Premature Greying of Hair: Causes and Prevention
By Tamim Hamid Posted on 01/18/2022

Premature Greying of Hair: Causes and Prevention

Premature hair graying can often be a surprising and concerning occurrence for many individuals. It is the early loss of pigmentation in hair, occurring before the age of 20 or 30. While it might seem purely aesthetic, it can also be indicative of underlying health conditions or genetic predispositions.

It's important to understand the genetic components of premature graying since it sheds light on its inevitability for some individuals. Genetic predisposition plays a substantial role, often determining when and how early graying might occur.

Beyond genetics, health conditions can accelerate premature graying. Factors like thyroid disorders, vitamin deficiencies (particularly B vitamins), and certain autoimmune conditions contribute significantly to premature hair graying.

Find out more on how thyroid disorders causes hair loss.

In this comprehensive article, we’re going to shed some light on premature hair greying, its causes, and how you can prevent it.

What Causes Premature Hair Graying?

Premature graying of hair can stem from various factors:

Genetics: Family history often plays a significant role. If your parents or close relatives experienced early graying, there’s a higher likelihood you might too.

Stress: While it’s not a direct cause, excessive stress can contribute to premature graying. It triggers our body to produce more cortisol that might affect melanin production, leading to graying of hair.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Lack of certain vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and copper, can affect hair color and health.

Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders, vitiligo, autoimmune diseases, and some rare genetic conditions can lead to premature hair graying.

Smoking: Some studies also suggest that smoking might increase the risk of premature hair graying due to the harmful effects of smoking on the melanocytes responsible for hair color.

Chemical Exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals, like those in hair dyes or hair care products with harsh chemicals, might accelerate the graying process.

How Does Stress Cause Premature Hair Graying?

Stress doesn’t have a direct relationship with premature graying, but it is believed to contribute to it indirectly. The exact mechanisms that link stress to premature graying are entirely clear. However, there are some hypotheses.

Stress can trigger the release of hormones like cortisol, which might interfere with melanocyte function. Melanocytes are the cells which are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. When these cells are affected, it can lead to a decrease in melanin production, resulting in hair graying.

Stress can also lead to an increase in oxidative stress within the body. The imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals can affect various bodily functions, including the health of hair follicles and the production of melanin.

Chronic stress can also lead to low-grade inflammation in the body, which may impact the hair follicles and the melanocytes, potentially accelerating the graying process.

Find out how stress can leads to hair loss.

How to Prevent Hair Graying?

Preventing hair graying entirely isn’t always possible, especially if genetics play a significant role. However, some strategies might help delay or minimize the onset of premature graying:

Healthy Diet: Ensure that you have a balanced diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fruits, and lean proteins support overall hair health.

Manage Stress: Manage stress through relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, or regular exercise might help.

Good Hair Care: Treat your hair gently. Avoid excessive heat styling, harsh chemical treatments, and tight hairstyles that can damage hair follicles.

Vitamin Supplements: Consult a healthcare professional about supplements if you have deficiencies in vitamins and minerals linked to hair health, like vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and copper.

Avoid Smoking: If you smoke, quitting might not only benefit your overall health but also could potentially reduce the risk of premature graying.

Natural Remedies: While their efficacy varies, some natural remedies like amla, rosemary oil, or coconut oil might support hair health.

Regular Hair Care Routine: Use hair care products suited to your hair type and condition. A nourishing routine with mild shampoos, conditioners, and occasional deep conditioning treatments can help maintain hair health.

Regular Scalp Massage: Messaging the scalp regularly might stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles, supporting overall hair health.

Early Detection and Treatment: If graying is due to an underlying health condition, early detection and treatment might help slow down the graying process.

Genetic Counseling: Understanding your family history of premature graying through genetic counseling might provide insights into your risk and allow you to take preventive measures.

Can Catalase Help With Premature Hair Greying?

Catalase is an enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. One theory behind premature graying suggests that a buildup of hydrogen peroxide in hair follicles due to decreased catalase activity might contribute to the bleaching of hair by reducing melanin production.

However, there’s limited scientific evidence supporting the use of catalase supplements or topical applications to reverse or prevent premature graying. Some products even claim that catalase supplementation can restore natural hair color by breaking down hydrogen peroxide, but the effectiveness of such products is not well-substantiated through robust scientific studies.

While catalase might have a role in the graying process by reducing hydrogen peroxide accumulation, premature graying is a complex issue influenced by various factors, including genetics, oxidative stress, and other enzymatic activities. There is limited research on catalase’s direct effect on reversing or preventing premature graying and more evidence is needed to establish its efficacy.

How Theradome Can Help You

Theradome is a laser hair growth device that is used to stimulate hair growth and improve hair health. Although there isn’t substantial evidence that supports the efficacy of LLLT devices to reverse or prevent hair graying, LLLT devices can enhance hair follicle health and potentially increase blood circulation in the scalp. It could indirectly support healthier hair and possibly delay some aging-related changes, which might include graying to some extent.

Unlock the potential for healthier, fuller hair with Theradome's innovative laser therapy devices. Discover a new level of hair rejuvenation and take charge of your hair health today. Visit our website to explore our range of products and start your journey towards vibrant, revitalized hair.


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Tamim Hamid

Tamim Hamid

Inventor and CEO of Theradome

Sayyid Tamim Hamid, Ph.D, is the inventor of the world’s first FDA-cleared, wearable phototherapy device to prevent hair loss and thicken and regrow hair. Tamim, a former biomedical engineer at NASA and the inventor of Theradome, brings with him more than 38 years of expertise in product development, laser technology, and biomedical science. Tamim used his laser knowledge, fine-tuned at NASA, and combined it with his driving passion for helping others pursue a lifelong mission in hair loss and restoration. He is now one of the world’s leading experts.