up to ageing. You can accept it, or you can make adjustments to your lifestyle so that the ageing process slows down a tad.
Perhaps the biggest problem with premature greying is that it’s visible. You can see it when you look at yourself in the mirror, and your boyfriend can see it when he strokes your hair.
And doesn’t he just love to point it out to you!
“Looks like someone’s ageing a little early over here!”
Sometimes, if it’s prominent enough, even your friends can see it, as well as your work colleagues. Maybe they’re polite enough not to mention it, but the very fact that it’s on show is enough to make you feel embarrassed.
The thing is that sometimes premature greying just happens as a result of us getting older, in which case there is nothing we can really do about it. Whether it’s nature playing a trick on some of us and not others, some women show visible signs of ageing before others. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is.
Some women don’t show up any grey hairs until they’re in their fifties, or even in their sixties (at least not greying in great, noticeable clumps). Scientists can’t explain it. It really does seem as though nature has been kind to some of us, but not to all of us.
However, genetics – as often with issues related to the body – has a say in premature ageing.
So, too, do racial demographics. Studies have shown that Caucasians can hit their “grey period” as early as their mid-thirties, while for Asians it doesn’t tend to arrive until they near their fortieth year. African-Americans have it even better, and statistically don’t hit their grey period until they are well into their forties.
Most people, however, will find that they have a good amount of grey hair when they’re fifty. For many of us, there is just no escaping this sad inevitability.
Here are a few explanations for why our hair sometimes ages before we’d really like it to.
If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease, there is a good chance that you may turn grey earlier than expected. This is because your cells come under attack from the disease, including the cells that make up your hair follicles. When this happens, your hair can turn grey.
When you lack vitamin B-12, you can also turn grey early, while an issue with your thyroid gland or your pituitary gland could also be the cause of premature greying.
If a medical condition is the reason for premature greying, the good news is that when the underlying condition is treated, the premature effects of ageing are happily reversed.
When people start to go grey early, the number one thing they automatically think of is stress.
Stress as the cause of premature greying is a tricky one because there is still much debate about its impact on ageing.
However, there have been some studies carried out that have shown a direct link between chronic stress and premature ageing. These studies showed that mice, when placed in stressful situations, invariably end up with diminished hair follicles.
While there isn’t yet strong evidence to link stress with premature greying, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that exists.
Smoking causes discolouration. Have you ever noticed how much yellower the ceilings are in the living rooms inhabited by smokers?
More sinisterly, smoking can turn your lungs black.
Smoking can also turn your hair greyer than you’d like. In fact, smoking regularly is essentially like attacking your own skin. It causes wrinkles on your arms and face, and it affects your hair follicles.
All of them.
Another reason for premature greying is a vitamin deficiency.
Vegans are especially at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because, while meat eaters get their vitamin B12 from meat, vegans must find theirs from alternative sources, such as yeast.
Not all vegans, however, are aware of the importance of vitamin B12, nor of the sources. As such, a vitamin B12 deficiency can easily occur, which can then trigger premature greying.
Other possible causes of vitamin deficiency are digestive issues and birth control pills.