Amanda, who is just in her teens, was shockingly taken aback the day she found two strands of gray hair protruding from her scalp. But, she isn't alone! Premature or early graying is a cause for worry in many youngsters throughout the world.
Hair becomes gray when color-producing cells stop making melanin. It is a natural phenomenon that usually occurs in the late 30’s. However, if you are facing premature graying, it may be a sign of some health issues. Look into the following reasons why you should never ignore the appearance of gray hair!
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Not getting enough Vitamin B12 can lead to premature graying of hair. Mercifully, it is a reversible condition. By including more vitamin B12 rich foods such as eggs, cheese, milk products, meat, fish, shellfish, and poultry in your daily diet you can impede the growth of graying hair.
An overactive or under-active thyroid can cause premature graying of hair. This is because a dysfunctional thyroid results in less melanin production in the body. A simple blood test can help detect thyroid related ailments. If detected, you must consult an Endocrinologist,
Anemia may also be a reason for untimely hair graying. It is a condition that can occur when there is a deficiency of hemoglobin and iron in the body. This iron deficiency, along with inadequate amounts of B12, may result in graying of hair. You can take iron and vitamin supplements to prevent it.
Extreme emotional stress can cause premature graying of hair too. The triggers for anxiety and tension such as workplace pressure, health problems, relationship issues are in abundance around us. A person experiencing stress from a young age is more likely to have a salt and pepper look. Meditate or practice yoga regularly to bust this stress.
Smoking can damage hair follicles, restrict its blood flow and nourishment to the hair causing premature whitening of hair. Smoking also accelerates the process of aging and increases stress levels. So, the more puffs of smoke you inhale, the higher are the chances of hair graying.
The premature graying is largely a genetic problem. If your parents had gray hair during their early 20s, you are likely to develop it during your early 20’s as well.
Tips to prevent premature hair graying
Follow these tips before it is too late:
Take a diet rich in zinc, copper, iron and vitamin B12. Eat more of cheese, meat, vegetables, fruits, fish, curry leaves, gooseberry (Amla) juice, and almond oil
Stop using harmful and harsh chemicals on your hair
Limit intake of junk food
Exercise daily at least for 30 minutes to stay stress-free
Needless to say, addressing the above causes will definitely help you take good care of your hair and prevent premature greying. Stay careful to stay healthy!
Nameeta Renchi is a writer, journalist and a blogger with more than 5 years of experience in medical/ health content for newspapers and magazines. She has also written book reviews and features for various websites.