Why Young People Get Gray Hair and How to Prevent It

The appearance of gray hair is normal and imminent as we age. It usually begins to appear from the age of 30 onward. However, it can appear in your 20s or even earlier.

5-Minute Crafts will tell you the cause of this natural hair condition and the reasons why it can appear prematurely.

The origin of gray hair

First of all, we must understand that hair color is determined by a pigment known as melanin that is produced in the hair follicles. Hair follicles are structures present in the skin that are responsible for allowing our hair to grow. As we age, the cells in these hair follicles produce less melanin, causing the gradual appearance of lighter hair and eventually of gray, or even completely white hair.

Reasons why gray hair appears early

1. Stress and lifestyle

There is evidence that stress can cause an alteration in the cells responsible for regenerating hair pigmentation, thus promoting premature graying.

Moreover, cigarette and alcohol consumption can cause oxidative stress in the body, a process that also leads to this hair condition.

What to do: Find ways to manage stress and release it. Play sports or do physical activity regularly and get enough sleep. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants and reduce or completely eliminate your intake of alcoholic beverages and cigarette smoking.

2. Deficiency of vitamins and other nutrients

An unbalanced diet and, as a consequence, the lack of vitamins B, D, E, and biotin, may be related to the appearance of gray hair. At the same time, low levels of serum ferritin (the protein in charge of storing iron) also contribute to this condition that affects hair pigmentation.

What to do: Make sure you eat a healthy and balanced diet. Eat foods rich in these nutrients like fish, yogurt, leafy greens, dairy products, and eggs. It is also recommended that you visit a doctor and check your vitamin and mineral levels and their correct absorption — in some cases it may be necessary to integrate supplements or even medications.

3. Thyroid disorders

The thyroid gland, located in the front of the neck, is responsible for controlling a number of functions in your body, like metabolism. Therefore, hormonal changes caused by problems in this gland can affect melanin production.

Common disorders associated with the thyroid are known as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

What to do: As this is a possible pathology, you should consult a specialist to check the activity of this gland through clinical examinations and thus adopt the appropriate treatment if necessary.

4. Genetics

Another factor that may play a role in the premature appearance of gray or white hair is a genetic predisposition. If your parents or grandparents started having gray hair at a young age, it is possible that your hair will be similar to theirs.

What to do: Unfortunately, genetics cannot be changed. However, it is advisable to ask your parents or grandparents at what age their first gray hair appeared. It might be useful to check and see if this coincides with the time when yours started to appear, and thus rule out that it is a family condition.

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