why do we get gray hair at early age

While some women, many others face the arrival of new gray hairs with dread. The good news: Scientists are hard at work on how to prevent them. So what do researchers know that you don't? 1. Normal aging is the biggest culprit. Okay, no surprise here. Dermatologists call this the 50-50-50 rule. "Fifty percent of the population has about 50% gray hair at age 50," says Dr. Anthony Oro, professor of dermatology at Stanford University. And like skin, hair changes its texture with age, says Dr. Heather Woolery Lloyd, director of ethnic skin care at the University of Miami School of Medicine. 2. Your ethnicity makes a difference. Caucasians tend to go gray earlier and redheads earliest of all. Then Asians. Then African-Americans.


Scientists haven't figured out why yet. 3. Stress seems to play a role. "Stress won't cause you to go gray directly," says Dr. Roopal Kundu, associate professor in dermatology at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. "But stress is implicated in a lot of skin and hair issues. " During an illness, for example, people can shed hair rapidly. And hair you lose after a stressful event like getting chemotherapy may grow back a different color. 4. Your lifestyle makes a difference. Smoking, for example, stresses your skin and hair. "Low vitamin B12 levels are notorious for causing loss of hair pigment," says Dr. Karthik Krishnamurthy, director of the Dermatology Center's Cosmetic Clinic at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, N. Y. Try eating foods such as liver and carrots, recommends Dr.


Wilma Bergfeld, a senior dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Foods packed with certain vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants may help protect cells against toxins and help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other ailments (and perhaps gray hair! ). 5. Hair and its color are separate things. Hair stem cells make hair, and pigment-forming stem cells make pigment. Typically they work together, but either can wear out, sometimes prematurely. Researchers are trying to figure out if a medicine, or something you could put in your scalp, could slow the graying process. (Hair dye simply coats your hair in color but doesn't alter its structure. )
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Your hair doesn't turn gray it grows that way. A single hair grows for one to three years, then you shed it and grow a new one. As you age, your new hairs are more likely to be white. "Every time the hair regenerates, you have to re-form these pigment-forming cells, and they wear out," says Oro. Photo: Getty Images LIVESTRONG. COM What Causes White Hair at a Young Age? What Causes White Hair at a Young Age? Last Updated: Oct 24, 2013 What Causes White Hair at a Young Age? Most people s hair turns grey or white as they age, as the hair follicles cease to produce melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color. But some people start seeing their first white hairs before they re even out of their thirties.


Having white hair at a young age can make you stand out from the crowd, but in a few cases it may signal a more serious problem. If your mother or father s hair turned white at an early age, you may be genetically programmed for premature graying. Your genes determine when production of melanin stops, and your DNA may destine you to platinum hair at an early age. Premature graying could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, especially a lack of Vitamin B. If you eat a balanced diet and don t suffer from malnutrition, you may have pernicious anemia. In this form of anemia, your body is unable to absorb Vitamin B-12 from the bloodstream. Consult your doctor. If you test positive for pernicious anemia, you can have regular injections of B-12 to counteract the deficiency.


If your thyroid fails to produce enough thyroid hormone, you suffer from hypothyroidism. One side effect of hypothyroidism may be prematurely graying hair, according to the University of Michigan Health System. A blood test can diagnose hypothyroidism and you can take medication to make up for the hormone your body doesn t produce naturally. When Dr. J. G. Mosley studied patients in the Leigh Infirmary in Lancashire, England in 1996, he noticed a correlation between the patient s smoking history and the onset of graying hair or hair loss. Though Dr. Mosley could not prove that smoking caused gray hair, he did note that the smokers in his survey turned gray at an earlier age.