What Gray Hair Says About Your Health?

It’s normal for your hair to change as you get older. But what does it mean? What gray hair says about your health?

If you are a young individual, perhaps you had a full head of blonde, red, brown, or black hair. Presently, you’re a more aged personality, you may see diminishing in specific areas of your head, or your hair may transform from its unique color to dark or white.


How does gray hair appear?

Hair follicles have color cells known as melanin. These cells give your hair its tone. Your body has hair follicles, which are tiny sacs that line skin cells. Yet, over the long run, hair follicles can lose shade, bringing about white hair.

In ladies, turning gray for the most part starts close to the temples and afterward advances toward the highest point of the scalp. As it gets lighter, it might, in the long run, become gray. Your body and beard growth may likewise become gray— yet frequently later than the hair on your head.

What causes gray hair?

White hair is more perceptible in individuals with a darker hair tone. Albeit white hair is characteristic of aging, dull hair strands can show up at any age in life, even while you’re as yet in secondary school or school. If you’re a young person or in your 20s, you may discover at least one strand of white hair.

There could be approaches to reestablish pigmentation. However, it relies upon the reason. Here are common causes of prematurely white hair:

  1. Smoking

There’s likewise a connection between untimely white hair and smoking. One study discovered an association between the “beginning of gray hair before 30 and cigarette smoking.” Certain chemicals in smoke break down in hair cells, which leads to baldness.

It’s notable that smoking cigarettes increase the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. The drawn-out impacts, nonetheless, can go past the heart and lungs and affect hair. Smoking tightens blood vessels, which can decrease the bloodstream to hair follicles and cause baldness. Moreover, tars in cigarettes can harm portions of your body, including your hair follicles, causing early gray hair.

In a study made by the Indian Dermatology Online Journal, smokers are 2,5 times more likely to develop premature gray hair.

  1. Vitamin B-12 deficiency

Vitamin B-12 deficiency causing gray hair at an early age. This vitamin plays an essential role in your body. It gives your hair healthy growth, hair color, and even energy to all of your body.

Pernicious anemia is a condition in which a person is suffering from a lack of vitamin B-12. This is because your body cannot absorb these vitamins or deficiency of these vitamins in your diet. These vitamins play an essential role in your cells, most notably the red blood cells, which help carry out the oxygen to cells in your body., including the hair cells. This deficiency of vitamins causes the weakening of hair and drastically affects the production of melanin.

  1. Thyroid disorder

Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism are the hormonal changes seen in the body caused by the thyroid glands. These abnormal changes in the hormones lead to premature gray hair. At the base of your neck, a butterfly-shaped gland is presently called the thyroid gland. It plays a role in metabolism. The changes in the thyroid gland tremendously affect hair growth and hair color. The difference in the production of thyroid hormones leads to abnormal changes in melanin production, which leads to the formation of gray hair.

  1. Autoimmune disease

Autoimmune disease can likewise cause gray hair. This is the point at which the body’s immune system assaults its cells. In conditions like alopecia and vitiligo, the body’s immune system attacks the hair and causes the loss of pigments.

To prevent gray hair from these diseases is very crucial for doctors because, in autoimmune diseases, the body destroys itself so no treatment in this condition for gray hair.

  1. Stress

Everyone has to face stress somewhere in their life. Chronic stress has a drastic effect on your body.

  • High blood pressure
  • Change in appetite
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems

A study on mice suggests that there is a connection between stress and depletion of stem cells in the hair follicles. If you see gray hair, the primary cause of this hair would be chronic stress.

Scientists found that stress actuates nerves that are important for flight reaction. That activity can cause long-lasting harm to the pigment-regenerating stem cells in hair follicles.

Try to control stress by various means so that it cannot affect your body and cause your hair to transform gray.

  1. Genetics

Your cosmetics play a significant part when you have gray hair. If you notice gray hair at an early age, your parents or grandparents likewise had to turn gray or white hair at an early age.

You can’t change hereditary qualities. Be that as it may, if you don’t care for your gray hair looks, you can generally color your hair.

In the case that your parents or grandparents went gray very early, odds are you will, as well. The study looked at the genomes of more than 6,000 people from Latin America and identified over 15 genes that influence hair traits, including the interferon regulatory factor 4 gene, IRF4, which previously was known for producing light hair in people of European origin but now is associated with gray hair

  1. Heart diseases

According to research, it was suggested that gray hair is linked with an increased risk of heart disease in men. It is also found that gray hair was associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease. The scientist said that hair scores of 3 or more are independent of chronological age and established cardiovascular risk factors.

How to prevent gray hair?

If you have gray hair because of your genes, then the prevention is almost zero because we can not change the genetic material.

If you face any disease or health problem that affects the hair color, consult your doctor with complete laboratory investigations and entire medical history. If you successfully treat your underlying problem of pigmentation, then the gray hair will be transformed into your original hair color, but there are no guarantees.

As per one study, if a thyroid issue causes greyed hair, re-pigmentation may happen after hormonal treatment. Taking vitamin B-12 pills or shots to address an insufficiency may likewise improve the soundness of hair follicles and return your characteristic color.

On the off chance that greyed hair happens because of stress or smoking, there isn’t proof to help the return of pigmentation in the wake of stopping smoking or diminishing pressure.

What does gray hair say about your health?

Gray hair of any person should have many reasons, maybe one or more than one reason for the loss of pigmentation. Some people have stress in their life, and some people have any disease. The disease may be autoimmune or maybe any gland-related.

If we can say we know the exact cause of graying of hair at our first look, then we might be wrong. Graying of hair may be due to genetics. To find out the exact cause, one should know the family history related to hair.

Coloring your hair after some time is not the cure or treatment of gray hair, but you should meet a doctor, and your doctor will evaluate the underlying cause and help you find out the reason and give you some advice, by which you treat your hair more effectively.


Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S. graduated from the University of Sharjah. She is currently working as a General Physician at New Hope Medical Center. Amy has a passion for research and offers her expertise and opinions helping people in their quest to lead healthy, happy lives.

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